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A dumb question about tires.

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A dumb question about tires.

Old 05-10-04, 12:55 AM
  #1  
bluejack
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A dumb question about tires.

I recently got a road bike for the first time -- many years of large or medium
tired hybrids or mountain bikes. Here's a question about these thin (25) tires.

Replacing a tube, I had a devil of a time getting the tire off the rim, and
a considerably worse time getting it back on. I have tire levers, but
on the first attempt to remove the tire, I snapped two of them trying
to get the tire off the rim. This was probably because I have presta
valves (also a first for me) and didn't realize you need to unscrew the
nut on the valve before removing the tube. I still don't quite see the
physics of this, but once I got that, removing the tire wasn't too
bad, and fortunately I had some extra levers. Still, it wasn't nearly
as easy as removing thicker tires had been on hybrid bikes. Is this to
be expected?

But putting the tire back on! What a nightmare! Everyone says don't
use levers, because obviously pinching the tube would be a bad thing.
But unless there is some trick I haven't figured out, there was simply
no way to get the tire back on without the levers. I'm not the strongest
guy in the world, but once I had the six-eight inches of the tire left
to snap into the rim, it was short-cutting the rim in a hard, straight
line that I could not budge with my fingers. It took me a good ten
minutes to inch the tire back into the rim by (very carefully) using
the levers.

There's got to be some trick to this, right?

(Tires are 700x25.)

Man do I feel like a newb asking for help with a flat tire. Fortunately,
I was doing this repair at home, in the relative privacy of my own
driveway, rather than along the road, looking like an idiot. So I figure
I'll get your advice here rather than look like an idiot next time...
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Old 05-10-04, 06:48 AM
  #2  
Hunter
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Sometimes you have to use levers. With a road bike since the tubes are under such high pressure, having a tire that sets deep and hard is a bonus. This way if you have a blowout, there is less likely of a chance that the tire will roll of the rim. Some tires will get easier to do once they are ridden. Some tires like Continentals at least the older ones were always a big pain.
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Old 05-10-04, 05:11 PM
  #3  
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Welcome to the fun of high pressure tires. The seal has too be tight to avoid pinch flats and blow outs. For a few extra bucks, pay the $ and have the local bike shop put them on. Watch how they do it so quickly and remember for the next time.
Originally Posted by bluejack
I recently got a road bike for the first time -- many years of large or medium
tired hybrids or mountain bikes. Here's a question about these thin (25) tires.

Replacing a tube, I had a devil of a time getting the tire off the rim, and
a considerably worse time getting it back on. I have tire levers, but
on the first attempt to remove the tire, I snapped two of them trying
to get the tire off the rim. This was probably because I have presta
valves (also a first for me) and didn't realize you need to unscrew the
nut on the valve before removing the tube. I still don't quite see the
physics of this, but once I got that, removing the tire wasn't too
bad, and fortunately I had some extra levers. Still, it wasn't nearly
as easy as removing thicker tires had been on hybrid bikes. Is this to
be expected?

But putting the tire back on! What a nightmare! Everyone says don't
use levers, because obviously pinching the tube would be a bad thing.
But unless there is some trick I haven't figured out, there was simply
no way to get the tire back on without the levers. I'm not the strongest
guy in the world, but once I had the six-eight inches of the tire left
to snap into the rim, it was short-cutting the rim in a hard, straight
line that I could not budge with my fingers. It took me a good ten
minutes to inch the tire back into the rim by (very carefully) using
the levers.

There's got to be some trick to this, right?

(Tires are 700x25.)

Man do I feel like a newb asking for help with a flat tire. Fortunately,
I was doing this repair at home, in the relative privacy of my own
driveway, rather than along the road, looking like an idiot. So I figure
I'll get your advice here rather than look like an idiot next time...
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Old 05-10-04, 07:36 PM
  #4  
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The best way to do this is to have first a decent tire lever, then after getting the tire on till the last 3 inches or so onto the rim place a lever on each end of the remaining lip and the third lever in the middle. Then lever over the two end levers where both are fliped up, and now while holdening one of the levers so that it does not move or fall out of place use the middle lever and flip the last part of the lip of the tire over.
Done correctly the tube will not be pinched and the process will be difficult but will be accomplished. I've have never pinched the tube doing it this way and have not had real difficulty accomplishing this feat. And just to add to it, you know how the lever has a curved shape to it vs. the prying shape when you reverse it to remove the tire, this shape used to snap the tire back on generally when done correctly will prevent pinching the tube. (A plastic tire lever that is.)
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Old 05-10-04, 07:44 PM
  #5  
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For really tight tyres (ones with a metal wire bead) use a metal lever not the plastic type, they break very easy. I found that going to foldable tyre was the best way to avoid these problems. The tyres are more expensive (with a kevlar bead), but now I can mount a tyre with no levers. To remove the tyre I use a plastic lever to grab the first section, then simply use my fingers, and there is no wire to cut into my hands either.

CHEERS.

