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Difficult beaded tire

Old 03-18-09, 05:37 PM
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FlatMaster
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Difficult beaded tire

The LBS sold me on the durability and flat resistance of a Specialized Armadillo's. I've already broken two cheap plastic levers trying to put them on. The size I'm using is the same size that came off (700 23). Physically measuring the outer diameter of the rim yielded a measurement of 20mm. The rim itself is labeled as 700. I tried reading Sheldon's article on tire/rim sizing, but quickly became confused. I know the bead was in the valley of the tire while trying to put it on. Should I take Sheldon's suggestion of installing thinner rim tape? Does it seem like I'm doing something wrong? Are decent metal tirelevers worth it?
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Old 03-18-09, 05:50 PM
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Use steel tire levers.
Put some dishwasher soap on last part of the rim lip (Not the whole rim) you are trying to put the tire on. Narrower tube 20mm. Should help.
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Old 03-18-09, 05:55 PM
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You shouldn't need to use a tire lever to mount a tire though they can be tempting (and useful at times if you are quite careful).

The easy way out of your situation is to get a product like this that receives rave reviews every time it's mentioned on this forum: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=2111

I believe the same can be said about this product: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=2111

I'll attempt to sort out your confusion with the rim but I'm not making any promises.

"700c" rims have an ERD (effective rim diameter, where the bead of the tire sits) of 622mm. Rim width (what you seem to be confusing with outer diameter) varies depending on the intended use of the rim. Road rims are more narrow and touring/MTB rims are wider. What matters in terms of mounting tires is the inside width of the rim. Issues can arise when trying to use too wide of a tire for a given rim width or vice versa (too narrow of a tire on a wide rim). In your case, your rims are likely ~15-17mm on the inside and thus will take a 23mm tire without issue.

With persistence of lots of thumb effort, your tire will go on by hand. I've mounted those same Armadillos and they can be a real pain. You really need to keep resetting the dead of the tire into the center of the rim and slowly work at the edges of the unseated section. You need to get the unseated section down to about 2 inches before the bead will just pop on easily. If you have about 6 inches unseated, you don't have too far left to go.
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Old 03-18-09, 06:21 PM
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Wow, thank's joejack. After looking at the link, I now remember that at one at point I owned the tire tool that attaches to the axel. I hope I can find it. Thanks for your explanation of tire measurements. That makes much more sense. I'll make sure to throw some dishsoap on there too.

I've also been reading reviews of the armadillos. Are they all they're cracked up to be?
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Old 03-18-09, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FlatMaster View Post
I've also been reading reviews of the armadillos. Are they all they're cracked up to be?
I've never flatted using an Armadillo tire (~20,000 miles of cycling on various sets).
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Old 03-18-09, 09:10 PM
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I would use some steel core levers to mount the tire, esp because they can be taken with you on your rides as any tire can flat. You wouldn't want to take the Tire Bead Jack with you as it's too bulky to fit into your saddle bag.

If the LBS sold you on the tire, take the tire back to them and have them show you how to mount it, esp if you paid full price for it. This will be an opportunity for you to see how they treat their customers and the support they give for product they sell.

Armadillos are reputed to be a difficult tire to mount so you're in good company.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:37 PM
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Yeah I had some armadillos too. I inherited them on a set of wheels. To get them off I had to use metal irons and soap. The old style metal ones are alloy and bend fairly easily, so I'm going to buy some good ones. I have not been impressed with the metal core plastic ones either. I broke them on conti gatorskins.

I traded the armadillos with a woman on bf and she got them on with bare hands. So, either she is VERY strong, or it is the respective rim sizes (her take on it - but maybe she was being nice) between our wheelsets.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
Armadillos are reputed to be a difficult tire to mount so you're in good company.
New Armadillos, in particular, have very stiff sidewalls. This makes them hard to lever over the rim. FM also has a fairly narrow rim, which makes it doubly hard.

FM: yes, a thinner rimstrip is helpful in getting troublesome tires installed. Try finding a plastic rim strip- I think I've seen them at Performance: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5412
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Old 03-21-09, 01:39 PM
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The Quik Stik works for me, on Armadillos and GT4000s, which are also hard to stretch.
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Old 03-21-09, 01:48 PM
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Kool Stop Tire-Jack.
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