Tyre fitting blues!

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
jtj
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Joined: 16 Jan 2012, 4:25pm

Tyre fitting blues!

Postby jtj » 16 Jan 2012, 5:47pm

I've had several punctures in the last couple of months and have been struggling awfully getting my tyres on and off each time, to the point where it can take literally hours to get them on or off, even with someone else helping. I resorted to using steel tyre levers after snapping three sets of nylon levers. The last time I had a puncture was about a month ago, and in my several failed attempts to coerce the tyre back on with a new inner tube, the tyre has worn off around the beads.

So I need a new tyre. My current ones are just the crappy ones which came with the bike, but I'm considering plumping for something like Schwalbe Marathon Plus to avoid puncture frustration in future. I wanted to ask if particular tyres or particular sizes will be easier to fit than others. My current tyres are 700X38c/40-622, which seems to be an uncommon size compared to smaller tyre widths such as 28c/35c. If I get a slightly smaller width would it be easier?

I've also been looking at various tyre fitting tools, such as this, this, this, and this.. but do they actually help for really difficult fittings, or just make it quicker to fit easy tyres?

Thanks. Sorry if i posted this in the wrong bit, and I have searched everywhere and did find a few other frustrated tyre fitters (thank god i'm not alone!!)

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531colin
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Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby 531colin » 16 Jan 2012, 9:01pm

Tyre fitting video http://www.spacycles.co.uk/....scroll down a bit

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Jan 2012, 8:37am

531colin wrote:Tyre fitting video http://www.spacycles.co.uk/....scroll down a bit

+1
Even M+ can be fitted with fingers and thumbs with a little care, and a helping hand from Mr Velcro...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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gbnz
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Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby gbnz » 17 Jan 2012, 8:52am

Unless you're using Rigida Chrina rims, in which case tyres with a steel bead are forbidden

paragonman
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Joined: 4 Jul 2009, 4:29am

Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby paragonman » 17 Jan 2012, 9:18am

Hi, tyres go on dead easy with a VAR tyre lever. Spa cycles stock them I believe.

paragonman

thirdcrank
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Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Jan 2012, 9:36am

531colin wrote:Tyre fitting video http://www.spacycles.co.uk/....scroll down a bit


This is another opportunity to thank 531colin for producing that video which saves acres of posts that nobody who has trouble fitting tyres believes. :D

(Exit stage right to have a coffee, rather than try to explain how to fit a tyre without tyre levers.
:D )

freeflow
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Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 1:54pm

Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby freeflow » 17 Jan 2012, 9:47am

Marathon + can be a real pain to fit on the first occasion and no video from Spa cycles will help you. The reason is that the tyre guard makes the unmounted tyre flattish and it is very difficult to engange the tyre on the rim without assistance. Cable ties are commonly used to keep the first bead of an M+ tyre in place whilst fitting the second bead.

Once the tyre has been fitted for a while it goes on and off pretty much like a normal tyre, however this is only needed is chaning the wheel as personally I've never experienced a puncture whilst using M+ tyres.

Have fun!!!

Ayesha
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Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby Ayesha » 17 Jan 2012, 9:57am

Part of the design specification for a bicycle tyre is that it can be rolled onto the rim WITHOUT the use of a tool. Just the hands.

Someone who can't roll a tyre on ( with the appropriate size inner ) is either 1/ not strong enough, or 2/ using bad technique.

There are some tricks.
Only fit a new tyre after its been heated overnight in the airing cupboard, or warmed in a slow oven.
Start at the valve, and push the valve right up inside the tyre.
Seat the tyre bead down to the middle of the rim where the rim's diameter is least.
Pull the tyre round as you slowly roll it on.
Use talc as lubricant.

Do lots of press-ups to strengthen your shoulders, pecs, triceps and forearms.

Ayesha
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Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby Ayesha » 17 Jan 2012, 9:59am

freeflow wrote:Marathon + can be a real pain to fit on the first occasion and no video from Spa cycles will help you. The reason is that the tyre guard makes the unmounted tyre flattish and it is very difficult to engange the tyre on the rim without assistance. Cable ties are commonly used to keep the first bead of an M+ tyre in place whilst fitting the second bead.

Once the tyre has been fitted for a while it goes on and off pretty much like a normal tyre, however this is only needed is chaning the wheel as personally I've never experienced a puncture whilst using M+ tyres.

Have fun!!!


Yes. Even on a frosty winter's morning when one would expect the thing to shrink while the tube is being replaced.

jtj
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Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby jtj » 17 Jan 2012, 1:31pm

Thanks guys.

My current tyre takes a bit of effort to even get the first bead on; I usually use a lever and a lot of elbow grease.
The M+ tyre fitting video looks pretty easy (comparatively), so hopefully I'll have better luck with a new tyre. Then again, most tyre fitting tutorials make it look easy...

To be fair, i'm probably not the strongest person in the world, but I'm not particularly weak either, nor are the others who've tried to help. I've tried a few different techniques but haven't tried heating the tyre up, but I'll give it a go. I haven't needed to use cable ties either (yet) as i've found that the first bead has stayed on once on.

I'll try talc as a lubricant too; i've tried a few other things to lubricate (such as a tiny bit of butter) which has helped get the second bead on.

Any idea if a slightly different size might fare better at all?

