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  1. #1
    Senior Member jagged's Avatar
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    Road bike tire changes (or, am I an idiot?)

    Everyone who rides should be able to change a tire; I know this. I can even do it on a hybrid bike. But on a road bike, so help me, I'm finding it impossible to put the tire and tube back on the rim. I get about 80% of it on, but the final 20% won't go, and no amount of tire lever jostling will make it work. The problem might be that I have Kevlar beaded tires; I dunno. Is some sort of superhuman strength required, or am I missing something obvious?

  2. #2
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    It's hard to describe... but that last bit will go right on with a sort of rolling/sliding/pushing motion. Once you do it a few times you'll know the feeling. You can do it without levers on all but the most stubborn of tire/rim combinations. Without superhuman strength!
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.-Aristotle

  3. #3
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    some tire/rim combinations are just a giant pain in the a**. I have tires that push on without any tools and little effort, very nice - and then there's the wheels on my daughter's bike. I struggle and curse, and the tire tools come loose and fly across the room. I put Armadillos on hers because she will never be able to fix a flat on the road with those rims. I would have trouble.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    The tire composition is most likely causing your problem. Some tires slip on easily(Continental Touring Contact), others take more effort(Schwable XR), and other eat nuckles and tire levers and would make a Baptist preacher cuss.

    I doubt that finess will get your tire mounted. Maybe a little lubrication, brute force and steel levers.

  5. #5
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    Are you making sure that the bead of the tire is as close to the center of the rim all around the wheel? What kind of rim tape are you using? How much air do you have in the tube?

    I've never come across a tire I could not mount but I have had some that I've left overnight because I got so frustrated trying to get them on. When I finally composed myself and went back to the basics, the tires went on without levers.

    Note that there are products out there to help with mounting tires, like this one:

    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=2108


  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Are you trying to mount a 700c tyre on a 27" rim???

  7. #7
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    Levers? Levers? We Don't Need No Stinking Levers!

    This technique will get most tires on and off without levers and will be of considerable help for those tough tire/rim combinations where you still have to use levers.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Try this:

    1. Force the bead on one side of the tire over the rim.
    2. Starting opposite the valve stem, begin forcing the other tire bead onto the rim. Work evenly in both directions.
    3. When you get to the point where it won't go on any more:
    a. Go back to the point opposite the valve stem and push both tire beads in toward the centerline of the rim.
    b. Hold the rim vertically in front of you with the valve stem on the bottom.
    c. Grab the tire on each side and try to push your hands straight down toward the ground.
    4. Now see how much more of the tire you can work onto the rim.
    5. Repeat if necessary.

    What you are trying to do is to keep the installed beads from seating. You'd rather have both tire beads in the lower center section of the rim because that gives you more slack to work with.


    Doing the reverse makes it almost always possible to remove the tire without using tire levers too.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jagged's Avatar
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    Thanks very much, esp. Retro Grouch and gmcttr -- I managed to change it myself.

  10. #10
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    This is a VAR Tyre-Tool - from the UK. These are quite portable and make mounting the meanest, nastiest clinchers a breeze on any rim. One side straddles the side of the rim-wall you already have the tire-bead mounted on. The other side goes over the tire and hooks the bead you are trying to get mounted. Then you just pull back and the tool pulls the bead up and over the rim-wall - mounting the tire.

    These were available here - out of stock currently, but ask Al when he'll get them in. They are worth the wait:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/VAR-Super-Tyre-Tire-Tool-New_W0QQitemZ310141789105QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCycling_Parts_Accessories?hash=item4835e423b1&_trksid=p4 634.c0.m14&_trkparms=|301%3A0|293%3A1|294%3A30



    Here's a photo:

    Last edited by Panthers007; 06-18-09 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Sp.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  11. #11
    Tee Hee Hee Xyrlicious's Avatar
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    Nope, yer probably not an idiot!

    Its the tire levers. As a solution, they're getting in the way of your seeing the root problem:

    Which Tire Levers would you recommend?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Try this:

    1. Force the bead on one side of the tire over the rim.
    2. Starting opposite the valve stem, begin forcing the other tire bead onto the rim. Work evenly in both directions.
    3. When you get to the point where it won't go on any more:
    a. Go back to the point opposite the valve stem and push both tire beads in toward the centerline of the rim.
    b. Hold the rim vertically in front of you with the valve stem on the bottom.
    c. Grab the tire on each side and try to push your hands straight down toward the ground.
    4. Now see how much more of the tire you can work onto the rim.
    5. Repeat if necessary.

    What you are trying to do is to keep the installed beads from seating. You'd rather have both tire beads in the lower center section of the rim because that gives you more slack to work with.


    Doing the reverse makes it almost always possible to remove the tire without using tire levers too.
    I like the way you explained this, Retro.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bagel007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Try this:

    1. Force the bead on one side of the tire over the rim.
    2. Starting opposite the valve stem, begin forcing the other tire bead onto the rim. Work evenly in both directions.
    3. When you get to the point where it won't go on any more:
    a. Go back to the point opposite the valve stem and push both tire beads in toward the centerline of the rim.
    b. Hold the rim vertically in front of you with the valve stem on the bottom.
    c. Grab the tire on each side and try to push your hands straight down toward the ground.
    4. Now see how much more of the tire you can work onto the rim.
    5. Repeat if necessary.
    Why is the position of the valve stem important when doing that?
    Giant Cypress 2009

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagel007 View Post
    Why is the position of the valve stem important when doing that?
    The rubber around the valve stem is a little thicker than the rest of the inner tube. By seating that portion of the tire last you gain a tiny bit of extra slack.

  15. #15
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    When I find that final 20% isn't going, as you said, I use the technique my old roommate who was a cyclocross rider showed me: turn the lever upside down and hook it over the wheel rim and under the part of the tire hanging off, pull up. The tire always pops on easily with this.

    This guy changes a tube fairly quickly and easily.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
    This guy changes a tube fairly quickly and easily.
    10 or 12 years ago I met a bike mechanic from Carbondale, Illinois who, at that time at least, held the Guiness world record for fixing a flat bicycle tire. His time was also about a minute and a half but that included (per the rules) inflating the tire with a frame pump.

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