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i like whiskey
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was putting some tires on last night and was having fits with getting the last 6" of the bead onto the rim. I had to end up using a tire lever to get it on, which pinched the tube and put a hole in it. I had to take the tire back off, patch the tube and try it again. Not fun

I was finally able to get everything mounted with no leaks, but the last two sets of tires I have bought have been really difficult to mount. Anyone have an easier way to do this other than brute force? There has to be a trick that I'm missing.

The two tires I am having problems with are Vittoria Rubino Pros and Maxxis Detonators.
 

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Kant phuckin sphell
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Couple of things.

Try stretchin the tire a little before mounting it.
While sitting down, wrap the tire around your knees and back, then using your legs expand the tire.
Silicone spray on the bead let it help slide it on.Wash it offf the rim before you ride.The slickness will mess up braking.
Also keep the bead in the middle of the rim(dont let the bead ride up to the edge) all the way around while getting the last bit of bead over.
 

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Miggity Mac Daddy
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Make sure you release all of the air out of the tube. I have campy rims and Michelin tires which, IMHO, are the worst combination. The campy rims are so damn hard to get anything over. In the long run, its not worth changing wheelsets over as i don't mind it but it may be your rim/tire combination.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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If you can't take it any more...

get rims with a deep center section. What makes rims hard or easy is how far the bead can drop into the center of the rim.

TF
 

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soapy water helps a lot...

I used to mount my own motorcycle tires, and a little soapy water on the tire beads (dishwashing soap works well) makes it much easier, plus it is not slippery after it dries and is easy to rinse off too. I would not use silicone spray, WD40, etc...bad stuff to have on the rim, brakes, tires, tube, etc...
 

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Could be partly technique, too.

All the stuff everybody else has suggested should help. FWIW, though, I use levers probably 95 percent of the time, and I can't remember the last time I pinched a tube--I've done it, but it was years ago. I've never understood why roadies think it's bad to use a tool designed for the job. Leaving just a LITTLE air in the tube and pushing it out of the way before you lever the last section of bead in place works very well.
There are also a couple of variations of tire levers that may help. One used to be called the VAR lever, a one-piece thing that hooks over the rim. I think it has a new name now, but I forget what it is. And there's a thick thing that looks like a Sharpie, called a Quick Stick (maybe QuikStik) that I use with mountain bike tires. Don't know if it would work with skinny road tires, though.
 

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Every little counts...
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Mavic Open Pros and Veloflex Pave: no tool needed to put on or take off. I'm in heaven!

But my Fir rims with Carbons for my training wheels: I almostd use the wirecutters to cut the tire off the rim after breaking my levers.
 

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ukiahb said:
I used to mount my own motorcycle tires, and a little soapy water on the tire beads (dishwashing soap works well) makes it much easier, plus it is not slippery after it dries and is easy to rinse off too. I would not use silicone spray, WD40, etc...bad stuff to have on the rim, brakes, tires, tube, etc...
I second the soapy water, or talcum powder works well and doesn't affect braking. I've switched my difficult rims over to 3m strapping tape - 2 layers is still a lot thinner than Velox, and that gives the beads a little more room to settle into. Even a mm makes a difference over the circumference of a wheel.

The Var tool works okay, but it's fiddly, and you can still pinch tubes - another good reason to talc them. For removal, the trick that works for me is fitting two levers under the bead about 2 inches apart, and popping them both out at the same time. Then, one gets hooks to a spoke, and the other worked around until the tire bead falls below the brake track. At that point, it's usually safe to remove both levers for more room, and peel the tire off by hand.

My Rubino Pros were pretty snug when new, but stretched a little after use, so the second fitting was easier. All the Michelins I've used seem to have stronger beads - they start small and stay small. Vredesteins and Paribas were simple to mount, almost too easy on some undersized rims. No problems, though. My Open Corsas were easy, which is a blessing considering their delicacy. Still some great race rubber, though. Hmmm, Hutchinsons were so-so, Schwalbes were tight, Conti's start snug but stretch, and I haven't mounted the Challenges yet. Yes, I'm a collector...
 

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Roadbikereview Editor
Steelman Eurocross bike
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Veloflex tires definitely!! Pave or Corsa. These are some of the finest tires available anyway. Of course with loose tires like these make sure they're seated evenly before pumping up all the way.

As far as tools are concerned, the park tool tl-2c levers help avoid pinching tubes. For the shop, the park TL-10 pushes the tire in from outside with good leverage:
http://www.cambriabike.com/tools/wheel_tire_tools.htm

As far as technique streching new tires or tires that have been on the shelf for a while is key. But by far the best tip I've learned is centering the tire several times while mounting the tire. When mounting the last 12 inches of the tire, run the lever around the rim to separate the tire from the rim and to position the tire toward the center or the deepest part of the rim.

francois
 

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different technique?

Are you trying to push the bead onto the rim with your thumbs? If so, another technique you can try:

1) place the wheel in front of you with the axle perpendicular to your body and unseated bead side away from you
2) get a firm grasp of the tire/rim with both hands (palms down), then roll the tire towards you and (hopefully) onto the rim.

This works best with a little air in the tube, though it may not work if the fit is really tight.
 

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i like whiskey
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Excellent tips from everyone - thanks

supercrank said:
Are you trying to push the bead onto the rim with your thumbs? If so, another technique you can try:

1) place the wheel in front of you with the axle perpendicular to your body and unseated bead side away from you
2) get a firm grasp of the tire/rim with both hands (palms down), then roll the tire towards you and (hopefully) onto the rim.

This works best with a little air in the tube, though it may not work if the fit is really tight.
I was trying to push the tire on with my thumbs. The Maxxis Detonator has a wire bead too, which I'm sure didn't help.

Next time I have to mount a tire, I'll use some or all of them. Hopefully that's a long time from now. (Dammit, did I just jinx myself?)
 

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this works (if i can explain it)

first off i talc the tubes and that gets some on the tire which helps. now, i use my thumbs until i get down to the last 6" or so. i then i put the wheel upright on the ground (on a piece of carpet) and put the ball of my foot/tennis shoe on the sidewall. i then 'hinge' the wheel down parallel to the ground and my foot holds the tire while the rim moves under the bead. i find that the sole of my tennis shoe can hold a lot more friction than my thumbs and by then hingeing the wheel down i have ~2.5 ft moment arm which mean a lot of leverage.

i always talc the tube and make sure it is in the rim (not pinched between the rim and the tire) i have not yet pinched the tube.
 

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I have one...

innergel said:
I've seen those for auto tires. I knew there had to be something similar for bikes.
I bought one to use up my Performance points one day and it works great on those tough tire/rim combinations. You still have to use a tad bit of brute force but not with your fingers. You could pinch the tube if you're not careful and you can't take it on the rides though... but I suppose you could...if you really want to....
 

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I'm sure all the responses have some validity, But when you on the road by yourself or you are trying fix a flat in the shortest amount of time so you can hook back up with the group Strecthing the tire and using just your hands is the way to go. You have to practice, and that can be a real whip but when you do flat, you'll be fast,and back riding again.
 
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