Cheers.

thirdcrank
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Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Jan 2012, 2:03pm

A different size is a non-starter, IMO

PS I'd agree about most videos making this look easy. We had one a couple of years ago when the star charcters were in Batman costumes. When it got to the bit where the tyre had to be replaced, it magically skipped that. :roll: 531colin may not wear underpants over his tights, or a mask and cloak for that matter but I'd say this is the clearest, most down-to-eart video on the subject I've seen.

The main bit to understand is that if the tyre is the right size, it will stay on the rim when the tire is inflated, rather than blow off. Therefore, you have to find a bit of spare somehow to get the tyre on and off. That's done by getting the bit of tyre that's already on, right down into the well of the rim. Whoops, that's me starting to explain, when 531colin has made a very clear video..................

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andrew_s
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Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby andrew_s » 17 Jan 2012, 2:38pm

The VAR tool (is good for getting a tight tyre on, though it's just an average plastic lever when it comes to removal. It's small enough to take with you.

The Simson tool is similarly good for fitting, probably better (the VAR can bend and need holding straight if the tyre is too tight). However, it's a bit too big to take with you.

The Crank Bros tool is useless for tight tyres (IMO). It's quick on not very tight tyre (eg MTB), but there's just too much friction between the tyre and the tool if things are tight.

The Cyclus tool is effectively a workshop version of the Crank Bros tool. I've not used it, and don't intend to try it.

Bear in mind that you must be able to remove and refit a tyre at the roadside.
If I'm using a tight tyre, I take the VAR tool and a couple of steel levers out on the road.
I use the Simson at home if the thumbs start to object (not very often).

Some tyres are just too tight for (normal) thumbs, no matter how skilled you are.
The worst I ever had needed levers for the first side of the tyre, even after switching to a spare wheel with very thin rim tape. I used steel levers, but it felt tight enough that some plastic levers would have broken. The tyre was from the LBS bargain bin - I bet someone else had brought it back as being too small to fit. It was also the same model as my previous tyre, which was fairly loose by the time it came off, and not notably tight at any point.

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Audax67
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Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby Audax67 » 17 Jan 2012, 4:39pm

Something I learnt from bitter experience is to always exert force in such a way as to pull the flesh of your fingers towards the nails, not away.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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Steve Kish
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Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby Steve Kish » 17 Jan 2012, 9:40pm

Just bought a pair of Schwalbe Durano tyres in 26 x 1.35 from Planet X. One of the easiest 'first fit' tyres I've ever had - thought they'd sent 700c for a moment! :mrgreen:
Old enough to know better but too young to care.

jtj
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Joined: 16 Jan 2012, 4:25pm

Re: Tyre fitting blues!

Postby jtj » 17 Jan 2012, 9:59pm

thirdcrank wrote:A different size is a non-starter, IMO

PS I'd agree about most videos making this look easy. We had one a couple of years ago when the star charcters were in Batman costumes. When it got to the bit where the tyre had to be replaced, it magically skipped that. :roll: 531colin may not wear underpants over his tights, or a mask and cloak for that matter but I'd say this is the clearest, most down-to-eart video on the subject I've seen.

The main bit to understand is that if the tyre is the right size, it will stay on the rim when the tire is inflated, rather than blow off. Therefore, you have to find a bit of spare somehow to get the tyre on and off. That's done by getting the bit of tyre that's already on, right down into the well of the rim. Whoops, that's me starting to explain, when 531colin has made a very clear video..................


OK cheers. I'll stick with the same size as before.

Pretty much all videos and guides show a nice big easy tyre, and seem to completely ignore the fact that in some cases it might possibly get slightly taxing - so for weeks I was convinced that something must be completely wrong, like I had completely the wrong size tyre/inner for my wheel. Apart from the Spa video in which he admits it can be tricky!

But it sounds like I have the right size anyway, as it's fine when on.

andrew_s wrote:The VAR tool (is good for getting a tight tyre on, though it's just an average plastic lever when it comes to removal. It's small enough to take with you.

The Simson tool is similarly good for fitting, probably better (the VAR can bend and need holding straight if the tyre is too tight). However, it's a bit too big to take with you.

The Crank Bros tool is useless for tight tyres (IMO). It's quick on not very tight tyre (eg MTB), but there's just too much friction between the tyre and the tool if things are tight.

The Cyclus tool is effectively a workshop version of the Crank Bros tool. I've not used it, and don't intend to try it.

Bear in mind that you must be able to remove and refit a tyre at the roadside.
If I'm using a tight tyre, I take the VAR tool and a couple of steel levers out on the road.
I use the Simson at home if the thumbs start to object (not very often).

Some tyres are just too tight for (normal) thumbs, no matter how skilled you are.
The worst I ever had needed levers for the first side of the tyre, even after switching to a spare wheel with very thin rim tape. I used steel levers, but it felt tight enough that some plastic levers would have broken. The tyre was from the LBS bargain bin - I bet someone else had brought it back as being too small to fit. It was also the same model as my previous tyre, which was fairly loose by the time it came off, and not notably tight at any point.


Thanks. I think i'll try the Simson tool - does it help with removal too? I checked it out and I can't see how it would be able to. Portability isn't a massive deal for me, and I don't tend to travel light anyway (especially when lugging stuff to and fro work), so I could probably shove it in my pannier without a problem.