How To Fit Any Difficult-To-Fit Bike Tyre

How To Fit Any Difficult-To-Fit Bike Tyre


– Some tyres are really difficult to fit. That’s right, if you are struggling, it may not be your fault. Some tyres are renowned
as being a tight fit, they literally have the
circumference of the bead that is slightly smaller than another. And indeed, rims themselves
can also vary ever so slightly, even the same make and
the same model of rim may be ever so slightly different. But, there is always a way. I’ve never admitted defeat
on a set of tyres yet. So coming up, are six things that may just make the difference. First up, I’m gonna start
with the best tip going. And that is, that when
you’re fitting your tyre, make sure the bead is resting in the centre of the bed of the rim. Now, the reason for this,
is because, as you can see, the centre of the rim bed
is almost always lower than the edges, so that of course, the circumference here is less. The quickest and simplest
way of making sure that your tyre is resting on the
right place on the rim, is that when you’ve got it to this point, so that the tyre is almost all the way on, you take your thumbs, and with the wheel resting at your feet, you actually press the bead of the tyre into the well of the rim and then slide both thumbs around
the tyre at the same time. I find it helps to imagine that
I’m actually pushing all the slack in the bead of the tyre
to one place at the bottom, where we can then just, very
simply, lift it over the rim. Now, while we’re thinking
about circumferences, another little trick that may help is to use thinner rim tape. Now, rim tape is the stuff
that lines the bed of the wheel rim and protects your
inner tube from the spoke holes. Now this stuff is nice and thin,
but some is famously thick, and that’s great in some
instances where it may have to protect your inner tube
from an awful lot of nasties on the rim bed, but if you
are struggling to fit tyres, then it might be the rim
tape that is at fault. If that’s still not quite working yet, then another little tip is to make sure that your tyres themselves are warm. Now, it could just be room temperature, but I have heard of some
people actually leaving them on radiators for a couple of
minutes to really warm up. And, admittedly, there is
no hard evidence for this, but the theory kind of makes sense, because materials do often
expand when they’re warm, and tyres do seem much harder
to fit in cold workshops or cold garages, or god
forbid, at the side of the road when you’ve got a puncture
in the middle of winter. But, if nothing else, a
warm tyre is at least, kinder to your fingertips. Another little trick is to make sure that you try and leave the last bit of bead to get onto the rim, at the valve hole. Now, this is best practise for a number of different reasons, but in this
case, it’s really gonna help, particularly if you’ve got tubeless tyres. Because in that instance,
you can actually push the valve inside the tyre,
and that is gonna give you more slack at the bead to work with. Now, here, where we haven’t got tubeless, we’ve got a normal inner
tube, it’s not gonna make quite such a difference,
although still worth doing, and like I said, it is
best practise anyway. Don’t worry, you needn’t be
sinking into despair just yet, we still have more tricks up our sleeves. If you are still struggling
to get this last bit on, and I’m guessing we may
well be in the realm of tubeless tyres here, they
are notoriously difficult to seat because they have to be tighter in order to get that seal on the rim. Then, you can try lubricating
the bead of the tyre. In that case, it will actually help the tyre just slip on to the rim. Now, I’m not talking chain lube here, I’m just talking, a bucket of
warm soapy water and a sponge. But it could well do the trick. By and large, I do try
and do with tyre levers. I’m not entirely sure
why, it has to be said, because they are really quite good, and particularly when used correctly. And in a case like this, where you get a really stubborn tyre, they are absolutely indispensable. But you may find that when
you get to the last section, like this, that actually it becomes quite difficult to insert a tyre lever in, in order to flip the bead into the rim. So, fairly straightforward trick, is to actually use two tyre
levers at the same time, and then you can flip one
up, and then the other. Last but not least, when
you are fitting the tyre, make sure that you push the bead into the deepest part of the well of the rim, where the circumference of
the wheel is at its smallest. And yes, I know that this is the point that I started with in the first place, but as I said at the beginning, this is the most important
thing that you can do, one of the absolute fundamentals. So I make no apologies
for saying it twice. Hopefully, all of these tips
combined will be just what you need in order to get that
stubborn tyre onto your wheel. It is really important to
have tyres that you can get on and off with relative ease,
and so if you are struggling, then it might be time to actually consider trying out a different pair of tyres. Or at least taking your
wheel into a local bike shop and seeing if they’re struggling as well. Right, well, there are more
maintenance videos here on GCN, in fact, there are more every single week. So do make sure you
subscribe to the channel, to do it is completely free, you just have to click on the globe. And if you’re after some
more content about tyres, then why not click just there, because I’ll show you how to
reduce the risk of punctures, so you have to take them on
and off less, which is a bonus. Or, click just down there
to actually find out, basically, how you take them on and off.

