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Old 11-19-10, 03:39 PM   #1
roadrebel
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Tough Road tire ... getting a tight wire bead over the rim

I am confronted with the removal of a Vittoria Randonneur in 700cx28. I think this is a great tyre, but when it comes to move it on and off the rim, I do encounter a challenge.

To make it short:

Does anybody have a trick or tips to spare ... on how to tackle a tough road tire?

I snapped already 3 plastic levers, even a better one (Pedro's) snapped off.
I am now considering Lezyne's alloy levers, but I 'm also a little wary to damage the rim. (hopefully not)

However, it's a tough tyre, but there's got to be a way to handle this in a more human like fashion.

Last edited by roadrebel; 11-19-10 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 11-19-10, 03:48 PM   #2
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The recurring tips are: make sure that as much of the bead that you aren't working on is sitting in the middle of the rim, steel core plastic levers are real nice, then there's the VAR bead jack/tire jack and a couple of corresponding designs from other manufacturers too.
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Old 11-19-10, 04:55 PM   #3
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FOR THE DIFFICULT TIRE
Removal:
  1. Push all air possible out of the tube, pressing down on the ground and on several places on the tire with your arms/hands.
  2. Push both tire beads toward the center of the rim well all the way around the rim (to make sure bead has not stuck to the rim)
  3. Starting at the area of the rim OPPOSITE the valve, typically where the seam or reflector would be, push one side/bead toward the center of the rim using both thumbs.
  4. Using both hands and working in opposite directions with thumbs and palms “scrub” or push the tire toward the center of the rim until you are near the tire valve.
  5. You should now be able to more easily use the tire levers to get the bead over the rim.
Installation:
  1. Put a small amount of air in the tube and mount one side/bead of the tire. Some put the tube into the tire before mounting, some mount the 1st bead and then put the tube in. I recommend mounting the tire so that the part of the tire label that gives the pressure is next to the valve and on the right side of the bike (mechanics will thank you) but it’s your choice whether you do that or something else.
  2. Starting at the area of the rim OPPOSITE the valve, typically where the seam or reflector would be, push the bead over the rim and toward the center of the rim with your thumbs.
  3. Using both hands and working in opposite directions with thumbs and palms “scrub” or push the bead over the rim and toward the center of the rim until you are near the tire valve. Push any more air that you can out of the tube.
  4. You should now be able to push the last section of bead over the rim. Push the valve up into the tire, make sure there is no tube caught underneath the bead either near the valve or elsewhere.
  5. Inflate to about 30-40psi, check the bead line (raised ridge of rubber near the rim edge to make sure it is equidistant everywhere. If the bead is away from the rim edge deflate and look for tube or rim strip caught underneath the bead. If it dives inward lubricate that area (see below) and overpressure carefully til it pops out.
  6. Continue to inflate and monitor to full pressure.
If you still have problems you can use toe straps or cable ties to hold one side of the bead in place near the valve stem while working on the other side, and can use talc, spray cleaner (Fantastic, 409, etc) or soapy water if need be to reduce friction.

Last edited by cny-bikeman; 11-20-10 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 11-19-10, 06:01 PM   #4
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This is not unique to any single rim size. My biggest challenge has been putting on, and then later removing, a 20x1.35 (406) vredestein tire. Sacrificed a couple of plastic levers in that effort.
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Old 11-19-10, 07:20 PM   #5
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This is not unique to any single rim size. My biggest challenge has been putting on, and then later removing, a 20x1.35 (406) vredestein tire. Sacrificed a couple of plastic levers in that effort.
the key to not sacrificing plastic levers, I've found, is to make sure the bead is sitting as close to the rim as possible when lifting the bead over the rim and working in small amounts.

It helps when the levers are slim as they can slide in without causing the bead to be displaced a lot.

