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Metal tire levers...OK to use?(13 posts)

Metal tire levers...OK to use?pnitefly
Mar 21, 2003 8:53 AM
I am sick and tired of plastic tire levers snapping like twigs on my rims. I use race lite wheels and those notoriously stubborn and hard to put on michelin tires. I love michelins and I don't want to give them up! What are your experiences with metal tire levers?
re: Metal tire levers...OK to use?JS Haiku Shop
Mar 21, 2003 8:55 AM
never used 'em, but have used QR skewer handle as tire lever with no problems.

have you tried the (plastic) crank brothers speed lever?
Use what you like. I like the levers on the Park MB-2 nmdzrider
Mar 21, 2003 9:52 AM
Rivendell carries good steel leverscory
Mar 21, 2003 9:08 AM
I have one set of tires I can't mount with plastic levers--I must've snapped five or six of them. Rivendell used to carry high-end steel ones (brand name was Eldi or something close to that), and I had them toss some in with an order. They worked fine--but the only difference I could see between those and the $1.49 set you get in the Bike section at Walmart was a little polish. If you get some of those and maybe knock off the sharp edges with sandpaper, so you don't scratch a rim, you should be OK.
the ONLY ones to use IMHO .....Spirito
Mar 21, 2003 9:13 AM
King tires levers.

i dont care that they are Ti (im not a weenie) but these work better than anything else i have tried. they can mount the toughest and tightest of tires too. im not ham fisted but am no engineer/mechanic either and ive not damaged my rims or encountered any downside to them.

$10 and they look like they'll last a lifetime.

I use both...DINOSAUR
Mar 21, 2003 9:25 AM
I've never had plastic tires levers snap on me. But the metal tire levers will last forever. I still have the very first ones I ever puchased way back in the middle 70's. I keep them in my garage and use them when I change tires. I often wonder how many tires those things have changed. I carry some metal ones with my second bike that belonged to my dad who died when he was in his 80's. Tools last a long time....I'm a Conti tire fan myself, I can usually pull them on and off with no irons, depending on how strong I feel on a given day...the Michelin's get easier to work with once that have a couple of hundred miles on them (for me anyway)...I guess the downside of metal levers is if you are a neurotic weight weenie....and metal will rust if you stick your metal tire irons in your seatbag and forget about them....
I've been there--but no morefilly
Mar 21, 2003 9:57 AM
I use bontrager selects (not as good as race lite's, but same depth) and michelins. i'm fairly new to road riding, and when putting my michelins on for the first time about a month ago, i destroyed 3 performance plastic levers and still didn't have the tires on the wheels. i picked up some metal levers the next day, knicked my rims up, and actually BENT one of them, but i got the tires on. i wasn't going to destroy my rims each time i punctured a tube, so i called performance, told them i wanted to return the tires, and they said no problem. i brought my wheels in because i wasn't going to go through the torture of trying to get them off. the guy took the wheels in the back, and in about 30 seconds brought my wheels back, minus the tires. i couldn't believe it. i said, "show me."

I was schooled, and now i can take these michelins off and on in no time with the use of one plastic lever for about 10 seconds.

to take off: completely deflate tube. stand wheel on floor and push the tire to one side forcefully with your palm. take one lever and slip it under the now-exposed bead. don't go too far, though, to ensure you don't also grab the tube. now, with a good grip, push the lever forward, following the rim. this will pull the bead over the side of the rim. after you get a good 10 inches pulled over, you should be able to do the rest by hand. now take the tube out.

to put on: seat one side of the tire on the rim. this is where you might meet your first resistance. get as much as you can on the wheel, until you have about 3 to 4 inches of tire remaining to get over the rim. now, preferably wearing a glove (even your cycling glove--you'll have to do this on the road, too!), grab the section of wheel and tire where the tire hasn't gone over the rim. with a death grip, roll your hand toward the rim channel. it's just like revving up a mortorcycle. the remaining bead should roll over the rim and seat into the channel. now you've got one side of the tire on. with just a slight bit of air in it, put the tube in. you know you've got the right amount of air if when you depress the valve, no air comes out. really, you just want a tiny amount. also, the tire should now be laying level on a bench or table. you want it level to ensure the tube pretty much stays where you put it. if you're still standing the tire up, the tube will fall out as you roll it around to put in the rest of the tube. you'll be in a vicious cycle all day long. ok, with tube pretty much in the channel, start to manually seat the other side of the tire. make sure you start this on the valve side! keep seating the tire, making sure the tube is not falling out and being pinched, working your way around the wheel equally on both sides of the valve. when you can't do anymore, you should have about 5 to 6 inches of very tight bead remaining to go. here's where you break out the glove again. put the wheel on the floor again for leverage, and simply (well, forcefully) roll the bead as before over the rim.

that's it. it took way longer to write this than it should to put the tire on and take it back off. let me know if this helped.
definitely gonna try that . . .RJF
Mar 21, 2003 10:43 AM
Having just picked up some new tires that are a nightmare to put on and had me ready to throw the freakin' wheel out the window, I am very anxious to try your method. Thanks for sharing that.
there's always wd-40Fender
Mar 21, 2003 11:07 AM
if mounting a tire becomes nearly impossible, spray a small amount of wd-40 on the rim. This should solve the problem. Just be sure to clean the lube off with degreaser before your next ride.
NOT wd-40...soapy water is better and saferukiahb
Mar 23, 2003 10:55 AM
I used to mount my own motorcycle tires and lubricated the bead w/ water and dishwashing soap, made it much easier, though have never needed to do this w/ a bicycle tire...but my new bike has Michelins, so we shall see... Soapy water is better than an oily lubricant because it dries after the tire is mounted. won't harm the tube or tire, and won't cause the tire to rotate on the rim (this probably couldn't happen on a bicycle, but if it does on a MC it can tear the valve off the tube)...of course you should rinse the tire off when you are done.
You da MAN!!! Thanks it's working already! nmpnitefly
Mar 21, 2003 2:49 PM
re: Metal tire levers...OK to use?reklar
Mar 22, 2003 2:21 AM
Funny story: I once had a set of 26" rims which were unusually large (not made to spec). I was able (with a lot of effort) to get regular MTB tires on and off. Then I decided I wanted to put semi-slicks on those rims. I tried for 45 minutes every which way on one of the rims. Broke a couple levers, tried a screw driver! etc. No dice.

Took the tire and rim to the shop and the guy there says: "I'll bet you I can get these on by hand!". I took the bet. 30 minutes later he's still trying, with me helping, with metal levers!

Sometimes if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
Tell me, where can you find metal levers?Alexx
Mar 23, 2003 10:32 AM
I've broken so many plastic levers, but nobody carries the d@mn metal ones anymore! Where can I find a set?