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Folding tires question

Old 02-03-13, 10:26 AM
  #1  
lungimsam
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Folding tires question

Gonna install my first pair and was wondering if there is anything I need to know, or do they mount just like wire beads.
I have only used wire beads up until now and wanted to avoid any surpises.
Thanks.
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Old 02-03-13, 11:37 AM
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No surprises. Just mount like a wire-beaded tire.
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Old 02-03-13, 11:56 AM
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With new tires, it can be a bit of a pain to keep them round as you start mounting because they want to fold back up. Pump tubes up enough so they hold tire round just to get started. Once you get bead on about 3/4 around let air out of tube so you can get rest of tire on.
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Old 02-03-13, 11:59 AM
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They tend to come out of the box looking a bit like overly wide fan belts so you have to establish the semi-circular cross section by hand until they look more like a tire.

Last edited by HillRider; 02-03-13 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 02-03-13, 12:25 PM
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well biked 
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^ Off topic a bit, but my "favorites" to mount are ultralight, fat 29er mtb folding tires with paper-thin sidewalls, such as Schwalbe Racing Ralphs. To say these tires are floppy and cumbersome as you work to get them mounted on the rim would be a huge understatement. Compared to most others, they really don't even look at all like bicycle tires before being mounted. The upside is that once mounted, they're extremely lightweight for what they are....the thin sidewalls are often a durability problem, however. Like most things, it's gain something/lose something somewhere else. I do like their performance enough to use them regularly.
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Old 02-03-13, 12:30 PM
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They can be a bit more difficult because they are floppy and do not default to the shape of the rim... but you know how when you are installing a tire and while you push one part of the sidewall of the rim it slips a bit on the other side... and you have to sort of 'chase' the bead around until it is completely mounted? Well with folding tires you have to chase it for a little longer, but they still go on just fine.

As with mounting other tires, make sure you do not have the tube pinched between the tire and rim, and inflate the tire to a low pressure and check all the way around that it is not very high or very low in any spots before inflating to your desired pressure.
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Old 02-03-13, 02:41 PM
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One reviewer on Walmart was complaining that their tires were so weak, you could roll them into a ball. Also complained that they just slid (tangentially) around the rim. Near as I can figure he was trying to put a 700c tire on a 26" mtb rim.
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Old 02-03-13, 02:54 PM
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Remember when kevlar bead folding tires were high end stuff. Now they sell them at Walmart.
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Old 02-03-13, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Brueg View Post
Remember when kevlar bead folding tires were high end stuff. Now they sell them at Walmart.
I don't believe the folding tires at walmart are kevlar beed - I think it is a folding steel bead used to make for cheaper packing and shipping.
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Old 02-04-13, 12:18 AM
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Thanks for all the great tips and advice everyone. I appreciate it.
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Old 02-04-13, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
I don't believe the folding tires at walmart are kevlar beed - I think it is a folding steel bead used to make for cheaper packing and shipping.
I thank that are an aramid bead but probably something cheaper than kevlar.
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Old 02-04-13, 07:01 AM
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Kevlar is just the brand name for aramid, innit? Just like Teflon/PTFE.

Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
No surprises. Just mount like a wire-beaded tire.
Not in my experience. With a normal tyre I put the tube in the tyre first, but with the Michelin Pro Race 3 folders I have (which are super tight; quite a pain, but I doubt that has a bearing on this), that step seems to be more trouble than it's worth; I find it much easier to put the tube in once I have one bead on the rim.
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Old 02-04-13, 02:58 PM
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I just checked the web. Kevlar is a brand name for para-arimid fiber. An arimid bead would likely be cheaper than Kevlar, but we may be counting angels on the head of a pin. I would be very surprised to see a wire bead that flexible. Have no doubt that walmart carry folding tires for storage and display purposes, but a good deal for us. Not always what I want, but I will buy one of there folding smooth tread folding tire for about $20 before I pay 30 at the lbs for their cheapest stone-crusher.
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Old 02-04-13, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Kevlar is just the brand name for aramid, innit? Just like Teflon/PTFE.



