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Old 08-06-06, 09:42 PM   #1
dauphin
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Tell me your trick?

Today I had my first flat on the new bike. We had just ridden up a monster hill and I was feeling pleased with myself when I heard what sounded like a sprinkler coming on. I quickly realized it was the back tire going flat. Having changed several flats on the Sirrus (28mm's) I thought I would be a pro at this. The Bianchi road bike has the 23mm's but I figured the procedure would be the same. I took the tire off and found the puncture on the tube. Curiously there was no mark on the tire itself. I figured I just ran over something and it didn't lodge in the tire. I put the new tube in the tire and did my best to get the tire back on the rim. For the life of me, I could not get the tire back on the rim. I know you aren't supposed to use the levers to put the tire back on, but we had no choice. I just knew I probably screwed up the tube doing this. As I was putting air in the tube...."pop"....ssssssssss....flat again. I take it off again...the failure this time was at the base of the stem. On to tube number two. Same thing. I had to use the levers to get the tire back on the rim. We crossed our fingers and began to inflate for a second time. This time it seemed to be holding air. We were about four miles from home and we wanted to get home before dark. After about two miles I spotted a snake in the road. I gave him a wide berth and pulled over so I could warn Seafoam when she came rolling up. Turns out it was a rattler who had had the unfortunate fate of meeting a car. We are pretty sure he was dead. Anyway, we made it home without further mishap. So, am I stupid or is there a trick to getting the danged 23mm tire back on the rim without using the levers???? I realize I am old goat and not as strong as I used to be...but this is ridiculous!
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Old 08-07-06, 01:10 AM   #2
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Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack....just plug that in to Google and several links pop up. Shipping is terrible!
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Old 08-07-06, 05:50 AM   #3
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I can generally get even the toughest tire back on without tire levers if I make sure the opposite edge of the tire is not on the edge of the rim but rather sitting in the rim well, all the way around the tire.. I continuously check this while I use my palm to push the bead over the rim rather than using my fingers to pull it over. I can even get new Specialized ARmadillos on this way, and they are about the toughest tire around to remount.
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Old 08-07-06, 06:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
I can generally get even the toughest tire back on without tire levers if I make sure the opposite edge of the tire is not on the edge of the rim but rather sitting in the rim well, all the way around the tire.. I continuously check this while I use my palm to push the bead over the rim rather than using my fingers to pull it over. I can even get new Specialized ARmadillos on this way, and they are about the toughest tire around to remount.
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Old 08-07-06, 07:18 AM   #5
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I've been reluctant to chime in on this for fear I am missing something special other people are seeing. I have mounted everything from bicycle tires to car to motorcycle to tractor tires by hand (without bars)and the rule is the same. The opposite side tire bead(s) must be kept in the center of the opposite side of the wheel. This is because the diameter of the wheel in the center is less than the diameter at the edges. The tube must be nearly flat.

It's like putting one of those "Do Not Disturb" tags on a door knob. They work easiest if the leading edge of the whole goes over one edge of the knob into the narrow space then the opposite edge is looped over the other side.

There are enough stories floating around about "this tire" or "that wheel" that is particularly hard, so my mind is still open; I just haven't seen one of them yet.
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Old 08-07-06, 07:19 AM   #6
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1. The little nut that comes with some Presta valves should NOT be tight against the rim. It should only be used to help keep the valve from pushing in so far that you can't get the pump head on adequately.

