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  1. #1
    Senior Member skyzo's Avatar
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    Putting tires on advice

    Ive been ridding for about 2 years now, and call me lucky, but I had never got a flat. Te old tires were some Pasela Tourguards that the previous owner had put on, so I had never even needed to do anything.
    Well the tourguards had very little life in them, so I ordered some Vittoria Randonneurs (700x28) to put on to replace them.
    Having never put on a tire before, I watched a bunch of youtube videos to see what I should be doing.
    After much hassle, I got the old tires off, and replaced the tube. Now comes the hard part, putting the new tire back on.
    Right off the bat I break a tire lever trying to get the first bead on.
    I finally manage to get the bead on after using a screwdriver, and thus puncturing the tube. So now i have to take it back off. Taking it back off breaks another tire lever.

    Repeat this for 2-3 hours and you have my situation. A tire only halfway on, 2 punctured tubes, 3 broken levers, and I scratched the s*** out of my rims with the screwdriver.

    Obviously I am doing something wrong and in need of some help. I live in a small town and the closest bike store is over 50 miles away, and with gas near $4 a gallon, thats not too plausible.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    First things first. Tires shouldn't be all that tight so a question. Are you 100% sure the old tires were 700c and not 27X1-1/4?

    27" rims are a bit larger in diameter, and there's no way you'll get 700c tires on.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member skyzo's Avatar
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    Yep 100% sure. The old tires say right on them 700cx28, and the rims also say 700c.

    Every I've read says that these tires are a pain to put on, which is kind of depressing, because I finally pulled the trigger and bought them, and 90% of the miles I put on are touring, so I'd be screwed if I got a flat somewhere out in the middle of nowhere.

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I spent 3.5 hours and 6 tube punctures trying to install some new tires once upon a time...Had to use steel tire levers.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyzo View Post
    Yep 100% sure. The old tires say right on them 700cx28, and the rims also say 700c.

    Every I've read says that these tires are a pain to put on, which is kind of depressing, because I finally pulled the trigger and bought them, and 90% of the miles I put on are touring, so I'd be screwed if I got a flat somewhere out in the middle of nowhere.
    You nailed it. It's a shame you didn't read the reviews before you bought them.

    IMO there's no need or excuse for tires that need superhuman effort to mount. No tire is worth that kind of effort, and tires of all items should be easy to replace on the road. I didn't check whether these had steel or kevlar beads, but as a rule steel bead (non folding) tires tend to be easier to mount and seat.

    The rim is also a factor. If you're ever in a position to buy rims or wheels, look for ones with deep center wells, which make tire mounting much easier.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member skyzo's Avatar
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    I'm seriously thinking about just returning them. Makes me sad though, I was so excited to try them out. Had a friend come over who's real good with bikes and he tried to put it on, and he couldnt even get it. That is ridiculous for them to make the bead that tight. I guess this rim/wheel combo just wont work for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    You nailed it. It's a shame you didn't read the reviews before you bought them.
    I did read the reviews, and I knew it was going to be a little tougher to put on, but not impossible like these. Using a screwdriver barely gets them on using like 10,000lbs of force
    Last edited by skyzo; 03-30-11 at 09:24 PM.

  7. #7
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    there is a special technique that helps. as you are getting the tire on and it starts getting tight, pinch the tire into the center as much as you can working around the rim. there is a youtube video on this somewhere and it really makes a difference. I've had some tires be tough to mount but never as tough as you describe.

  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    The Kool Stop bead jack is very helpful for these situations:


  9. #9
    Senior Member skyzo's Avatar
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    I had seen that Kool stop jack, and was interested in it, but is it practical to bring along with me on tours? Because Im not worried about getting the tires on right now, I could just drive into town and pay them $10 to mount them real quick, what Im worried about is being miles from anywhere with a flat, and not being able to fix it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyzo View Post
    I had seen that Kool stop jack, and was interested in it, but is it practical to bring along with me on tours? Because Im not worried about getting the tires on right now, I could just drive into town and pay them $10 to mount them real quick, what Im worried about is being miles from anywhere with a flat, and not being able to fix it.
    It's a nice tool, and does help mount ultra tight tires. It's especially nice for people with less hand strength. But for folks with normal strength it solves a problem that shouldn't be there in the first place. And even if you use it to mount a tire, and take it with you, that still doesn't address how you'll remove this ultra tight tire. Is the next tool a double length tire lever made of heat treated chrome-vanadium steel alloy.

    Tires have gotten ridiculously tight to mount, and there's no excuse. It's up to you assign reasonable mounting effort a priority and sent your message to makers by voting with your dollars and buying only tires that fit and mount properly. What's reasonable is obviously a matter of opinion, but I would not buy any tire which has numerous "hard to mount" reviews.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  11. #11
    Senior Member skyzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    It's a nice tool, and does help mount ultra tight tires. It's especially nice for people with less hand strength. But for folks with normal strength it solves a problem that shouldn't be there in the first place. And even if you use it to mount a tire, and take it with you, that still doesn't address how you'll remove this ultra tight tire. Is the next tool a double length tire lever made of heat treated chrome-vanadium steel alloy.

