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Old 09-19-06, 08:22 AM   #1
Cot Du Trent
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removing a tire

I know you're never supposed to use levers, and supposedly you're only supposed to use your hands, but I'm having a lot of trouble getting tires off/on my wheels. Any tips on the best way to do this?
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Old 09-19-06, 08:28 AM   #2
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Get some plastic levers, I've found the blue Park levers to be the best. They're plenty stiff, but still have the forgiving characteristics of plastic on your rims. Just be very careful with the tube when using levers, make sure not to pinch it. This nonsense about "never use tire levers" is ridiculous. There are tire/rim combinations that give you the choice of either using levers or not using the tire/rim combo. You'll find some combinations allow you to install the tires without levers, but some definitely don't-
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Old 09-19-06, 08:28 AM   #3
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Who's never supposed to use levers??
Get some levers and use 'em, that's what they're for.

You're never supposed to use stuff like forks and knives and screwdrivers- levers are made just for doing that.

Hook the bead of the tire with the blunt end, then lever it so it's pulling off the rim. Then use the hook on the lever to grab a spoke to hold the lever there. Take another lever, slide it in under the gap in the bead, and just zzzip the tire off right there.

Be careful that you don't pinch the tube while you're doing this. Good luck!
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Old 09-19-06, 08:36 AM   #4
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Yeah, it does seem near to impossible to do it without them. Thanks!
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Old 09-19-06, 08:37 AM   #5
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Thanks!
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Old 09-19-06, 08:51 AM   #6
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This nonsense about "never use tire levers" is ridiculous.
The best way to get tires OFF is with levers.

If you have to use them to put tires ON, you're not very "well biked"!

and for all you "I've used levers to install and never had a problem" give me your worst tire/rim combo & I'll put them on by hand for you!
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Old 09-19-06, 09:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
The best way to get tires OFF is with levers.

If you have to use them to put tires ON, you're not very "well biked"!

and for all you "I've used levers to install and never had a problem" give me your worst tire/rim combo & I'll put them on by hand for you!
Nah, I sometimes use levers to both remove the tire and install it. Why you think that's a problem, I have no idea. And I wouldn't let you touch my bike-
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Old 09-19-06, 09:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
The best way to get tires OFF is with levers.

If you have to use them to put tires ON, you're not very "well biked"!

and for all you "I've used levers to install and never had a problem" give me your worst tire/rim combo & I'll put them on by hand for you!
I don't bother with the waste of time and the wearing down of fingers and thumbs to get recalcitrant beads over rims. I will use a lever to put on a tyre provide I have the tube well placed in the rim to ensure I don't catch it and puncture it in the levering process. The thumbing technique CAN be aided by ensuring that the bead at the opposite side of the wheel is sitting down full in the hollow of the rim and not up on the shoulder.
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Old 09-19-06, 01:22 PM   #9
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And I wouldn't let you touch my bike-
Why not?
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Old 09-19-06, 05:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
The best way to get tires OFF is with levers.

If you have to use them to put tires ON, you're not very "well biked"!

and for all you "I've used levers to install and never had a problem" give me your worst tire/rim combo & I'll put them on by hand for you!
+1, use 'em to take off not put on. Just roll the tire on with the palms of your hands. Even the toughest wire bead ones are a piece of cake.
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Old 09-19-06, 07:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
Why not?
My remark about "not letting you touch my bike" was a knee jerk reaction to your post, particularly the part where you challenged, or offered, or whatever it was, to have anyone who has installed tires with levers without problems to send their tires/rims to you and you'd install them for them without levers. No real meaning to my comment, just reacting to what I thought was an abrasive and arrogant attitude on your part, magnified by the obnoxious oversized font and the comment on my BF handle............As for the use of levers, I don't care if you use them or not, just don't tell me I don't know what I'm doing if I use them. I've used them too many times (to both remove and install stubborn tires off of and onto stubborn tire/rim combos), without problems. Could I have eventually gotten the tires on the rims if I had kept at it by hand? Probably, but I'll just reach for my $4 levers and make my life a lot easier, thank you very much. If you've never needed tire levers, more power to you. You'll notice I never said always use tire levers. Just use them on difficult tire/rim combos, and when you do be careful not to pinch the tube. That's what I do, and it works. If you don't need'em, don't use'em..........You say you've never used tire levers to install tires (if not in this thread, in another recent one). If that's the case, how can you be such an expert on what will happen when you use levers to install tires? Pinched tubes happen, but I can tell you they don't happen to me using tire levers to install a tire, because I make sure the tube is tucked well up into the casing of the tire before I apply the lever. If someone were to pinch a tube using a lever, they'd certainly find out about it as soon as they tried to inflate the tire. So basically, all this oversized font and macho-talk about your tire mounting skill without levers is over whether or not an inner tube might get pinched. Once that happens, I suppose the installer will either cuss and be more careful next time or cuss and become more determined to install the tire without tire levers. Either way is fine with me, all I can do is report what I've done and had work. Kinda thought that was what this forum was about-
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Old 09-19-06, 07:35 PM   #12
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... all I can do is report what I've done and had work. Kinda thought that was what this forum was about-
+1 on entire post.
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Old 09-19-06, 07:39 PM   #13
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I think getting the tire into the center notch of the rim is the key. Having said that, when I first installed a brand new, steel bead Panaracer Fire XC 2.5 on my (then) brand new Mavic Crossland wheels, it was very difficult to do even with 2-3 tire levers! I was able to get it off much later w/o levers for a flat, so it must have stretched after a while.

