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Old 02-19-12, 06:13 PM   #1
DStarr
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Changing a Tire

You'll have to excuse me as I'm still decently frustrated while writing this. I'm a pretty new cyclist. I just dug my Orbea out of storage a month ago and began riding again. The problem is that my tires where dry rotted and I was getting a lot of flats. So I purchased a set of replacement tires that where the same brand and size that came with the bike (not knowing there was a difference between wire bead and foldable bead.

After struggling with the front wheel, I wasn't able to get the back tire mounted without pinching the tube. So I went to my LBS and got help. The guy at the LBS had the same issue (though he eventualy got it mounted) and told me that the wire bead was most likely the reason I was struggling so hard, and that I should go with a fold-able.

So I buy a new set of tires, same brand and model but with a fold-able bead. And I'm having the same issue, only with the back wheel. I've tried using powder, soap and everything else I've read about here, but at the end of the day I still have to resort to using tire levers, and still pinch the tube every time.

So far I've wasted about 200 bucks in tubes and tires, and the bike hasn't left the garage in weeks. Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong, because at this point I'm close to a nervous breakdown.

Thanks very much,
Drew
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Old 02-19-12, 06:21 PM   #2
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I really have to get the tire changing video I wanted to do posted, but here goes:

Follow whatever suggestion you want about powder, etc. but DO THIS.
  1. Make sure you do not have a thick rubber rim strip -use rim tape.
  2. Inflate the tube just till it has shape.
  3. Either put the tube inside the tire or not - up to you
  4. Install one bead of the tire.
  5. If you have not yet put in the tube, put it inside the tire.
  6. STARTING ACROSS THE WHEEL FROM THE VALVE push the 2nd bead over the rim.
  7. Continue in both directions around the rim toward the valve, Using your thumbs and palms to "scrub" the tire around so that it is tight to the rim.
  8. When you are approaching the valve stem and things are getting tight, hold onto both sides and release all the pressure you can from the tube.
  9. Continue working toward the valve, finishing just to one side. If you can't push it over go back to the start point and "scrub" around again.
  10. If you now have the second bead on, push the valve stem up into the tire, seat the tire down on the rim, and pull the valve stem back out.
  11. Make sure no tube is showing under the bead, slowly inflate.
That's all I have time for right now, and can't post a video til I recover from thumb arthropasty.
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Old 02-19-12, 06:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
I really have to get the tire changing video I wanted to do posted, but here goes:

Follow whatever suggestion you want about powder, etc. but DO THIS.
  1. Make sure you do not have a thick rubber rim strip -use rim tape.
  2. Inflate the tube just till it has shape.
  3. Either put the tube inside the tire or not - up to you
  4. Install one bead of the tire.
  5. If you have not yet put in the tube, put it inside the tire.
  6. STARTING ACROSS THE WHEEL FROM THE VALVE push the 2nd bead over the rim.
  7. Continue in both directions around the rim toward the valve, Using your thumbs and palms to "scrub" the tire around so that it is tight to the rim.
  8. When you are approaching the valve stem and things are getting tight, hold onto both sides and release all the pressure you can from the tube.
  9. Continue working toward the valve, finishing just to one side. If you can't push it over go back to the start point and "scrub" around again.
  10. If you now have the second bead on, push the valve stem up into the tire, seat the tire down on the rim, and pull the valve stem back out.
  11. Make sure no tube is showing under the bead, slowly inflate.
That's all I have time for right now, and can't post a video til I recover from thumb arthropasty.
this and you can use a slightly smaller tube. if the tire is tight i like to tuck the tube into the rim cavity before scrubbing the second bead on. the drop center is your friend
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Old 02-19-12, 06:40 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, there are some rims and tires that are harder to mount than others. If you combine a hard to mount rim with tight tire you have a nightmare.

I personally have a rule, no tire or rim is worth fighting over, and tires have to be easy enough to mount on the road on a cold, dark, rainy night, with sore half numb hands. I consider this critical because Murphy's Law holds and that's when I'll be changing a flat.

To understand your problem consider that the tire diameter has to be smaller than that of the rim flange. No tire would be mountable except that you can offset it to one side to get some slack (think of 2 stacked coins with one moved over slightly). the amount you can move the tire and get slack depends on the depth of the rim at the center, which is the key to the issue. Some rims do not have very deep centers, and tire mounting on these will always be a pain, but it shouldn't be impossible.


1- make sure the partly inflated tune is shoved well up into the tire, and then only inflated enough not to be flat.
2- finish mounting at the valve, because the stem's width will keep the tire out of the center where the rim is deepest.
3- start early working tire slack toward the end because that's when you'll need it. You can equalize the tire when finished.
4- when (if) finished push the valve into the tire to push the tube up with it, then pull it back down to seat it correctly.

Even doing everything right, a poor combination can still make it difficult. I've stopped on the road to help stranded riders whose tires were so tight that I could barely remove them with steel tire levers, whereas my tires can be pulled with my bare hands, or worst case started with a key or coin. If these tires are that tight ask the shop, or the cycling community to suggest tires known to be easier to mount.

Unfortunately the rim's contribution to the problem is too expensive to fix, and that will need to wait until your next wheels.
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Old 02-19-12, 06:41 PM   #5
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I understand what you guys are saying, and I'm watching video's on youtube. But it is just physically impossible to seat these tires with your bare hands.
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Old 02-19-12, 06:49 PM   #6
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what tire, rim and rim tape?
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Old 02-19-12, 06:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DStarr View Post
I understand what you guys are saying, and I'm watching video's on youtube. But it is just physically impossible to seat these tires with your bare hands.
Some tires are near impossible to seat with steel tire levers!

