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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 10-12-12, 03:13 PM   #1
steelbead
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new member flat changes

I had a flat and couldn't change on the side of the road because the bead was so tough. how do you get those steel beads off without a screw driver? i gouged my rim all up when i got home, i didn't have anything strong enough on the road to do it. the last 6 inches of the bead was insane. tough as nails. i have the bontrager hard case lite tires, maybe i get the folding bead???? thanks
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Old 10-12-12, 03:33 PM   #2
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Make sure the tube is deflated and work your way around the tire squeezing it so the bead sits in the center of the rim. This will give a little more play.
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Old 10-12-12, 03:37 PM   #3
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Some tire/ rim combos are just painful anyway. My GP4000Ses, and the Gatorskins before I saw the light, sucked to install. And they're folding bead, not steel. I have no idea how people do it with their thumbs, but get some good tire levers. They'll help without gouging your rims.
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Old 10-12-12, 04:59 PM   #4
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Get plastic tire levers. Carry two on the bike. Never use a screwdriver. You're likely to puncture the new tube with it, and as you found out it damages the rim.
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Old 10-12-12, 05:02 PM   #5
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Heres what you do. Find a friend that has a dirt bike and help him change out his tire. In comparison, bicycle tires are child's play.
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Old 10-12-12, 07:39 PM   #6
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Get plastic tire levers. Carry two on the bike. Never use a screwdriver. You're likely to puncture the new tube with it, and as you found out it damages the rim.
Or metal levers.

Screwdrivers work if you are VERY careful and don't pry so far that you pinch the tube ... "just enough"
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Old 10-12-12, 11:03 PM   #7
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First off, steel bead tires do tend to be harder to remove and put on than folding bead. That being said, some tire/wheel combinations are just tough. Sometimes they make a tire just a bit too small too. The bike shop wrench that built your bike may have had just as hard a time as you are.
there are techniques for stretching the bead and things like that, but my recommendation is one night take a wheel, go in your living room, put on a tv show, and simply take your tire off and put it back on several times (using a steel core plastic tire lever. Should only need one after a lot of practice but start off with two.) the hook on the side opposite the spoon on a tire lever is for hooking over a spoke. pull the bead over the rim with the first lever and hook a rim. Use the second to work the bead over the rest.
To put it back on, work it with your hands most of the way, use the tire lever to pry the remaining back on.
repeat several times with this tire. The reason is for practice of course, but it will also help the bead stretch a bit.
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Old 10-13-12, 02:14 AM   #8
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For example ...


Park Tool TL-1 Tire Lever Set
Fix flats in a jiff with these handy tire levers. They help you pry the tire bead off the rim quickly and easily, without causing damage to your equipment.
•Nylon construction is durable enough for tight beads, and ensures damage-free operation
•Sold in sets of three (3)





Park Tool Steel Core Tire Lever Set
Tight tires getting the best of your wimpy plastic levers? Lose those limp sticks and wrap your mitts around Park Tool's TL-6 levers. These beefy bad boys feature a stiff and strong steel core covered in a smooth, scratch-free composite material. Throw a pair in your jersey pocket or hydration pack and you'll never be bested by a stubborn clincher again.
•Perfect for use as a take-along or as an everyday bench lever
•Composite-covered steel core lever is strong, smooth and won't scratch your wheel
•Strong enough to remove the tightest tires
•Set of two


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Old 10-13-12, 02:39 AM   #9
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this is very good. the handle extends down and clips onto your axle allowing a more controlled rotating motion. I do have an extra plastic lever jic.

crank brothers speed lever
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Old 10-13-12, 07:55 AM   #10
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thanks, i tried all that stuff. plastic levers just bend and theres not enough leverage and the speed lever just wouldn't budge when i got to the hard part.. maybe it is the tire/rim combo.i have fulcrum 5 rims. my thumbs would have to be the size of my forearms to get the bead over the edge of the rim. the steel levers are too long to carry in my pack. i definitely need something steel and of good length to get some leverage. maybe some practice. i came home and worked on that tire for awhile, it was insane, i'm surprised i didn't have any snake bites on the tube when i was done. that was tough. maybe i'll just go with the tires that go flat easy, this way i can just change them fast like the nascar guys. it's not worth the effort, IF you do get a flat, you're toast.
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Old 10-13-12, 08:39 AM   #11
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If plastic levers bend you're trying to lever too much tire at once. Go in smaller steps. I've changed hundreds of tires and never bent a plastic lever.
Make sure that the tire bead is in the center of the rim. Most people don't do that, and that makes changing tires harder than it has to be.
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Old 10-13-12, 08:49 AM   #12
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my thumbs would have to be the size of my forearms to get the bead over the edge of the rim.
Try the heel of your hand ... that usually works for me.
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Old 10-13-12, 09:02 AM   #13
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Not all plastic levers are created equally. The ones that came with my spin doctor tool set and my topeak ones seem too bulky. The blackburn ones that I bought 15 some odd years ago are thinner and stronger. Night and day difference. Havent tried the Park Tool ones yet. Also.. I dont know if this helps me or not but when I put a new tube in I use baby powder which inevitably works its way to the beads. I use GP 4000s and really have never had any problem. As a last resort, practice, practice practice.

