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  1. #1
    Senior Member Faust's Avatar
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    Home tire changing tip

    After my first Spring ride last week I wanted to change my Michelin Pro 3 tires to a set of Michelin Krylions as the roads in NJ are still cluttered with debris. To make a long story short, after struggling for half an hour to remove the tire, and having bruised thumbs and a bleeding thumbnail, I put the project aside. I just couldn't get the bead over the rim to dismount, nor back on the rim to remount.

    An internet search revealed a simple answer...apply the heat from a hair dryer to the section of tire that refused to go over the rim. 3-4 minutes after heat was applied my tire was back on the rim.

    For the time being, I am not mounting the Krylions as I broke my tire lever during the struggle, and I don't want to go out minus the lever. New levers have been ordered. Not that a lever would do me any good on a cold day with the Pro 3's, anyhow. Perhaps a couple of chemically activated hand warmers ought to be stowed in my saddle bag for cold weather tire removal emergencies. What a pain, but better for-armed than left out in the cold, miles from home, with a recalcitrant tire.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    What kind of rims are you using?

    The trick to mounting bike tires has to do with the portion of the tire farthest away from the last section you are trying to pry over the rim. You need to have both tire beads squeezed together in the lower center portion of the rim rather than on the bead seats. If you can make that happen, the last postion of the tire bead will slip over the rim with ease. The more pronounced center dip you have in your rim extrusion, the easier your tires will go on and off.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Faust's Avatar
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    I am not sure how "both tire beads squeezed together in the lower center portion of the rim rather than on the bead seats" would be squeezed. With what would they be squeezed? Why does keeping the beads out of the bead seats help the opposite end of the tire to slip over the rim? Please take another wack at clarifying. If I could work your suggestion out on the road on a cold day it would be great. Mavic Ksyrium rims are in use.

    In the garage, however, I will never again struggle with a hard to mount tire. Once heated by a few degrees the tire slipped over the rim effortlessly. A cold day on the road, minus said hair dryer, is another story.

  4. #4
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    This video (mounting a marathon plus) demonstrates what Retro Grouch explained...Different brand tire but same concept.

    http://wallbike.com/blog/category/pr...ires/schwalbe/

  5. #5
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Simply use your hand and thumb to squeeze them together - all around the tire except for the immediate area in which you are working to get as much free play as possible. I have been able to mount the old type of Specialized Armadillo (extremely stiff tire) without any tools using this technique, and regularly mount alll other tires - 700x25's - without using levers.

    Several years ago I realized this could be done by watching a guy in an LBS slip on some difficult tires just as easy as pie without levers.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Learning the proper technique would be especially beneficial when you flat on the road, unless you plan to carry a battery operated hair drier in your seat bag, or less Fredly, in your jersey pocket.

    As said the beads of the tire need to be squeezed together so they drop into the smaller diameter of the rim allowing the beads to clear the rim at the far side of the wheel. You should plan to finish about 10 cm either side of the stem. Push the beads together and work the tire into the depression in the center of the rim starting from point opposite of where you want to finish moving around the rim in both directions. You need to have almost no air, to no air, in the tube to accomplish this. A very slight of air in the tube helps keep out of the way, but can also interfere with getting the beads into the rim trough if you have too much air.

    I find that lubricating the tube with talc is helpful, but others eschew this.

  7. #7
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    This video (mounting a marathon plus) demonstrates what Retro Grouch explained...Different brand tire but same concept.

    http://wallbike.com/blog/category/pr...ires/schwalbe/
    Interesting. I have never had to use toe straps or zips in this process, but not a bad idea.

  8. #8
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    This video (mounting a marathon plus) demonstrates what Retro Grouch explained...Different brand tire but same concept.

    http://wallbike.com/blog/category/pr...ires/schwalbe/
    Thanks for the tip. As long as I have been changing tires, it didn't occur to me.

    Now I need some straps. I just tested using the bands I use to hold my pants legs closed when riding, my old beater pair gripped themselves around such a small circumference, but I'd want to check out any particular bands before assuming that they would do the job.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    This video (mounting a marathon plus) demonstrates what Retro Grouch explained...Different brand tire but same concept.

    http://wallbike.com/blog/category/pr...ires/schwalbe/
    Very interesting, thanks. I'll give it a try.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    This video (mounting a marathon plus) demonstrates what Retro Grouch explained...Different brand tire but same concept.

    http://wallbike.com/blog/category/pr...ires/schwalbe/
    Nice video,, now as I have never used a wire bead tire is there any advantage to using one over a folding. I can see the advantage with a folding due to space in carying a spare but other than that?

  11. #11
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    Yes the straps are a nice touch though I've never used any. I felt the video did a pretty good job demonstrating the importance of droping the beads of the tire down into the wheel valley in order to allow the bead to slip over the rim on the opposing side of the wheel.

