Bicycle Mechanics - Impossible Tire
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09-17-12, 10:54 AM
My friend has been struggling with new Vittoria Randonneur 700x25's on Jalco DRX 2000 rims. He had a local shop try and they were able to get them on but not without a metal tool which caused some light damage to the tire/rim and ultimately a pinch flatted tube he found on his next ride. I stopped by to try and help and after breaking most of my tire levers and cussing a whole bunch, gave up. Definitely not a situation you'd want to try and deal with when out riding (he got the VR's to replace the Kenda Roads that came with the bike after a rash of flats, then pinch reflats when replacing the tubes, I think he's been pretty discouraged riding this season...).
I am assuming this is just a bad tire/rim combination or an especially difficult rim. I've had Vittoria Randonneur's in the past and while they were a pain in the ass, they weren't impossible like these seem to be.
Can someone recommend a better tire for him to try. I've noticed foldable tires seem better than non-folders but haven't directly compared them.
09-17-12, 11:28 AM
What kind of rim tape does your friend have? If using thick cloth tape like Velox, the tire might mount easier with some thinner, slicker tape like Continental Easy Tape or even a layer of filament-reinforced packing tape. The thinner tape will allow him to get more of the tire down into the rim and might make it easier to mount. Some Tire/rim combinations just don't work well.
09-17-12, 11:34 AM
It was cloth tape. This is something to try, I just don't see it helping that much. We were even thinking about trying some heat and or soap...but figured it wouldn't do much good.
I just realized his were 28's, which I've got a worn set of. Gonna bring mine over to his house and see if it is just an incompatibility with the particular rim, or a bad tire.
Shop owner said he's mounted 1000's of tires and these were the worst he's ever done.
09-17-12, 12:10 PM
For a moment I thought this was going to be something to do with a mobius strip tyre or one in the shape of a penrose triangle :P
09-17-12, 12:15 PM
"We were even thinking about trying some heat and or soap"
The problem with such extreme measures is that, as you pointed out, you don't want to have to (or can't) use them when you are out on the road with a flat.
09-18-12, 08:59 AM
Kool Stop bead jack
09-18-12, 11:14 AM
The Vittoria Randonneur wire bead has a reputation as being hard to mount. You are right that generally foldable tires are easier to mount but that's not always true; I have a set of Kenda Kwick tires that are a bear to R$R. Still I've had good luck with foldable Continentals (the wire bead can be very difficult) and most the Vittoria folding tires. One thing about tire tires is if you get one of the specialized tire mounting tools, such as the previously mentioned Bead Jack and practice R&R(ing) the tire, you can stretch out the tire and make it a bit easier. I would stay definitely stay away from any steel tire levers for reasons you already mentioned.
I have had trouble mounting Vittoria wire bead tires (700x32) on my Sun CR18 rims. I went ahead and bought folding Panaracer 700x28 and steel levers. When I got the steel levers I rounded them off (chamfered) a bit on the wide end so that they would not pinch the tubes. With a little practice I got pretty good at mounting, taking off the wheels off this rim. I went ahead and mounted the Vittoria wire bead tires on a different set of rims, Alex CR22, they went on pretty easily. My guess is that the combination you are trying is the culprit. The rims probably have a high sidewall and the wire bead is having a hard time making it over...
Talcum powder helps too. I usually run the tube through a bag of talcum powder and run some talcum powder inside the tire. It helps the tube from getting pinched...
Been there....My hands still hurt thinking about trying to roll on continental grand prix on my old matrix rims...+1 on the tire jack I have two now and they are a must in my book for these situations.
I carry 3 steel tire levers in the seat bag of that bike and KNOW it will take me a half an hour to change the tire. I have been tempted to carry the tire jack but haven't yet.
On that Bike I went with velo plugs instead of rim tape. Mainly because the spoke holes are large and the bead would push the tape in and expose the edge of the spoke hole (double walled rim) and I would get a flat inside the tire. Velo Plugs cured that flat problem.
Only good thing about it is that once you conquer this beast you know there is NO TIRE that you can't mount. good luck.
09-18-12, 05:12 PM
Kool Stop bead jack
Yep, count me as one of the people who use this tool. I've had a couple of tire/rim mounting combinations that would have been damn near impossible without one...
09-19-12, 09:41 AM
Suspect there is a shortfall in basic "root cause analysis". Have to ask why the "rash of flats" was happening that led to all this. Was he running the skinny tires on rough roads? Was the rider too heavy for the bike/wheel/tire combination? Or was he one of those guys who feel that "I only need to air up once a month" or that owning a tire pressure gauge is an unnessary expense? Far too many 250# riders out there on super light racing bikes built for max 125# riders and still thinking that 23mm tires and 16 spoke carbo-aero wheels are a viable solution... Just asking!
09-19-12, 10:31 AM
I use Continental Gatorskins on my 700 x 25 wheels with no probs. Hand mounting - no levers.
You could try their 700 x 28c tire. Have the LBS mechanic try to install one to see if it is do-able with your friends wheel before buying.
Ima have to see about some of those Veloplugs.
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