how to get new tyres onto sodding wheel?

ben----- Posts: 573
edited November 2013 in Workshop
Just got some new Continental Ultra Gator Skins 700x25s. I simply can not get them on. They're too small? I've got the first side of the tyre on, inner tube in, but the 2nd side of the tyre just won't got on. It's absolutely ridiculous. How do you get tyres on? Driving me potty this.



  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Remember that the centre of the wheel is a shorter diameter than the edge of the rim, so if you put the bead of the tyre there rather than on the rim you will have a little more to play with.
    Its just technic really.
  • Seat the tyre right down inside the rim on one side, put fairy liquid on the other side and work the tyre on. If you really want to mash your hands up try getting Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres on, they're a right pain!
  • ad_snow
    ad_snow Posts: 469
    I found Gatorskins to be ridiculously hard just last week - you are not alone! In the end (after snapping all 3 tyre levers) I ended up using a blunt knife to lever it in, worked a treat!
  • I had an issue with a Gatorskin Hardshell earlier this week, pretty much used the following method minus the straps... just worked the tyre around the rim:

    Might be of some use to you.
    The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the devil's own satanic herd.
  • dowtcha
    dowtcha Posts: 442
    Often see a reference to this clip for marathon plus which are also difficult to get on.
    Do you have folding or wire beaded tires?
  • markyone
    markyone Posts: 1,119
    A little soap as mentioned above and strong thumbs :wink:
    Colnago c60 Eps super record 11
    Pinarello F8 with sram etap
  • Had the same issue with Michelin pro4 service course. 3 sets of wheels, wouldn't fit on any! Had to get rid.
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Technique, pure and simple.

    Not a lot of help but true.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • I've been cycling for hundreds of years and picked up a different way to mount tyres only a couple of years ago that really helps. When mounting a tyre, instead of starting at the valve and ending opposite it, try doing it the other way round. Like this:-

    1. Seat one bead of the tyre on the rim
    2. Slightly inflate inner tube just so that it holds its shape.
    3. Insert valve into rim valve hole.
    4. Work the inner tube around so that it is sitting in the tyre.
    5. Start opposite the valve and slowly mount the tyre onto the rim. Work evenly in both directions until you have around 2 inches either side of the valve left to seat.
    6. Deflate inner tube fully.
    7. Mount the last bit of the tyre, pressing the valve upwards to seat the bit around the valve properly.
    8. Inflate as usual
  • ben-----
    ben----- Posts: 573
    Thanks for all the pointers. I finally got it on not by thumbs but by using plastic tyre spanner thing to force over rim, plus repeated pinching of tyre all the way round to try and get the tyre edge in the middle of the wheel, plus use of knee to keep one part of tyre at the point where it was off and on, in place. Can't believe how tight they were. I *dread* having to do that on the side of the road. Thanks.
  • I think its def down to technique as I saw a video on u tube of a guy fitting some Schwalbe Marathon Plus using his thumbs . He demonstrated that as the bead in the edge is seated it creates more slack. He kept going back over what he had done to create more slack until the last bit popped in. I use Gatorskins and they were difficult but armed with what I saw in the video I hope it will be easier next time. They are great so hopefully you won't need to take them off for puncture repairs. Search out that video.
  • I've just spent about 30mins cursing/swearing and burning a load of calories fitting a Schwalber durano plus tyre. I've fit many in my time but this one was a real pig and don't relish having to fit it "in the field".

    Having a slightly arthritic left hand doesn't help but FFS it was unreal.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • just a short pointer

    it's generally the rim that makes it harder to put tires on!
    Some rim walls are high and thick and to be honest not all rims are made to very exacting standards.
    Some combinations of certain rims and tires are just not meant for each other!

    to offer some relieve: The tire will stretch during it's run in period so it should get a little bit easier once they're properly run in.
  • mmacavity wrote:

    I'm impressed they paid Ben Affleck to do an instructional video for them... 8)
  • getprg
    getprg Posts: 245
    A young (whipper snapper) Edinburgh Bike Co-op mechanic taught me to fit tyres (even though I had been fitting and wrestling them for nearly 50 years!). He claimed to never have used anything but his thumbs (and no brute force) to fit any tyres. I have since used his tips and never had a problem (or used levers) simply by being patient.

    Here are the tips and I've highlighted the ones which for me seem to make things easier.

