South Tyrolean manufacturer Pepi’s Tire Noodle – PTN in short – offers a wide portfolio of tire inserts for all types of bicycles, from road bikes to downhill rigs. We pitted the R-Evolution against 4 other tire inserts to find out what it’s capable of.
The PTN R-Evolution is the lightest tire insert in the entire test field, tipping the scales at just 220 g for both inserts. With a price tag of € 95 for the pair, it’s also the most affordable option in this test, meaning that only a DIY solution from your hardware store will be cheaper. Despite the light weight, it’s the competitor with the deepest profile (39 mm), which also makes it almost round in shape. This is due to the lower density foam, which makes the R-Evolution far softer than the other inserts in this test – especially compared to the CushCore and Technomousse. However, this was also evident in our lab tests, where the PTN inserts provided the lowest level of impact protection together with the Rimpact – even though the R-Evolution is the heavy-duty model in Pepi’s portfolio. There are three lighter XC variants, two gravel-specific versions and a road bike model. The R-Evolution comes standard with tubeless valves that allow air to move through the valve without being obstructed by the insert. It’s available in three sizes, offering a suitable option for tires between 2” and 2.8” wide. For tires from 2.3” and wider, the M/L size is a perfect fit. That’s the size we tested and also the one we recommend for gravity-oriented riding. The smaller sizes are more suitable for XC and marathon mountain bikes.
Installing the Pepi’s Tire Noodle R-Evolution tire insert
Since the PTN R-Evolution relies on a lighter, lower-density foam, it’s slightly easier to install than the other inserts in this test. While it’s rather easy to stretch and pull over the rim, the deep profile makes it harder to pull the tire over the insert and over the rim. We recommend pushing one tire bead onto the rim before installing the insert.
The Pepi’s Tire Noodle R-Evolution tire insert on the trail.
On the trail, the PTN R-Evolution provides the most natural ride feeling in the entire test field. However, this comes at the expense of damping, meaning that it doesn’t filter out the small trail chatter as efficiently as the other models in test. That being said, there’s still a noticeable difference versus a wheel without an insert, with the PTN R-Evolution ensuring a more composed ride and better traction in direct comparison. Given the lower level of impact protection, however, you shouldn’t get too excited running low tire pressures, and take extra care when rolling to the car park with a puncture.
Despite its bulky appearance, the PTN R-Evolution is the lightest tire insert in the entire test field – and also the cheapest! However, the advantages of the low-density foam come at the expense of impact protection and, as a result, the R-Evolution can’t keep up with the big guns in this test. On the other hand, it’s relatively easy to install and at the same time ensures a noticeably damped, composed ride on the trail – albeit this effect is less perceivable with the PTN than with the other inserts in this test.
- Installation is relatively easy
- Clear plus in trail performance
- Medium impact protection
- Lower damping qualities than other inserts
For more information, visit bikesuspension.com.
For an overview of the group test: The best tire inserts – 5 variants in review
All inserts in test: Hardware shop Backer rod (Click for review) | CushCore PRO (Click for review) | PTN R-Evolution | Rimpact PRO V2 (Click for review) | Technomousse Red Poison Evo (Click for review)
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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Mike Hunger