And I've killed park tool and PBK metal insert levers. The ones that are working for me now are some cheap feeling levers from a WTB repair kit.
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Old 11-19-10, 07:23 PM   #6
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Soma tire levers are the best, see: http://store.somafab.com/stcotile.html

Then the VAR tool is the best for extremely tough tires that are impossible to put on the last few inches, see: http://www.cyclebasket.com/products....3s281p92&rs=gb They include a plastic tire lever but it's not very strong so I don't carry it. This lever hooks the bead on one side then the other side has a U shaped end and that pivots on the rim, so you simply pull the tire bead up while pivoting on the rim. The VAR is small enough to fit in a standard saddle bag.
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Old 11-19-10, 07:40 PM   #7
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I now have a couple of different tire jack tools but fortunately haven't needed them.
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Old 11-19-10, 08:37 PM   #8
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Jim Langley's tips on tire installation are far better than anyone else's online. I highly recommend reading them (the link is one of several articles he has on the topic). His number one trick, which is absolutely dead-on: Use a tube one size smaller than your tire. Also, look closely at the diagram on the right side of the page I linked; it's helpful.

BTW, a few people here have said to put the bead of the tire close to the rim for removal. Perhaps that works well for them, but I recommend you try Langley's technique for getting the tire loose in the first place--place both beads into the center well and work your way around the entire rim, pinching both beads into the center. This should get the tire a good amount of slack, which slack you can then push over one rim side and then get the tire even looser.

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Old 11-19-10, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEO View Post
the key to not sacrificing plastic levers, I've found, is to make sure the bead is sitting as close to the rim as possible when lifting the bead over the rim and working in small amounts.

It helps when the levers are slim as they can slide in without causing the bead to be displaced a lot.

And I've killed park tool and PBK metal insert levers. The ones that are working for me now are some cheap feeling levers from a WTB repair kit.
These are key points for me. I posted a thread on BF showing my tight fitting tire mounting method. There's photos and a description there. I don't know how well this would work with wire beads, since they are less flexible.

I had sore fingers and mangled levers with my new rims. The key for me was lifting just an inch of bead at a time, then sliding the lever over and repeating. It's actually quite easy and doesn't need a strong lever now. I do think that levers shaped to let the bead slide down to the rim work better.


Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
Jim Langley's tips on tire installation are far better than anyone else's online.
...snip...
I recommend you try Langley's technique for getting the tire loose in the first place--place both beads into the center well and work your way around the entire rim, pinching both beads into the center. This should get the tire a good amount of slack, which slack you can then push over one rim side and then get the tire even looser.
That really works great for most wheels. But my Kinlin rims have an extremely shallow well. With no tube and just one bead mounted and down in the center, I can't slide the tire around the rim to center the label with the valve hole. That's tight!.


Last edited by rm -rf; 11-19-10 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 11-19-10, 10:35 PM   #10
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Use water mixed with a little dishwashing detergent. This will facilitate mounting and seating of the tire.
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Old 11-19-10, 11:21 PM   #11
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These are key points for me. I posted a thread on BF showing my tight fitting tire mounting method. There's photos and a description there. I don't know how well this would work with wire beads, since they are less flexible.

I had sore fingers and mangled levers with my new rims. The key for me was lifting just an inch of bead at a time, then sliding the lever over and repeating. It's actually quite easy and doesn't need a strong lever now. I do think that levers shaped to let the bead slide down to the rim work better.




That really works great for most wheels. But my Kinlin rims have an extremely shallow well. With no tube and just one bead mounted and down in the center, I can't slide the tire around the rim to center the label with the valve hole. That's tight!.


Mmm, yes, those are tougher. I agree that softening or "lubing" the tire w/ soapy water should help, at least a little.
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Old 11-19-10, 11:28 PM   #12
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Use Kevlar beaded tires; easier to install/remove than wire beads.

Using smaller diameter tube helps too as does throwing away the rimstrip and installing Veloplugs instead.
Am able to install/remove tires on our tandem without using tire tools.
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Old 11-20-10, 03:11 AM   #13
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Bead Jack

I finally broke down and bought one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Kool-Stop-Tire...0243779&sr=1-1

when i spent an hour and a half mounting a
Schwalbe Marathon tire about six months ago.

My only regret is that I did not buy one sooner
They are absolutely wonderful, well worth
twice what they cost, maybe three times.

Lest you think I don't know how to mount a tire,
I've done a great many exclusively by hand over
the years, using a technique identical to that
described by cny bikeman. As tires have gotten
higher quality and higher pressure, the beads have
gotten tighter.

I would not again be without this bead jack.
Unfortunately, its a little large to carry on the road,
but it is very light weight.

