« Army Sidecar Bike | Main | Venice Beach Dog Portage »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

John Campion

Sweetskinz are an entirely reflective tyre;


There was a lot of hoohaa about them a year or so ago, although I've yet to see a set in the wild.

Chuck Davidson

This guy recycles tires into belts and other useful stuff:


So glad to hear that I am not the only one that has this same problem! I usually don't injure myself (sorry to hear that you did; get better soon), but it does take considerable time. I always end up using my nylon tire levers very carefully to pop the last 6 inches of bead over the rim (making sure the tube is securely tucked away from the levers). I'm about to buy the Kool Stop Bead Jack because it is so aggravating.


As for the old tire, see if anyone near you is using them as raw material on Etsy.


try heating the bead up with a hair dryer. it should get warm enough to stretch right on. I guess you could put the tire in the dryer too.

John Romeo Alpha

I usually have good luck getting new tires onto rims, but the last new ones I put on also caused me to separate my Hyponychium from Sterile Matrix, I think. So I ordered a Kool Stop tire bead jack to try next time. It might help. It's made in the Netherlands, so it's got that going for it.


With road clinchers, I often find that rolling the tire back towards yourself to get that last little section on works. The only problem is, after a couple attempts I've ended up with blisters on my phalanxes.

Also, as far as tire recycling goes, it's often easier to find an auto tire service shop that'll take them.


How I put tires on:

- Get one bead in the rim. Should be very easy.
- Get 70-80% of the other bead into the rim. Again this shouldn't take much effort. The final 20-30% is the really tricky bit.
- Grab the tire with both hands on opposite sides of the wheel, with the remaining sticky-out bit of tire pressed against your chest, and pull hard on the rubber. You are trying to stretch the tire to give you more slack in the region you are working on.
- Push a little bit more of the bead into the rim.
- Stretch the tire as before, repeat as necessary till everything is in
- Go back and check round the tire that it is an even fit without any sticky out bits or lumps


Pete - your description just demands an upload of a video to YouTube of you doing this =)



Check this out. Read number three.


Good luck with the new tires.



I turn my park tool T-1 tire lever over and use it to pry the tire on. Just like taking it off, but in reverse: the groove that would sit on the rim when removing the tire sits on the bead and lets me slide it onto the rim. I can't do this with other tire levers I have tried, so I have always suspected that it was a design feature.

I have been told that I am going to pinch the tube by doing this, but it has never happened. And I caught the guy who told me that using the same procedure later when he got a tight new tire.

Ted Lewandowski

When I raced we used tubalar tires - some of which needed stretching because they would be next to impossible to install - Continentals were the worst in this sense.

The way everyone did this was to mount the tires on rims (no spokes or hubs) as the rim was more 'elastic' and the tires went on without a problem.
We then pumped-up the tires to about 80PSI and gave them a few days.

With clincher tires you can do the same - but also install the tube so you can inflate the tire on the rim.


you can send the old tire to me, i sell tire belts and keychains on etsy.com



I agree with Skip about rule #3...
also, Ted has a good point about allowing tires to strech before mounting them ...But, I personally do not have rims around to afford me that method. Sometimes, you need a new tire on the commuter ASAP.

When mounting a new tire on the rim a couple of velco straps wrapped tightly around, to keep the bead in the valley (center) of the rim will afford you enough slack to get that last bit of tire bead onto the rim. that last bit of tire bead is still gonna be tough so do this and make it easy on yourself.
Pry a pedro's tire lever(upside down in your hand) or a Quik Stik under that last bit of bead. once you've hooked onto the rim using the curved end, lift with strength so that the bead just slides into place. then, use a foward motion to slide the remainder of the bead onto the rim (Think of the foward motion you use to open an envelope with an envelope opener). I carry a small bottle of soapy water in a a ziploc within my tool kit for that last bit of bead. It helps to lube that area and makes the forward motion easier. If you don't have Pedro's tire levers and a quikstik, go to your LBS and ask them. Both the levers and the quikstik should cost you bout 8 to 10 bucks which, is still less than half the price you would pay for a beadjack.

