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Stubborn Tires

Old 05-24-22, 02:50 PM
  #1  
ChiroVette
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Stubborn Tires

Okay, I am no n00b at changing my bicycle tires, but sometimes I have a really insanely hard time getting some tires on and off. Some brands go on and off easily. On my old Trek 750 Hybrid, with larger tires, it's almost never an issue. They practically slip on and off the second there's no air in the tube. That bike is a joy to change a tire...well, as much of a joy as a flat tire can be anyway. By contrast, my Scott Foil 30 road bike (from 2013) is hit or miss. When I went with the original stock tires, which were the Continental Ultra Race, I never had a problem. They came on and off with one or two tire levers. Not as easy as the Trek hybrid, but easy enough.

But lately on the Scott, I have been using various brands of the flat-resistant tires in an effort to save myself the work of constantly flatting on NY City streets. The problem is that some of the tires are just flat out ridiculous. Last time I flatted, two days ago, it took my 31 minutes to complete the task of fixing a flat with a new inner tube in my saddle bag. To be fair, the majority of that insane time, probably a full 20 minutes was spent desperately trying to get the tire off and putting it back on (so like 10 minutes each). It was so bad, I actually bent one of my tire leavers after getting so disgusted, I just rammed it under the tire, then under the inner tube, then under the other side of the tire, and crowbarring the stupid thing off by sheer force. All attempts to use tire levers like usual failed. The tire fits so tight to the rim, that once I got one or two levers in, there was simply no getting a third one on, much less forcing the tire off with the two in there.

Are there certain brands that are better than others? Should I maybe avoid the flat-resistant tires under the presumption that they are so thick that this makes them much harder to remove?

I don't think I should have to be struggling like this to change a flat that should be over and done in ten minutes, and usually is. On my other bike, like I said, it's a real cakewalk compared to the Scott, at least with the tires I have been using. I forget the brands, but maybe I should go back to the Continentals? Though, they don't sell the Ultra Race anymore. I think the Ultra Sport versions are what's available, assuming I don't go with flat resistant tires.

Edit: Oh and the tires are standard 23 mm x 700

Last edited by ChiroVette; 05-24-22 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 05-24-22, 03:12 PM
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I think you'll find many people have the same experience. I thought I might have a heart attack putting GP5000's on my last bike (an 09 Spec Roubaix). Even with a tire jack, it was incredibly difficult, but many people have no issues with them on other bikes. I did find after the initial install it wasn't as bad re-installing them after fixing a flat but still a lot more work than it should be. My answer was just not to use that tire on that bike.

A Kool Stop bead jack (or similar tool) will help a bunch with a difficult tire and some people even carry one with them in case of a flat.
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Old 05-24-22, 06:39 PM
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Saw a YouTube video where a guy placed the bike wheel on the floor, then stood on the tire while moving the wheel to vertical and the tire came right off. Have yet to try it on my own.
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Old 05-25-22, 07:04 AM
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ChiroVette TIre liners (like Mr. Tuffys) make any tire more puncture resistant, so you can stick with the tires you find easy to mount and dismount and enjoy more puncture resistance.

That's what I do.
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Old 05-25-22, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
I think you'll find many people have the same experience. I thought I might have a heart attack putting GP5000's on my last bike (an 09 Spec Roubaix). Even with a tire jack, it was incredibly difficult, but many people have no issues with them on other bikes. I did find after the initial install it wasn't as bad re-installing them after fixing a flat but still a lot more work than it should be. My answer was just not to use that tire on that bike.

A Kool Stop bead jack (or similar tool) will help a bunch with a difficult tire and some people even carry one with them in case of a flat.
I use the kool stop bead jack also. Works great.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:32 AM
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Thanks for the answers. I think the silver bullet for me will be those Mr Tuffy's liners so I don't have to worry about buying flat-resistant tires. I put that and the Kool Stop Beat jack into my Amazon cart, but problem is that I don't think the bead jack will fit into my saddle bag, even if I didn't always keep two inner-tubes and a bunch of assorted tools in there. It seems like the bead jack is a great tool to have at home for flats. I'm just not sure it's practical for rides.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiroVette View Post
To be fair, the majority of that insane time, probably a full 20 minutes was spent desperately trying to get the tire off and putting it back on (so like 10 minutes each). It was so bad, I actually bent one of my tire leavers after getting so disgusted, I just rammed it under the tire, then under the inner tube, then under the other side of the tire, and crowbarring the stupid thing off by sheer force. All attempts to use tire levers like usual failed. The tire fits so tight to the rim, that once I got one or two levers in, there was simply no getting a third one on, much less forcing the tire off with the two in there.
Sounds like you're using bad technique, to be frank. Any lever you jam in between the tire and rim occupies space that could have been tire slack.

