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Old 10-09-17, 05:56 PM   #1
FlamsteadHill
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Installing folding tire

OK, so I consider myself fairly mechanically enabled. No need to make a list, but I rarely shy away from anything.

Decided to upgrade my stock Bontrager R1s to Vittoria Corsas and wow was it a challenge.

I had watched a few You-Tubes first in case I needed something fundamental, but didn't see anything that ended up helping.

Took me a full half hour a piece to change tires! My biggest issue was at the penultimate point of getting the second side of the tire over the lip. It was hard enough just to do it. Had to use my Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack to even get the bead seated, but even then, I had the last 6" of tube that wanted to stay between the bead and the rim.

Took what seemed an inordinate amount of fussing - dropping and increasing pressure in the tube, working the tire back and forth, calling on the goddess of bike tubes, etc, before I finally couldn't see oink any more (I was using Vittorio latex tubes).

Any tips or tricks? I really, Really don't look forward to having to do this again. But I guess it's better than spending an hour driving back and forth to the LBS plus waiting for them to do it...
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Old 10-09-17, 06:07 PM   #2
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Make sure both beads are all the way down into the center "trough" of the rim as you work the last piece of bead over the lip of the wheel. Obviously, seat both sides of the bead at the valve stem first. But no matter how many times you do it, and how well refined your technique, some rims just don't like some tires. I tried to mount a Vittoria tire on my old WTB rims, and it simply was not going to happen. The Hutchinsons (tubeless) on my wife's bike were absolute monsters to get on-- the meanest tires I've ever mounted. Meanwhile, my Maxxis ReFuse practically fall onto the rims.
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Old 10-09-17, 06:16 PM   #3
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What @DrIsotope said. My vittoria rubino's were pretty tight too. Last 10 or 12 inches of the bead seemed like it'd be impossible. But after letting the little bit of air I had in the tube all the way out and pinching the tire all the way around to make sure the beads were in the center grove, they grudgingly moved that last 1/2 inch it takes for it to get easy again.

Didn't need levers either. Those always give me grief if I have to resort to using them for installation.
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Old 10-09-17, 06:16 PM   #4
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Did you unfold the tire before attempting?
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Old 10-09-17, 06:22 PM   #5
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Did you unfold the tire before attempting?
???

I just put the wheel in the box the tires came in, along with the tube. Then attached my tire pump to the valve and inflated to 130 PSI. It took me 113 tries before I had success. I really need help. Do you have a YouTube or ANYthing that can point me in the right direction?
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Old 10-09-17, 06:28 PM   #6
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Make sure both beads are all the way down into the center "trough" of the rim...
Yeah, I tried to do this. But my wheels don't have much of a trough - almost flat across the bottom. At least, compared to anything (old) I've worked with before. The tube stayed well within the tire until the last 10-12" - the same 10-12" that was too tight to fit by hand. I tried Increasing and Decreasing the air in the tube and it seemed to make NO difference. I ended up (on both tires) to get the bead seated with a hint of tube showing. Once seated, I inflated/deflated and played with the tire until finally the tube popped into place.

Thankfully I had plenty of time, it just was annoying.

I'm sure that experience is the best teacher and after doing it a few hundred or so times I can just wait until I go to bed and just do it in my sleep.
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Old 10-09-17, 06:50 PM   #7
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I'm sure that experience is the best teacher and after doing it a few hundred or so times I can just wait until I go to bed and just do it in my sleep.
It did get easier the more I installed them. I don't know if it's the folding tire or whether it's just the tire make/model. But my Continental Super Sports (wire bead, pre 2005 version) were reasonable to install on Weinmann A124 rims. But when I replaced the Conti's with Vittoria's it was a reacquiring things and skills I'd forgotten. I liked the tires so much for ride and puncture resistance , I bought two more pair to put on my other bike with Mavic Open Sport rims. Still the same difficulties, but I was much quicker.
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Old 10-09-17, 06:59 PM   #8
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???

