I've just spent the last two hours trying to put on ONE tire. My old 32c nobbies were worn out and I'm replacing them with 25c smooth ones. Only I cannot get the 25c tire on the rim. It's just too tight a fit. After struggling for an hour and even breaking one of my plastic tire irons, I took the tube out and decided to try again. It's still a challenge, but at least I can get the tire fully on. I tried with the tube in again, and still, it gets to the final 8 inches, and any progress I make at that point corresponds to the tire popping out at the other end.
So I have two questions. Could the tube be stretched out from being used under 32c tires, and thus have too much material to fit under a smaller one? I wouldn't think so, but this is ridiculous. How can I get it on!?
Yes new tires are hard to fit and actualy I would say that yes, the old tubes would be too big to fit with 25c tires. A tube thats a little on the small side that inflates into the void is far more prefferable than one that's too large. There's a reasonable likelyhood that the large tube will remain kinked under the tire which will cause problems.
When you get new, smaller tubes then one of the tricks is to use TWO levers and procede slowly. When fitting a tire I put it on by hand up to the point when it gets too tight. Place both levers at either end of the bead that needs to be seated and lever both ends on. Then leave one end anchored and a few mm at a time slide the other lever along and lever on. If the lever comes out place it as close to where the rim and bead are meeting and lever it on. Do it carefuly and slowly and it will be on before you know.
When dismounting a tire I will start with two levers seperated by say 5 mm and lever off. Try and hold one lever in place and slide the other along although this can be hard to do. I usualy pull the levers right around inorder to get as much bead off as possible and this usualy works.
Also I only use plastic levers, the rectangular, yellow plastic sort. Mine are branded Michelin.
Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
1. After you get the first tire bead onto the rim, begin working the second bead on opposite the valve stem. (Important)
2. When you get to where forcing the bead onto the tire starts to get hard, stop and go back to where you started. Pinch the tire beads together toward the middle of the rim all of the way around.
3. Now hold the wheel vertically in front of you with the valve stem on the bottom. Start with your hands at about 10:00 and 2:00 and push straight downward. What you are trying to do is to accumulate all of the slack between the tire and the rim at the bottom.
4. The tire should now go on relatively easily.
I reverse that procedure when removing a tire from the rim and seldom find it necessary to resort to using tire levers.
Steve Bauer Whirlwind, Nishiki International, Rocky Mountain Element 30 1984 Cinelli Super Corsa w/Campy 50th, Surly LHT.
Try some lubrication. On new tire / tube installs I dust the tube and inside of the tire with talcum powder. I have used a soapy water solution to lube a tight tire. The 80 year old "Grandpa" of our LBS uses motor oil!!