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Mounting road tires (with tube) onto the rim

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Mounting road tires (with tube) onto the rim

Old 05-12-24, 10:18 AM
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Mounting road tires (with tube) onto the rim

Make fun, and berate me if you must. But as a 45-year road cyclist, I have just recently achieved regular success with mounting foldable road tires. Nirvana. Until about 20 years ago, I almost refused to use them at all, and opted for traditional wire-bead tires because of the difficulty I had mounting foldable tires. But recently, I finally came to the realization that I was being too quick, and haphazard with them. I’d wrestle the tire on, inflate it, and would discover, to my dismay, that the tube wasn't properly seated, and I’d feel a the “bump bump bump” in the tire as I rode it, from the distorted tube because it wasn’t properly seated, twisted, or pinched by the tire bead. Not wanting to wrestle the tire off, and then back on again…I’d usually just put up with it. I’m not sure what finally directed me into being more thorough in mounting…reading other’s suggestions online, maybe a video. I don’t know. And don’t get me wrong…that first mounting of a new foldable tire is still a bit difficult. But, once it has been on the wheel for a while…subsequent mountings aren’t as difficult as they once were, and I’m usually mounting them (and dismounting them) WITHOUT the assistance of any tire tools. And so, as a PSA to others who may be having the same problems, this is what I’m doing now.
  • After checking to make sure there aren’t any foreign objects protruding that could cause another flat, completely mount one bead of the tire while the other bead remains completely outside the rim wall.
  • Inflate the tube with just a ‘smidge’ of air. And I mean just a smidge. I usually just blow into the valve with my mouth. Or, maybe just one pump. Just enough air to give the tube some “body” shape, and stiffness. Screw the valve nut closed so that you don’t lose the air.
  • Insert the valve stem into its hole, and put the entire tube inside the walls of the “half mounted” tire.
  • Now, work the tube in so that it seats between the rim walls…with the one tire bead inside the rim, and other one still outside the rim.
  • Once the tube is well seated between the rim walls all the way around, starting at the valve, begin to seat the second tire bead inside the rim. When both beads are in near the valve…push the valve stem into the hole so that the bead seats correctly.
  • Now, continue to work the rest of the second tire bead into the rim…making sure that the tube stays between the rim walls. Work it in all the way around, as far as you can, until the last few inches.
  • Once you can’t work the second bead in any more, let that little bit of air out of the tube. The tube is pretty much seated around the tire/rim. Once the air is out, seating that last few inches will be easier. But make sure that you’re not letting the tube get pinched under the bead. You may have to manipulate the tire around so that it isn’t.
  • Pop the remainder of the bead in, and inflate.

Good luck,
Dan

Last edited by _ForceD_; 05-12-24 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 05-12-24, 10:29 AM
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With the right amount of air in the tube, it will keep out the way of pinching and won't fight you getting the last bit of bead on. It is about as much air as you can blow in with your lungs.
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Old 05-12-24, 10:39 AM
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Good for you. You seem to have figured out most of it.

I've not used a wire bead tire since I got rid of my 27" wheels. Though that was only about 15 years ago. The issue for me initially with folding bead tires is that they just don't seem to be anything tire shaped when you initially unfold them. So it's a relearning experience trying to put them on. Usually I found it easier to unfold them and shape them up to a resemble a tire and sit for a while to let them hold that shape better. But after getting use to them, not even their shapeless newly unfolded look is a bother any more.

I don't start at the valve. IMO, the valve with it's thicker boot only serves to take up more room to keep the bead of the tires second side out of the part of the rim that has the smallest diameter. But with todays wider rims that's not as much of a issue as it was BITD of skinny 700c tires and rims. I never understood why the general recommendation was to start at the valve.

Still, the second side of the tire should go on almost as easily as the first. I don't know why others think the second side somehow shrinks and get smaller after putting the first side on. If they really thought about it, they'd realize that it has to be because the first side and the tube are now taking up the space that gives the second side the smaller areas of rim diameter it needs to be able to fit over the edge of the rim. So moving the first side up onto it's bead seat makes more room for the second side to get down in that area where the rim diameter is less.

Surprisingly, if you work at it you'll also be able to remove the tire with no levers. A clue is to only break the bead on the side of the tire that is to be removed first.

Last edited by Iride01; 05-12-24 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 05-12-24, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Good for you. You seem to have figured out most of it.

I've not used a wire bead tire since I got rid of my 27" wheels. Though that was only about 15 years ago. The issue for me initially with folding bead tires is that they just don't seem to be anything tire shaped when you initially unfold them. So it's a relearning experience trying to put them on. Usually I found it easier to unfold them and shape them up to a resemble a tire and sit for a while to let them hold that shape better. But after getting use to them, not even their shapeless newly unfolded look is a bother any more.

I don't start at the valve. IMO, the valve with it's thicker boot only serves to take up more room to keep the bead of the tires second side out of the part of the rim that has the smallest diameter. But with todays wider rims that's not as much of a issue as it was BITD of skinny 700c tires and rims. I never understood why the general recommendation was to start at the valve.

Still, the second side of the tire should go on almost as easily as the first. I don't know why others think the second side somehow shrinks and get smaller after putting the first side on. If they really thought about it, they'd realize that it has to be because the first side and the tube are now taking up the space that gives the second side the smaller areas of rim diameter it needs to be able to fit over the edge of the rim.

