Bicycle Mechanics - Getting a tire onto the rim
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02-18-09, 04:00 AM
I always struggle trying to get tires onto rims, I guess my hands/thumbs are not that strong. Has anyone ever tried this before?
If so, does it work well? Thanks!
02-18-09, 04:12 AM
Here's a cool trick I learned recently for stubborn tires.
When you are getting the second bead onto the rim, push what is already seated on the rim as far back onto the rim as possible (imagine pushing the bead onto the other bead), and work your way up to the unseated portion. This should get the rest of the bead to slip on without the need for tools or painfully excessive thumb-force.
This topic has been discussed numerous times and there is tremendous variance
tire to tire rim to rim in ease of mount dismount. Our tandem Rolf rims and
Michelin Pro2 tires can be mounted with trivial ease: 30second from start to finish
plus pump up time. My original Velocity 406
rims require a solid 30min to wrestle a tire on and off and barked knuckles are
not unusual. Most tire/rim combos are somewhere in between. Lube helps as
does a clean rim. Brake crap on the rim increases friction, helps to take a 3M
nylon pad to the rim with a bit of soap and water. Soap is a good lube, dish
wash liquid a very good lube. The Schwalbe stuff is 10x as expensive. The
crank brothers tire lever has adherents and once mastered works reasonably well
is light and cheap. Solid tire levers help as well, as does a certain amount of
upper body strength. Technique is more important however. Lube is needed only
for the last 10-12" of rim (or first 12" of removal).
02-18-09, 09:51 AM
I use Pedro's tire levers because they are wide and they have a nice curve to the hook that helps prevent the tire lever from slipping off the rim.
On a really tough tire, I'll use a tire polish spray. The kind you would use on car tires. That makes the surface slippery. Another product is any polish that is specific to bikes.
Get KoolStop Bicycle Tire Jack Lever, specifically for putting tires on. Costs about $12 at Ebay.
02-18-09, 11:47 AM
VAR also makes a tire-jack that functions the same way as the Kool Stop tire-jack. One half of the tool grabs the rim on the side you have one bead already seated on (the easy part). Then the other half of the tool straddles the tire and grabs that last part of the tire that refuses to go on. This side has a hook that slips under the stubborn bead. Pull the lever back - *POP!* The tire is on.
02-18-09, 12:22 PM
Could you be a little more specific on where you are having trouble getting the tire onto the rim?
Also possibly what tire you are using?
Getting one side of the tire should be fairly straightforward, but the second side might be a bit trickier, especially at the very last couple inches of the tire.
I have almost never had trouble with tires if I do it in a certain set of steps:
1. Lay the rim/wheel as flat on the floor as possible
2. Put the inner tube lightly pumped into the tire, then lay the tire+tube combination on top of the rim.
3. Place the valve stem into the valve hole in the rim. Work ONE side of the tire onto the rim. It should hopefully mount without any hassle, but if there is any hassle, a simple tire lever can get it over.
4. Now that one side is on the rim, orient the wheel so it is vertical, like it would be when you are riding the bike. Make sure that the valve stem is on the top and begin using your PALMS, not your thumbs, to mount the tire onto the rim, starting from the valve stem.
Basically you should be standing over the rim, and work your way downwards.
When you get to the last few inches of the rim, hopefully you can get it on with no tools, but if you need a bit of extra help, use a tire lever(s) to mount the final part.
If you get really good, you can mount/dismount tires without any tools! It's really impressive for others to watch, if you're into that kind of thing :thumb:
02-18-09, 12:33 PM
Some of the Schwalbe tires - especially Marathon Plus (In my experience) are particularly hard to get onto the rim. I find that a little bit of lube can help. Haven't used the schwalbe lube, but have used dish soap and the stuff that electricians use for pulling wires through conduit, and both of those worked.
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