2. Place a little bit of air in the inner tube to help it self-locate into the tire as you seat the bead.

3. There's nothing that says you can't use tire levers when reseating a tire on the rim. You just have to be careful that you don't pinch the inner tube.
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Old 08-07-06, 07:45 AM   #7
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1. talc tire
2. lightly inflate tube (just enough to maintain a semblance of shape)
3. fit tube into tire (it is declasse to orient the valve in an area other than directly below the psi instructions on the tire)
4. insert valve through valve hole in rim
5. work one side of tire's bead completely onto the rim, starting nearest the valve so that the final bit of bead to go on will be 180 degrees opposite the valve. Depending upon a variety of factors, you may have to let a bit of air out of the tube at this point, but don't let so much air out that pinching of the tube against the bead and the rim starts becoming a nuisance. If you have problems at this point, get the bead as completely onto the rim as you can, then turn the rim around so that the side you're working is away from you, then use the meaty part of your palms (closest to your wrists) in concert to wrench the final part of the bead on. I find placing the rim on the ground gives me great leverage.
6. let the remaining air out of the tube
7. turn the rim so the other bead to be put on is facing you
8. start working it onto the rim, starting at the valve and trying your best to really tuck it behind the rimhook
9. Once I check over the tube and make sure none of it is bound up between the bead and the rim, I let all the air I can out of it, face the side that has to be cranked over onto the rim towards me (at 12:00 position, if you will), put the 6:00 position against my stomach or against the floor, and then using the pad of palm flesh right below the first set of knuckle joints, I CRANK LIKE HOLY HELL with both hands up and over to the opposite side of the rim... usually you can get it to pop on if momentum is on your side, but sometimes it can be a real bear!
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Old 08-07-06, 08:45 AM   #8
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The kind of tires makes a helluva difference too I think. I had a fold-up Vittoria? I think, that was a total bear to get on, using the drop center, talc, soapy water and everything. I switched over to a set of Michelin Dynamics, and they slide on like they are buttered, don't even have to use the palm of your hand. Perhaps it has to do with the bead stiffness?
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Old 08-07-06, 08:49 AM   #9
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The tires that came on the bike are Continental UltraSport, 700x23C.
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Old 08-07-06, 08:53 AM   #10
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I'll offer a reward of coconut cream pie from Big-O's (see other posts) to the person who can get a Schwalbe Marathon Plus either on or off without a tire lever. Make that three tire levers.

".........you're a better man than I am Gunga Din"


If I need it, I have no problem using a tire lever for the last little bit of tire to clear the rim. Just be careful not to pinch the tube.
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Old 08-07-06, 11:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monoborracho
I'll offer a reward of coconut cream pie from Big-O's (see other posts) to the person who can get a Schwalbe Marathon Plus either on or off without a tire lever. Make that three tire levers.

".........you're a better man than I am Gunga Din"


If I need it, I have no problem using a tire lever for the last little bit of tire to clear the rim. Just be careful not to pinch the tube.
I have a variety of wheels and different tyres to suit. I have a few Tight wheels and a few tight tyres and wherever possible - a tight tyre does not go on a tight rim. I prefer this to having a loose tyre on a loose rim. Several years ago- I had a friend that took pride in never using tyre levers to remove a tyre. I looked at his technique and a deflated tyre with NO air in the tube and he pushed the bead of the tyre away from the rim and into the recess that is on all rims. Then he could get his hand in and wrench the tyre off the rim. On a ride a couple of months later, he wrecked a tyre and I gave him my well used spare folder to finish the ride. Put the tyre on proudly with no levers, pumped the tyre up and it popped off the rim. His rims are obviously the loose kind and this old tyre was very loose.

On the tandem I have a set of rims that are VERY tight. These are the Disc wheels and there is very little recess in the rim. This is the set of rims I prefer to put my slicks on as they can take the 120psi without any bending in the walls as there isn't any. These tyres are very tight and I swear whenever I have to put them on or take them off. For that reason they don't go on too often. They are now 3 years old and this year I had to put them on. Whether it is age- or use in fitting them- I only had to use 1 lever to put them on instead on the usual 3. Will find out if it was a fluke when I put them on earlier this year as the rear tyre is flat so will have to take that tight tyre off the tight rim again shortly.

The other problem that I have found is the Tyre levers themselves. The rims are all made of alloy so you do not use a metal tyre lever on them unless you are going to be extra gentle with them. I buy levers on a periodic basis and I have found that good old favourite of Park Tools don't work any longer. They seem to be made of a thinner or more flexible plastic so have had to revert back to some old ones that were given away free on a magazine about 5 years ago.

Incidentally- the slicks for the Tandem are a very durable tyre that works well, has good puncture resistance, and is a Schwalbe Marathon. Don't buy these unless you want to teach the neighbours some new swear words. Or you have steel rims and steel Levers.
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Old 08-07-06, 12:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by stapfam
...... These tyres are very tight and I swear whenever I have to put them on or take them off. For that reason they don't go on too often. They are now 3 years old and this year I had to put them on. Whether it is age- or use in fitting them- I only had to use 1 lever to put them on instead on the usual 3. Will find out if it was a fluke when I put them on earlier this year as the rear tyre is flat so will have to take that tight tyre off the tight rim again shortly.


Incidentally- the slicks for the Tandem are a very durable tyre that works well, has good puncture resistance, and is a Schwalbe Marathon. Don't buy these unless you want to teach the neighbours some new swear words. Or you have steel rims and steel Levers.

As I said...make that three tire levers...only next year you may be down to none. That means you'll have to come to Texas to collect your pie, Stapfam.