100 comments

  1. I just spent three hours trying to get a tire seated properly… The rim tape kept. Pinching out of rim… So I took tire off and took strip off and used two go around of tape. Then got the tire back on after a terribly difficult time. An UT an hour. I'm an old lady so. Don't have the strength. Had to use gloves and a tire iron. Finally, after breaking a huge sweat and exhausted… Ive sat to watch this video. I can't take it again. Next time I need a man to fix it. Being Sunday. Shops are. Closed. Of. I. Air. It. Up. And tune goes. Flat. I'm done. I'll just ride the spare bike. Not worth the grief. Mtb rim and tire. 29

  2. took me over an hour to fit one schwalbe tough tom tyre. I fitted many before different brands no big issues. But this one was one tough bastard

  3. how about another vid using the sort of tryes the rest of us have…the sort you talk about but dont use in your demo…just taken me 30mins to get my new continental folders on, thats just the front one, indoors heating on…..

  4. Was struggling with this on a + size MTB tyre. Expected the LBS to use very strong thumbs and whip it off. No. They used a vice. Apparently will be easier on/ off now

  5. So this didn't help. If I was in Bristol, I'd bring you my Vredestein and see if you can get it on this fucking Reynolds Strike. Yes I have a Canyon too. Omfg. I'm ready to throw the bike in the skip. Literally missed my ride today because I can't get the fucking tire on!

  6. ᴅᴏ ʏᴏᴜ ᴘᴜᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛᴜʙᴇ ɪɴ ʙᴇғᴏʀᴇ ᴏʀ ᴀғᴛᴇʀ ᴘᴜᴛᴛɪɴɢ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴏᴜᴛᴇʀ ᴛɪʀᴇ ᴘᴀʀᴛ?

  7. I have a very difficult tire to fit, and I'm of the habit of using multiple tire tools and when I was a kid – even a big screwdriver to lever the tire on. I love GCN, but this particular video is mislabled, because the advice is not for the most difficult tires. The most difficult tires will require a special type of lever, that goes by various brand names, but the one I use is Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack. Google it, you'll see what I mean. Basically, what it does is the lever attaches in two places, on the far side of the rim and to the front of the tire, and you can put such force on the tire, like never before. I just have this set of lovely, but apparently oddly spec'd rims….and tires don't fit on it. But with the sound of Zeus' thunder, I can wedge a tire on the rim at will, thanks to this tool, and it doesn't pinch the tube either….I carry it on rides, because otherwise, there is zero chance of changing a flat.

  8. often hard to fit tires, after brute force remain untrue on rim. You can just ride them on lower pressure so they will finally fit but better is to lubricate tire walls using water+soup. They will stretch nicelly on rim when pumping.

  9. THanks for the tips but it doesn't work for me: I have 28c tyres with WIRE BEADS that leaves me with about 12mm of very stretched wire bead to lift over the rim. Just isn't going to happen so I'm considering the LBS or else the expensive route of 2 replacement FOLDING tyres. This to fit over new wheels with 24mm outer width and 19mm inner width, coming from Mavic Ksryrium Elites ( the old ones). Life is tough.

  10. I just put holes in 2 inner tubes wresting an old tyre onto a new wheel. The new rim tape was thicker than the old, so I swapped it for the old tape and the tyre went on easier. So thanks for the rim tape tip!

  11. Lube, massaging and persitance works, it took me 2 and half hour to get on two schwalbes

    Now if only I could last the 2 and half hours after being lub…..i have said too much 😂😂

  12. snapped two tyre levers trying to put on a tyre, then watched this video & put the tyre on without any tyre levers, nice one!

  13. Was struggling for about 20 minutes using tire levers. As soon as I flipped part of one side over the edge the same amount on the other side came off. With keeping the tire in the middle of the rim bed I managed to put it on with just my thumbs. Thank you!

  14. Lube using soapy water to ease the job. My question is, should I worry with the water inside the tyres later after I use soapy water? Is it dangerous? What should i do to get rid of the water?

  15. This is bullshit as well. Pushing a tyre with thumbs, my ass. Fuck this and fuck bikes; this is coming from an environmentalist, but give me all the petrol, I'll fucking drive instead of assbiking.

  16. Couldn’t get the tire on the rim even with tire levers. After watching this video I squeezed the tire towards the center of the rim which is deeper than the outside and was able to get the tire on without a tire lever.

  17. Thanks so much for top advice about pushing bead to centre of rim. Spent a whole hour getting tyre on new Mavic XC821 rim then half hour getting it off after a puncture. Checked out this video and refitted the tyre in 2 minutes without even using a tyre lever.

  18. I dare anyone to try removing or installing a 38-622 (700c) on a Norco Corsa 1.. DBM-1 double wall rim.

    I have several bikes with these same size tires and wheels and have changed 100s of tires without ever using tire levers, . But this rim has to be bigger because I couldn't get the tire off even with tire levers. After an hour of getting nowhere I finally cut it off with shop scissors and used a Dremel to cut the steel wire beads (side cutters wouldn't cut it). The rim is aluminum or I would have removed and reinstalled it with sturdy flat-blade screwdrivers.

