The team at CushCore certainly caught a lot of people’s attention with their startup pitch last fall for an innovative inner-tire suspension system for mountain bikes. The perks: Better traction, improved stability and ultimately fewer flats. It was an easy sell to a town that spends a lot of time on singletrack trails.
The company won the Bend Venture Conference $15,000 BendBroadband Business Early Stage Cash Prize last October and officially launched their product last month. Even more exciting: You can try out CushCore’s patent-pending inner-tire system this Saturday. Head to the Maston Trailhead — details below — and they’ll have wheels fitted with the system that you can put on your bike. Then just, you know, ride like a bat out of hell. See what happens.
Need some more motivation to give CushCore a try? Here’s what pros say …
RYAN STEERS – PRO XC RACER (TEAM GIANT)
“First race impressions: tires felt awesome. Endurance 42-mile race mostly singletrack. Rolled super fast, handled perfectly, no flats and barely lost to Tinker. I was worried about weight but rolling resistance and handling made it unnoticeable. Felt really quick acceleration.”
JARED GAVES – PRO ENDURO RACER (TEAM SPECIALIZED)
“I have had 4 big days here in Rotorua on Cushcore and it has been flawless. I’ve been loving it. It has definitely allowed me to run lower pressures while still being just as aggressive in corners and berms without worrying about rolling the tire and burping air. Rotorua is an awesome testing ground for that…I’m definitely going to race with it here and in Tasmania.”
Since BVC, the CushCore team reports that they’ve made some great progress. Of course, they launched their product. They figured out their manufacturing, settling on a manufacturer in Canada that was able to produce a lightweight, high-quality foam that sits inside the rim of the tire. They’ve been testing out the product in every way they can, getting feedback from riders and waiting for their first chance to offer some demos up to Central Oregon. So now it’s suns out, guns out (and by guns we actually mean inner-tire suspension systems).
Founder Adam Krefting says they’ve already garnered some national and international media attention, and that they’re receiving orders from individuals and distributors. A few bike shops in town are carrying CushCore right now, including Bend Cyclery. The product retails for $149 (Includes a setup for two tires. Extreme tricycle riders will need to order an extra single wheel setup fyi).
Looking ahead, Krefting, and Dan Hallada, his marketing and development head, say that they plan to spend a lot of time this spring and summer at mountain bike events, including Sea Otter in Monterey, Crankworks in Whistler and landing at Interbike in Vegas in September. They’re exploring their options for European manufacturing and distribution. Also they’ve hired a sales rep and they’re bootstrapping this baby, with no fundraising planned.
Lastly — because we know Justin Johnson will ask — yes, they are developing a similar system for cyclocross bikes. They hope to have it available by the fall.
CushCore Demo Day
Saturday, March 25
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
From CushCore: We will have complete wheel sets fitted with CushCore ready to mount on YOUR bike (27.5″ & 29″). Come experience the CushCore difference: Faster, Smoother Ride on Rough Terrain, Improved Traction & Stability, Superior Cornering, Reliable Tire & Wheel Protection.