MXA TEAM TESTED: NITROMOUSSE & NITROWEDGE FOAM INSERTS
WHAT IS IT? The Nuetech Nitromousse is a foam insert that replaces the standard inflatable tube to guarantee that you won’t ever get a flat. Mousse tubes are a must-have for any style of off-road racing (fast or slow) and for motocross racers who ride on rocky “flat prone” tracks.
WHAT’S IT COST? $139.95 (Nitromousse), $19.95 (Nitrowedge), $5.11 (Nitrolube).
CONTACT? www.nitromousse.com or (608) 301-6764.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Nitromousse elastomer foam tubes and Nitrowedges.
(1) Nitromousse. The Nitromousse gets its name because the micro-bubble matrix of the foam mixture contains a high concentration of nitrogen. This lessens the dead feel of a normal mousse. Nitromousses come in different sizes to fit your specific tire and wheel size.
(2) Nitrowedge. The Nitrowedge is an 8-inch section of a Nitromousse that can be added to increase the psi feel of your current Nitromousse. This concept started when riders began to cut sections from their old Nitromousses and add them in to refresh their current mousse. Nuetech made things simpler by selling a fresh 8-inch wedge. The new wedge adds volume to the current mousse, giving you the ability to increase the psi feel of a Nitromousse that has a lot of hours on it. You can also use the wedge to tune the psi feel of a newer mousse as well.
(3) Nitrolube. Lube is critical for getting the longest life out of a mousse. Nitrolube is a high-quality silicone-based lubricant that substantially reduces friction and heat buildup in your tire. Each installation requires one tube of Nitrolube, and you will not need to re-lube the mousse, as long as the valve holes in your rim are sealed. Do not use soap-based lubricants (like Murphy’s) with a Nitromousse. Mounting pastes dry up, which causes premature wear.
(4) Purpose. The MXA test riders use Nitromousse in off-road or Grand Prix-style races. It takes approximately 30 minutes to break in a new Nitromousse. The mousses start out feeling stiff (similar to 15 psi), but after break-in, they mimic 12 psi. Mousses are heavier than air-filled tubes but hold their shape and don’t roll over under side loads. The life of the Nitromousse depends on the terrain it’s used in and the speed of the rider. MXA’s Pro test riders replaced their Nitromousses, or wedge them with every second tire change. Novice testers can go three or four tire changes before needing an update.
(5) Refresh. If you run a Nitromousse too long, it will get softer, shrink and eventually deteriorate inside the tire. Nitrowedges come in handy for increasing the lifespan and psi feel of an older mousse. To install the wedge, cut the used mousse in half and measure the gap before installing a piece of the wedge that is 2 to 4 inches larger than the gap.
(6) Options. The Nitromousse foam inserts come in two different densities. The Platinum mousse mimics the feel of an inflated inner tube with 12 psi. The Plushie version replicates the feel of an inner tube at 8 psi and was created for slow-speed enduros or EnduroCross races.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Two issues: (1) There is a learning curve to installing a mousse—try to find a friend who knows how to do it to teach you the tricks. (2) If the Nitromousses were lighter, had more pressure adjustability and worked as well as a standard inflatable inner tube, we’d run them full-time in motocross. Off-road, we prefer mousse tubes over inflatables.
MXA RATING: Most MXA testers still choose inflatable inner tubes for motocross, but if you ride with mousses all the time, you get used to the feel for both off-road and motocross racing. Nitromousses eliminate flat-tire anxiety.