If you can get into the habit of pressing the tire beads into the center of the rim, working both hands from the bottom of the rim to the top to gather all the slack in one place, then you can grasp the tire at the top and attempt to pull it off sideways. It sounds like you've always been in the habit of prying off tires, and that makes the job way harder than it needs to be.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiroVette View Post
=I think the silver bullet for me will be those Mr Tuffy's liners so I don't have to worry about buying flat-resistant tires.
I think Mr. Tuffys are a PITA. I would much rather just run Schwalbes than jack with tire liners, but that's me.

One of these Crank Bros "speedy" levers might do the trick on your stubborn bead, and will fit in your bag: https://www.amazon.com/CRANKBROTHERs...g%2C325&sr=1-9
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Old 05-25-22, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Sounds like you're using bad technique, to be frank. Any lever you jam in between the tire and rim occupies space that could have been tire slack.

If you can get into the habit of pressing the tire beads into the center of the rim, working both hands from the bottom of the rim to the top to gather all the slack in one place, then you can grasp the tire at the top and attempt to pull it off sideways. It sounds like you've always been in the habit of prying off tires, and that makes the job way harder than it needs to be.
What ThermionicScott said. Try to get the bead to go into the well of the rim, where the diameter is the smallest. I don't think I even remember using levers to remove my Conti Grand Prix's, before replacing them with the Veloflexes. Just strong thumbs.

Last edited by smd4; 05-25-22 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 05-25-22, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I think Mr. Tuffys are a PITA. I would much rather just run Schwalbes than jack with tire liners, but that's me.
I am not questioning your choice. But I just wanted to share some further thoughts:

While tire liners can possibly add an extra step to a tire change, they often do not.

I've been using tire liners for the last 12 years. I use tire liners in all 4 of my bikes, including the extra "5th" wheel set with my studded winter tires, and usually the tire liners stay put inside the tires when patching a flat or changing out an inner tube. In the thinner road bike tires (700x35 and 700x28) they almost always stay put. In the wider tires of my MTB-based commuter/Utility bike (26x 1.5-26x2.25) they sometimes spill out and also take a little extra care to center.

Over the years I'd say it's about 1 in five times the liners spill out of the tire when performing maintenance...usually my wider 26" tires. However, until I bought a second wheel set for my studded winter tires 26" I was mounting and remounting tires twice a year, and the tire liners didn't get a chance to really stick to the inside of those tires.

I put tire liners in my 4th bike last year. It's a folder with 20x1.75 tires and I haven't had a puncture yet, so there's that.
I have had tough to fit tires (usually Continentals...grrr!) and those are way more difficult to deal with than tire liners. Plus the tire liners allow me to run lighter and cheaper tires with more supple sidewalls.

Of course if you're going to go tubeless, then the tire liners won't work since they need the inner tube to hold them in place against the tire, and even then, since the tire itself acts as the inner tube, it the tire.
would make no sense to put protection inside the air-tight tire. In that case, reinforced tires make more sense (along with sealant).

And I will concede Rolla that if a reinforced tire is easy to mount/dismount, then yes, adding the potential extra step of re-inserting a tire liner, especially if it doesn't want to stay put would be more inconvenient.

But I will stay with my light, supple tires with tire liners, except for my tough, heavy, studded snow tires, which still get tire liners, because that's me.
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Old 05-26-22, 05:56 AM
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Here you go;

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Old 05-26-22, 07:05 AM
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I thought I would go the tubeless route when I built my bike. I had Boyd carbon rims, set up for tubeless, and tried to mount a set of Continental 5000 tubeless tires.
The key word is "tried". For hours and hours, using every trick and tool I had available. I even went so far as to bring the wheels and tires to my LBS, and he gave up after several attempts. Those tires were NOT going on those wheels.
Later, I saw that Boyd put out a warning about the 5000 tubeless and their wheels, which basically said not to even attempt it, as they could damage the wheel and void the warranty.
I sold the tires, stems, sealer, and all the stuff that went with it, and bought a set of GP5000 tires for standard tubes. They slipped right on with no problem. Go figure.
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Old 05-26-22, 07:20 AM
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An Old School Technique...

