Rimpact’s Pro/Original Mix tyre inserts are designed to balance low weight with high protection. They're light, supportive and above all, protective – though they don't offer quite as much sidewall support as spendier offerings.
It's no surprise the Rimpact Pro/Original Mix kit comes with one Original insert for the front wheel, and a more protective (and weightier) Pro insert for the rear. It's great if you ride heavy on the rear wheel, or just want to save a bit of weight while reaping the benefits of lower pressures.
On the subject of weight, the overall kit is 255g (without valves) with the front insert weighing 95g and the rear 160g. That's almost half the weight of something like CushCore’s Pro set – a useful saving.
That Pro insert for the rear gets a dense Energy Sensitive layer designed to harden on impact, dissipating forces through itself and the foam rather than the rim. Rimpact says the Pro model offers decent protection even without any air in the tyre – a lifesaver for those mid-race situations.
Our £60 kit includes a pair of Unblockable valves, but there's a version without them for £55. You can also get it with a blingy set of Peaty's x Chris King MK2 Tubeless Valves for £20 more.
Rimpact's Unblockable vales are well worth the extra fiver, as all their extra passages work well. That's really helpful, because by the looks of the indents left on the inserts, the valves are always blocked.
After a quick glance at the instructions on Rimpact’s website (which I thoroughly recommend), installation proves surprisingly easy and impressively tool-free – at least with the right wheels and tyres.
The wider the rubber, the easier they are to fit – this kit is suitable for rims with a 23mm to 35mm internal width and 2.3" to 2.6" tyres. Looser-fitting rim/tyre combos are good, too.
With tight tyre and rim combinations (the ones where you really have to wrench the tyres on), they can be very difficult to fit, however. In fact, after a hefty serving of grunts and swears I admitted defeat with these and my very tight-fitting WTB rims and tyres.
Also, be sure to check your rim tape is in good condition, or replace it before taking on the task. The insert hugs the rim bed pretty tightly, so if you've got a hole in your rim tape it's super difficult to shake the wheel enough to splash a bit of sealant in. As easy as installation can be, it's still a bit of a task, so the fewer times you have to take everything apart the better.
I had an easy time fitting these to Maxxis tyres and Shimano rims. Once set up I dropped my usual pressures of 20psi front and 25psi back to around 18psi and 20psi respectively.
Straight away, the quality of my ride was greatly improved. The bike pedals easier and the damping of the tyres is noticeably nicer, hiding a lot of trail chatter. At these lower pressures, the tyre is well supported and there's no noticeable sideways roll, something I would definitely get at the rear at this pressure without an insert .
One notoriously harsh off-camber catch berm managed to burp the rear tyre a little, but that was at a sub 20psi pressure; these inserts don't hug the sidewalls as positively as something like CushCore does, so give slightly less support.
To really put that Rimpact Pro rear to the test, I fitted these to a hardtail and threw it off some pretty heavy drops and through rock gardens. After inspecting the insert afterwards there were a good few marks where the foam had compressed, saving my rim. So I can vouch them fulfilling their primary function too.
Sometimes tyre inserts can make your tyres really difficult to whip off, but that isn't the case with Rimpact. If anything, the insert provides more leverage to pop the beads – after that it's just a case of removing your tyre as normal.
Again, this is because the sidewalls aren't as solidly supported as by something like the CushCore Pro.
At £60 the Rimpact Pro/Original Mix is mighty impressive. The Nukeproof Horizon ARD inserts that are £10 cheaper at £50, and lighter too, but their ride is noticeably harsh and they're not very well damped.
The already-mentioned CushCore Pro provides more sidewall support, but as well as being almost twice as heavy it's well over twice the price at £160.
The Rimpact Pro/Original Mix tyre inserts are not only easy to install (on the right rim/tyre combo, at least) but they're well damped, lightweight and effective. They provide a lot of peace of mind if you're hard on that back wheel, too.
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