Last edited by Monoborracho; 08-07-06 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 08-07-06, 12:23 PM   #13
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So now that you've had practice, you'll get better. If you don't get another flat for a few hunderd miles, rotate the tires at home where you can take your time and see if you get better at mounting the tires.
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Old 08-07-06, 12:36 PM   #14
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Confession: I dread having to change a tire. My ham-fisted, lizard-brain mechanical abilities means that, yes, I CAN change a tire (probably, maybe, hopefully), I just hope that I don't have to...

yes, good friends have demonstrated proper technique, the boys at the LBS have demonstrated proper technique but I still dread having to change one.

That said, I've got several in the garage that need to be swapped out on the boys' bikes so I guess I'll get to practice (and swear) and then look fondly at my Specialized Armadillos that haven't flatted yet.
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Old 08-07-06, 12:49 PM   #15
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Excellent advice from Bockman and others, but I'd like to add one thing: USE THE LEVERS.
I can usually do mountain bike tires without them, but at the first hint of resistance, I go for the plastic.
I don't know how many tubes I've patched or tires I've changed, but I've been riding for 30+ years and have had as many as 13 bikes in the garage (two kids, mountain and road for each, plus my wife, plus whatever I've picked up somewhere). I probably average at least a flat per week and have had as many as six in a single century. In all that time, I can remember ONCE when I pinched a tube with a lever, and that was when I thought, "I might have caught the tube in there...ah, probably not."
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Old 08-07-06, 02:10 PM   #16
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I'll use levers to get the tires back on and never had issues if I'm careful to make sure the tube is not being pinched..

With the wheels being so new you might want to take a good look at the rim tape and the hole where the valve stem is. You might be getting some punctures from either a spoke or the valve stem hole. Velo (cloth rim tape) usually solves thse problem.........
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Old 08-07-06, 05:14 PM   #17
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I never really thought about seating the opposite bead in the center of the tire - but it makes sense. I'll try that next time. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with using levers - to mount or dismount the tire. If the tire comes off or goes on easily without the levers, then, I skip them. If I encounter any difficulty at all, I use the lever - can't see putting any additional muscle effort into what is already an aggravating chore - especially if I'm roadside with sweat running onto my glasses and "skeeters" peckin' at my vessels - all I want is to finish, pump up, and be back on my way.

I only run 23C tires, and I'm using the Schwalbe foldable type, so on and off are really simple these days.

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Old 08-07-06, 06:14 PM   #18
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I have a god-awful time with mountain bike tires. Luckily, I don't ride my mountain bike (a Trek 950, bought in '93) much any more.

I have found that this works best for me when dealing with road bike tires:

Put a little air in the tube, just enough to give it some shape, as others have already suggested.

work most of the tire back on, all but the last bit that won't go on. (Now the fun begins)

Hold the wheel against your stomach. Now, starting with your hands at 9 O'clock and 3 O'clock, work your hands right into the tire and rim, and work towards that troublesome last few inches of tire, while pressing the wheel against yourself. The objective is to build up as much "excess tire" as possible toward the end opposite your stomach. This can also be done in a sitting position, if you can find a nice comfortable bench.

Now, when you get to that list bit of tire, force it on with your thumbs. This may take repeated effort.
How easy, or difficult it is will vary with different tires. I'm running Conti Grand Prix's on my Gunnar. These don't flat often, but this technique has worked for me with these tires.

As already noted, you can use levers, if you work carefully. I'm always spooked of pinching the tire on the rim though. I'm told Pedro's levers work best for this. Anyone know anything about that?

The Kool Stop Beadjack looks like a great tool, if you can find them. There's also a product called a "Speed Lever" from Crank Brothers. Anyone have any experience with this tool? Park (of course,,) makes a professional tire mounting tool. I'll take a wild guess that shop mechanics, who are under time pressure, use them but won't admit to it.

Last edited by trackhub; 08-07-06 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 08-07-06, 07:17 PM   #19
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Did anyone mention to start opposite of the stem?

"I'll take a wild guess that shop mechanics, who are under time pressure, use them but won't admit to it."

I've watched my LBS and have even asked them about this.... No tire lever to be found in the work area....
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Old 08-09-06, 04:03 PM   #20
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Another way to ease mounting tire . . .
Take off the rim tape! Throw it away!
Blow some money and buy a product called VeloPlugs. Each plug inserts into the recessed hole for the spoke. Takes up less room than a rimstrip leaving more room for tube. Have actually installed and *removed* Maxxis 25mm Detonator (folding) tire utilizing thumbs only.
Or cheaper yet . . . use a narrower innertube.
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