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Better tire levers? Other hints?

Old 12-10-12, 08:23 AM
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cplager
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Better tire levers? Other hints?

Hi,

I recently put a Schwalbe Kojak with a wire bead on a (new) 20" rim and had a helluva time. I did eventually succeed (took about 1/2 an hour).

I'm worried about being able to change this tire in the field if/when I get a flat. I was using cheap plastic tire levers that I've used successfully for changing tires 1.25"x26 Maxxis detonators with no problem, but they certainly weren't up to the task now.

What recommendations do you guys have for tire levers that will get the job done, but not damage the rim? Any other useful suggestions?

Thanks,
Charles
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Old 12-10-12, 08:27 AM
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pedros levers are the best

use veloplugs instead-- this helps alot

learn the techique of removing any tire without levers. have someone show you.
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Old 12-10-12, 08:31 AM
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Get this:
http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...&item_id=KS-TJ
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Old 12-10-12, 08:34 AM
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Park now makes their TL-6 levers that have a plastic coating over a steel core. They should be just what you are looking for: http://www.parktool.com/product/stee...re-levers-tl-6

I've also broken many plastic levers installing recalcitrant tires on tight rims. I have both a VAR Tire Jack and the "Quick Stick" tire lever and neither work any better tnan decent plain levers.
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Old 12-10-12, 08:36 AM
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those quick stick kinda tools work great but who wants to carry one while riding?

just order up the right size veloplugs & refine your tire removal technique. most people do it the hard way / the more efficient way is counter-intuitive.
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Old 12-10-12, 09:35 AM
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Lubing the tube and tire bead liberally with talc helps. Some prefer soapy water.
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Old 12-10-12, 09:41 AM
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There is a video instruction for fitting the notoriously tight Marathon Plus. It involves strapping the tyre (with zipties or toeclip straps) so that the bead stays inside the well of the rim, thus reducing the effective rim diameter during tyre fitting/removal.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Only way I can get my Marathons on!
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Old 12-10-12, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I have both a VAR Tire Jack and the "Quick Stick" tire lever and neither work any better tnan decent plain levers.
The Kool Stop bead jack is much sturdier than the VAR #425, and has not failed me yet. That said, I still like the VAR #425 on the road, as the Kool Stop tool is not portable.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:56 AM
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Kool Stop tool is very portable.

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Old 12-10-12, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
+1
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Old 12-10-12, 11:15 AM
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If it's that hard at home, it'll be harder on the road. Often the problem isn't getting the tire on, it's slipping a thick tire lever under to get it off. I have an absolute rule, If I can't mount a tire reasonably easily with my bare hands it's a fail.

You're tire may stretch a bit over time so if you don't flat immediately you may not have problems, otherwise you could end up walking home.

I don't know if you had a problem because of technique, inherently tight tire, or the rim shape, but you can improve the first and last.

1- Mount tires starting opposite the valve, pushing the tire to the middle (deepest) part of the rim, and pushing slack forward as you work toward the valve. Starting at the valve is harder because the stem keeps the tire away from the deepest part.

2- use the thinnest rim tape that does the job, (I use filament tape), or use hole plugs to avoid increasing the diameter in the center.

3- shop ties carefully, and avoid those with a reputation for tight fits. If you have a friendly shop, bring your front wheel and test mount without a tube to get a sense of the fit before buying.

4- steel tire levers have the most strength compared to thickness. They won;t mar the rim if used right because they present a fairly wide contact area.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:25 AM
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Anyone else here a fan of the Quik Stik? I haven't tried one on super-tight tires, but for everything else I've tried they make dismounting and mounting quick and easy. Plus they're cheap and seem to be pretty durable.

As for un-coated steel levers, I tried some of the big Park shop-quality levers on one of my rims (I think it was either a Mavic CXP-33 or a Velocity Deep-V) and it almost immediately gouged the rim. I must have been doing something wrong, but since then I've just gone back to Quik Stiks.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Metaluna View Post
Anyone else here a fan of the Quik Stik? I haven't tried one on super-tight tires, but for everything else I've tried they make dismounting and mounting quick and easy. Plus they're cheap and seem to be pretty durable.
I have one but it seems too thick to fit between the tire and the rim. I never had much use for it.
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Old 12-10-12, 12:19 PM
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I use the Pedro tire levers and they have stood up to some very tight tire/rim combinations. They are twice the width of a normal tire lever but they are guaranteed not to break.

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Old 12-10-12, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post


+1.........the bicycle equivalent of sliced bread.
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Old 12-10-12, 01:42 PM
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Without the KoolStop tool I could only mount my Nokian snow tires with truly violent effort. I mean I could bend metal tire levers in the attempt. The tool is large but made of nylon or something similar and weights next to nothing.

But even with the 'jack' I'm tired of the struggle, and I don't want to carry the tool with me, so I plan to talk to a wheelbuilder about finding some rims that are a better fit for these tires.
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Old 12-10-12, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
I use the Pedro tire levers and they have stood up to some very tight tire/rim combinations. They are twice the width of a normal tire lever but they are guaranteed not to break.
I do love Pedro's as well, they are the best I have seen, but I have broken two, so they are not infallible.

So if Schwalbe Marathon's are hard to mount and everybody knows it, they must be manufactured with a slightly smaller diameter. Why doesn't Schwalbe just fix it and make them a standard size? Is there some reason they need to be undersized to perform/last the way they do?
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Old 12-10-12, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
I use the Pedro tire levers and they have stood up to some very tight tire/rim combinations. They are twice the width of a normal tire lever but they are guaranteed not to break.

Really??? Cuz I broke one. I want my $1.79 back !!!!
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Old 12-10-12, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post

Is there some reason they need to be undersized to perform/last the way they do?
They are the tire that can only be used by the deserving and the stalwart. It's like a hazing ritual.
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Old 12-10-12, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I do love Pedro's as well, they are the best I have seen, but I have broken two, so they are not infallible.

So if Schwalbe Marathon's are hard to mount and everybody knows it, they must be manufactured with a slightly smaller diameter. Why doesn't Schwalbe just fix it and make them a standard size? Is there some reason they need to be undersized to perform/last the way they do?
OK - so I'll agree that Schwalbe Marathons aren't the easiest tires to put on a rim. But if all the mechanics in the shop I work in (5) can install them with a couple tie wraps, NO tire levers and a bit of effort - I'd hazard a guess and say that anyone breaking tire irons installing these needs an improvement to their technique - much more than a redesigned tire.
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Old 12-10-12, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
[/B]
Really??? Cuz I broke one. I want my $1.79 back !!!!
Take them back to the shop, you can probably get a refund. Apparently Pedro's is so generous with their return policy that my LBS accepts broken Pedro's tire levers like currency.
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Old 12-10-12, 04:50 PM
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Steel tire levers. I have had a couple of combinations of rim/tire that were a beast. In those cases I carried steel levers (broke a set of pedro's plastics). There are some tires that there is no other way to get off. Also putting tires on, removing and putting them on agains seems to help a bit.

If you had a really hard time mounting a tire, I suggest seeing what it take to take it off in the shop, before you have to do so on the road
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Old 12-10-12, 04:52 PM
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if customers are breaking pedro levers like that, they're doing it wrong.
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Old 12-10-12, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
Also putting tires on, removing and putting them on agains seems to help a bit.
Right. The first installation is always the hardest. I've had tires that were a real fight to get mounted when brand new but when I eventually had a flat and had teo install them a second time, it was significantly easier.
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