    Tires have gotten ridiculously tight to mount, and there's no excuse. It's up to you assign reasonable mounting effort a priority and sent your message to makers by voting with your dollars and buying only tires that fit and mount properly. What's reasonable is obviously a matter of opinion, but I would not buy any tire which has numerous "hard to mount" reviews.

    Thats what I am trying to do now, is get the suckers off. My friend and I finally got one on (without a tube, just to see if we could even get it on at all), but now it will not come off. Its not too hard to get the first bead over(with metal levers) but the 2nd one will not come off no matter what we try.

  12. #12
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    You don't want to hear this, but I suggest you eat the loss on this tire, and return the unused one. Then ask around to find a decent pair of tires that will mount and unmount with normal effort using good technique.

    As I mentioned earlier, the rim is part of this equation, but if the original tires were reasonable, than you shouldn't have a problem finding others.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member skyzo's Avatar
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    Yeah I am going to send them back. Not worth the chance of getting stranded somewhere. I'll ask the touring fellas what they use

  14. #14
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyzo View Post
    I had seen that Kool stop jack, and was interested in it, but is it practical to bring along with me on tours? Because Im not worried about getting the tires on right now, I could just drive into town and pay them $10 to mount them real quick, what Im worried about is being miles from anywhere with a flat, and not being able to fix it.
    For the road you can use the VAR #425 bead jack:


  15. #15
    Senior Member Johnny Rebel's Avatar
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    This is funny because I just re-installed the exact same tires (Vittoria Randonneur 700x28) on my bike this evening. It didn't take very long at all. Ten minutes a piece, give or take? I used a tire lever to remove the front tire, but did all the rest just with my hands. Maybe the width of my rims made it easier? I'm not sure this should make a difference, though.

    My rear rim is pretty wide, it could probably take 700x40 or a bit wider tires no problem, the front rim should take approx a 700x35 theoretically at the limit. I replaced a pair Ritchey Speedmax 32s (more of a combo cyclocross tire) since I'm getting ready to commute again after a loooong winter in Maine. The Vittorias are really an 'anti-puncture' tire so you shouldn't find yourself stranded often at all. I have no complaints about mounting or removing the Vittorias, though the Ritcheys are definitely easier to manhandle... Check the recommended tires for your rims, perhaps?

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-siz...ml#traditional
    Scroll down to the chart that says "Which tire fits safely on which rim?"
    Last edited by Johnny Rebel; 03-31-11 at 07:54 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Soma steel core levers. I love them.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    There's one major secret that I haven't seen posted yet in all this. But it is by far THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP for anyone that is new to mounting tires.

    As the bead coming off or going on over the rim gets tight stop and wipe the part of the bead still on the rim down into the middle deep part of the rim channel. Do this repeatedly and pretty much constantly. Each time you do this the lever will inch a little more off the rim or onto it. This frequent re-centering of the portion of the tire bead that is in the rim is critical to making the tires come off or go on easily. I cannot stress this enough. It is not an exageration to say that doing this frequent bead re-centering is as important to tire changing as breathing is to keeping us alive.

    A close second place in importance is that the tighter the bead the smaller the bite you take with the tire levers. Get greedy and try to move more than about a quarter inch at a time when it's tight and you're doomed to failure.

    Since this guy is a newbie I'm suprised that none of you regulars that posted so far mentioned this already. Instead all I see is a bunch of stuff about unbreakable tire levers. I have yet to need to resort to such levers. The only time I use metal levers is for changing tires on motorcycle wheels. And you thing any of you have it hard doing bicycle tires? HA! I say to that. Go change out some enduro or motocross bike knobbie tires and then come back and tell me that the bicycle stuff is hard. On those tires it's even MORE critical than breathing to keep the darn beads down in the middle of the rim channel....
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  18. #18
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    If the tires is difficult to install at home, it will be a bloody nightmare on the road.

    I have experienced this on several occasions. Some tires are just smaller than others. Quality control issues or design flaws, makes no difference. If I have trouble in the stand, the tires do not get installed. That said...

    I have learned a couple of tricks to make tight tires fit easier...

    Old rims are not happy with new rim liners. The new liners are a bit inflexible when compared to old ones, and take up room that old liners did not. That room, magnified around the entire circumference or the rim adds up, making it difficult, if not impossible, to install a tire. Also...

    Make sure that your tire beads are not sitting up on the high side of the rims. Try to keep the beads in the groove, so to speak, and you will be amazed how much easier the tire will slip into place. This is not a cure for a tire that is too small to begin with.

    Anyway, that is what I thinks about that.
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