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  1. #1
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    Rim vs. Tire, that is one tight fit

    I have a older front wheel with a Matrix MTB Aero rim, and I put a Michelin Wild Run'r 26x1.4 slick on it. This tire is almost impossible to get on or off. I've already bent a tire iron, broke another plastic one, and have punctured 2 tubes trying to mount it. I'm back to using my 30 year old steel irons that I'd long ago put away. My hands were bloody by the time I was done. I don't remember the rear being so difficult, but it is another rim. The flat itself was caused by the rim tape blowing out of all things, while the bike was sitting there. The bike is a 1990 Trek 7000 that I picked up on eBay for $125. It needed a little work but I haven't spent any money other than the tires.

    Can anybody recommend a slick that won't be so tight? I'm worried that I won't be able to handle this out on the road if I get a flat. I've been changing tires for a lot of years and I've never had this kind of issue. I brought my road bike up this morning and it also had a flat from a broken stem, and I did that with my hands as I usually do.

    (and I'll challenge the tire gods here and say I don't get flats from the usual things, like glass punctures.)

  2. #2
    Frozen in carbonite Grimlock's Avatar
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    I hate to say this as it could come off as being an unhelpful brush-off but, provided the tire is the proper size, it is possible to install and your technique could be improved. There are a million YouTube videos and Sheldon Brown articles on this topic.

    The tire you're talking about is a good, light tire for city use and I like it a lot, but it can be a little snug. Make sure the tube is tucked inside the tire and the rim tape is centered. You can also try a little talc on the bead and starting at different spots along the rim in case things aren't 100% even.
    Quote Originally Posted by sp00ki View Post
    Using a nicer sealed bearing headset vs a $10 set is like throwing a frisbee vs a dodgeball.

  3. #3
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    I know how tires should feel when being mounted, I've been doing this for almost 50 years. I know all the tricks. I could write the articles myself. This one is different.

  4. #4
    To be continued Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Tire/rim combos can be a nightmare sometimes to mount and sometimes they are easy. Just like there are rims that any tire is difficult get on and take off, matrix rims are one of those rims.
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  5. #5
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    I've got some WTB tires on no-name rims that I had to take to the shop to remount after installing rim tape. Took a pro a quarter of an hour to mount one lousy tire. Like Dannihilator said, some combos are just plain difficult and it sounds like you've got one.
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  6. #6
    Frozen in carbonite Grimlock's Avatar
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    My apologies zacster. For something nice, Michelin makes a 26x1.1" folding version of that tire that is easier to install. Conti also makes a Gatorskin in a 26xSkinny that, while expensive, is very good value because you will get a ton of miles from it, especially if you don't get flats. If both of those are too expensive, there are a number of cheap skinny offerings (>1.6") from Cheng Shin and other generic manufacturers that will be good and speedy.
    Quote Originally Posted by sp00ki View Post
    Using a nicer sealed bearing headset vs a $10 set is like throwing a frisbee vs a dodgeball.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jowilson's Avatar
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    I had lots of trouble getting my new tires on but I eventually just set the tire down with it 3/4 of the way on. I came back a few hours later and the tires had stretched enough to the point where the tire went on with ease. Maybe leaving them sit for a while with the tire irons attached to keep the tire on would stretch it out like in my case.

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  8. #8
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    I might give the Wild Run'r 1.1 a try. These are basically road tires made to fit a MTB wheel. I'll see if the foldable bead makes it easier to mount. They usually stretch a little better.

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    So I tried something later in the day, I put a 26x1.1 tube in it instead of the 26x1.5 in it. I then put some air in it so that it would stay in the tire and not along the rim and mounted the tire. It was no easier to get it mounted, but at least the tube was out of the way and didn't get pinched by the irons. This tube is a little skinny for the tire, but seems to be holding up after a short ride.

    This still leaves me thinking I'll try a different tire, maybe the Michelin Wild Run'r 1.1 as I said. A little pricey but not too bad. My wife suggested a new wheel. I may take her up on it with a dynamo hub. That'll make this bike a real commuter, now that I've put fenders on it, except that a battery light will actually be brighter even if it won't last all night.

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    An update:

    Back on 3/3 I put the tire on, and I've been riding it since, although not that much due to the weather. My son has an almost identical bike, but not wheels, and he had gotten a flat after riding on shells, not a good idea in any case. His bike has WTB Slickasaurus tires on it, and it looked shredded. He brought it home from school so I could fix it. I decided to buy the Wild Run'r 1.1 and was going to put my really tight tire on his bike, and put the new tire on mine. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. I struggled to get the tire off my bike, and finally did, and I put it on his. It slipped right on, no tools required. I then went to put the new tire on my bike, and fuggedaboudit. It was even tighter. I then tried the WTB on my bike, and got it on but it is also very tight. I checked and it was only cosmetic damage from the shells, not through the threads, so it is now on my bike.

    The conclusion I've come to is the that the rim is JUST TOO BIG! It is either not an MTB rim, although it says it is on the label, or it is doesn't quite meet spec. It's an aero style rim, somewhat silly for an MTB.

