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Tight Clinchers and Roadside Repair

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Tight Clinchers and Roadside Repair

Old 08-19-22, 06:02 PM
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Tight Clinchers and Roadside Repair

So what is up with the recent too-tight-to-install-by-hand clincher tires? And how do you handle a roadside puncture when it's so hard to get the tire back on?

I'm thinking of the new Grand Prix 5000, which I find essentially impossible to mount by hand, and mounting with saddle bag tire levers is a gamble to puncture the tube, followed by the "phone call of shame" for a roadside pick up.

A nice solution seems to be a tire bead jack, like this one from Kool Stop:




Apparently effective, but it's more of a shop tool than a saddle bag tool.

This tire lever from VAR looks interesting, as it's a traditional tire lever with a built-in bead jack, and it's much smaller than the Kool Stop, so it should fit fine in a saddle bag:





I ordered the VAR levers from a seller in Europe to try out, and I'll file an update report.


Anyone had experience with these tire bead jacks, or any other brands?

UPDATE: I found this minimalist tire bead jack that might be an even better fit in the saddle bag:

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Old 08-19-22, 06:14 PM
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A friend started carrying a bead jack but I'm not sure which brand. He eventually started using easier to mount tires, maybe Gatorskins? He sold me his stock of GP5000 tires and they mount easily on my Open Pro rims.
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Old 08-19-22, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
So what is up with the recent too-tight-to-install-by-hand clincher tires? And how do you handle a roadside puncture when it's so hard to get the tire back on?

I'm thinking of the new Grand Prix 5000, which I find essentially impossible to mount by hand, and mounting with saddle bag tire levers is a gamble to puncture the tube, followed by the "phone call of shame" for a roadside pick up.

A nice solution seems to be a tire bead jack, like this one from Kool Stop:


Apparently effective, but it's more of a shop tool than a saddle bag too.

This tire lever from VAR looks interesting, as it's a traditional tire lever with a built-in bead jack, and it's much smaller than the Kool Stop, so it should fit fine in a saddle bag:



I ordered the VAR levers from a seller in Europe to try out, and I'll file an update report.


Anyone had experience with these tire bead jacks, or any other brands?
I have the Kool Stop bead jack. It works well. I use it very gently on CFRP rims, which have been known to crack under point loading from tire levers. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I have never had a tire not go on in the field. I’m just careful to get both beads into the central low point of the rim.
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Old 08-19-22, 07:38 PM
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I have both the Kool Stop and VAR bead jacks. The Kool Stop is nice, but not really that portable, so that's what I use in the shop. Some people chop off part of the handle to make it more portable, but IMO that compromises the leverage of the tool. The VAR is more portable, and incorporates tire levers, so that's what I carry on rides. It has less leverage than the Kool Stop, so it can be a bit more of a struggle at times, but it has never actually failed me.

Another option is the Crank Brothers "Speedier Tire Lever." I haven't actually tested this yet, but it appears to incorporate a tire lever and bead jack as well:


https://www.crankbrothers.com/products/speedier-lever
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Old 08-19-22, 07:45 PM
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I have the VAR, and it works, and it's short enough in length to fit in a rear jersey pocket, typically alongside my bike wallet.
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Old 08-19-22, 08:07 PM
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If a tire is too tight to mount by hand, I don't run it. I'd rather throw it away than get stuck thirty miles from home.

IME, Continental has been the worst offender in this regard. I don't buy them anymore.
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Old 08-19-22, 08:15 PM
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I carry the Kool Stop. Works like a charm. You have to get over the roadie BS about the tiny or absent seat bag. It's different if you're on a supported team. On a long ride, it's faster to carry what you need with you. The only disadvantage to a decent seat bag is that you have to mount your tail light on a seat stay. Too many manufacturers have decided that it's cheaper and therefore smarter to only include a seat post mount.
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Old 08-19-22, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
If a tire is too tight to mount by hand, I don't run it. I'd rather throw it away than get stuck thirty miles from home.

IME, Continental has been the worst offender in this regard. I don't buy them anymore.
My feelings exactly. To this day I won’t use Continental tires due to a horrible experience with trying to change a Gatorskin tire on a cold rainy day on a long distance solo ride. If it is really hard to fit at home only imagine cold wet hands and your fatigued. Toss the tire or donate to a coop.
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Old 08-19-22, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
If a tire is too tight to mount by hand, I don't run it. I'd rather throw it away than get stuck thirty miles from home.

IME, Continental has been the worst offender in this regard. I don't buy them anymore.
My feelings exactly. To this day I won’t use Continental tires due to a horrible experience with trying to change a Gatorskin tire on a cold rainy day on a long distance solo ride. If it is really hard to fit at home only imagine cold wet hands and your fatigued. Toss the tire or donate to a coop.
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Old 08-19-22, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
If a tire is too tight to mount by hand, I don't run it. I'd rather throw it away than get stuck thirty miles from home.
IME, Continental has been the worst offender in this regard. I don't buy them anymore.
Same. If I cannot mount / remove a tyre easily enough at home with a simply tyre lever, I don't fancy my chances on a cold morning at the roadside.

The tubeless ready Conti GP5000 is so much tighter than the outgoing GP4000S II tyres, but the clincher only version seems far easier (I've just mounted two new ones this morning, no tools required). Of course this is very rim-dependant.

