Product Review Huck Norris anti flat tubeless protection

Discussion in 'Rotorburn reviews' started by Dozer, Jan 5, 2018.

By Dozer on Jan 5, 2018 at 3:08 PM
  1. Dozer

    Dozer Heavy machinery. Staff Member

    Welcome to the next exciting review on products provided to us by our friends at Mountain Bikes Direct. We've teamed up with one of Australia's best online mountain bike stores to bring you in depth reviews on the latest and most intriguing parts and accessories you can purchase for your bike.

    The values shared by the staff at Rotorburn and Mountain Bikes Direct are the same; we have a huge passion for mountain biking! It's our pleasure to be in a great position to test, review and share our in depth details on some great products available from Mountain Bikes Direct.


    Item: Huck Norris anti flat tubeless protection for mountain bike wheelsets
    Purchased From: Mountain Bikes Direct (Click here for the product page)
    Purchase Price (approx): Starting at $46.95 for one wheel, a two wheel set is $85.95 plus postage
    Usage: Mountain biking

    Product outline:
    Huck Norris anti flat tubeless protection is intended to provide additional protection to your tubeless wheels and tyres to prevent pinch flats and does it in such an easy method by providing a foam insert that creates a pillow of sorts between your rim edge and tyre when your tyre sidewall is compressed.

    Pros: Very light, very easy to install, very effective at preventing flats, makes it easier to inflate a tubeless tyre with a floor pump, buying the two wheel pair comes with packaging that doubles as a mudguard!
    Cons: Absorbs tyre sealant.

    Fitting: First up, ensure you order the correct width Huck Norris to suit your rims and tyres. I've installed Huck Norris on a 27.5" wheelset with a Stans Flow EX rim that is 30mm wide internally. The guideline for ordering Huck Norris is to get the one that is wider than your rim measurement so in this case I ordered the large size to suit rims 34mm to 45mm. I ordered the set too, it comes with two pieces of Huck Norris to do a front and rear wheel. It's important to note that you need to trim the length to size and it comes to suit anything up to a 29" wheel so no need to look for something that suits a smaller or larger wheel.
    Fitting was totally a breeze. My method was simple. I unpackagaed the Huck Norris, let them sit on the ground to unfold and sucked the existing sealant out of my wheels using the Stans syringe. I then popped the tyre off the bead on one side, gave it a quick wipe inside with a clean towel and grabbed my first piece of Huck Norris. The idea of it is to sit between your beaded tyre where it meets the rim face and the underside (inside) of the tyre tread so when you roll over something sharp edged (a rock) or land hard (huck to flat) your tyre will not be damaged by the rim edge because there's a fancy piece of Huck Norris between the two surfaces.
    With that in mind, you simply roll the Huck Norris around the outside edge of your rim and locate the first spot that will indicate where to cut the material. Hold up folks! The old saying of "measure twice, cut once" comes out in force here, make sure you leave enough play in the Huck Norris that it isn't too tight on the rim edge! Once you're sure that you're on the right spot, you mark the line you want to cut off with a sharp blade then double check it. You need to make sure you keep one of the joining tabs that run across the pattern of the material as this surface will butt up again the other end of the Huck Norris.
    Now, cut it cleanly so the short side edge will sit flush against the opposing end, just to be sure it will sit snug. You then roll the other end so it is against the piece you just cut and you wrap the provided velcro strap around the two ends. I suggest using some clamps here, I have clamped the two ends together then put the velcro on to ensure it sits firmly, OCD maybe? ;)
    This is the point where you can sit the Huck Norris inside your tyre and above your rim edge. You'll see just how well this setup works at this point and you'll understand why the correct measurement is crucial. It should just slide straight inside your tyre and not drop inside your rim edge and lean over the rim edge below the seated tyre surface on the other side.
    Right then, this is where you can insert your tyre bead into the rim and seat your tyre. Pay some attention to where the Huck Norris thick edge sits as you seat the tyre as it seems like it can roll to one side and not be in the exact middle of the width of the tyre. You'll notice it should be pushing your tyre sidewall out and making it easier for your tyre to seat. Once the tyre was on, I rolled the wheel along the ground with a deflated tyre and made sure I could feel the Huck Norris between the underside of the tread and the rim edge, that way I knew it was in the right spot and it was actually super easy to line it all up. You'll get the best feel and impression for what Huck Norris is all about at this point too, you'll feel that magic cushion between your tyre and rim edge and your confidence should grow!
    The next step is to put your sealant in. I use the Stans syringe that feeds the sealant in through the removed valve core but you can just put your scoops in before you bead your tyre if you don't do the core method. My advice though? Get a valve core removal tool, grab a sealant syringe and never spill another drop of sealant on Nan's rug again. ;) I tend to put around 120ml of sealant in but this time around I put about 160ml as the Huck Norris suggests it soaks it up a little as it has more surface to cover, makes sense.
    Now is the point where you can test the theory that Huck Norris makes it easier to inflat a tubeless tyre with a floor pump. Science says it should too, the material pushes your tyre bead into the rim and should just seat itself............and it does! It was a breeze to inflate from zero pressure to 40 PSI and the bead seated itself at about 20PSI. To my liking was the fact that it was a brand new tyre too. ;)

