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help with tyres

mac72mac72 Posts: 5
edited January 2010 in Road beginners

first time poster here. I've signed up to do a charity cycle from London to Paris in July and was in the process of converting my beloved specialized mountain bike to use on the road (rather than forking out hundreds for a road bike). I'm swapping the handlebars, got clipless pedals and most importantly, changing the knobbly tyres for some slicks. Here lies the problem. I bought 2 continental sport contact tyres (26 x 1.3) to put on it for road use. I tried to fit them today though and whilst my bikes wheels and current tyres are definitely 26 inch, they just won't go on. I bought the right inner tubes to fit and inflated these just a little before trying to get the tyres on but I can only get about 80% of them onto the rim. I fear that even if I get them fitted, any puncture on my trip will result in hours lost trying to refit them. I'm wondering if I've been daft buying 1.3 tryes and if these won't fit my rims (current knobbly tyres are 26 x 2.0). So I wonder if I need to get 26 x 1.75 or something?

If I do have the right size (or if the size is ok in theory) are there any tips for getting these on? Like I say, 80% of the tyre fits but that last 5-6 inches just won't pop onto the rim.

any advice greatly appreciated


  • voxegamvoxegam Posts: 244
    Tyre levers?!?!?
    Trek Madone 6.5 Pro
    Planet-X (now winter-bike)
  • mac72mac72 Posts: 5
    thanks. I tried that earlier but no joy. The inner edge of the tyres seems to rigid to get the last few inches to pop onto the rims. I did lie them on top of my knobbly tyres and the inside diameter is the same so I'm sure they should fit. Just seems that no amount of brute force of leverage would work.
  • skyd0gskyd0g Posts: 2,540
    Get the first 'half' of the tyre on the rim.
    Put the innertube on the rim, with the valve through the rim and the innertube lightly inflated. (this makes the innertube easier to seat & avoids pinching it).
    Tuck the lightly inflated innertube into the tyre.
    Now on the opposite side of the wheel to the valve, start to work the second half of the tyre onto the wheel rim.
    Work the tyre on evenly either side upwards towards the valve.
    Before trying to complete the final third of the tyre, make sure that the part of the tyre that you have already got onto the rim is gathered in the centre of the rim (not the edge, where it normally sits). This gives you an extra few mm to work with.
    Now work up the remainder of the tyre evenly either side with the tyre levers a few inches at a time.

    Job done. 8)
    Cycling weakly
  • Unfortunately that is what they are like!

    I have a pair and they take a lot of effort to get on any of my 3 wheelsets, and they are an absolute pig to get off when wet. I originally bought them to put on my wifes bike to use for work but she can't even get one tyre lever in, bad enough for me and and I'm a 'burly' 14st!!

    My advice would be to get a different pair, probably some Swalbe 1.5 slicks instead.

    Oh BTW, the Conti's are really good though once they're fitted! no help I know.
  • I roll the Tyre on using the palms of my hands.
  • mac72mac72 Posts: 5
    thanks for all the replies. I'll have another rug and tug at them during the week. I think I'll take your advice and get some others too - at least for spares so that if I do get a puncture en route I can switch to an easier-on tyre until I finish the days ride and have time to battle with the contis again!!!

    Again - thanks for all the comments - it's good to know it wasn't just my lack of talent that was why I was struggling with them!!

  • EKIMIKEEKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    I let ALL the air out of the inner tube when getting that last little bit of the tyre on the rim. I find it impossible with even a little bit of air in the tube.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    The trick shown to me was to massage the slack around to pesky section of tyre.

    Make sure the pesky section is directly opposite the stem.
    Ensure that the stem is correctly positions, pointing to the hub.
    Grab a handful of tyres each side of the stet position and run around each direction towards said pesky section.
    After 2 or 3 goes you will have enough slack to ease the pesky bit in with a tyre lever, taking care not to damage the inner tube.

    Rims and tyre beads have some manufacturing tolerance. If you have a large rim and a small bead then its going to be a tight fit.
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