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  1. #1
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Tough to mount tires and weak hands

    I helped my daughter and our other riding companion with changing flats and so on on their touring bikes on tour last summer. In the process I taught them to fix a flat. They both seemed fairly proficient. Since then both have had problems especially with mounting tires but to a lesser extent with removing them. The problem is that the tires they are using are a lot tougher to mount than what we were running last summer.

    Since they are two and four hours away respectively they can't just call me to help every time. I have already given them all of the usual advice. I was wondering if there were any special tools that might help. Since the biggest problem seems to be mounting tires I wondered if the Kool Stop "bead jack" was likely to help? Comments on this tool?

    Any other advice?

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    In wandering the back alleys of prior threads, ran across a mention that someone was liking a bead jack. Could be worth a try.

    Only other advice is that it seems tires with wire beads are easier to mount. I am trying to convince my daugther she should practice tire repair at home. Worked with car tires, will wait and see if it works again, ten years later.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Since the biggest problem seems to be mounting tires I wondered if the Kool Stop "bead jack" was likely to help? Comments on this tool?

    Any other advice?
    I looked at the KoolStop and I think it works with 23mm tires only. It was a great concept, however.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    The only real secret is as the last part tightens up to run your finger around the already seated part to push the bead down more to the center where it's lower. If they keep some pressure on the part they are trying to get past the edge and use the other hand to keep running around the already seated part they'll be able to walk the bead on with very little resistance and in many cases can do it without tools at all. At most they'll need a light pry with a tire lever for just the last bit.

    I cannot emphasize enough the need to repeatedly push the bead to the center by running a finger or two around the seated portion. It makes far more difference to this job than all the other aspects put together.

    Same when removing. The first tire lever catches the bead and as it is pried up to bring the bead over the other hand is running a finger or two around the sidewall pushing the seated part to the center of the channel. You can literally pull that lever up and over with light pressure from one finger if the centering of the rest of the tire is done right.

    Even with really tough to mount tires concentrating on this will greatly assist. The tougher the tire to mount or unmount the more important it is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmorey View Post
    I looked at the KoolStop and I think it works with 23mm tires only. It was a great concept, however.
    I think, because it is hinged, the Bead Jack will work with many tire sizes.

  6. #6
    Membre Québécois sunstealth's Avatar
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    you can always try lubing the bide like we do for car tires (dishsoap is excellent)

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Trick is to not try and stretch the bead. Don't push UP in the middle of the part that's not mounted; you gotta be Superman to stretch all that kevlar. Instead, do what BCrider mentioned. Focus on the two spots where the tyre loops over the rim-edge. I find that pushing SIDEWAYS there is all you need to push the tyre on. No stretching of the bead needed.

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    Kool Stop "bead jack" will work with any tire size; plus it won't damage the rim or catch the tube. There use to be an excellent tool made by VAR that did the same thing but it's no longer in production.

    There is also a tool called the QuikStik that makes removing a tire a fast breeze see: http://californiabikegear.com/quikstik/public/home.html

  9. #9
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    The QuickStick is still only a fancy tire lever. And like the levers or doing it all by hand the key to an easy install or removal is keeping the seated portion in the center of the channel.

    We actually have it easy with bicycle tires. Go try mounting up some dirt motorcycle tires or sportbike tubeless tires by hand and THEN come back and complain to me about how hard our bicycle tires are. The secret to dealing with motorcycle tires when mounting by hand is as simple as what I've been ranting on about here. KEEP THE BEAD DOWN IN THE CENTER OF THE CHANNEL AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.

    It's quite a sight to see me working out on the grass of the backyard mounting up those puppies. I've got both feet on the seated portion to push the bead down into the center and I'm walking the levers around the part going over the lip and sweating and cursing and wishing I had a tire machine. I'm sure it would be quite comical if someone posted it on YouTube....

    Bicycle tires? PHFFFFTH! A walk in the park. Well... there was this time back in the early 90's when I got into the whole commuting thing and fixing bikes. I thought that 700c and 27 inch were the same thing. I got the tire on the rim but MAN was it a fight. Once I realized my error there wasn't a hope in hell of getting it off again. Had to shred the tire and then cut the bead wire with some sidecutters... BUT I GOT IT ON ! ! ! ! !
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Torchy McFlux's Avatar
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  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Thanks to all, but none of that is news other than the comments about the bead jack.

    I personally have found that the biggest thing is what BCRider said and to a lesser extent what DannoXYZ said. I emphasized those when I taught them in the first place and again when I tried to talk them through it on the phone. In addition I also suggested trying soapy water to lube the bead.

    Unfortunately none of that has worked for them with the particular rim and tire combinations they are now using. Maybe If I see them anytime soon I can look over their shoulder and walk them through it again and see that they are doing things as they were taught. In the mean time I might buy then each a bead jack.

  12. #12
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    Bead Jack worked great for me on tour; popped even a little 20" tire right on, no worries. Those were about 32 mm, too, so I don't know where anyone gets they idea it's suitable only for a certain size.
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  13. #13
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    I had a tire so tight once it snapped the tip right off of a bead jack.

    And the QuikStik work well with 26" tires but good luck with 700's. From my experience it's way to thick to get under the bead.

    I probably should say though that I absolutely suck at changing most 700's.
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  14. #14
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Here is a link to an article with some good tips in it on changing tires.

    http://www.teamestrogen.com/content.ep?file=asa_levers
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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Thanks to all, but none of that is news other than the comments about the bead jack.

    I personally have found that the biggest thing is what BCRider said and to a lesser extent what DannoXYZ said. I emphasized those when I taught them in the first place and again when I tried to talk them through it on the phone. In addition I also suggested trying soapy water to lube the bead.

    Unfortunately none of that has worked for them with the particular rim and tire combinations they are now using. Maybe If I see them anytime soon I can look over their shoulder and walk them through it again and see that they are doing things as they were taught. In the mean time I might buy then each a bead jack.
    These work very well but I haven't had much luck finding them lately.



    Edit: SJS cycling has them in England
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    These work very well but I haven't had much luck finding them lately.



    Edit: SJS cycling has them in England
    Thats the VAR lever I wrote about earlier, but I couldn't even find a picture of it, at least you were able to find that. I have one of those levers and they work excellently for stubborn tires like the Armadillos wire beaded road tires.

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