    On the trail: My timing with Huck Norris was planned. I installed it a week before I was due to fly out to sunny Queenstown in New Zealand and shred the beautiful loam, the round edged roots and the square edged rocks of the surrounding mountains. I've spent many a summer in New Zealand and have never come home without flatting tyres on trail bikes, enduro bikes and downhill bikes both tubeless and tubed. I was so confident in the science of Huck Norris that I knew I could rely on it to prevent flats. Did it work? Yep! Not one flat, only typical PSI deflation of around 3 to 5 PSI a day, no burping, no loss of sealant and no holes. Did I actually man up and try to pop a tyre on a flat landing? Did I line up every root or hard edged rock and totally smash into it? Well, yeah I did but those that have ridden the hills around Queenstown know that you can't avoid them anyway and your only option is to smash into it all!
    You know that dreaded ping sound when you hammer into a hard rock? I have forgotten that sound since putting Huck Norris in my tyres, not a sound! Surprisingly though, the anti flat protection isn't the only upside I found to Huck Norris. read on.............
    Huck Norris has totally changed my tyre feel. It has eliminated a shitload of sidewall roll and firmed the tyre tread surface up so my grip is more predictable than ever. Having that tubeless feel with a horizontal stiffener inside the tyre has made my ride feel really stable both in cornering and braking. I don't tend to run lower pressures purely as I like some extra feel in my tyre but Huck Norris has allowed me to tinker a little with what I'm used to and broadened my view on what can be achieved with performance on your bike through some squishy bits.
    I did not notice any extra rotational weight, I didn't feel heavier on some of the 1000m vertical climbs and by the second day I was totally confident that I could go that little bit harder into some features knowing this material would hold the wind in my tyres.

    Summary: Is it just a gimmick like a Power Balance Band? Did some Astrology guru dream it up and is making millions from it? I dunno about the latter but can assure you that if you have ever had a tubeless flat then Huch Norris is a deadset savior to your existence. It's cheap, it's so effective, it's so easy to install, it's simple technology that just works. You can ask yourself "Yeah righto, you didn't get a flat so how do you know it works?"..................I have gotten heaps of flats but with Huck Norris I have had not one issue with anything relating to tyres. It works for me and I'll be putting it in each wheelset I have on my rides. Honestly, I cannot see a downside to it.

    IMG_6421.JPG IMG_6422.JPG IMG_6425.JPG IMG_6426.JPG IMG_6427.JPG IMG_6428.JPG IMG_6429.JPG IMG_6433.JPG IMG_6435.JPG
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
    Miguel75, The Reverend, BT180 and 2 others like this.


Discussion in 'Rotorburn reviews' started by Dozer, Jan 5, 2018.

    1. Ultra Lord
      Ultra Lord
      Glad to hear the weight was unnoticeable, thats been a but of a concern of mine regarding all the flat protection systems floating around. I know it shouldn’t be, especially when all the reasonably strong tyres (DD maxxis casing) I usually run are up at 1kgish anyway.

      Spewing though this review came through after I ordered a dropper off mtb direct (very stoked with the 185mm bikeyoke dropper btw, your review did help with my decision) would’ve been an easy bundle. :rolleyes:

      Are you able to compare it to other systems regarding rim protection? I dont race anymore so flatting isn’t that big a deal for me as 15mins trailside patching a tyre or throwing a tube in isn’t a big deal, but dinging rims however sucks arse and is an expensive excercise.
      Dozer likes this.
    2. northvanguy
      Given MTBdirect also carries the Cushcore inserts..wondering if anyone is running those especially as you mentioned you'd be running Huck Norris in all your bikes.