I just put the wheel in the box the tires came in, along with the tube. Then attached my tire pump to the valve and inflated to 130 PSI.
What?????????
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Old 10-09-17, 07:07 PM   #9
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What?????????
Sorry - answering the question in the vein in which it was presented, AFAIK.
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Old 10-09-17, 07:33 PM   #10
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Sorry - answering the question in the vein in which it was presented, AFAIK.

OK, gotcha.
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Old 10-09-17, 08:09 PM   #11
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Some tires are easy, some suck. My Paselas all go on fairly easily, the Clements I just did were a PITA.

One thing I find makes it easier is starting 180 degrees from the valve stem. The tube seems to be a bit stiffer around that, making it just that much harder if you are ending around it. Sometimes I have to let out a bit of pressure when I get near the end, too.

FWIW, don't use tire levers to install, if you have a particularly problematic one you can use a tire jack (skip to 1:00 if you don't want to watch overdramatic struggling)
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Old 10-09-17, 08:24 PM   #12
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Old 10-09-17, 11:27 PM   #13
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Check the rim tape. Too wide or thick can interfere, especially with some rim/tire combinations.

For example, Schwalbe recommends the widest practical thin high pressure rim tape, to ensure the rim tape doesn't slip and expose the tube to the spoke nipple holes. For my road bike's 14mm inner width, that would be 14-16mm wide thin HP rim strips -- the thinner tape can climb up the inner rim shoulders just a bit and not interfere with seating the tire bead.

But this won't work with thicker cloth Velox or similar rim tape. Those can interfere with seating the bead. I had to use 12mm Velox tape on the same rims to clear the beads. Little risk of slipping due to the light repositionable adhesive.
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Old 10-10-17, 07:32 AM   #14
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Whenever I run into a difficult to mount tire I go get my water filled spray bottle & just spray a light film of water over everything. Once it's wet the tubes & tires generally pop onto the rim pretty easy. Never had any problems with this technique. So, I quit worrying about what happens to any residual water trapped inside the rim. I figure it just off gasses with time.
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Old 10-10-17, 07:36 AM   #15
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What tire levers were you using? I ask because I recently bought a set of high quality tire levers from Part Tool that I'm unable to use because they are so thick. I have a cheap set of levers that came in a Bell repair kit from Walmart that I have used many times without issue. I don't even try to used the Park Tool levers now.
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Old 10-10-17, 07:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Did you unfold the tire before attempting?
Heh. You know...You never know. I once read an on line user review of a camping mattress. The reviewer was completely dissatisfied with the product. She wrote something like "You have to have the strength of Superman to fold the mattress in half to get it in the stuff sack after rolling it up." Uh....Hello! You are supposed to fold the mattress in half before you roll it up.
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Old 10-10-17, 08:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlamsteadHill View Post
???

I just put the wheel in the box the tires came in, along with the tube. Then attached my tire pump to the valve and inflated to 130 PSI. It took me 113 tries before I had success. I really need help. Do you have a YouTube or ANYthing that can point me in the right direction?

I have nothing useful to add to this thread but just want to congratulate you on this most excellent comeback. Well done.


