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Old 07-10-08, 08:08 AM   #1
Tyrell
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Can't get my 23x700c tires off! Tire levers?

It was time for new tires and I wasn't able to get the old tires off the wheels. I was using tire levers (the black ones that come in your standard tire repair kit) and they seemed to be too flimsy for the job. I also tried to use a screwdriver (bad, I know) while protecting the rim with a piece of old tube.

I ended up having to cut the tires off with a Dremel with the help of a friend. I had one h3ll of a time getting the new tires onto the wheels too! Is this normal?? I'm sure I need to use better tire levers first of all. What kind to you recommend?
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Old 07-10-08, 08:26 AM   #2
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700X23 can be kinda tight, depending upon tire brand. I run Vittoria Zaffiro wire beads in that size, and the initial installation can be a wrestling match.

To install tight tires without buggering up the tube, get yourself one of these:

http://www.ebikestop.com/kool_stop_t...dle-TL4022.php

It works just like a motorcycle tire bead jack, only smaller, plastic, and rim-friendly. After you figure out how it fits on, you can mount a tire in seconds.

As for tire levers, try Performance or Nashbar. I prefer the Pedro's brand, and I carry just one with me, to start tire bead removal in case of a flat. I never use a lever to re-install a tire... Too much chance of pinching the tube.

Replacing tires requires practice. Tires on... Tires off. Repeat as necessary. Keep at it, and you'll develop the technique.

BTW, I just resurrected a '94 Trek 1220 that was given to me... wrecked... about ten years ago. It rides sooo much better than the Specialized Allez Elite that I bought in April that I've been using it for the daily grind and long weekend rides.
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Old 07-10-08, 08:50 AM   #3
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that tool looks cool... may have to get my whimpy fingered girlfriend to buy that thing.

Ive gotten some mad blisters over the past year swapping tires. I think it just takes practice... some tires mount much easier than others... some I spent an hour on. Sometimes an extra pair of hands getting them on is helpful, as for getting them off:

are you able to get one tire lever under there to get the bead off? If so, it should just be a matter of working along the bead with a second.... when it doesnt seem to come off in one direction anymore, work to the other side where you are removing the bead. I find going back and forth seems to work well (maybe its mental).

If you cant get the lever under the bead to begin with.... I dont know...
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Old 07-10-08, 08:55 AM   #4
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i use that tool at my shop and i carry one in my bag... ( my tires suck to get on ) helps u get the tire on without causing a hole from pinching the tube
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Old 07-10-08, 09:00 AM   #5
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Clean the rims well, and maybe lube them a bit with some dish soap and water?

Try this method, in conjunction with levers. It works for me almost every time.

http://www.teamestrogen.com/articles/asa_levers.asp
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Old 07-10-08, 09:50 AM   #6
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I swear by my Pedros levers. Good hard plastic, wide body. Park work decently well too.
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Old 07-10-08, 12:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tyrell View Post
I ended up having to cut the tires off with a Dremel with the help of a friend. I had one h3ll of a time getting the new tires onto the wheels too! Is this normal?? I'm sure I need to use better tire levers first of all. What kind to you recommend?
I've found the trick to getting tight tyres off is to use two levers at once about 2-3" apart. Pry on them both at once, then pull one out and move it to the opposite side of the first one.
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Old 07-10-08, 04:41 PM   #8
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I haven't used a tire tool in 10 years except on 2 sets of rims. It seems that some rims come slightly larger than normal. I had a Litespeed Vortex with Dura-Ace rims and loved them because they didn't make any noise at the freewheel. I couldn't even begin to get my regular Conti's on them with the Kevlar bead. The bike shop recommended Michelin Pro Race 2's because they were less stiff at the bead. It still took two tire tools and 30 minutes for him to get them on. I hated the tires, prone to flats and when I sold the bike, I left those rims on it. Another friend has an old pair of Campy rims. I think they are probably Ambrosio's, not sure. Actually tore a tire up trying to mount it. On all my mavic's , Reynolds, etc., I don't even need a tool. Just squeeze the tire into the center of the rim (smallest section) and I can get them on or off easily by hand.