There is an old school method of getting tight tires onto a rim and it utilizes an old toe strap. First, make sure your tire is warm. Warm tires stretch easier than cold tires. Start one bead onto the tire and mount it all the way. Starting with the valve, push the bead onto the rim and work it around with both hands. When about half way around the bead, stand up and start pushing and stretching the tire as you go with the wheel standing straight up on the ground, making sure the bead is fully seated at the valve and the rim. I usually bump the tire every couple of inches with my hand to make sure it's seated.

When you get to the point where you can't get the last 12" or so of tire on the bead, attach a toe strap at that point on one side and tighten it down so it holds the bead inside the tire. Essentially it's a 3rd hand. Now use both hands and thumbs to push the rest of the bead onto the tire. You may want to start at the valve again and stretch and pull the tire to facilitate this. Once the tire bead is seated, remove the toe strap.
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Old 05-26-22, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
An Old School Technique...

Start one bead onto the tire and mount it all the way.
If you can get one bead on, it's not at all difficult to get the second bead on.
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Old 05-26-22, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
usually the tire liners stay put inside the tires when patching a flat or changing out an inner tube.
about 1 in five times the liners spill out of the tire when performing maintenance
they almost always stay put
adding the potential extra step of re-inserting a tire liner, especially if it doesn't want to stay put would be more inconvenient.
Glad they're working for you. I'll pass.
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Old 05-26-22, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Sounds like you're using bad technique, to be frank. Any lever you jam in between the tire and rim occupies space that could have been tire slack.

If you can get into the habit of pressing the tire beads into the center of the rim, working both hands from the bottom of the rim to the top to gather all the slack in one place, then you can grasp the tire at the top and attempt to pull it off sideways. It sounds like you've always been in the habit of prying off tires, and that makes the job way harder than it needs to be.

^ This.

It could be that the center of the rim isn’t very deep to not let the opposite side roll over.

I’ve probably changed over 1k tractor trailer tires and similar.

Some smaller diameter higher load tires (like the kind of tires on a UPS truck) can be extremely stiff in the sidewall…, NO MATTER the solution is the same. One side is being mounted over the rim lip, the other side should be in the ditch in the middle of the rim.

The solution is almost always to make sure the bead is all the way into the ditch, often using a sledgehammer.

This is pretty much every tire on earth that doesn’t mount by having the rim come apart or a split ring.
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Old 05-26-22, 05:54 PM
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Note to self: Don’t use a sledgehammer on bike tire.
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Old 05-26-22, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
An Old School Technique...

There is an old school method of getting tight tires onto a rim and it utilizes an old toe strap. First, make sure your tire is warm. Warm tires stretch easier than cold tires. Start one bead onto the tire and mount it all the way. Starting with the valve, push the bead onto the rim and work it around with both hands. When about half way around the bead, stand up and start pushing and stretching the tire as you go with the wheel standing straight up on the ground, making sure the bead is fully seated at the valve and the rim. I usually bump the tire every couple of inches with my hand to make sure it's seated.

When you get to the point where you can't get the last 12" or so of tire on the bead, attach a toe strap at that point on one side and tighten it down so it holds the bead inside the tire. Essentially it's a 3rd hand. Now use both hands and thumbs to push the rest of the bead onto the tire. You may want to start at the valve again and stretch and pull the tire to facilitate this. Once the tire bead is seated, remove the toe strap.
Great idea but wonder how many people either know what a toe strap is, or actually saved one from the bygone days? I sure didn’t save mine. When I needed a third hand when mounting a new tubeless tire and ended up using a vice grip on the tire (not the rim) to keep the tire from unseating from the rim when I worked the last 6” with my two free hands. Worked great.
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Old 05-27-22, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Note to self: Don’t use a sledgehammer on bike tire.
Correct. Just illustrating the idea to really make sure the bead is all the way in the center of the rim.