  12. #12
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Lenny,
    Nice Video - I wonder if that guy rides a bent.
    I picked up that tip myself through the school of hard knocks, however I never really thought to explain it - it just became obvious.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    You have to get the bead down in the well of the rim- or next time you may damage the rim instead of the levers. And that is all the way round the bead aswell. I have Aksiums and although not easy- they are not that hard to change tyres and I use PR2's and Lithions.

    And Make of tyre levers is important. I no longer use Park tools levers (The blue ones) as they are too flexible. Bendy levers do make it impossible to remove a tight tyre.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  14. #14
    Senior Member VaultGuru's Avatar
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    +1 on stapfan's comment. Get a couple on Bontrager tire levers. They are lightweight and will not distort, even when putting on a difficult tire.
    http://bontrager.com/model/07799
    Another trick that a Mavic "racer chaser" shared with me is to use a light spray of Windex on the last 6-8" between the rim and tire. You can roll even the toughest tires on with the palm of your hands. If you can't, a single tire lever will do the trick.
    Last edited by VaultGuru; 03-20-11 at 03:51 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Nice video. I particularly liked his final comment, "and that's it, as easy as that."
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    An internet search revealed a simple answer...apply the heat from a hair dryer to the section of tire that refused to go over the rim. 3-4 minutes after heat was applied my tire was back on the rim.
    I've heard the same thing about putting tires in a clothes dryer. But imagine the noise!
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  17. #17
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donheff View Post
    Nice video. I particularly liked his final comment, "and that's it, as easy as that."
    ...and Bob's yer uncle!
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  18. #18
    Senior Member Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    I've heard the same thing about putting tires in a clothes dryer. But imagine the noise!
    My clothes dryer has an optional internal rack, so there wouldn't be any noise. On the other hand, the hand held hair dryer works so quickly that I wouldn't bother with the clothes dryer.

    This is the first time I attempted to change tires on this Mavic Ksyrium rim, as they were speced by me with my new Lynskey R230 Ti bike. Knowing now what a problem a tire change on these rims could be in cold weather on the road is something I have to think about some more.

    Lynskey R230 build.jpg

  19. #19
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    Pretty bike!

    So....how long is your extension cord?

    Seriously, take the tires on and off a few times trying to ensure the beads are deep down in the rim valley allowing the last bit of the bead to slip onto the rim. It can be some additional practice for you and perhaps the tires may loosen up a bit.

  20. #20
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    I'm with Denver and everyone else on the wiggle technique; start at the valve and get both beads into the bottom of the channel and grab the tire carcass with both hands and work away from the valve, creating as much slack as you can when you finally get to the side opposite the valve. Done right, you might have enough slack to push a bead over the edge of the rim w/o tools. Otherwise, I'm fond of the Michelin tire levers below; they're not conducive to hooking onto any spokes, but they're nice because they're very flat, very skinny, and much tougher than they look.


  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t4mv View Post
    I'm with Denver and everyone else on the wiggle technique; start at the valve and get both beads into the bottom of the channel and grab the tire carcass with both hands and work away from the valve, creating as much slack as you can when you finally get to the side opposite the valve.
    I think that it's actually a little easier if you start opposite the valve and work toward it. The inner tube is a bit thicker at the valve stem and keeps the tire from settling in quite so deeply.

  22. #22
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    I have never seen that technique, I had one season with a LOT of flats so I got the whole (flat fixing) procedure down to under five minutes (including inflation).
    I seldom mount new tires as I think it should be included in the purchase price at the LBS. So I was a little taken aback by the installation of the tube before mounting the tire on the rim, when I fix a flat I only take one side of the tire off, so I guess I'm just used to slipping the tube in after one side is mounted. I will have to try both the "squeezing the tire" and "tube in tire before mounting" procedures to see if I can improve on my technique.

  23. #23
    "Chooch" ciocc_cat's Avatar
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    Having read this, I guess I feel at least somewhat vindicated for still riding tubulars . . .
    "A bicycle built by a frame builder has the soul of the builder. A mass produced frame does not have soul. It doesn't know anyone." - Giovanni "Ciocc" Pelizzoli.
    “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” - Benjamin Franklin
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    5 minutes is actually pretty fast.

    I met a fellow who at least used to hold the Guiness world record for fixing a bicycle flat. His time was around 1 1/2 minutes including inflation with a frame pump. At that time he owned a bike shop called Bike Surgeon in Carbondale, Illinois. Now there's a Bike Surgeon shop in Shilo, Illinios so I wonder if it's the same fellow.

    Tricks for fixing a flat in 1 1/2 minutes: Use a slightly oversize tire and slightly undersize, already partially inflated, inner tube. The rules state that you have to check the inside of the tire for glass, but you don't have to check too good. Also you have to ride the bike off after you are finished, but you don't have to get up to your full operating air pressure.

  25. #25
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I think that it's actually a little easier if you start opposite the valve and work toward it. The inner tube is a bit thicker at the valve stem and keeps the tire from settling in quite so deeply.
    Yes, I had heard this also, and have been with friends that change flats this way for the same reason. I think I've just always ended opposite the valve because I didn't want to mess w/ it in the grand scheme of things... I'm gonna try it the next time I get a flat.

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