You might look for the right tire to work with those rims.
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Old 07-10-08, 07:33 PM   #9
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I probably should have been a little more specific concerning the wheels and tires on the bike but I didn't know they varied so much! Most all of my tube repair work has been on my MTB. The wheels are the stock Matrix ISO C-II's and the tires I was taking off were Conti Grand Prix 4000 (I think...they're gone in the trash). I installed Panaracer Stradius Pros (from Performance) and they were equally difficult to put on the rims.

I may have to check out one of those bead jack things...looks interesting though I'm not quite sure how it works from looking at it. I'll definitely go get a Pedros lever or two. Thanks for the helpful replies, everyone!!
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Old 07-10-08, 09:10 PM   #10
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Yeah, invest in either Pedros (I even got the notorious Vittoria Zaffiros off with them) or steel core levers.
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Old 07-10-08, 09:52 PM   #11
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Back in my early and innocent days when I thought 27 inch was the same as 700C I actually managed to fit a 700C onto a 27 inch rim. Also I see from a google that the rims you specified actually came in a 27 inch size. From your description of the unmount and the need to cut the tire the same as I had to in order to get it off I'm wondering if you may have gotten the bike with the wrong size tire and you've just copied the last owner's mistake. Again, the description of the fight you've had with the tires suggests to me that this may be the case.

700C tires should mount on rims that have a 622 somewhere on the rim label or stamped into the rim. 27 inch rims will have a 630 somewhere on the label or rim. You may want to check on htat.
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Old 07-10-08, 10:53 PM   #12
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A pair of Park TL-5 steel tire levers will get any tire on or off a rim. But, if your tires are that tight, ask yourself what will you do when you have a flat 50 miles from home?
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Old 07-11-08, 01:22 AM   #13
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That's the thing. One tire being super tight to the point you need to cut it off is perhaps just a manufacturing aberation. But needing excessive force to mount the next one? Something is not right there.
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Old 07-11-08, 07:04 AM   #14
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Back in my early and innocent days when I thought 27 inch was the same as 700C I actually managed to fit a 700C onto a 27 inch rim. Also I see from a google that the rims you specified actually came in a 27 inch size. From your description of the unmount and the need to cut the tire the same as I had to in order to get it off I'm wondering if you may have gotten the bike with the wrong size tire and you've just copied the last owner's mistake. Again, the description of the fight you've had with the tires suggests to me that this may be the case.

700C tires should mount on rims that have a 622 somewhere on the rim label or stamped into the rim. 27 inch rims will have a 630 somewhere on the label or rim. You may want to check on htat.
The wheels are labeled as "700C" per the factory sticker that is on them.
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Old 07-11-08, 07:04 AM   #15
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But, if your tires are that tight, ask yourself what will you do when you have a flat 50 miles from home?
Exactly my reason for starting this thread.
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Old 07-11-08, 07:25 AM   #16
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Best levers I've come across:

Soma Steel Core


http://www.velo-orange.com/sostcotile.html
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Old 07-11-08, 09:32 AM   #17
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Deseat the bead before attempting any finishing moves mounting/unmounting tires, and using a sweeping spatula method to pull the bead works on almost every tire IMO.
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Old 07-11-08, 10:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrell View Post
I probably should have been a little more specific concerning the wheels and tires on the bike but I didn't know they varied so much! Most all of my tube repair work has been on my MTB. The wheels are the stock Matrix ISO C-II's and the tires I was taking off were Conti Grand Prix 4000 (I think...they're gone in the trash). I installed Panaracer Stradius Pros (from Performance) and they were equally difficult to put on the rims.

I may have to check out one of those bead jack things...looks interesting though I'm not quite sure how it works from looking at it. I'll definitely go get a Pedros lever or two. Thanks for the helpful replies, everyone!!
matrix rims are notorious for being rather difficult when it comes to tire installation. they have a really shallow depth from the bead seat to the outer rim wall, so they don't allow you to get enough slack in the tire bead for easy installation. same with campy rims. a tire bead jack will be your best friend for those rims.
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