Panzer began offering tubeless tyre inserts in 2016, back when the concept was still relatively new to mountain biking. Alongside the likes of CushCore, the original Panzer inserts became popular thanks to their low weight and ease of installation.
Panzer decided to overhaul its tubeless inserts earlier this year, with the latest design introducing new materials and revised shapes to offer a more comprehensive range that covers everything from 700c gravel bikes, through to big travel e-MTBs.
We’ve just got our hands on some of the latest generation inserts to see what they’re all about.
Five new insert options
The latest generation Panzer tubeless inserts are available in five different shapes;
- Gravel – 700c inserts to suit 22-25mm inner rim widths (70g claimed weight)
- XC 25 – 29in inserts to suit 23-27mm inner rim widths (90g claimed weight)
- XC 28 – 29in inserts to suit 28-30mm inner rim widths (100g claimed weight)
- Aggressive Enduro/DH/e-MTB – 27.5 & 29in inserts to suit 25-31mm inner rim widths (110g claimed weight)
- Aggressive e-MTB – 27.5 & 29in inserts to suit 33-35mm inner rim widths (140g claimed weight)
Each insert features its own unique profile to suit the tyres you’re likely to use for that application. They’re all made from the new GEN3C compound that’s said to offer more support, better shock absorption, and improved long-term durability. Despite this, all the inserts are very lightweight, with the heaviest option coming in at a claimed 140g. Compare that to an equivalent CushCore Pro insert that weighs 266g for the 29er size.
Panzer Aggressive Enduro/Downhill/e-MTB Inserts
- Weight – 130g (29in size)
- RRP – $99.95 AUD (each)
Shown here is the Panzer Aggressive insert that’s designed for enduro, downhill and e-MTB use. The insert is shaped to suit internal rim widths from 25-31mm, and it’ll fit inside 2.3-2.6in wide tyres.
The inserts are sold individually, which suits us just fine as we’re often only running an insert in the rear wheel. Then again, given the impressive weight of just 130g, you could actually run the Panzer inserts in the rear and front, and the weight would be similar to a single CushCore Pro insert. Nice!
Having had a lot of experience with CushCore over the years, fitting the Panzer tubeless inserts proved to be relatively straightforward. They do need some stretching to fit over the rim, though once in place the soft foam material wasn’t difficult to manipulate when pushing the tyre beads into place. Given the similarity in the construction, we found the process to be much the same as the Tubolight EVO HD inserts we’ve used previously.
While you don’t get a tubeless valve in the box, a bottle of tubeless sealant is included. The yellow liquid is latex and ammonia-free, and along with the new skin that Panzer has developed for these third generation inserts, it’s said to be less likely to coagulate around the surface.
On the trail
Thanks to their soft foam construction, the Panzer tubeless inserts aren’t particularly noticeable while riding. There is an increased level of damping, and it’s possible to run lower pressures for a smoother ride with less chance of burping or snakebites. We’ve also found them to be very quiet, with none of the rattling that is present with some other inserts.
So far we’ve managed to successfully avoid any punctures or rim damage, but given the low weight and relatively squishy foam material, it would be logical to expect a lesser degree of outright protection compared to the much heavier CushCore and Vittoria inserts. We’re planning to use the Panzer inserts across a variety of test bikes, so we’ll see how they fare long-term, and whether there’s any stretching or degradation over time.
Though given the low weight, ease of installation, quiet performance and the fact that they’re being used by the Pivot Factory Racing team, there’s already a lot to like about these new generation Panzer inserts.