      From other reviews I've read cushcore outperforms but at a cost+weight penalty.

      I'm a serial rear flat tyre rider (has improved since going to DH casing and back to tubes) but wondering if a doubledown and one of these inserts would be my ultimate fix?

    3. PJO
      Thanks for the detailed review Dozer.
      Just got a question about the width, where did you read the guideline you quoted, the Huck Norris sites says to choose a medium for an internal rim width of 30mm, yet you used a large?
      Dozer likes this.
    4. teK--
      Long term review here.

      My HN appears to have done its job I haven't had a pinch flat or rim dent despite hitting some very rough trails in the last 6 months. Also have not burped any air. I am however still running the same rear pressure as previous (26psi) compared to when I didn't have a HN since I want maximum rim and rollover protection.

      The velcro strap had came apart. So I recommend either using a zip tie, or do what I did and not run anything at all so that the HN can move around more freely inside the tyre.

      Here are some pics of some of the 12 or so areas where impacts had caused the rim to cut right through the HN. When I have many more cuts or the foam starts looking mangy I will replace it but with the DH version which is a denser foam.

      Overall very happy and can recommend.

      Attached Files:

      Miguel75, wkkie and Dozer like this.
    5. Dozer
      That is excellent info to include in this thread, thanks Tek!
      Did you notice any difference in your tyre performance like I did using the Huck Norris? I'm really impressed.
    6. Dozer
      I run 2.5" wide tyres and was a little unsure that a narrower version of the Huck Norris would be ideal on that bigger tyre and I pictured it bouncing around inside the tyre and in the event of an impact, I didn't like the idea of the Huck Norris being all the way to one side and totally miss buffering the impact. I also figured it was better to go wider and have it pushing on the tyre sidewall a little for a snug fit.
      By no means am I suggesting the Huck Norris site isn't giving you the correct info, I did it purely as a thought process and thought if it was too wide then I could trim it to suit and make that recommendation if I needed to. ;)
      The large size I ordered fits perfectly.
      PJO likes this.
    7. Dozer
      I'd initially liked the idea of Schwalbe's Procore system but the weight thing just made me think that I may as well run downhill tubes in everything and not get a flat but the idea of that extra weight urked me a bit, been there and done that on 23kg downhill bikes back in the day. ;) I then did some research on the other brands of the same type of thing as Huck Norris and thought the Huck Norris seemed the most effective way to achieve what I hoped for with this line of stuff. I don't have an opinion on anything other than the Huck Norris but will never say never, I am so satisfied with what Huck Norris did for me in New Zealand though, we did some eight hour riding days on some full on terrain multiple days in a row and I never once had an issue and never copped a dose of the tyre roll I despise so much.
      I am keen to hear from people who've run the other systems, let s know.
    8. Dozer
      I'm the same mate, I've had some issues in the past with rear tyre's exploding and it puts you off the ride. I run tubeless on everything other than my downhill bike but after running this system and enjoying the feel of faultless tubeless on my enduro bike for a few years now, I'm gonna switch it.
      Would it be the fix to your issue? I say go for it, I totally pound my gear when the trails are sweet so I totally say go for it. ;)
    9. teK--
      The procore system is the closest you're gonna get to a complete runflat system where you can ride to the finish line if you get a flat, and without damaging the rim. It isn't really compatible with carbon rims though as the internal tube pressure is well in excess of what most carbon rims will handle.

      The "feel" of the tyre mostly remained the same. I noticed the weight for the first couple of rides but then got used to it. The added peace of mind when riding into rough rocks or casing a jump etc is well worth it. Also some of the ridiculously banked corners like Down DJ at Bright, I don't worry about tearing the tyre off the rim.

      On the question of size, I think the make/model/width of tyre has as much to do as the internal rim dimensions, the latter of which is the only metric that the HN sizing guide refers to.

      I use the Medium size which is rated for 30-35mm rims, in a 29mm rim with 2.3" DHR2. The fit is perfect. If I was using a 2.5" Maxxis or say a 2.35 Schwalbe tyre I would definitely run the Large size.
      PJO and Zaf like this.
    10. BT180
      Great review and it echoes my experience. I ride notoriously tyre and rim munching trails (rocky, sandstone) on Sydney's Northern Beaches and most locals run tyre protection systems and/or at least 30psi in the rear tyre. I went through a period of 2-3 months where I was riding more challenging terrain and I went through 2 brand new Minion DHR2 WTs and another pinch flat on a tube in my backup tyre.