The older 27" straight walled rims had a relatively high flange since they didn't have the "hook" to lock the tire in.
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Old 02-19-12, 07:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DStarr View Post
I understand what you guys are saying, and I'm watching video's on youtube. But it is just physically impossible to seat these tires with your bare hands.
There is actually a pretty easy if not time consuming way around this. Take the tube out of the tire and then install and uninstall the tire (feel free you use tire spoons/ levers)until you've stretched the bead out enough to do it by hand and then install the tube. If you replacing a tube on the road, remember to pinch the side walls all around the circumference to dislodge it from the rim hooks.

Last edited by onespeedbiker; 02-19-12 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 02-19-12, 08:25 PM   #9
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Sometimes you need the right tool. http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...&item_id=KS-TJ
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Old 02-19-12, 08:58 PM   #10
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The tool davidad will go a long way to helping you install these tires. I recommend them to many people who don't have the hand strength to mount tight tires, but they can also cause problems.

The tool offers significant leverage and can make it possible to mount a super tight tire, but it can also damage said tire if forced sufficiently. Also tires mounted this way may be near impossible to remove and remount on the road, and that's something you need to factor.

Take a good look at the rim profile Bill posted above (post #6). I suspect that your rims look different and aren't as deep in the middle. One way to maybe buy yourself a few extra millimeters would be to use the thinnest rim liner possible, either one of the thin polyurathane bands, or filament packing tape. You might also benefit from trying to roll the bead over the rim using the heel of your thumb, rather your thumb or fingers.

If you can get it to where you can just about, but not quite, mount the tire with your bare hands, then consider the Kool Stop tire jack to finish the job, but you might need to carry steel tire levers and the tire jack with you on the road to avoid being stranded.
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Old 02-19-12, 09:38 PM   #11
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When you use tire levers, try not to pry the tire on all the way at once - that pinches the tube. Push the lever up until it's at 90 degrees to the rim. Then use another lever a few inches away to pry it on a bit more. Then remove the first lever and go a couple inches past the 2nd lever and pry it on again to 90 degrees.

Also, patch those flatted tubes for later use.
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Old 02-19-12, 10:25 PM   #12
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I have mounted a bunch of tires on bicycle wheels, mostly road bikes. Some seem like they weren't made to fit the rim and are really tight. Others go on like butter. I will just tell you my methods and hopefully it helps. The biggest bugaboo in getting a good mount in the valve. Push the valve in about half way so the tube will allow tire to seat around valve. If it doesn't seat the first time deflate halfway and bounce tire off ground to get tube evenly distributed. Now try to boost pressure all the way up to the maximum pressure allowed. If its still unseated evenly bounce tire on ground trying to seat tire. If that doesn't seat tire, deflate to half pressure and go thru steps again. I have always gotten a tire to seat correctly doing it with this technic. Some faster then others. Take a break and keep on trying and it will seat. I push tire around sometimes to even up line by wheel and that helps. good luck
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Old 02-20-12, 03:19 AM   #13
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there a lot of videos how to do bike stuff on you tube, try it
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Old 02-20-12, 05:51 AM   #14
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I personally have seen very, very few tires in my career that could flat out not be mounted w/out levers. Hand strength, technique and experience are factors but I have seen cases where all of those fail. The suggestions by Reptilz, FBinNY (as usual) and HomeBrew filled in some info I did not have time to add (or frankly did not think of). I agree that if the rim is not the problem no tire is worth the kind of problems you are having. I actually removed my tire last year when I had a flat and had left my tire levers out of my seat bag, and I can do so routinely with most mountain bike tires.
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Old 02-20-12, 08:23 AM   #15
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Lubing the tube tire beads with talc helps a lot with getting the tire on and off the rim and reducing the chances of pinching a tube.
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Old 02-20-12, 08:33 AM   #16
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One other thing. Go back to Kapaun's illustration. Notice that the middle of the rim is lower than the bead flanges? Now go back to bikeman's instructions. When installing the second bead gets tight, go back to the section opposite the valve stem and try to push the beads together so they nest in that low spot. That'll give you some extra slack for installing that second bead.
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Old 02-20-12, 05:05 PM   #17
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I find pushing/rolling the second bead on with the heels of both hands works better on tough tires than just pushing with my thumbs. Leave your leather-palmed cycling gloves on for extra grip. First, be sure to go around the tire, pinching the installed sections of the beads together to get them to drop into the valley, and contrive to hold them there as you scrub around to the uninstalled part. You want to get as much slack as you possibly can in the last bit. Grasp that last unmounted section of tire with your fingers curling over the tread, brace the wheel against your thighs, heels of your hands against the bead. Take a deep breath. Then flex your wrists hard to push and roll with all your might. Usually it snaps over.

If that fails, use another tire is the best advice. However sometimes they can be re-mounted (after a flat) more easily than the first time, so if I really want to get that sucker on, I'll smear a little dish detergent between the bead and the rim. Then get a plastic tire lever with a long enough shank that you can grab it in your fist as if it were an ice pick. Now turn the wheel so it's end-on, coming at you with the unmounted bead at the top to the right, and hug it to your chest with your left arm. With the tire lever held vertically in your right first, stick it into the space between bead and rim at a point where the bead is already mounted. Then with the lever perfectly vertical -- don't lever it at all, draw it firmly toward you, bearing against the lubricated unmounted bead. The lever will "plough" the bead up and over the lip of the rim and never come close to the tube. It takes a lot of force and the lever will tend to jump out of the rim if your pull isn't perfectly true but it works.
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