Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

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Tangled Metal
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Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby Tangled Metal » 21 May 2019, 11:08pm

Gatorskin tyres! I thought marathon pluses had the rep for hard tyres to fit but these have proved worse. For me Vittoria hypers were harder than m+ tyres but both of those I got on without using tyre levers.

Gatorskin tyres, someone got them on using levers for me. Cue puncture. Actually a patch that had come loose. So tyre off, new tube and back on for tomorrow's commute. Not as easy as it sounds. First off the Gatorskin bead looked like it was against the inside of the rim next to the rim tape. Seriously looked undersized. Is that even possible?

Two big Aldi tool kit tyre levers and a cheap little one. Snap, snap = two levers broken and a struggle to get the broken tips out of the tyre. Hunt for ancient metal levers, lost, so back to remaining large Aldi lever and another cheapo lever that's thicker. Tyre eventually came off using only two levers. It got easier and tyre now fixed.

Funnily enough the cheapo tyre lever was the strongest. It came with a Debenhams Xmas cycle kit that consisted of a puncture kit with a cycle decorated mug. I put that tyre lever into my commuting emergency repair kit now. I have two topeak levers in there and one other good lever. All those are wide and thin, just like the ones that broke.

My questions are whether gators kins get easier to fix with each time you change an inner tube? Also, what tyre levers are unbreakable or nearly unbreakable?

I've read about schwalbe, park tools and Pedro's are highly recommended. Do you agree? Are they thin? Are they wide? I am not sure think levers are strong enough. Any others? Is it worth getting better levers? Or is it better getting easier tyres to change? If the latter, which up to about £30 tyres are worth getting (700x32mm)?

Brucey
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby Brucey » 21 May 2019, 11:22pm

tyres are only half the story. You need to say what rims/rim tape you have too.

[edit: I've known rigid bead gatorskins be tight on rims that are an easy fit with most other tyres. But I think your rims might be slightly oversize; I've yet to find a set of rims where Hypers are a tight fit for example. FWIW only yesterday a chum trial- fitted two different sets of (newly supplied) folding gatorskins to a wheelset; neither was tight.]

cheers
Last edited by Brucey on 22 May 2019, 7:52am, edited 1 time in total.
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peetee
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby peetee » 21 May 2019, 11:28pm

I have used Schwalbe tyre levers and they are good as they are strong and particularly thin. I am changing a lot of tyres with my job and they eventually gave up the ghost (after several hundred fittings, I would guestimate) on a Marathon, of all things. I am on a set of Park levers now and first impressions are not great because they are so much more bulky than the Schwalbe.
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Redvee
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby Redvee » 22 May 2019, 2:00am

I had to put a 25c Gatorskin on in work when the tyre I started the journey to work on decided to split the sidewall and did the job in 5 minutes but the gatorskin was tight for a rigid beaded tyre which I put down to being new. Once a tyre has been on a wheel for a few weeks it is easier to remove/refit when necessary.

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robgul
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby robgul » 22 May 2019, 7:46am

I use these in an LBS - unless just fingers will do the job:

Taking them off - Oxford Products plastic coated, steel core (or Park have an expensive equivalent that's a bit longer for more leverage):

Image

Putting them back on

Image

... and of course using a cable tie as a "third hand" is a good trick - cable tie round the part fitted tyre/rim to stop the bead "running away" as you pull the tyre over the rim.

Rob

Tangled Metal
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 May 2019, 9:04am

Brucey wrote:tyres are only half the story. You need to say what rims/rim tape you have too.

[edit: I've known rigid bead gatorskins be tight on rims that are an easy fit with most other tyres. But I think your rims might be slightly oversize; I've yet to find a set of rims where Hypers are a tight fit for example. FWIW only yesterday a chum trial- fitted two different sets of (newly supplied) folding gatorskins to a wheelset; neither was tight.]

cheers

I do not know what the rims are unfortunately. The wheelset are planetx own brand CX wheels from something like 4 or 5 years ago and came with the London road bike. They later switched to wheels with an Italian name but definitely own brand and no better. It's a hack bike really but apart from very occasionally riding. my recumbent it's the only bike I ride these days.

The m+ tyres and hypers go on OK with just my thumbs. Indeed I even thought I could try the no levers tyre removal trick with one of those tyres because they went on and off so easily.

I've been reading that the folding gatorskin tyres are easier than the non folding ones which I have (currently only on the rear because my front hyper has plenty of life left). I got it on ok now but first time was really the most difficult tyre I've put on a wheel. It does seem to get easier the more I take the tyre off.

The tyre lever thing is my concern. Snap one at home I've got spares. Snap one on the road I've got issues. Although I'm now carrying 4 levers possibly 5 now. I know at least two (the ones in the Topeak repair box kit I have) won't last one wheel change with these gatorskin tyres. So I think some good ones are needed. Pedro's, schwalbe, park tools or those rounded handled topeak ones?