    I'm going to replace the rim with something else, and maybe do the dynamo hub if I'm going to build something anyway. I'm still not sure about dynamos as they don't produce the power that a single 18650 battery can. I'm still surprised nobody has produced a dynamo with double the power of the German standard. 3W just isn't that much, and the most efficient LEDs generally available only get about 100 lumens/watt.

  11. #11
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    I've read through all the Peter White pages. The problem is what is never said, and that's that you can get brighter lights with batteries these days. That's probably only been true for a few years now with the more efficient LEDs. The one area where the dynohubs have the advantage is continuous running, but I don't need that. I ride for maybe an hour after dark, and always have a spare battery.

    But why aren't there higher power dynohubs for us non Germans? Why isn't Shutter Precision making one? They just entered the market and are free to do what they want. I'd buy a 6 or 9 watt dynohub and wire up my own light. In fact, 9w is just about what I use with my LED now. The only downside is drag, but the latest 3w dynamos are imperceptible, would 6w be a slight drag? It won't matter.

    Maybe the alternative is that Cree will produce a 300 lumen/watt LED and the whole question will be moot. They're up to 200 lumens, but only under ideal conditions, and bikes are not ideal conditions.

  13. #13
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    Well here it is 9 months later and I got a flat on that wheel and tire. I went to put my spare tube in and found that it was a schraeder tube, and my pump and rim is presta. So I go to patch the existing tube, I find the hole, put the patch on, pump up the tube outside the tire and all is good. Then I struggle to get the tire back on, using the tire irons as there is just no way it will otherwise go on. At least the tire has been stretched at this point. I go to pump it up, and nothing, flat again.

    I walk to the nearest bike shop, only to find they were in the process of packing up the store, with no official destination. So I leave, debate whether to walk to the great silver sag wagon, and decide to try patching it again. I put 2 more patches on to fix four holes that I put in trying to get that damn tire on. I pump it and it holds, I put on the tire and nope, doesn't hold. I try it again, find another two holes and fix those with a single patch. This time I just put it in the tire and mount it, being extremely careful to not pinch and this time it holds, mostly. It still has a slow leak but I got home. It was a good thing it was a mild day, I was near the subway, and had some options. If I were out in the 'wilds' of New Jersey, I'd have been stuck.

    So that dynamo wheel I mentioned above? I have the hub, the rims are on their way, and I have to order spokes. As soon as I'm back from vacation I'm building this wheel and using it even if I don't have a light yet.

  14. #14
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    One other suggestion for rim/tire combinations that are very tight is to use the thinnest possible rim tape. That lets you get most of the tire as far down into the rim channel as possible as you work to get the last few inches of tire up and over the edge of the rim. For double-walled rims you can use the plastic 'Veloplugs' in each spoke hole instead of rim tape - that's what I've done on one of my wheels where tire changing was particularly difficult.

    PS
    The Sunup dynamo seems like a possible alternative to a dynamo hub, especially if you want more power. It's advertised as providing 8W and has a USB outlet for charging electronics as well as use with lights:
    http://www.sunupeco.com/SunupEco/Eco...le_Dynamo.html

    I haven't used it, but the concept seems promising and is lots easier to install than building a new hub into a wheel.
    Last edited by prathmann; 12-20-13 at 05:55 PM.

  15. #15
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    Too late I already have the parts for a wheel. I really only need lights anyway. And the flat today with all the fussing made me late so I needed lights. Good thing I always have them anyway.

  16. #16
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    Might be a silly question, but: Do you put just a little bit of air in the tube before you put the tire back on the rim?

    I still remember Dad telling me that tire levers were only for getting tires off, they go on by hand, the old 27 by 1 1/4 ten speed were difficult (had to edit due to forums auto edit of questionable language) to get on by hand but with practice I could do it as a kid. The trick to not getting pinch flats putting the tire on was to pump the tube up a little to hold its shape.

    Like you said, You have been doing this a while so you probably this trick, others reading this thread might not. (but do now).
    Last edited by floating dutchy; 12-21-13 at 02:19 AM.
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  17. #17
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    So here was the thing about putting air in the tube as I put the tire on, this being something I always do with my road bike so as to not pinch the tube under the bead as I put the tire on using hands only. Putting air in made the fit that much tighter. I guess I'll emphasize this again: This isn't just a tight fit, this is almost impossibly tight to get the tire on and off. As I write this I'm wondering if this rim would take a fat knobby tire more easily. I'm using somewhat skinny tires, 26x1.5. I've tried 3 different skinny tires and none go on, otherwise I'd just use one that did.

    What ultimately did work was to put a small enough amount of air in to expand the tube so it wouldn't get pinched. Oh, and now that I'm home and its the next morning, it is flat again, so it must have a slow leak. I'm leaving on vacation so it doesn't matter now, and when I get back I'm building up my new wheel. I hope I haven't ruined this tire getting it on and off this way, but I have another in any case.

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