The Bead Jack from Koolstop just doesn't get the job done, ... learn from my mistake. Oh and carry that quikstick and a single Pedro's lever in your take along toolkit. In case you gotta repair a flat while out.




i'm not familiar with the Michelin Pilot City tires, but when i had cars i always spent the extra money on durable michelin tires, and wound up saving money because they lasted so long. i've got Schwalbe Marathons on my commuter bike and i'm quite happy with them. there's usually broken glass along my route. i think the reflective sidewalls are required in some parts of europe for some types of bikes... can anyone clarify that?

i just got a new TT bike and swapped out the schwalbe ultremo tires (that came with the bike) for a pair of schwalbe durano tires. upgrade or downgrade? it depends who you ask. anyway, the front tire went on reasonably easy, then the back tire just wouldn't go the last little bit. on these skinny (23mm) tires i didn't want to use a tire lever in reverse because there wasn't much room to push the tube out of the way. what worked well: i took the tire off the rim, and FIRST seated the side of the tire that was giving me a hard time. THEN i did the other side and had no problems. i guess one side was just a tiny bit tighter than the other.

about starting/ending at the valve stem: i start at the valve stem and finish opposite the valve stem. this helps to keep the valve stem centered.

Steve M

I trust whatever Sheldon Brown has to say! He's my hero. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about flats, tires, flat prevention, tools, patch kits, everything. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/flats.html


In terms of what to do with your old tire, I recommend cutting it in half and mounting it as fenders on a bike that doesn't have fenders. (Preferably one of your own or one belonging to a friend of yours, rather than some random bike on the street. Though that could be pretty funny.)

Phil Russell

In my bonkbag, I keep a pair of tough industrial work-gloves, so if I have to insert the (spare) inner-tube due to a puncture en-route, my hands don't suffer, even if the tyre-bead is a tight fit.
London, U.K.

Mike C

Shouldn't be using your fingernails...

Once you get to the last bit that won't go on easy, go back to the beginning and push the bead toward the middle of the rim, where the diameter is slightly less than it is out toward the edges. Work your way around the rim doing this as you go along; about halfway around, you'll have to turn the wheel and swap hand positions to continue. You'll find some of it goes on much easier, then push the last bit over with hour thumbs, working even a few mm at a time. Always work with thumbs pushing from the front, fingers gripping the back for support.

Or use a lever. Carefully. One of the most frustrating things is that the situations where a tire lever is called for can be the ones where you're most likely to hole a new tube with a lever. Soooooo frustrating on a tire that is hard going on in the first place....


Mike C,

As a heads up, my thumbs also contain a Sterile Matrix and pushing can also tear the Hyponychium from it. Actually, my left thumb is where the most damage was done.

Tom Reingold

Here is a good video.


This guy even dismounts the tire without levers. I use levers to remove a tire, but not to mount one.

His tire is loose, which makes the job look easy. But his technique is the one you can use.

Joe Ro

I guess I've got it good. My local bike shop has an arrangement with a local auto place where the LBS keeps a heap of old tires out back and occasionally takes them to the auto place for recycling. The LBS is okay with people leaving their tires in the pile, and also with people taking tires or tubes that they want to use. I go every few days and pick out tires when I find ones that have some life left. This time of year is the best because all of the well-off roadies are getting tune-ups and unnecessary tire changes, so I can get a bunch of acceptable condition, high end tires. It also affords me as much guiltless fixie skidding as I could ever want - I'm not really wasting anything.


I've heard of puncturing inner-tubes while remounting a tyre, but not heard about ripping off fingernails. Ouch!

Here's a video that shows how to do it.

Pete Leather

J&B Imports of Miami, a wholesaler for bike shops, sells a great "Kool-Stop" product : (item stock UPC#:60251-09701) it's a 'hinged Tire-Bead Jack', or a 'Hinged-Lever', that simplifies putting really tough tires onto Rims- It has a leg with a small flat 'hand' on it - and a main body that rests on the rim, behind the tire you're mounting. The 'hand' pulls the sidewall up & over the rim. So far, I've finished putting on dozens of really difficult tires this way- without pinching any tubes. I first had to get this in 2010, for mounting a pair of very-heavy-side-wall equipped "Kenda Kwest Tandem Tires" [26x1.5](100psi) I bent a pair of STEEL tire levers-trying to get the last bit of sidewall up & over the rim. And a mechanic buddy of mine ripped chunks out of his thumbs putting ONE on a wheel. This tool has assisted us in putting all sorts of difficult tires on rims without damage since then.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Cool Stuff

insert title insert title insert title insert title
Blog powered by Typepad
BikeHacks Flickr Pool

Roy Tanck's Flickr Widget requires Flash Player 9 or better.

Get this widget at roytanck.com
Rent a Bike in Central Park Click Here