Tangled Metal
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 May 2019, 9:21am

So just how do the easy lift tool work from bbb? Their instructions online say to grip the tyre at the side then push down. I would have thought use them in a scissor action to push the bead together into the rim somehow.

Not on the road use though. I'm always concerned using levers to get the tyre on well make it more likely the inner tube gets pinched or damaged by the tool.

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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby David9694 » 22 May 2019, 10:09am

I’ve got an old touring frame that I run as a gravel bike. I changed the tyres to Gravel King recently. On the front an old Mavic Module 3 rim - I seriously thought the new tyre wasn’t going to fit. Heaven help me if that ever punctures. It was tight, but easier on the back - a newish Rigida Sputnik. Metal levers for sure.

Here’s another recent could of experiences with what seem to be subtle (1 or 2 mm) differences in wheels. When I first built up my Genesis Equilibrium, with Open Pro standard long reach brakes wouldn’t fit and I had to have the Tektro 559s. I recently swapped in a DTswiss rim, a set that I built, and found that the Shimano long reach brakes worked with room to spare.

Switch across then to my Raleigh Record Ace re-spray, which would have been 27” wheels by design, where I found that building that up with the Mavic Open Pros, I needed the one of the 559s at the back to keep the brake blocks clear of the tyre. Interestingly, the Shimano where fine on the right, it was only the left that would eventually have fouled the tyre. I also tried some Tektro 359s as the descriptions said they cleared to 59mm rather than the usual 57 - but these made no difference.

Brucey
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby Brucey » 22 May 2019, 11:54am

brake clearance is a slightly unreliable indicator because different hubs can sit in the frame slightly differently. Also rim width affects brake drop too, so a narrow rim (like an open pro) sometimes allows use of a short reach caliper where a slightly wider rim may need one with a nominally longer drop.

cheers
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mjr
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby mjr » 22 May 2019, 12:33pm

Tangled Metal wrote:So just how do the easy lift tool work from bbb? Their instructions online say to grip the tyre at the side then push down. I would have thought use them in a scissor action to push the bead together into the rim somehow.

Not on the road use though. I'm always concerned using levers to get the tyre on well make it more likely the inner tube gets pinched or damaged by the tool.

It looks like the similar but straighter Koolstop Bead Jack. The short forked end is sat on the rim and the longer hook goes under the bead on the opposite side. Then pulling the top back away from the bead being lifted pulls the hooked bead back up and over its side of the rim. Fine for on road use but big to carry. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4oD-mr3dAEw

I think levers are irrelevant to tube pinching and plastic-coated levers rarely have sharp enough edges to puncture tubes, unlike old metal ones.

Continental and Bontrager also sell plastic-coated-metal levers which are very difficult to break.
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ambodach
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby ambodach » 22 May 2019, 12:34pm

I fitted Schwalbe greenguard to the rear wheel of my Brompton. Hope it never punctures out on the road as a nightmare to get on. I tried the cable tie trick but must have been doing something wrong as it just would not work. Took me about one and a half hours in total. I have plastic but steel core levers I got from Edinburgh Bike Coop. which are normally very good after breaking several plastic levers somewhere on South Uist.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 May 2019, 12:41pm

The blue schwalbe levers have a feature that allows you to clip it onto the rim close to where you're trying to get the tyre fitted. This locks that part if the tyre into the rim so you can work the tyre over from the other side. Acts like an easy to use cable tie lock.

I might get these and the steel cored topeak ones. There's a good make with a metal lever but for the plastic tip. Others cover the metal with plastic.

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Sweep
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby Sweep » 22 May 2019, 2:58pm

I have the standard blue Park ones and find them very good - pretty near indestructible - or at least hamfisted me has never managed to destroy one.

For fitting tough tyres I use a variant of the esteemed Colin method - using laces which I keep in my seatpack. Also useful as laces.

I take what some folk say about the Park ones being a bit "stubby" though.

If looking for some flatter/broader ones Tangledmetal, you might like to try these.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GIYO-GT-02-B ... ctupt=true

Note that unlike Park, you only get two, not three, but I haven't found it an issue.

If you don't know Giyo, a quality outfit in my experience.

Do some good pumps, sometimes branded by others.

And a very good pressure gauge recommended by me elsewhere on here.
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Eyebrox
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby Eyebrox » 22 May 2019, 5:49pm

I find fitting tyres so much easier when no one's watching. :)

Tangled Metal
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Re: Another thread about hard tyres to fit and tyre levers

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 May 2019, 6:29pm

I find it easier when you're at home, can take as long as you want, nobody's watching (or listening to your swearing) and you've psyched yourself up to accepting that it's going to be difficult to fit the tyre because of the last ime you struggled with it and / or it's reputation as being difficult.

Basically when you're expecting a battle with levers and the tyre only to find you've done it in 15 minutes and without much fuss, plus nobody's seen you do it. Just like this tyre last night. I've put it off after the previous battle then I had very little problem by using a cheapo plastic lever.