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Do I need tire levers to change tube?(17 posts)

Do I need tire levers to change tube?fsu_surfer
Oct 24, 2002 5:29 AM
I am new to the sport (6 months) and came into my first flat yesterday. After wrestling my tire off of the rim, I found the puncture (small wire) and patched it. I put the tube and tire mostly on except for the last part opposite the valve. The tire was so damn tight that when I tried to put the tire back on, the tire pinched the tube causing MORE punctures. I have been told that it is easier to use tire levers and talc, and have been told that all you need is your palms? I need help so I can ride TODAY! I am hooked and need to fly. Please help.
I would recommend it.joekm
Oct 24, 2002 5:39 AM
Tire levers are cheap and they not only make it easier to remove the tire, but they also minimize the potential for damage to the rim. For a few extra dollars (around $20 I think), you could get something like the Topeak Hummer, which has a couple of tire levers along with some basic tools in a fairly compact package.
Save your fingers & tubes, get only one tool !!!!Scot_Gore
Oct 24, 2002 5:57 AM
Crank Bros. Speed Lever
Remember to shop for it with the links above.

YEP!! Great product.Sintesi
Oct 24, 2002 6:05 AM
Slick as you know what.
I believe that saying is "slick as snot on a brass doorknob" nmbigrider
Oct 24, 2002 7:16 AM
Some tire/rim combos are impossible without levers...biknben
Oct 24, 2002 5:58 AM
I can't imagine getting a tire off the rim without levers. Getting the back tire back on is different. You can use levers as long as you are careful not to damage the new tube. If I use the lever for the last part, I make a point of pushing the tube in just before inserting the lever.

Certain tire brands tend to be tighter than others. I ride only Conti clinchers and can get them on without levers. I've watched companions wrestle with and break levers trying to get Michelins back on. (not intended to bash Michelin)

Ultimately, if you can get the tire back with your hands, do it. If it's too difficult, you can use the lever carefully and be fine.
Michilen and Campy - ouch!!Mariowannabe
Oct 24, 2002 8:30 AM
The above post is true. Conti's are no problem. But Michelin ProRace on Campy rims are a bear to get on (and off). I usually just use a single "quick" tire iron, but I find that with this tire/wheel combo I need two. ... and a lot of swear words. (Still love the Mich/Campy combo otherwise, though...)
DependsSpoke Wrench
Oct 24, 2002 6:01 AM
At least 50% of the time you can remove a tire with just your hands. Here's how:
1. Make sure that all of the air is out of the tube.
2. Pinch the tire beads on both sides all the way around into the middle of the rim.
3. Stand the wheel on the tire in facing you. Make sure the valve is at 3 o'clock.
4. Grab the tire at 3 and 9 o'clock and push downward. You are trying to concentrate all of the tire/rim clearance at the bottom.
5. See if you can slip the tire off of the rim with just your hands. Even if you have to use a tire lever, it will be much easier if first you get all of the tolerence concentrated at one spot.

When you reinstall the tire, it's pretty easy to pinch the tube between the tire bead and the rim. That's a bad thing. For best results:
1. Put about 1 psi of air into the tube. Just barely give it shape.
2. Install the tube in the tire while the tire is separate from the rim.
3. Start at the valve stem and slip one bead onto the rim all the way around.
4. Attempt to work the opposite bead onto the rim. You want to end at the valve stem.
5. When you get close, it will get hard to do. Put the tire on the ground and use the same trick you used for removing the tire to concentrate all of the tolerence at the valve stem. If I can help it, I don't like to use a tire lever for installing a tire. Sometimes, however, I find it necessary.
6. Before you inflate the tire, peek between the bead and rim all of the way around to be sure the tube isn't pinched.

Good luck.
re: Do I need tire levers to change tube?landgoose
Oct 24, 2002 6:15 AM
The trick to reinstalling a tight tire is to work the bead to the center of the rim when it begins to get tight. The nearer the center the smaller the diameter of the rim. As the tire begins to get tight start from the end opposite the unbeaded section and roll the bead to the center, by the time you get to the other end more to the bead will slide over the rim. For a really tight tire/rim combo this may take a few tries, but eventually it will slide on much easier than trying to do it in one shot.
Yes and nofiltersweep
Oct 24, 2002 6:47 AM
First of all, you pinched the tube? Did you partially inflate the tube?

I've never used talc. It is usually not a problem to remove a tire without levers... the tire is already "stretched"- just bend back the tire and you can clear the rim.

New tires are usually tighter than a "used tire" and you might as well use a lever- but it isn't always necessary. I usually push the bead down over the rim when it is the tightest.
Oct 24, 2002 4:09 PM
Depends a lot on the tire & rim combo. Tires with wire beads are a b!tch to get off and on. Kevlar is much easier due to it's flexibility. Next comes the rim - some rims are higher than others and this makes it tougher.

You should really try not to use the tools bc/ it means you're using more force than necessary (the "bigger hammer school") and more likely to damage the tube. A lot of it is technique - a skilled tire changer can really do a lot with just their hands - once you know the tricks. Having said that I usually keep a couple plastic levers in my saddlebag for when I help someone with a flat - I do mine (and my wife's) without tools - both off and on.
It all dependsEager Beagle
Oct 24, 2002 6:59 AM
on the tyres. I have some that I can change on/off with just hands, and some (noteably my Rubino Pros/Axial Pros on Elites) where there is just no way they will come off without levers.

Any why would you bother anyway - it's quicker and easier with 2 small light levers.

The only thing I ever use levers for when putting the tyre back on, is to poke the tube in out of the way with the handle end, before rolling the tyre back on with my palms.

I have never yet needed a lever to actually force the tyre back on the rim.

Do whatever works for you, just keep the tube away from the levers/bead at all times.
I wouldn't use a tire that requires leversbigrider
Oct 24, 2002 7:23 AM
I use performance kevlar bead folding tires. I can get them on and off a variety of wheels with no problem and btw quicker than using a lever. There is great advice up above. The way I get extra room is similar to an above thread.

Take the tire and make sure all the air is out of the tube. Set wheel on the ground and squish the sides of the wheel/tire with the insides of your knees while pushing down on the wheel. Use your hands at the highest point and roll the tire off the rim. Use the same process to get that last stubborn part back on the rim when putting on tire.
No diceEager Beagle
Oct 24, 2002 8:18 AM
There is no way some tyres will come off deep section rims without levers. My Rubinos are quite simply impossible to get off the rim without levers, and even with, it's a struggle for force. Still only takes seconds though, once you have your technique sorted out.

Of course, you don't know that till you get them the first time.

It's no big deal - the opposite in fact, it's reassuring to know that they are on there tight - and that's what tyre levers are for at the end of the day.
I understandbigrider
Oct 24, 2002 9:02 AM
I realize that for some combos you just gotta have them. I have been there with cheap continental wire bead tires and you could not get them off without levers.


Since I don't race I ride tires and rims that are: best for my weight, (cxp 33s), give a good ride, are puncture resistant (performance forte kevlar belted), and come off without levers.
I've Been Told Never to Use Tire Ironssidley
Oct 24, 2002 11:17 AM
and for good reason. I always manage to rip the tire in the process. But as you can see may people seem to use change tires without any problem.
re: Do I need tire levers to change tube?zooog
Oct 25, 2002 4:05 AM
since busting up a thumb in a riding accident 2 years ago I do not have the strength in this hand to change tires like I used too.Now Use the crank brothers tool. Awesome. Easy. Use with Michelins. Seconds to take off and seconds to put back on. Good Luck