Not in my experience. With a normal tyre I put the tube in the tyre first, but with the Michelin Pro Race 3 folders I have (which are super tight; quite a pain, but I doubt that has a bearing on this), that step seems to be more trouble than it's worth; I find it much easier to put the tube in once I have one bead on the rim.
The operative sentence being "not in my experience".

I mount wire-beaded and kevlar-beaded tires the same way. One side of tire gets mounted on the rim, the tube then gets tucked in, the other side of tire gets tucked in. That is my way of doing it, and for both kind of tire, no issues.
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Old 02-04-13, 03:27 PM
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I'm more concerned with the sidewall thread count and quality control of the tire maker than anything. medium but not extreme flat protection, and a reasonably long wearing tread compound are my other priorities. I also like reflective sidewalls.

I'll happily pay $50 for a good 120tpi tire that meets my requirements.
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Old 02-04-13, 04:16 PM
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From https://www.walmart.com/ip/Bell-700c-...-Tire/15239670:
Originally Posted by Walmart
The Bell 700c Kevlar Tire folds and unfolds without damage for easy portability.

Bell 700c Kevlar Tire:
  • Rugged carbon steel bead
  • Layer of DuPont
  • Kevlar layer provides extra protection against flats
  • 700 x 32-45c


Despite the fact that the size listing makes no sense, and that it claims to have a 'Layer of DuPont' (???) the folding tires from WalMart are all claimed to have steel beads. They are likely woven or twisted thin steel strands... the thinner the strands the more flexible the wire.
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Old 02-04-13, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rdtindsm View Post
One reviewer on Walmart
That explains it right there.
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Old 02-04-13, 04:33 PM
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the size probably is a range of available sizes.

Eaton-Bell doesn't make tires afaik, so who knows who they are actually from, probably CST (ChenShin) or Kenda or something. kevlar flat protection is fairly common. carbon steel bead sure doesn't sound like a folding tire to me. no matter how fine, if you fold it flat, its going to have a kink in it.
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Old 02-04-13, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
From https://www.walmart.com/ip/Bell-700c-...-Tire/15239670:
[/LIST]

Despite the fact that the size listing makes no sense, and that it claims to have a 'Layer of DuPont' (???) the folding tires from WalMart are all claimed to have steel beads. They are likely woven or twisted thin steel strands... the thinner the strands the more flexible the wire.
Not all

The Bell Sports 26" Kingpin Mountain Tire provides a smooth and supple ride. This lightweight performance tire has excellent climbing traction and cornering grip.
Bell Sports 26" Kingpin Mountain Tire:

* ARAMID folding bead
* F.C.P.-fiber composite protection for flat resistance


Bell 29" Kingpin Mountain Bike Tire:

* Extra flat resistance
* Wheel Size: 29" x 2.25"
* ARAMID folding bead

And, yes, aramids...aromatic polyamide, actually...are a class of polymers of which Kevlar is one.
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Old 02-04-13, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
With new tires, it can be a bit of a pain to keep them round as you start mounting because they want to fold back up. Pump tubes up enough so they hold tire round just to get started. Once you get bead on about 3/4 around let air out of tube so you can get rest of tire on.
What works well for me is to use my mouth to blow into the tube before mounting. What I can blow into an ultra-lite 700 X 23 is just right. A little too much is worse than not enough. The tube just needs some shape.
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Old 02-04-13, 04:52 PM
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interesting, the easton-bell website or any of the Bell related websites linked off it don't even MENTION tires or the other junk Bell accessories I see hanging at places like K-Mart. I'm guessing this is branding at work, where they licensed others to resell Bell branded generic chinee stuff.
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Old 02-04-13, 05:40 PM
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Yeah, most of that Walmart stuff is kept off of websites. No Wal-gooses on the Mongoose site, no Wal-Schwinns on the Schwinn site, etc.
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