I once had to use a hacksaw to get a tyre off at home (some weird tubeless gravel tyre). No idea how it even got mounted, ridiculous.
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Old 08-19-22, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist
Same. If I cannot mount / remove a tyre easily enough at home with a simply tyre lever, I don't fancy my chances on a cold morning at the roadside.

The tubeless ready Conti GP5000 is so much tighter than the outgoing GP4000S II tyres, but the clincher only version seems far easier (I've just mounted two new ones this morning, no tools required). Of course this is very rim-dependant.

I once had to use a hacksaw to get a tyre off at home (some weird tubeless gravel tyre). No idea how it even got mounted, ridiculous.
Yep, was also going to point out that the tubeless Continental GP5000 TL is notoriously tight fitting (to say the least) on lots of wheels, but that the tubeless Continental GP5000 TR is supposed to be better. And the Continental GP5000 clincher seems to also be mostly reasonable; fits on my Bontrager Aeolus 51 wheels without tools, at least (though to be cautious I literally didn't upgrade to my current wheels until I knew the Continental GP5000 clinchers would go on reasonably).
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Old 08-20-22, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by big john
A friend started carrying a bead jack but I'm not sure which brand. He eventually started using easier to mount tires, maybe Gatorskins? He sold me his stock of GP5000 tires and they mount easily on my Open Pro rims.
I also have Mavic Open Pros and don’t have issues mounting. It is tight but doable by hand.


I like to inflate a new tire to max and let it sit overnight to help stretch it out
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Old 08-20-22, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Symox
I also have Mavic Open Pros and don’t have issues mounting. It is tight but doable by hand.


I like to inflate a new tire to max and let it sit overnight to help stretch it out
My friend is using Dura Ace wheels. I guess there is no "channel" for the bead to drop into. I think it is the Kool Stop bead jack he was carrying..
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Old 08-20-22, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by roadie276
Yep, was also going to point out that the tubeless Continental GP5000 TL is notoriously tight fitting (to say the least) on lots of wheels, but that the tubeless Continental GP5000 TR is supposed to be better. And the Continental GP5000 clincher seems to also be mostly reasonable; fits on my Bontrager Aeolus 51 wheels without tools, at least (though to be cautious I literally didn't upgrade to my current wheels until I knew the Continental GP5000 clinchers would go on reasonably).
I tried to mount tubeless GP5000 tires on a set of Boyd carbon wheels. Luckily, I gave up before causing any rim damage. Boyd now even warns against using the Continental tubeless on their tubeless ready carbon rims.
I sold those, bought a pair of GP5000 clinchers and tubes. Slid right on the Boyd rims with my thumbs. I can only guess that Continental makes the bead slightly smaller in diameter on the tubeless tires to assure a better seating?
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Old 08-20-22, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
I can only guess that Continental makes the bead slightly smaller in diameter on the tubeless tires to assure a better seating?
They tried to cover their asses with the GP5k TL, but made them too tight. Righting this and making them hookless compatible are big factors in the successor - the PG5kS TR - coming out relatively quickly.
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Old 08-20-22, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
My friend is using Dura Ace wheels. I guess there is no "channel" for the bead to drop into. I think it is the Kool Stop bead jack he was carrying..
Noticed one in someone’s pocket on today’s ride. Someone else carrying it is the perfect solution.
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Old 08-20-22, 01:10 PM
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I carry and use The kool Stop.
Works Well when sitting on Top of a Fire Ant Bed.
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Old 08-20-22, 01:15 PM
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Get some saliva on your finger, rub the inside of the tire, and the outside of the rim with it. Just the last part where the tire gets tight.
It works. Saliva is slipperier than water, and always available.
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Old 08-20-22, 01:26 PM
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You could always carry snug fitting leather gardening gloves in your jersey pocket on your ride. Gives you more grip and helps you roll that last bit of bead onto the rim & stay tool-less.

In case it hasn’t been emphasized enough - when mounting a clincher it is a best practice to make sure all 360 degrees of the bead are down in the well (so to speak) starting 180 degrees opposite to where you plan to finish mounting.
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Old 08-20-22, 01:31 PM
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I carry a Kool Stop. It works well.
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Old 08-21-22, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist
I once had to use a hacksaw to get a tyre off at home (some weird tubeless gravel tyre). No idea how it even got mounted, ridiculous.
Do you deflate the tire first before you start sawing or just saw away and wear ear protector for the ensuing loud explosion?
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Old 08-21-22, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by koala logs
Do you deflate the tire first before you start sawing or just saw away and wear ear protector for the ensuing loud explosion?
I whacked 200psi of gas from BBQ cylinder in the tyre first. I like to live dangerously...
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Old 08-22-22, 11:22 PM
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I have two almost new Gatorskin tires sitting in my garage because I have such a hard time changing them.
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Old 08-23-22, 05:13 AM
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I buy the Kool Stops and cut off the handle; they fit in the seat bag after that. Any tire that can be mounted with a full size/unmodified version can be mounted with mine. I find it actually works better because it never pops off, my palm is on top/the back of the tool preventing it. While I don't know anything about the tire key in the video in the first post, I do know that mine will work on any tire width because you open the jaws as wide as needed.



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Old 08-23-22, 06:36 AM
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like some have said, I will not use tires that I struggle mounting in the garage. I've been using Vitorrias since the early 2000s, they are just doable bare handed on all of my Mavic wheels.

I've never owned a tire jack like posted above, but I think I'll get one now for the tool box. Thanks for the suggestions.
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