Mike Larmer

Last edited by 3alarmer; 11-20-10 at 11:36 PM. Reason: Add Title
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Old 11-20-10, 03:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
FOR THE DIFFICULT TIRE
Removal:
  1. Push all air possible out of the tube, pressing down on the ground and on several places on the tire with your arms/hands.
  2. Push both tire beads toward the center of the rim well all the way around the rim (to make sure bead has not stuck to the rim)
  3. Starting at the area of the rim OPPOSITE the valve, typically where the seam or reflector would be, push one side/bead toward the center of the rim using both thumbs.
  4. Using both hands and working in opposite directions with thumbs and palms “scrub” or push the tire toward the center of the rim until you are near the tire valve.
  5. You should now be able to more easily use the tire levers to get the bead over the rim.
Installation:
  1. Put a small amount of air in the tube and mount one side/bead of the tire. Some put the tube into the tire before mounting, some mount the 1st bead and then put the tube in. I recommend mounting the tire so that the part of the tire label that gives the pressure is next to the valve and on the right side of the bike (mechanics will thank you) but it’s your choice whether you do that or something else.
  2. Starting at the area of the rim OPPOSITE the valve, typically where the seam or reflector would be, push the bead over the rim and toward the center of the rim with your thumbs.
  3. Using both hands and working in opposite directions with thumbs and palms “scrub” or push the bead over the rim and toward the center of the rim until you are near the tire valve. Push any more air that you can out of the tube.
  4. You should now be able to push the last section of bead over the rim. Push the valve up into the tire, make sure there is no tube caught underneath the bead either near the valve or elsewhere.
  5. Inflate to about 30-40psi, check the bead line (raised ridge of rubber near the rim edge to make sure it is equidistant everywhere.
  6. Continue to inflate and monitor to full pressure.
If you still have problems you can use toe straps or cable ties to hold one side of the bead in place near the valve stem while working on the other side, and can
wow the post is useful!
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Old 11-20-10, 07:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
Jim Langley's tips on tire installation are far better than anyone else's online. I highly recommend reading them (the link is one of several articles he has on the topic). His number one trick, which is absolutely dead-on: Use a tube one size smaller than your tire. Also, look closely at the diagram on the right side of the page I linked; it's helpful.

BTW, a few people here have said to put the bead of the tire close to the rim for removal. Perhaps that works well for them, but I recommend you try Langley's technique for getting the tire loose in the first place--place both beads into the center well and work your way around the entire rim, pinching both beads into the center. This should get the tire a good amount of slack, which slack you can then push over one rim side and then get the tire even looser.
Mr Langely is correct. I have alway bought one size smaller tubes for 35+ years and do so automatically without thinking about it and then over the years I do this without thinking about it and then fail to mention to others to do the same. Thanks for pointing that out.

I think the video I show shows the tire with the bead loose all the way around, can't really tell in the pics though, but another good point, though most of the time when there is a flat the bead just comes loose if you've rolled on it for a short ways trying to stop. Some tires just are more trouble to get off then others, which I actually prefer because like I said earlier you have less chances of the tire coming off the rim in a flat jacking up your rim and crashing and jacking up who knows what else in that. And tough tires usually won't come off with putting both beads into the center...BUT...you need to that so that it's easier to get the tire off with tools.

By the way another tire tool I like is called the QuikStik, with this on tough tires you use two levers to get the tire's first 3 or 4 inches off the rim and hooking the levers onto spokes, then slip the QuikStik between the two levers, pull out the forward lever and then just slide the QuikStik around the diameter of the rim and pop off goes the bead. On easy tires you don't need levers at all, just insert the QuikStik and rip the bead off. The worlds fastest attempts at taking off a tire all used the QuikStik. http://californiabikegear.com/quikstik/public/home.php
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Old 11-20-10, 08:14 AM   #16
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The video and diagrams on the Langley site are a good illustration of essentially the same technique as I posted above. I did not want to make it seem like leverless removal as well as installation of tires is routine but in fact many mechanics can do so. One thing I noticed is that the video shows removal and installation opposite the valve stem. That can work with many tires but the method I describe above of removal and installation near the valve stem works better if there is tightness. The reason is that the advantage of the rim well is partially lost if the valve is interfering with the bead getting to the well, which it will do if you are working on the opposite side of the rim from the valve. This is especially true with the shraeder valve, which is wider and typically more reinforced at the base. The video also goes too quickly for easy understanding of the technique. I promise I will get my video out in the next month or so.

