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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 05-13-08, 01:54 PM   #1
leob1
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Really tight tires

So I got a new set of tires for my bike a Trex 7.5x. The old tires where 700x32. I went to a 700x28.
The old tires came off the rims with out a problem. The new skins however, where a bear to get on.
I put one side on, then the tube into the tire. When I went to put the otherside of the tire on, it was a tight fit. I broke two plastic tire levers putting the first tire on, it was that tight. I had to resort to using a screwdriver to pry the tire on. I don't think I have done that since Nixon was president.

Any body have any tips or tricks for putting on very tight tires?

And the worst part is that I have to redo the rear tire, I was stressing over how tight and difficult it would be to pu on, I forgot to line up the valve and label. It doesn't just look right.
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Old 05-13-08, 02:12 PM   #2
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Some tires are tighter than others. There can even be differences between batches. If they are too tight, then I wouldn't use them. Mostly because I don't want to have to fight them on the road if I get a flat. I have one pair that, I know I will not buy again. I can do them but they are at the limit of what I will do.

Hopefully yours will stretch some and not be so hard next time.
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Old 05-13-08, 03:54 PM   #3
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I've got a nice old pair of metal tire levers that do the trick with tight fitting tires. I train on Maxis Detonators....good fit, easy to change out tubes on the road and last quit a long time. I live and ride in the moutains. The roads are ruff and there is alot of gravel and not much shoulder. Flats are common so I prefer a tire that's easy to change quickly.
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Old 05-13-08, 04:34 PM   #4
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Park and a few others make "fat" tire levers that are about twice the width and thickness of the normal plastic jobs.
pick up a set of those to start.
Park also makes a shop tire tool for installing and removing difficult tires. I have this tool and it makes tough tires easier to tangle with.. it's also a bit fun to use.

other tricks: heat the tires by soaking them in warm water for a bit or setting them in a "warm" (not HOT) oven to soften them up.
Use some non petroleum based lubricant like KY to slide them over the rim lip
stuff like that
also make sure the first (inner) bead is sitting in the center of the rim, and not on the outer raised portion, which would lead to less slack in the tire for the second outer bead to slip over the rim.
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Old 05-13-08, 04:47 PM   #5
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Has anybody tried a hair dryer or a heat gun to get it to expand a bit? I always have to fight with mine for a long time.
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Old 05-13-08, 05:01 PM   #6
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To bkrownd's point ... a buddy used to put 'em in the clothes dryer, on low heat, for a few minutes before putting them on. Worked for him, and -- with a dryer sheet -- cuts down on static cling
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Old 05-13-08, 06:19 PM   #7
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Are they Michelins? I have found various Michelin tires to be some of the tightest made.
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Old 05-13-08, 06:30 PM   #8
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hutchinson top speeds are a nightmare, too.
I returned my set after failure of myself and the LBS to get them mounted on either of two different wheelsets. One Wolber, one Mavic.
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Old 05-13-08, 07:09 PM   #9
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I learned a good technique from an experience with a very tight pair of Vredesteins (courtesy of Specialized): mount the first bead within the rim (not usually too hard., then tuck in the tube completely around and inflate to a low pressure--10-20 lbs is all that it usually takes. This will lift the tire away from the rim. You can generally get all but the last 20 degrees in with thumbs alone; the next 10 degrees is lever time, but not usually that bad; the last 5-10 degrees is usually easier.
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Old 05-14-08, 01:00 AM   #10
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I think you're getting too much of the lever under the tire, if that makes sense. Wet the bead of the tire a little and make sure it's pushed up as close to the rim as possible. Then move the lever swiftly and smoothly up.
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Old 05-14-08, 06:57 AM   #11
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Once you put a tire on an off several times, and after having it mounted for a time, it tends to stretch them a little making them easier (although not "easy) to get on an off. So it is probably worth the effort in your garage to loosen them up that way than having to deal with more difficult tires out on the road with a flat.
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Old 05-14-08, 11:22 AM   #12
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Some tire - rim combos are just a bear. I like to use dish soap as lubricant - always worked for me in the end.
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Old 05-14-08, 11:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
Any body have any tips or tricks for putting on very tight tires?
Place them in the sun to heat them up for a while, or use a hair dryer/etc. This has helped me many, many times.

... Brad
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Old 05-14-08, 12:14 PM   #14
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I had a tube I kept pinching when trying to get a stubborn tire on. I finally purchased a Koolstop Bead Jack.... no problems now.


You could also try some Var levers if you can find them
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Old 05-14-08, 01:17 PM   #15
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I would rather have tires that are on the tight side than on the loose side.
Heating the tires a bit should help.
When repairing a flat on the road the tire is usually warm and easier to mount.

Al
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Old 05-14-08, 03:58 PM   #16
Bob Pringle
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The VAR lever set works in a similar manner to the Kool Stop Bead Jack, and both are available from: BikeToolsEtc.com
The VAR set is small enough for a seat bag; the Tire Jack is more of a shop tool. Both of them work very well.

Regards,
Bob P.
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Old 05-14-08, 05:04 PM   #17
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I like to use dish soap as lubricant - always worked for me in the end.
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Old 05-14-08, 05:24 PM   #18
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Any body have any tips or tricks for putting on very tight tires?
Drink lots of water beforehand and do it away from children. That way you won't get dehydrated from sweating too much and you can curse like a sailor without traumatizing the kiddies.
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Old 05-14-08, 05:33 PM   #19
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Really tough ones - put in clothes dryer until hot; take out and stretch with foot/leg and arms going all around the tire; put back in dryer again; take out and mount.
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