-Tim-
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Old 10-10-17, 08:32 AM   #18
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Your experience matches mine. I got a pair of Vittoria Rubino Pro III tires at a garages sale for a couple of bucks still in the original boxes. My regular Kenda Kadence tires go on easily often without tire irons. The folding tires were so difficult that I tossed them out. Didn't want to get a flat on the road and have that much trouble reinstalling the tire. Not much of a loss though. I will stick with non-folding tires in the future as every time I tried using them I had similar problems.
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Old 10-10-17, 08:45 AM   #19
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Tire difficulty really does come down to individual rim/tire combinations. I've had folders that didn't require tire irons to remove or any effort to put on. I currently have 1 folder/rim combination that is just the nastiest, bare knuckle, bar room brawl of a fight to put on or take off. At home I don't even try to finish it by hand, the tire jack comes out every time. Recently flatted it during a ride and spent as much time getting the last 8" over the rim as I did taking the wheel off and changing the tube. Folders generally go on the worst the first time.
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Old 10-10-17, 10:58 AM   #20
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Advice?
Swearing.
Swearing helps a lot. Just don't do it in the presence of others.
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Old 10-10-17, 11:52 AM   #21
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Quote:
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I have a cheap set of levers that came in a Bell repair kit from Walmart that I have used many times without issue.
Someone gave me the same "Crappy Walmart" flat repair kit for my birthday. The levers are most excellent.
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Old 10-10-17, 12:27 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlamsteadHill View Post
I had watched a few You-Tubes first in case I needed something fundamental, but didn't see anything that ended up helping.

Any tips or tricks? I really, Really don't look forward to having to do this again. But I guess it's better than spending an hour driving back and forth to the LBS plus waiting for them to do it...
So... this was your first time changing a bike tire, yes?

For me, the keys were realizing that: 1. the bead doesn't stretch, 2. the rim doesn't collapse, and 3. rubber is sticky.

If 1 or 2 are false for you, then you need a new tire, a new rim, or a new both.

1 + 2 = there's really only one orientation that allows the tire to get over the edge of the rim.

3 = start at one end and shimmy-wiggle-massage the tire with a little pressure with the intent/goal to create slack at the other end.

It's amazing, but 1 + 2 + 3 is the difference between having 10 inches of bead on the wrong side of the rim vs. just 1 inch on the wrong side (which snaps into place with a little finger pressure).

Miscellaneous Tips:

Airing up the tube can help the tire keep its shape. Too much air can get in the way. Too little air can cause problems. Some steps prefer higher pressures; others prefer lower pressures.

If you have delicate fingers, grasp the rim like a steering wheel, and use the palms of your hands.

Before inflating to riding pressures, give it a good massage all around after the bead is on. This can help prevent pinch flats as well as the funny bump near the valve.

While I've used tire levers to get old tires off, since making the above realizations, I haven't needed them to mount any tires.
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Old 10-10-17, 12:28 PM   #23
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Someone gave me the same "Crappy Walmart" flat repair kit for my birthday. The levers are most excellent.
Their being thin stretches the bead a lot less, making it easier to get it across the rim. I've bought a couple more of the kits for the levers and glue. I buy patches bulk and a big container of vulcanizing cement, I use the tire levers and small tubes of glue from the Bell kits to carry on rides in saddle bags. It seems once opened those tubes of glue will dry out before being all of the glue, a sealed tube glues me piece on mind in case I have a bad ride and go through my extra tube(s) or have to aid a stranded rider.
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Old 10-10-17, 12:34 PM   #24
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So... this was your first time changing a bike tire, yes?
No. Changed many tires - bike, m-cycle, car, truck. But never a folding bead.

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Airing up the tube can help the tire keep its shape. Too much air can get in the way. Too little air can cause problems. Some steps prefer higher pressures; others prefer lower pressures.
Yes, I tried my usual of "just enough to hold the shape without making it swell", as well as both sides of that when it didn't seem to be working.

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Before inflating to riding pressures, give it a good massage all around after the bead is on. This can help prevent pinch flats as well as the funny bump near the valve.
Yes, once I couldn't see any tube anywhere, I inflated to maybe 5 PSI and bounced the tire all the way around the circumference to give the tube a chance to find its comfy spot. Then to 20 PSI and same thing. Then to 120 and let all the air out and finally re-inflated to riding pressure.
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Old 10-10-17, 12:39 PM   #25
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@FlamsteadHill does it seem like everyone is acting like you've never put on a tire before? Or have absolutely no mechanical common sense? Seems that way to me. I apologize for my contribution toward that.
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