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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Nearly impossible to get on gator skin hard tail tires

I posted on this a couple of days ago. Oddly that thread has been removed. I managed to finally get on one tire, after using dish liquid and leaving the tire in the sun (not in that order). I managed to get on the second tire, but I have ruined three tubes in the process and now have to continue with this insane task of putting a tube in a tire. What am I doing that is ruining the tubes? I suppose I have to be more careful not to pinch them or whatever. I am really concerned now that if I ever actually need to change the tubes on the fly I will be stranded. How can a tire be so insanely difficult to get on? I am not new to the task as I have been installing tires on MTB's for several years.

Any ideas? I want these tires and I paid for them. But why they are designed in such a fashion as to be insanely difficult to install is beyond me.

Thank you all for your input
 

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They won't be as hard to change the next time. Pump 'em up to like 120 PSI between a few ride (not to ride with though) and that'll make it better quicker.

They aren't known for being that tough. Either; you're just not good at it, the tires are a bit out of spec, it's the rims, or your rim tape is too thick.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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The "secret" to making a tire easier to mount is making sure the bead is squashed down into the deepest part of the rim on the opposing side. That helps tremendously.

Also, as hard as it may be, resist the urge to use tire levers when mounting as they can pinch tubes.

As Jay Strongbow said, the type of rims you are using can make a difference - especially tubeless compatible rims. If tape is too thick or wide, that can be problematic as well.
 

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Forever a Student
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As suggested, you're doing it wrong.

You're probably doing it backwards. Finish at the valve, don't start at it. The tube should be fully seated on the rim before you even start to put the second tire bead on.
 

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As suggested, you're doing it wrong.

You're probably doing it backwards. Finish at the valve, don't start at it. The tube should be fully seated on the rim before you even start to put the second tire bead on.
Tube seated on the rim? Tube should be within tire carcass, no? First tire bead down in well of rim, tube tucked in tire, then as you say install second bead at opposite side of stem. Work 2nd bead into the well of the rim and finish at the stem. Pinch tire and rotate wheel inspecting on both sides that the tube is not sticking out under the tire bead. A little air in the tube at that stage helps.
 

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Tube seated on the rim? Tube should be within tire carcass, no? First tire bead down in well of rim, tube tucked in tire, then as you say install second bead at opposite side of stem. Work 2nd bead into the well of the rim and finish at the stem. Pinch tire and rotate wheel inspecting on both sides that the tube is not sticking out under the tire bead. A little air in the tube at that stage helps.

Wrong. This is how you can pinch the tube or twist it during install. The tube goes into the rim (partially inflated) before the second bead even starts to be installed. No reason not to. Putting the second bead and tube in at the same time is asking for trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes these are tube ready rims. I don't know -- it takes so long and so frustrating, and yet sometimes in a few moments everything goes in, in a snap and I think, "is it that easy, why have I been struggling so long." I do have to watch the videos bc how do I get the beads on the opposite side of the rim when the opposite beads are already there? Not sure I a picturing all of the suggestions but I appreciate them. I will make sure to pump up to 120 for a bit and hope to expand. I am wondering if I need to ride with a spare tire -- the one I replaced that I can get on in one minute.
 

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View attachment 315747
If you look at the picture above, you'll notice that the tube is up inside the tire already. You'll also notice that the bead is at the center of the rim, this is done because it's narrower there, making it easier to get the tire on the rim. I always finish up about 90 degrees away from the valve to make installing a tire easiest.
Yes, some rims and tires (Michelin is the worst, IME) that are simply more challenging to install on. Hopefully this'll make it easier!
 
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