If the tire was still difficult to mount just remember to never use that tire on that rim again.
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Old 05-27-22, 03:55 AM
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fwiw - stuff at home & carry

toe straps

speedier lever

sometimes use a tire jack at home but it doesn't fit over the wide studded tires

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Old 05-27-22, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
fwiw - stuff at home & carry

toe straps

speedier lever

sometimes use a tire jack at home but it doesn't fit over the wide studded tires
You shouldn’t need to use any of that stuff.
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Old 05-27-22, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
You shouldn’t need to use any of that stuff.

I don't, but I think people's hands and tires and rims are different, so I don't question them for finding something useful that I don't.
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Old 05-27-22, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
You shouldn’t need to use any of that stuff.
Oh I don't usually, in fact I've been known to patch a tube trailside w/o removing the wheel. but I've read about tips & suggestions on BF so I picked up a few items that I sometimes use doing tire swaps. we have 7 bikes in the family, & almost as many diff. tires/rims, so doesn't hurt t have stuff like this in the shop. sharing them here I think helps others who might have some trouble. when I was a kid, I just used a screwdriver. with my MTB tires, I just look at them & they pop off the rim. similarly, when I put them back on, they like to flop around annoyingly, so the straps are handy
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Old 05-27-22, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Sounds like you're using bad technique, to be frank. Any lever you jam in between the tire and rim occupies space that could have been tire slack.
If you can get into the habit of pressing the tire beads into the center of the rim, working both hands from the bottom of the rim to the top to gather all the slack in one place, then you can grasp the tire at the top and attempt to pull it off sideways. It sounds like you've always been in the habit of prying off tires, and that makes the job way harder than it needs to be.
This, and a few other things...
Prep for mounting new tire - make sure the tire is 'warm', I place it somewhere where sunlight can soften the tire for about an hour (depending on temp of when/where you're working).
Just before mounting, stretch the tire a bit, by standing on the tire with feet shoulder width or so, apart. Pull up on the tire to stretch it. Doesn't seem like much stretch happens, but enough does happen...
as Noted above, make sure both sides of the tire bead are in the wheel well, as close to center as possible. Make sure no part of tire bead is sitting on the wheel bead shelf.
get most of the final bead into the rim, have some 'lubricant' available - I use a mix of water and soft/dish wash soap, like dawn. Small sponge, a light coating of this soap mix to the inside bead of the remaining 1/4 circumference of tire bead to be pushed onto/into the rim. Proceed to seat remaining tire bead into rim. Works every time.
A little 'moisture' in the tire inside is no biggie, it will evaporate in a short time - works fine, even for tubeless. You don;t use much, about 1+ tablespoons worth actually makes it into the inside remainder is forced out or left on rim (mostly less)....
Works a charm, even for very heavy carcass tires - like super wide/shallow motorcycle or ATV tires, which are much harder to seat... been using this method for decades +...
uses much less force, which might damage the tire or the rim, especially carbon rims,
Ride On
Yuri
EDIT: Tubeless... some tires are so tight that they take a very high pressure to 'seat' the bead on the rim. Can be scary for some...
Before adding 'air pressure' to seat the rim, Apply a light coating of above mentioned lubricant to the 'well' between the tire and rim wall - both rim sides.
Then put in your air pressure. Tires will 'seat' quicker and with much less psi, than doing it dry. And you will worry less about having an 'assplosion'... LOL!
EDIT2: if having difficulty keeping the beads in the tire well - straps work for holding the tire in the bead.
I don;t like carrying straps with buckles... Generally don;t find a need for straps on road tires... Heavier MTB tires/carcass however are easier if you have straps.
I use double sided Velcro which I cut into 10 inch lengths, as straps (and other uses when offroad, backpacking, hold your shin pads in place, etc...). Can be bought at Michaels/Notions supply stores or you can get a lifetime supple on Amazon, cheap....

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Old 05-28-22, 11:46 AM
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Had to repair a flat on the ride this morning. I used the method of seating the tire down in the center of the rim, starting opposite the valve, moving around both sides of the rim and pulling one bead of the tire off at the valve and doing it by hand without levers was easy. Should have always been doing it this way.

Otto
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