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Review: MegaNorris Sandwich Tire Insert for MTB Rim Protection

huck norris meganorris sandwich mtb tire insert test nukeproof horizon v2 alloy rim maxxis minion dhrii dd tire
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Huck Norris has expanded their offering of mountain bike tire inserts, introducing the Toast, Sandwich and Hamburger. Tailored for XC, Enduro and Downhill, respectively, these rim-protecting, puncture-preventing inserts differ in their weight and density, in accordance with the demands of each discipline.

hucknorris tire inserts toast sandwich hamburger dh

While the lighter weight Toast is composed of a single density closed-cell foam, the Sandwich and Hamburger tire inserts are dual-density, adding a bit of progression to tire-rim bottom-out scenarios and enhancing rim protection. We got the Mega Norris Sandwich tire insert in for testing; here’s how it fared on the Enduro trails of the Tweed Valley.

meganorris mtb tire insert dual density sandwich design for enduro riding
To the touch, the softer foam (light grey) feels about as firm as CushCore Pro, while the firmer portion (dark grey) is tangibly firmer

MegaNorris Sandwich Tire Insert

huck norris meganorris sandwich mtb tire insert test nukeproof horizon v2 alloy rim maxxis minion dhrii dd tire
Credit: Blair Kemp

There are two versions of the MegaNorris Sandwich; a 55mm (54mm actual) width option designed for 28-34mm internal width rims, and a 60mm width option designed for 33-40mm internal width rims. I opted to run the insert on the rear wheel of my Revel Rail, a 165mm travel enduro bike with 27.5″ wheels. The wheel in question was a Nukeproof Horizon V2 with 30mm internal width alloy rim.

meganorris mtb tire insert sandwich dual density foam layers
The Mega Norris tire inserts are made of a closed-cell foam so they don’t absorb tire sealant. Sealant will of course coat the outer surface, leaving less to run freely around the inside of the tire, but I didn’t feel the need to add any more sealant than I would do for a regular tubeless setup.

Admittedly, I did not look at any instructions before attempting to fit the MegaNorris. I was in autopilot mode that day, and proceeded in an attempt to fit the insert the same way as other tire inserts I had come across previously. A fatal error was made when I measured it against its intended rim, cutting it down to size using the rim diameter as a marker. Many choice words were uttered while I struggled to install it with a 2.3″ Maxxis Minion DHRII DoubleDown tire.

meganorris sandwich tire insert comes 29" can be cut to 27.5" or 26"
All three MegaNorris tire inserts are shipped at 29″, and can be cut down to fit 27.5″ or 26″ rims accordingly

Had I glanced at the back of the packaging I would’ve found instructions on how to cut the insert down for a 27.5″ wheel. Basically, you need to cut it such that it is a fair bit larger than the diameter of the rim, so that it can sit about half way between the rim and the tire, suspended between the two, and held in place by the force it exerts against the tire sidewalls. There are pre-cut markers on each insert; one for a 27.5″ wheel and another for a 26″ wheel. They aren’t labelled as such, but it’s fairly obvious which cut pertains to which wheel size.

meganorris sandwich tire insert designed to sit suspended between tire and rim
The MegaNorris tire inserts are designed to sit half way between the rim bed and the tire’s sub-tread area, not interfacing with either until bottom-out events

With the Sandwich tire insert cut to its appropriate size, the task of installation isn’t all that arduous. It is a fair bit more difficult than an insert-free tubeless setup, but nothing a strong pair of hands can’t handle. With the tire fitted to one side of the rim, the insert is slipped into the volume of the tire before the second tire bead is teased onto the opposite rim. Our tire did look a little wonky after installation, with the insert not sat entirely straight within the tire, but that came good after one very short ride.

meganorris sandwich mtb tire insert review zip tie connects ends to form loop
Huck Norris inserts used to ship with a velcro strap to connect the two ends but the company has switched that out for a regular zip-tie following feedback that the velcro wasn’t durable enough for the job. The insert was very easy to remove, and shows no signs of obvious damage after a month of use.

Cut to size, the MegaNorris Sandwich weighs 196g, fairly middle of the road for a tire insert rated for trail and enduro riding. It’s a good 50g lighter than a CushCore Pro or a RockStop insert, but around 40g heavier than a Rimpact Pro or a Nukeproof ARD. Another lighter option is the Vittoria Airliner at 165g.

meganorris sandwich mtb tire insert review on dt swiss e1900 rim
For illustrative purposes only; the MegaNorris insert was tested on a Nukeproof Horizon V2 rim, not the DT SWISS E1900 rim seen here

At its widest point the insert is 54mm across, thus, on the Horizon V2 rim which has an outer width of 35mm, around 4.5mm of insert is overhanging the rim on each side. While it is wider than most single-density tire inserts, it is much, much thinner at just 14mm thick.

Initially, I had two concerns with the design of the MegaNorris tire inserts:

  1. The insert would rattle inside the tire
  2. It would be too thin to prevent pinch punctures at low pressures

I’m pleased to report that neither of these concerns were realised.

huck norris meganorris mtb tire insert review sandwich enduro 27.5"
Rest assured, the insert was aslo tested on much rougher terrain than the leafy goodness you see before you. Credit: Blair Kemp.

Despite the fact that the insert is designed to sit suspended between the tire and rim, I wasn’t able to discern any rattling from the insert moving about within the tire while riding along, which is more than I can say for the Nukeproof ARD or RockStop options.

Throughout the month or so that the MegaNorris Sandwich insert was in service I remained puncture free, despite numerous bottom-out events with their associated thud. I did experiment with tire pressure, varying it between 17-22 PSI, and am pleased to write that I never felt any discernable tire roll through fast, well-supported turns, even while at the lower end of that range. The rim, too, is in good fettle, having not suffered any damage during testing.

I’m happy to recommend the MegaNorris Sandwich tire insert, with it having given me no reason whatsoever not to do so. It is undeniably one of the more expensive options out there, however; the 55mm version reviewed here retails at $64.99 USD for a single insert. It isn’t the most expensive option for rim protection; you can pay up to $149.99 USD for a pair of CushCore Pro inserts and reap the vibration damping benefits. On the value end of the spectrum, you can pay $51.99 USD for a pair of Nukeproof ARD inserts, if you’re happy to live with their rattle, which I am (they are lighter, too). Swings and roundabouts, as ever!

meganorris sandwich mtb tire inset 27.5" weighs 196g cut to size


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2 years ago

Inserts are the next frontier in wheel system performance. Lots of opportunity beyond rim protection.

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