      Didn't want to run 30psi as it feels like shit, so I bought a Huck Norris. Haven't had a single pinch flat, ding or tyre slash in a few months now. Also haven't heard that dreaded twang when rock meets rim. Running around 25psi and using a small on my 25mm ID rims. Will probably get the DH version next though, just for added longevity.

      Can't recommend the HN enough if you're riding rocky trails or trails with drops that spit you out onto the flats.
      Dozer likes this.
    11. Markee
      My review will be simple. My Huck Norris is for sale as it did not save my rear carbon wheel.
      $30 plus shipping and it’s yours.
      I’m now using Cush Core front and rear and have dropped my pressures down to 16-18fr and 22-24rr and the grip level is 1000x better than before running HN 28 rear and 24 front.
      I ride with Tek a lot and he vouch for the punishment I deal out to my rims.
      If Cush Core can’t save my carbon rims I’ll be going back to alloy. 3 rear rims is enough.
      Duane, safreek and Zaf like this.
    12. BT180
      I would have given CC a go, but it's sooooo expensive. HN is definitely a stepping stone. If that fixes the issues, then great, but if it doesn't then forking out the $$ for CC would be the go. Not sure why they don't sell them singly (is that a word??) though!
    13. 251
      Last March I put the medium Huck Norris in both tyres on my rigid 29er (29x2.4 tyres on 30mm-internal carbon rims) after frequent pinch flats/cuts. They've done quite well and I haven't had any flats since.

      Based on that, about six months ago I put a large Hack Norris in the rear on my 27.5+ hardtail (27.5x2.8 tyres on 35mm-internal alloy rims) after destroying two 2.8" Minions. The third Minion w/ Huck Norris is going well with no damage.
    14. Zaf
      How expensive is it really though?
      They don't need to save that many tyres or rims (depending on your flavour of damage) before they've recouped their cost. I know in a bad string of punctures out here I've killed a tyre a week for a month or so. Admittedly, not all of those would have been preventable (not sure how saved any tyre can be against an inch long sidewall slash), but some of those dingers.

      Further, they add more than just protection for the rims, their claims about traction and a dampened feel are completely valid and appreciable.

      Also, not sure what the Pinkbike and Vital Cushcore reviewers were doing, but I had the units installed in under 10mins (comfortably, and I wasn't rushing). That's old tyre off, cushcore, tyre and sealant installed and inflated.
    15. BT180
      Don't forget the Flow guys. They had issues mounting too. You must have the midas touch. :)

      True though, the CC is marketed as more than just anti-puncture. Also as a whole tyre suspension system. I guess that does justify some of the price hike, if they perform as it says on the tin.
      Zaf likes this.
    16. The Reverend
      The Reverend
      It's very interesting to hear the reviews. The CC approach appeals to me but the $$$ is a concern, as is the reported PITA of install and removal.

      Granted, one saved rim and it's a positive story. The benefit of additional comfort and compliance is really attractive.

      Will check out MTBdirect and see what this is going to cost..
    17. Zaf
      I've honestly never had an issue with the intallation of the Cushcore system; followed the instructions in the box to get the insert onto the rim, and then from there it's just regular tyre installation with the insert assisting in holding the bead. I only used tyre levers on my first installation, have since been able to install and remove them without tools since.

      And that's three pairs of Cushcores (across as many bikes), and one set that has been switched between my Bontrager wheelsets several times.

      I am fairly strong, hands and arms wise, which might be a contributing factor in the ease of installation. But if you're following usual textbook procedures and preparation I can't see it being a problem. So just for note, use soapy water on the bead (helps break it afterwards, as well as mounting it) and ensure you're dropping the bead down into the spoke hole channel when mounting the tyre (it just slides in under the insert and then holds).

      I timed myself (and wasn't rushing) and with my Bontrager Line 40's I had it installed and inflated at 6mins 30seconds per wheel, including deflation and removal of the original mounted tyres and valve stem switching etc.
      The Reverend and BT180 like this.
    18. Markee
      I’ll second Zaf’s comments re installation. It’s easy as and the instructional video they have on their website gives you all the exact techniques.
      Yes they are expensive but so are carbon rims.
      The ability to also run much lower pressures won it for me, hands down.
    19. redbruce
      Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
      Mywifesirrational likes this.

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