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Old 11-20-10, 08:25 AM   #17
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wow the post is useful!
Referring to "FOR THE DIFFICULT TIRE" above.

Thanks much. I corrected the end that I just saw was truncated and added a bit to step 5.
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Old 11-20-10, 05:32 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the input. Esp. rm-rf for linking the picture thread. I think this is a basic approach, like the "mother techique". To just rely on "material strength" can often result in material damage if technique is not applied properly. There are good and useful tools out theer, like the bead jack or a Quickstick, making aspects of the job easier.

"Know-how rules!"

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Old 11-20-10, 09:54 PM   #19
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I finally broke down and bought one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Kool-Stop-Tire...0243779&sr=1-1
This. I carry one on each of my bikes (Jandd Mountain Wedge III seat bag). No more pinched tubes; required equipment for my Armadillos. And that's a great price (Amazon).
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Old 11-21-10, 12:04 AM   #20
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I've never broken a plastic or metal tire lever and am roughly at 95% in removing tires by hand with no tools at all. It's not magic, it's understanding.
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Old 11-21-10, 12:45 PM   #21
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I've never broken a plastic or metal tire lever and am roughly at 95% in removing tires by hand with no tools at all. It's not magic, it's understanding.
In 40+ years of riding and fixing flats I've only broken one plastic lever and that was while trying to install a Specialized Armadillo All Condition wire beaded tire for the first time. Those tires you cannot put on by hand, at least not on my rims; but I've heard this from many others including the LBS where I bought the tires from. When that happened I bought the VAR and the Soma levers just to make sure it would never happen again.

Most tires will stretch after their put on but the Armadillos don't. I got my first flat on my Kenda Konstrictors (after 1800 miles) yesterday and was able to put it on with just my hands, but when I first put them on I needed to use the VAR.
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Old 11-21-10, 02:05 PM   #22
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You guys think that some bicycle tires are tough? You should try switching out dirt motorcycle tires ! ! ! !

By far the single most important and effective technique is to repeatedly and frequently recenter the part of the bead already on the rim down into the deep center of the rim's bead channel. Doing this is what gives you the slack you need for getting the bead to cross over without so much of a fight. The tougher the tire is to mount the more you need to repeat this step. A really tough tire may require you to repeat the recentering sweeps a good dozen or more times. But if you learn to do this right you'll soon find that you hardly ever need a lever to mount a tire let along a bead jack.

It's the same situation for removal. A lever is needed to get the bead started over the rim but sweeping the bead on the rest of the tire into the center while holding light pressure on the lever will soon show you how effective this sweeping step is. With constant and firm but light pressure on the lever as you sweep the bead to the center the lever will lean further inwards with each repeated sweep until you can flip the bead over the rim with hardly any pressure at all.

On an easy tire I may only need to do it twice to three times for a "toolless" install. On a tough tire I may need to do it 5 to 6 times with a bit of help from a plastic tire lever for the last few bites. And a hearty "HELL YEAH!" on the advice for taking small bites with the lever. The smaller the better.

The toughest bicycle tire is child's play compared to the easiest dirt bike tire I've had to mount. On the motorcycle wheels this recentering of the bead is the paramount key to success. If I didn't recenter the bead at least 20 times while working the rest over the rim all that I'd have to show for my troubles would be bent tire irons.

So make the rim shape work FOR you instead of fighting it. KEEP SWEEPING THAT BEAD ! ! ! ! !
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Old 11-21-10, 04:59 PM   #23
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BC Rider; I'm sure your right about that. I've never had to work with a MC tire so I'm not familiar with that, but it makes sense. I guess it's a method not fully understood by even bicycle mechanics, because the place I bought the Armadillos from said they couldn't even remove or install them without tools and these guys had 2 of a 4 person RAAM race team working there and one of them was the owner who I spoke to that sold me the VAR and the Soma levers. All I know is that with the VAR it made putting on those tires a snap and I know about getting the bead into the center channel. The rims those Armadillos went on didn't even have a dropped center channel so maybe that was part of the problem? I do know the guys at that LBS used the VAR to put on Armadillos in their shop.

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