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Old 10-13-12, 12:45 PM   #14
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Put some air in the tube to seat it, then deflate it completely before the last step. Leave the valve area for the last part. Try getting the bead over the rim in very small steps, and pushing the rest of the tire towards the rim center between each step. Using this method I'm able to mount 99% of tires with my bare hands.
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Old 10-13-12, 12:53 PM   #15
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thanks, i tried all that stuff. plastic levers just bend and theres not enough leverage and the speed lever just wouldn't budge when i got to the hard part.. maybe it is the tire/rim combo.i have fulcrum 5 rims. my thumbs would have to be the size of my forearms to get the bead over the edge of the rim. the steel levers are too long to carry in my pack.
It's the rims. My son has a set of fulcrom 5s and it's always a tough chore to get a tire back on. We both use the same tires, Vittoria Corsas, and once the tire's worn a little I can get it on and off Open Pro rims with no levers, whereas the Fulcrum 5s remain a challenge. Perhaps some other tires would be easier.
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Old 10-13-12, 01:12 PM   #16
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In addition to what's been mentioned, the thickness of the rim strip can make it much harder to remove and install a tire. You want to get the tire beads to be down deep in the center of the rim except for the one part of the bead that you're prying over the rim's edge. A thick rim strip keeps the bead from getting down as deep in the rim. Try using a thinner strip or even Veloplugs which are probably the best option albeit also costly.

I haven't noticed any particular issue with steel beads compared to Kevlar. Steel-beaded tires generally seem a little easier to install when new, but the Kevlar ones get easier over time since they have a bit of stretch. But the main problem is that some rims are just a bit bigger diameter than most and some tires are just a bit smaller - combine the two and it becomes much harder to get the tire on the rim.
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Old 10-13-12, 01:16 PM   #17
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You can also go on you tube and watch videos on how to remove tires. like this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yMs3g2q0cw and many more. It also helps to use a tube one size smaller then the tire if possible.

But don't use a screw driver. The nicer tire irons like the Park plastic ones or Pedros which may be better then the Park, or the Soma Steel core levers, or the QuikStik. I use the Soma levers and to get the tire started then rip the tire off with the QuikStik.

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Old 10-13-12, 02:44 PM   #18
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what do you mean push the tire towards the rim center?? i am doing the tire in small steps. the last 8 inches is brutal.if i work one side, the other side comes out of the rim. i have to hook a lever on each side of the tire that is still sticking out and then in the center of that i use a screwdriver to force it over the edge. it sounds like its the rims. these tires have only been off once or twice, so they haven't stretched much.
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Old 10-13-12, 03:08 PM   #19
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what do you mean push the tire towards the rim center??
It applies to the portion of the tire that's already seated. You want to squeeze the tire on both sides and get the beads of the tire as much as possible to be in the center of the rim which is a little deeper than the edges. You need to have all the air out of the tube to do this. Just work your way around the tire and squeeze from both sides. It won't make a huge difference but it usually helps a little.

Try and use the palm of your hand to work the unseated portion of the tire over the rim a little at a time. If you use a lever or worse a screwdriver you risk pinching and puncturing the tube. Maybe try some talcum powder on the inside of the tire as well.
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Old 10-13-12, 04:02 PM   #20
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Old 10-13-12, 05:36 PM   #21
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Once the tire's been inflated for a while it's stretched about as much as its going to. Mounting and unmounting doesn't stretch it.



Here's a rim cross section. The bead hooks are at the bottom. See how the 'floor' between the bead hooks is curved? If you squeeze the beads of the tire together they drop into the lower part of the curve. That makes the effective diameter of the rim smaller which gives you more slack for getting the bead over the edge of the rim.

When you're putting a tire on, put on one bead at a time. The first one will be easy. Then stuff the tube up under the tire. As you work the other bead on, stuff the tube up under the tire before you lever more of the bead on, so you don't pinch the tube. Once the tire gets tight I use the tire iron to stuff the tube up into the tire. Lever an inch or so of bead on, then do the next inch. When the tire gets tight go around the part that's already seated and squeeze the beads together into the center of the rim. You will get a little more slack that way.

You're trying to do it all at once, which is MUCH harder. And for gods sake stop using the screwdriver!

I never need more than one lever to mount a tire, and I have skinny climber arms. It's not about brute force, it's technique and paying attention.

When you are done, make sure that the tube is not caught under the bead- start at the valve and push the tire to one side so you can see if there is any tube sticking out. Then do the other side. Then move 4 inches and check the next section. It takes about 20 seconds if you're practiced and it will save you embarassment from a loud blowout- the bead will cut through the tube and the explosion will blow the tire off the rim.
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Old 10-13-12, 07:07 PM   #22
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I also use the vittoria corsa evo's. great tire, huge pain to mount on my zondas.
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