Surprisingly, if you work at it you'll also be able to remove the tire with no levers.
The second side "shrinks" because the first side takes advantage of the center channel in the rim and the second side can't do that as much.
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Old 05-12-24, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
The second side "shrinks" because the first side takes advantage of the center channel in the rim and the second side can't do that as much.
I believe I essentially said the same thing in other words. However you can push the first side up onto the bead seat and make more room for the second side.
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Old 05-12-24, 11:23 AM
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Also wanted to add that new, out-of-the-package tubes and tires will be ‘tacky.’ A bit of talcum powder will make it slide easier. — Dan
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Old 05-12-24, 11:26 AM
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Nice info OP.
Always a good way to get the tire back on (when using a tube)
Couple things I also do....
If time available and during daytime (or warm area) - If a new tire, I place somewhere that sun can warm and soften the tire...
Then like I/and some ride buds did with sewups, hand-stretch the tire. It may not seem like much happens, but the tire does stretch a small amount when warm. Doesn't seem to make sense, but my experience is that the new tire is just a bit more pliable and easier to mount.
I also find that placing the bead, which is already on the wheel, into the center well all around the circumference (off the bead shelf),allows the 2nd bead to be pushed into place, much easier.
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 05-13-24, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_
Make fun, and berate me if you must. But as a 45-year road cyclist, I have just recently achieved regular success with mounting foldable road tires. Nirvana. Until about 20 years ago, I almost refused to use them at all, and opted for traditional wire-bead tires because of the difficulty I had mounting foldable tires. But recently, I finally came to the realization that I was being too quick, and haphazard with them. I’d wrestle the tire on, inflate it, and would discover, to my dismay, that the tube wasn't properly seated, and I’d feel a the “bump bump bump” in the tire as I rode it, from the distorted tube because it wasn’t properly seated, twisted, or pinched by the tire bead. Not wanting to wrestle the tire off, and then back on again…I’d usually just put up with it. I’m not sure what finally directed me into being more thorough in mounting…reading other’s suggestions online, maybe a video. I don’t know. And don’t get me wrong…that first mounting of a new foldable tire is still a bit difficult. But, once it has been on the wheel for a while…subsequent mountings aren’t as difficult as they once were, and I’m usually mounting them (and dismounting them) WITHOUT the assistance of any tire tools. And so, as a PSA to others who may be having the same problems, this is what I’m doing now.
  • After checking to make sure there aren’t any foreign objects protruding that could cause another flat, completely mount one bead of the tire while the other bead remains completely outside the rim wall.
  • Inflate the tube with just a ‘smidge’ of air. And I mean just a smidge. I usually just blow into the valve with my mouth. Or, maybe just one pump. Just enough air to give the tube some “body” shape, and stiffness. Screw the valve nut closed so that you don’t lose the air.
  • Insert the valve stem into its hole, and put the entire tube inside the walls of the “half mounted” tire.
  • Now, work the tube in so that it seats between the rim walls…with the one tire bead inside the rim, and other one still outside the rim.
  • Once the tube is well seated between the rim walls all the way around, starting at the valve, begin to seat the second tire bead inside the rim. When both beads are in near the valve…push the valve stem into the hole so that the bead seats correctly.
  • Now, continue to work the rest of the second tire bead into the rim…making sure that the tube stays between the rim walls. Work it in all the way around, as far as you can, until the last few inches.
  • Once you can’t work the second bead in any more, let that little bit of air out of the tube. The tube is pretty much seated around the tire/rim. Once the air is out, seating that last few inches will be easier. But make sure that you’re not letting the tube get pinched under the bead. You may have to manipulate the tire around so that it isn’t.
  • Pop the remainder of the bead in, and inflate.

Good luck,
Dan
couple of things - after mounting the tire I half-inflate it, then go around the entire circumference, pushing the tire off the bead to ensure that there’s no tube caught between the bead and rim

also, if I’m not using a new tire immediately (and I’m usually not), I’ll mount it on a spare wheel (no tube) for a few days/a week to get the “creases” out of it and stretch it out a bit - makes it a little easier to mount with a tube the first time
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Old 05-13-24, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 13ollocks
couple of things - after mounting the tire I half-inflate it, then go around the entire circumference, pushing the tire off the bead to ensure that there’s no tube caught between the bead and rim

also, if I’m not using a new tire immediately (and I’m usually not), I’ll mount it on a spare wheel (no tube) for a few days/a week to get the “creases” out of it and stretch it out a bit - makes it a little easier to mount with a tube the first time
This. Although I pretty much do most of what has been suggested above I find this to be helpful. Anytime I change a tube and remount the tire, whether new or not, I inflate gradually. For 23's I'll start with inflating to 60lbs and let it sit. Then up to 80 and let it sit before finially going to my final inflation pressure. During those times when the wheel is resting if there are any small pinches or twists of the tube letting sit at this lower pressure for a while will let them work themselves out and I'll hear the "pop" or "snap" that comes with it.
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Old 05-13-24, 08:48 AM
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Understanding (and using the knowledge of) the center well of the rim is key to getting the bead over the edge of the rim.

And a Kool-stop Bead Jack tool if all else fails!
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Old 05-13-24, 12:29 PM
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I was a marshal on the Five Boro Bike Tour in NYC a few weeks ago and I was helping someone with a flat. Along comes one of the mechanical marshals to take over since I was supposed to be doing direction control. The rider was trying to get his tire back on but didn't know what he was doing, and the mechanic started searching through his bag for the tire irons. I then intervened again and told the rider to start at the valve, go 1/4 way around on each side, then go on one side only to meet the other but hold the other in place. He got that far but then the mechanic came over and I just took the wheel and finished it with my hands. Never do the last bit at 180 degrees from the valve, do it at 90. The valve doesn't allow the tire into the center channel and that makes it just a little harder to go on. Sometimes that's the difference between getting it on and not.
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