I've used the small tire lever that comes with my Topeak mini-tool when changing flats on the road. It is good enough for that purpose. I leave my heavier-duty levers at home for times when I change to brand new tires.
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Old 09-19-06, 07:43 PM   #14
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When installing tires, use your palms, not your thumbs or a lever.
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Old 09-19-06, 08:13 PM   #15
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I have to agree with well biked, maximusvt, rowan. I use levers about 75% of the time to install a tire. I've never had a pinch flat and no, I don't know how many times I've done this, but I would guess I've installed about 30 to 50 tires over the last year. (My hobby is buying used bikes at garage sales, cleaning/repairing them.) Yes, you have to be careful, but if you know how to do it, it's fast and no risk. There is one trick I use. I place a small amount of air in the tube, just enought to give it shape. That helps to avoid pinch flats.
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Old 09-19-06, 08:26 PM   #16
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My remark about "not letting you touch my bike" was a knee jerk reaction to your post, particularly the part where you challenged, or offered, or whatever it was, to have anyone who has installed tires with levers without problems to send their tires/rims to you and you'd install them for them without levers. No real meaning to my comment, just reacting to what I thought was an abrasive and arrogant attitude on your part, magnified by the obnoxious oversized font and the comment on my BF handle............As for the use of levers, I don't care if you use them or not, just don't tell me I don't know what I'm doing if I use them. I've used them too many times (to both remove and install stubborn tires off of and onto stubborn tire/rim combos), without problems. Could I have eventually gotten the tires on the rims if I had kept at it by hand? Probably, but I'll just reach for my $4 levers and make my life a lot easier, thank you very much. If you've never needed tire levers, more power to you. You'll notice I never said always use tire levers. Just use them on difficult tire/rim combos, and when you do be careful not to pinch the tube. That's what I do, and it works. If you don't need'em, don't use'em..........You say you've never used tire levers to install tires (if not in this thread, in another recent one). If that's the case, how can you be such an expert on what will happen when you use levers to install tires? Pinched tubes happen, but I can tell you they don't happen to me using tire levers to install a tire, because I make sure the tube is tucked well up into the casing of the tire before I apply the lever. If someone were to pinch a tube using a lever, they'd certainly find out about it as soon as they tried to inflate the tire. So basically, all this oversized font and macho-talk about your tire mounting skill without levers is over whether or not an inner tube might get pinched. Once that happens, I suppose the installer will either cuss and be more careful next time or cuss and become more determined to install the tire without tire levers. Either way is fine with me, all I can do is report what I've done and had work. Kinda thought that was what this forum was about-
Well stated! I'm sorry if my oversized font was abrasive/offensive. I was basically trying to keep newbies from pinching their tubes. OK, I did install a tire using levers once at my first bike shop job some 30 years ago. Then I was shown how to do it by hand. Never needed a lever for installation since. Maybe one of us should have emphasized the part about making sure the tube is well up into the tire casing before applying the lever. Another point might made be about looser fitting tires. When airing them up, put only 10 psi and check that the bead is seated all the way along the rim. Pump to 30 psi and recheck. Once that looks good, inflate to full pressure.
Now this is what the forum is all about. Communicating in our own individual fashion to share our experiences with others and hopefully helping others avoid some of the pitfalls that await less experienced cyclists!
I also apologize for the stab at your handle! I tried to make it softer by adding the quirky smiley. My bad, I'm sorry. I won't do that again...EVER!

