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Can't get my tires off my rims...(14 posts)

Can't get my tires off my rims...dagnelson
Dec 12, 2002 6:04 AM
I have a TREK 1200 w/Aurora rims. Had flats on both tires last weekend and could not remove the tires from the rim (Michelin Kevlar-Bead foldables). I remember the shop had a terrible time getting them on. So they had to take them off, too. They think it's a combination of tire and rim and my small hands...They tried a different tire but that didn't even go on. Any suggestions? I frequently ride by myself...
Dec 12, 2002 7:59 AM
A few thoughts....

Why are you removing the whole tire to fix a flat? (Your post suggests that that is what you're doing) Usually you can get the tube out (replace it or patch it) without completely removing the tire. That being said, if what you're having problems with is the fact that you can't get the tire back over the rim (assuming that they are clincher type tires) then it's one of two things. You may have small tires (18 or 20's) that you're trying to fit over a conventional 700 cc rim or you are not using the tire levers correctly. If the shop had problems then it's probably the former of the two. Get larget tires and spend some time practicing because you're going to get more flats and I speak from personal experience on this one, but it's no fun wasting 20 min changing a tire roadside. Some people will tell you that the speed lever product is helpful (sorry, I forget the brand) so you may try that as well.

Above all, don't let this become something that deters you from riding.

Dec 12, 2002 12:27 PM
Yes, I was just trying to get one side of the tire over the rim...I will look into different levers. Tire is a 23. You'r right, I will need to know how to do this. And no, it will not deter me from riding. Thanks!
Dec 12, 2002 8:04 AM
My bad, you said "off" the rims. Same answer sort of, try larger diameter tires or double up on the layers of rim tape that you use. The latter suggestion has helped me with certain types of rims.

Again, sorry I misinterpreted your post. Maybe I need more caffeine.

Increasing problem, LBS saysSilverback
Dec 12, 2002 8:29 AM
I had a set of Vittoria mountain bike tires a few years ago that I COULD NOT mount, even with steel levers--they just wouldn't go on the rim. A local shop owner says he sees it more and more, and suspects it's a liability issue. Manufacturers are so afraid of being sued if a tire rolls off the rim that they make them on the small side of the tolerances. Rim makers might be doing the opposite, going toward the big end, for the same reason. I finally threw mine away and bought new tires. FWIW, I don't see how putting on another layer of rim tape is going to help (if anything, it will make things worse, by leaving you less room in the low part of the rim to stick a lever under the bead). And while the post about not removing the whole tire is accurate, you still have to lift PART of the bead off the rim, and that's the problem. If you could get it far enough off to pull out a section of tube and patch it, you'd have enough to remove the tire anyway.
The short version: You might have to toss the tires and try new ones. I'd do that before I'd risk being stuck on the road with a flat I couldn't fix.
re: Can't get my tires off my rims...Alpedhuez55
Dec 12, 2002 9:20 AM
Those Marix Aurora Rims are known for being tough to change tires on. I know I recently broke 2 tire levers and got blisters on my thumb trying to take a tire off a rim. Usually after the first time removing a kevlar bead tire, it gets a little easier.

Mike Y.
Same problem with my Campy rimsKristin
Dec 12, 2002 9:38 AM
My only suggestion. Practice till you get blisters. And throw away any plastic levers. I've broken 4 plastic levers now. When my Michelin tires were new, they fit real tight on the rims. After removing them several times, they loosened up a litte. Its still tight. For me, some of it was practice too. I know this because I've had guys come along, take the tire away from me--gee, thanks--and get the new tube in quickly.
re: Campy rimsNo_sprint
Dec 12, 2002 10:17 AM
As another poster mentioned, some/many model Campy rims run a notoriously shallow inside surface. This combined with a tough tire makes for a tough tube change. Michelins and Nucleons/Neutrons are the toughest I've tried. Additionally, the bead surface of a Michelin Pro or Pro Light is a flat/dry looking surface that does not allow a tire iron to slide easily. That compares with the likes of a Conti 3000 which has a shiny/wet looking surface at the bead which slides an iron much more easily. I've found a much better tire for most Campy rims that I've tried is Vittoria.

Yes, the Michelins do get a touch easier over time. Watch out with those metal irons. They are well known for pinching tubes. I would never use them. I prefer the Park blue irons.
never had a problem w/the Michelin pro light but..._rt_
Dec 12, 2002 12:17 PM
i had a set of Mavic rims that were so tight i couldn't get anything on or off. i thought it was because i was a wimpy girl with small/weak hands but when none of the guys i knew could get 'em off either i decided it was time to get new wheels. (that and the wheels i was riding were heavy pos's).

i've had no trouble at all with my Cane Creek aero (ti)/Michelin Pro Light combo.

it's much more the shallow rim than the tire...No_sprint
Dec 12, 2002 2:09 PM
and some combinations are worse than others. I like the pro lights, just not on my Campy rims.
Rims and Tires.Sintesi
Dec 12, 2002 11:17 AM
I switched to Continental Tires from Michelin for this same reason. Some tires are a little small and some rims are a little big. One trick is to snap the bead on and off very quickly with the tire lever. Don't slowly strain, one quick motion. But I tend to pinch the tubes once in a while when I do this. I think you should just try another set of tires. Contis have consistently been better for me in this regard.
re: Can't get my tires off my rims...Shad
Dec 12, 2002 1:20 PM
Just to add to what some of the others mentioned:

I agree the Michelin's are tight tires. I also gave up on them for my Nucleons.

For removing the tire, one thing I used to do incorrectly was work the tire levers one at a time. I'd hook and pull with one lever, then try to do the same with the other. Removing the tire is easy when you pull back on both levers simultaneously and hook them on the spokes.

A little talc or baby powder can help get a tire back on the rim and prevent pinch flats. A buddy of mine always packs his spare in a baggie filled with the stuff.

Other than that, practice and strengthen your fingers.
re: Can't get my tires off my rims...12x23
Dec 12, 2002 4:04 PM
I like the Crank Brothers Speed Lever. But, if the tire bead is that tight the Speed Lever may not work. I couldn't use it to mount new Michelin Pro Race tires on a new pair of Dura-Ace wheels recently.

Adding to some of the others here I've gone from changing tires (new tires and flat repairs) without levers at all, to looking like a monkey romancing a football with some of the newer rims and tires. Is this the wheel equivalent to the fork dropout "lawyer tabs?"
Speed levercycle63
Dec 13, 2002 7:09 AM
I too like the Crank Brothers Speed Lever. I have been fortunate and so far it has worked flawlessly over the tires I have used. When people see me using the lever, it seems like everyone is amazed by the way and ease that it works. I think they are still under $7 at the shops that carry them. I don't take a ride without it.