Mark
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Old 05-10-04, 08:15 PM
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Here's the trick:

When installing the tire, make sure you have enough air in the tube to give it a little shape. Start seating the tire bead at the valve. Push the valve up to get the bead seated, then pull it back down. Work your way around the tire with both hands, seating the bead in both directions away from the valve stem. When you get to the side of the rim opposite the valve, it will be getting tight and difficult to work. Go back to the stem now, and all the way around, pinch the tire into the center of the rim. Pinch it in from both sides. This will buy you some slack and should make the last bit of tire much easier to work into place.

More tricks:

Instead of pushing with your thumbs, turn the unseated bead away from you and pull it on.

Wear your cycling gloves to get a better grip.

Let the last little bit of air out of the tube if the bead won't seat otherwise, but be careful, this is how pinches occur.

If all else fails, get a Crank Brothers SpeedLever. It can be used to install and remove tires.


By the way, don't feel dumb. Some tires are just plain hard to install.
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Old 05-10-04, 09:16 PM
  #7  
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I always begin seating the tire at the opposite end from the valve. Work your way up to the valve both directions. As you get close to the valve, make sure there is no pressure in the tube. Try to pinch the tire together where you started and get the tire to seat a bit down in the rim. this will add a little extra slack up near the valve at the opposite end. Sometimes, depending on the tire, you can carefully work the tire over the bead, but it's no sin to use a lever to get that last bit of bead over the rim. Just be careful and try not to pinch the tube.

Oh, and throw away the retainer nuts for the valve stem. All they do is cause the tube to tear at the valve.
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Old 05-10-04, 10:51 PM
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Well thanks for all the advice; between this and the other duplicate thread
I accidentally started, I have a mountain of advice, only a little of which
is contradictory. Not bad!
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Old 05-12-04, 12:40 PM
  #9  
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I recently watch the owner of my LBS change a tire. He used a metal tire lever to get it off, but nothing but his hands to put it back on.

He seated one bead of the tire, inserted the tube, aligned it, then held the wheel in front of him, angled down towards his thighs, which lightly supported it. He then methodically worked his way around the rim, seating the tire. Took about 5 minutes. I asked how much practice that took and he said not too much.

The next time I had to to it, I tried his method and it worked great. I had the tire back on in record time. The last few inches were a bear, and took the bulk of the time, but it worked great.
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Old 05-16-04, 04:38 PM
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Most of the replied here are correct with their methods.

Try to avoid at all cost using a lever to remount the tire because it usually ends up biting the tube and putting a hole in it.

Always start at the valve stem and work to the opposite side of the wheel. Mount one side first and then the other. When you get to that last section and it just won't budge, use a little water from your bottle and wet the braking surface and inner tire area and it usually makes the tire snap right on over the rim. Ever notice that they do this when mounting car tires?

Give it a try. As some replies mentioned, some tires are a real pain to get on and some are really simple.
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Old 05-16-04, 11:54 PM
  #11  
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I would avoid metal tire levers as they tend to lever into the rim and raise divots in the aluminum,
worst case they tear the aluminum and make really rough spots. Park makes a very strong set
of plastic levers, and Performance has had a knockoff that seems to work just as well. You only
need two levers anyway but they give you three. Wire bead tires are always harder to install
than kevlar bead and there are variances tire to tire and rim batch to rim batch so you occasionally
get a tight tire and a slightly large rim..... People with tough, strong hands can pop those suckers
on without levers but most of us will need levers at some stage of the process. New tires are always tighter than ones mounted for awhile. Steve


QUOTE=giantmdb]Most of the replied here are correct with their methods.

Try to avoid at all cost using a lever to remount the tire because it usually ends up biting the tube and putting a hole in it.

Always start at the valve stem and work to the opposite side of the wheel. Mount one side first and then the other. When you get to that last section and it just won't budge, use a little water from your bottle and wet the braking surface and inner tire area and it usually makes the tire snap right on over the rim. Ever notice that they do this when mounting car tires?

Give it a try. As some replies mentioned, some tires are a real pain to get on and some are really simple.[/QUOTE]
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Old 05-17-04, 12:47 AM
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levers are fine. don't avoid them at all costs. they're made for the purpose of putting tires on and off. kevlar tires are the way to go, no question. the rest of the stuff i basically agree with...

you can also get along fine with cheap tire levers from walmart/canadian tire/etc. just use'm properly and they won't break.

sd
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Old 05-17-04, 05:20 AM
  #13  
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I always started at the valve and worked away but the instruction (i read after fitting) the last (overpriced) michelin tube i bought said to finish at the valve. So long as the tyre and tube are not trying to sheer away from each other and you use some talc as lube I can't see it makes a world of difference
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Old 05-17-04, 05:29 AM
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Have you thought about going to your lbs and asking one of the bike mechanics for a demonstration of the correct way to remove and reinstall a tire?
Then practice, practice, practice.
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Old 05-17-04, 09:23 AM
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I've gotten such good advice here, I think I'll practice on my own.
I don't like my LBS very much, I think. I guess I'm in the market
for a new LBS, although I am afraid it will have to be a little less
L.
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Old 05-17-04, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RegularGuy
If all else fails, get a Crank Brothers SpeedLever. It can be used to install and remove tires.
Why not get one to start with?

They're relatively inexpensive and easy to use w/o any practice.

I don't even own a conventional lever.
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