Oh..and the post about using your palm instead of your fingers is one of the keys to leverless installation.
+1!
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Old 09-19-06, 08:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
Well stated! I'm sorry if my oversized font was abrasive/offensive. I was basically trying to keep newbies from pinching their tubes. OK, I did install a tire using levers once at my first bike shop job some 30 years ago. Then I was shown how to do it by hand. Never needed a lever for installation since. Maybe one of us should have emphasized the part about making sure the tube is well up into the tire casing before applying the lever. Another point might made be about looser fitting tires. When airing them up, put only 10 psi and check that the bead is seated all the way along the rim. Pump to 30 psi and recheck. Once that looks good, inflate to full pressure.
Now this is what the forum is all about. Communicating in our own individual fashion to share our experiences with others and hopefully helping others avoid some of the pitfalls that await less experienced cyclists!
I also apologize for the stab at your handle! I tried to make it softer by adding the quirky smiley. My bad, I'm sorry. I won't do that again...EVER!

Oh..and the post about using your palm instead of your fingers is one of the keys to leverless installation.
+1!
Thanks for responding. And I must admit my initial post in the thread stating "this nonsense about never using tire levers is ridiculous" might have been taken as abrasive, too. If that was what prompted your earlier response, I apologize for that. In that statement I was just trying to make it clear to the OP that, in my opinion anyway, the use of tire levers is not a mortal sin..........

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Old 09-19-06, 09:44 PM   #18
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Brooks saddles v everything other saddle
Steel v everything other frame material
Bike lanes v open lanes
Tread v treadless
VC v I-Like-To-Bike
Helmets v No Helmets
Fixed v geared
Clipless v straps and clips
Tyre levers v Thumbs and palms

The never-ending soap operas in cycling
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Old 09-19-06, 10:33 PM   #19
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Ok without getting in on the fighting, here is a sidenote piece of advice...

When you get stuck trying to get that last little bit of the tire on (with or without levers) often your problem is not that last little stuborn bit, but that the part you already have on is not sitting evenly. Many times if you just take it off and start over it will slide right on rather quickly and you will save yourself a lot of cussing and blisters on your thumbs or palms or levers whatever you happen to be using.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
The best way to get tires OFF is with levers.

If you have to use them to put tires ON, you're not very "well biked"!

and for all you "I've used levers to install and never had a problem" give me your worst tire/rim combo & I'll put them on by hand for you!
What the ****? Well biked? You've got to be ****ting me. You can come over to my house and install my rubinos for me on any of my wheels anyday.

What's this elitist crap about not using tire levers anyways? If you have some techniques you want to share with us then go ahead.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:13 PM   #21
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The never-ending soap operas in cycling
+1.........You gotta love it-
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Old 09-19-06, 11:44 PM   #22
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+1.........You gotta love it-
I think we just all need to get together for a big fight and duke it out.
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Old 09-20-06, 02:37 AM   #23
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I've got to convince my wife to let me get new tires before I can even think of how to put them on. According to her, my stock tires are perfectly fine (erm..she's probably right). How to convince her? That's the kind of leverage I'm more interested in. Any tools for that?
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Old 09-20-06, 10:39 AM   #24
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You can come over to my house and install my rubinos for me on any of my wheels anyday.
Sure! Send me a round trip plane ticket & I'd be happy to!
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What's this elitist crap about not using tire levers anyways? If you have some techniques you want to share with us then go ahead.
Thank you for considering me an elite mechanic. Crap it is not.
For the OP;
-Start installing your tire by putting the first bead on the rim.
-Inflate the tube just enough to hold its shape.
-Insert the valve into the hole.
-Tuck the rest of the tube into the tire casing.
-Starting at the valve stem, put the second bead into the rim.
-After you have about 3/4 of the second bead installed, push the valve stem back out somewhat and make sure the second bead is down under lip of the rim. Now pull the valve stem back out to hold the beads in place.
-Grip the tire with both hands at the valve stem and stretch the tire equally towards the oposite side of the wheel. Work the second bead into the rim until it gets to the tight spot. Make sure the tube is up inside the tire and not between the bead and rim.
-Turn the wheel around so the remaining second bead is facing away from you. Using the part of your fingers where they meet your palm, roll the bead towards you. This should get the tire completly on the rim.
-If not, start back at the valve stem and stretch the tire equally towards the opposite side of the wheel.
-Repeat the rolling and the bead should pop in. Might take some umphing on skinny racing tires.
-Inflate tire slightly and check the beads to make sure they are not bulging out anywhere.
-Continue inflating and checking the beads as you go.
-Top up the tire to proper pressure.
-GO FOR A RIDE!!!

Hope that helps without insulting anyone!
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Old 09-20-06, 10:42 AM   #25
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I think we just all need to get together for a big fight and duke it out.
Same technique politicians should use!
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