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EA50 + Conti 4000 = very sore fingers

GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
edited May 2009 in Workshop
I had been warned - after seeing a few comments on the rave review C+ gave to the Easton EA50 wheels, I was expecting a bit of a struggle to get my tyres on. I'm putting used Conti 4000's (which I've had on my previous Gipemme's with no problem), and it took well over an hour last night, with lots of finger strain and a broken pedal lever. Eventually I got it on.... only to find I punctured the inner! So more straining tonight and thats only the front wheel done!

Any hints as to methods to get a recalcitrant tyre on? Are there any tyres known to be a bit more flexi? I'm kinda dreading a puncture on the road already, I've no idea how I'll change a tube if its always this tough.


  • neebneeb Posts: 4,397
    IMHO it's all down to technique. I have Campagnolo wheels with Pro3 race tyres which are supposed to be a tight combination, but I don't have significant problems. Some people say that it's important to do the bit with the valve last when fitting tyres so that you can get the beads bedded down as much as possible on the opposite side, but I think the main thing is just learning to "roll" or "pull" the bead over the rim. It's difficult to describe, but rather than jerking the tyre over the rim you pull it steadily back with your fingers; if you are doing it right you can feel it slowly rolling over the rim until eventually it snaps all of the way over, but it's important to be pulling in exactly the right place. Also getting the right amount of air in the tube is important; you want a little air in at first so that you can get the tube positioned properly, but with tight tyres you may need to let all of it out to get the last bit of the tyre on.
  • don keydon key Posts: 494
    Or put the the in hot water before fitting and the wheel in the freezer, the opposite arrangement does not work quite as well. Finger strenght is vital and heavy manual work helps a lot, talcum powder, never tried it or just throw everything and start again, the last is sometimes the best if all else drives you around a very sharp bend.
  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    As someone who has EA50 wheels and Conti GP4000S tyres, I must emphasize that the OP is not exaggerating when he say s that's a very tight combination.

    To answer the OP's question, the technique that worked for me was:
    - starting from tyre off the wheel:
    - put the first bead on the rim, using two tyre levers, which will make it easy and save your energy for the other bead.
    - inflate the inner tube just enough to take some slack from it.
    - put the inner tube as usual between rim and tyre, ensure it is all the way round the rim
    - inflate the inner tube to some pressure: yes, before the other bead is in. This will press the first bead against the wall of the rim and open up some space in the middle of the rim
    - deflate inner tube nearly completely
    - starting at the valve end, go round the rim and carefully, by hand, place the second bead inside the rim, trying to keep it as near the centre of the rim as possible
    - this will give you some extra slack for the final bit, in which two tyre levers are involved:
    - place the rim between your legs, with the rims facing your legs (left and right) and the final bit of tyre bead at the top
    - position one tyre lever close to you, in between the rim and bead so that it stops the bead from moving away from the rim
    - pull the other tyre lever towards you, and just trust that the bead will, with a big 'pop', go on the rim.
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    Many thanks fnegroni, I'm glad I'm not alone! I know there was a thread on this previously, I just couldn't find it.

    I guess I'll go buy some good strong Park levers lunchtime, my Tacx ones are b***ered!
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    don key wrote:
    Or put the the in hot water before fitting and the wheel in the freezer, the opposite arrangement does not work quite as well. .

    Nice idea, but kinda hard to do in the middle of a sportif :wink:
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    Or you could purchase a Var tyre lever which may help
  • dombo6dombo6 Posts: 751
    FWIW I have Easton EA90 SLXs shod with conti 4000S and can put them on with just thumbs
  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    Comparing the profile of the EA90 SLX with the EA50, I can see some difference:

    rim width: EA90: 20mm EA50: 19mm
    rim depth: EA90: 21/25mm EA50: 30mm
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    mrushton, funny thing about the Var lever, I read about that tool in the CTC magazine a while back and I've been trying to get one, but google didn't turn it up anywhere. And I just googled now and found one in sjscycles and I ordered it. I must have been spelling it wrong or something like that. But thanks for the reminder. Hope it works as advertised.
  • dombo6dombo6 Posts: 751
    It does work as advertised. It's a great tool.
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