    Fit first bead of tyre to rim (position the tyre's max psi rating next to the valve hole for future reference if you are OCD)
    Place wheel on ground horizontal with unfitted bead upwards.
    Fit inner tube valve through rim valve hole.
    Now tuck completely uninflated tube into tyre - rotating rim whilst it is still horizontal.
    TIP - keeping the tube completely uninflated (contrary to most conventional advice) at this stage makes it much easier to work round and pinch the tyre beads into the rim at the next stage to give you maximum "play".
    TIP - keeping the wheel horizontal with the fitted bead downwards stops the floppy tube dropping out - check to make sure it is even and isn't twisted.
    Ease the unfitted bead into the rim at the valve first and push the valve back up into the tyre above the beads.
    TIP - pushing the valve back into the tyre (but don't lose it!) at this stage also makes it easier to work round and pinch the tyre beads into the rim at the next stage.
    Now - still keeping the wheel horizontal - ease in the tyre bead working outwards to each side of the valve.
    Once more than half the bead is fitted the tyre bead will be too tight to fit.
    Now you can place wheel vertical if you wish.
    Working round from the valve go back and pinch the two tyre beads - where fitted - into the centre of the rim - each time returning to the unfitted part of the bead and you will find almost by magic that you can ease an extra length on.
    Keep repeating this pinching and easing motion - it may take 10 or 20 repeats.
    Eventually the final and very short length of unfitted bead will pop on using your thumbs and very little force - almost like magic.
    Now check both sides of tyre to make sure tube isn't pinched anywhere between tyre and rim.
    Pull valve fully back through rim and partially inflate. Carry out another visual check for trapped tube both sides.
    TIP - these checks are even more important at roadside - trapped tube = another flat - and possible stranding on ride.
    Complete inflation of tyre.

    I'm an OAP weakling and no tyre (including beaded and folding gator skins) has anywhere near defeated me yet at home or on the road (even in freezing temperatures with numb fingers) since - thanks to a young lad in Edinburgh Co-op.
  • edten
    edten Posts: 228
    someone has probably already suggested it but Ive heard of putting the tyre on a radiator to soften it up a little. Never needed to so can't report on whether it works or not.
  • I had the same problem with some Vittorio Rubino tyres, couldn't get them off the rim at all, as I wanted to replace with Continentals. Eventually admitted defeat and took them to my local bike shop.
    When I picked them up he said they had been a right pig to get off and he thought it was down to the rim tape being thicker than usual, which meant you couldn't get the tyre rim deep into the centre of the rim which gives you that extra bit of give on the opposite side to get the tyre initially off the rim.
    Not sure if he is right. but he replaced the rim tapes with a thinner version and the tyres now go on and off like a dream.
    Not sure if this helps.
  • Gazzetta67
    Gazzetta67 Posts: 1,890
    Had the same issue with Michelin pro4 service course. 3 sets of wheels, wouldn't fit on any! Had to get rid.

    Just fitted 2 brand new pro4 endurance 25's and didnt need tyre levers . I sat them in front of the fan heater in the garage for 10mins. Your obviously not eating your porridge or drinking Irn Bru (made from Girders) 8) .
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    To me, it's all down to tyre and wheel compatibility.
    On Shimano and Mavic wheels I've yet to have a real problem, Michelin Pros being slightly tight but Vittoria Open corsa and Continental 4000s being fine.
    I bought a set of Conti 4 seasons for my winter Fulcrum 7s and they were a bugger to get on and Vittoria Rubinios were slightly tough last year. On the second ride on the bike I got a puncture which thankfully was near home, absolute bas***d to get the tyres off and in the end I had to use steel tyre levers.
    During the winter months I want a tyre that I can whip on and off pretty quickly because I don't want to be stuck struggling to replace a tube, adding the fact that you're more likely to get a puncture in the winter has made the 4 seasons garage fodder.
  • agree ^
    tyres should be easy to fit, if not then your in trouble on the road.
    i find conti tyres come up small on all rims, and hutchinson tryes impossible on my shimano rims.....nothing to do with skill or tricks.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Generally, higher volume tyres are easier to fit that small volume ones. Ask you local, friendly mechanic show you how to fit a tyre - there's a degree of pride in the trade to remove and fit tyres where possible without levers.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..