Yes firmer than cups.. but as I said it's very subtle
I haven't looked into servicing as they were still available to buy.. Plus the cost would make it ridiculous .. The Konis would be a far better bet
More protection is always good if you are a 3 or 4 seasons user. Fit is water tight top and bottom with a breather hole to allow actuation.
It's the best solution I have found to date.
This with the scraper seal has to be unbeatable IMHO