    Getting it on was a nightmare too, even with soapy water to lube the bead and rim, and the valve pushed in. I used a zip ties to keep the bead in and added more as the tire got closer to being done, ended up with 6 zip ties. Had to use 3 tire levers to get the last 10 inch section on.

    Success was achieved until I noticed that I had the tire rotating the wrong direction. Tried to remove the tire for 15 minutes and gave up. I can live with a nearly smooth tire spinning the wrong direction on a commuter bike.

    Next time I'll bring it to a shop which would be the firs time I've had someone work on any of my bikes in my 55 years of riding. If they quote me say $10 to $20 labor, then I'll peek into the shop area to see the tech's reaction.

  19. Not sure I agree with the thin rim tape suggestion. The tape is there for a reason, to protect high-pressure tubes from expanding into spoke holes. Thin or just inferior rim tape (e.g. plastic OEM crap you’ll find on many popular wheel sets) can fail at the worst times, like on steep long grades when your braking heats up your rims almost to the point of glazing the pads. Velox, cloth tape, is superior, IMO, but its thickness does make tire mounting more difficult.

  20. Guys, this is what helped me with extremly tight tyre:
    1. place your wheel into your lap
    2. tight part have to face the valve
    3. place bead of the tyre in the center of the wheel
    4. lubricate rim and wheel (saliva works too)
    5. grab tyre with both hands and push forward and down (focus on the sides first, then work your way to center)

    *worked with schwalbe g-one allround TLE
    *when taking your tyre off use 2 – 3 tyre leavers at once, don't push your leaver, pull it!!

  21. Thanks gcn this tip helped but to honest this tool did not than your tips and I strongly recommend you and everyone else give it a go: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DFHQ7J5/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_Id95CbHN0E12Z

  22. Down here in the Colonies there is no shortage of sunshine. Can vouch for warming a tyre that doesn’t want to play ‘soldiers’ 😎 I just lay it down flat in the sun for 10-15 mins and usually it’ll pop on without resorting to tyre levers. BTW…talking clinchers here…

  23. Thanks. Thumbs down the wheel trick works a treat. Just replaced a Michelin Carbon that I previously punctured two tubes trying to install. Did it this time without even needing tyre levers. Why did I not know this in 1985?

  24. After wrestling for over an hour now, I have the another solution. You basically need a vice, and one of those allen keys with a ball end. Don't take the flimsy 2 mm ones, they break violently and in the end you need eye surgery.Anyway, start by disinfecting the wound (alcohol burns like hell, but it works wonders) and then clear out all the pus coming out of your eye. If your landlord is attracted by your screaming, ward him off by throwing moldy bread pieces at him.After you have switched from the broken off 2mm key to a more sturdy 3mm one, get the vice and the last tyre lever you have not broken off yet.I found it easier working the last part on the opposite side of the valve, so farthest from it.Arrest the part that is already inside the rim with the vice, just behind the spoke closest to where you will work.Now hold down the tyre lever on the other side of still-to-fit bead, opposite of where the vice is. Hold it there firmly, as you have on to your laptop when you were laid off at your last workplace.The trickiest part comes now. For this it is important to wear very sturdy boots.
    While holding the tire lever to your left, insert the allen key between rim and bead, facing to you. The ball end will hook into the edge of the rim and hold tight there. Now, obviously, you need excessive force to flip it over against all this tension. To achieve it, push down the opposite end of the tire with your booted foot.Try not to fall over.With an extremely loud snap, the bead will eventually plop into the rim.Remove the vice, and insert the whole mess back into the frame.Check if the rotation direction of the tire is correct. If you have mounted it the wrong way, remove it and start over.

  25. THANK YOU for this video! After struggling for two hours to mount a new tire, I watched your video, and using your tip of pushing the bead into the center of the rim, I managed to pop the tire on easily, without using a tire lever. Now I'm not worried if I have to change the tire out on the road one day.

  26. The tip about tyre positioning is spot on, was struggling , then watched this, followed the tyre position tip and it made all the difference

  27. It's 2019:
    We've been able to put man on the moon for 50 years, flew super-sonic 50 years ago yet bike tyres are STILL a massive pain in the arse to fit.
    I have just punctured 3 inner tubes fitting a ****ing bike tyre because the previous tyre was warped.

    I did, however, not use any of the tips that you suggested, so there's hope yet.

  28. Great tips. I was struggling with a new tire. Followed the first four tips and it went on far easier.

  29. I used a lever to install the tire, took me almost five minutes to get it on. I was so afraid to pinch the inner tube with the lever.

  30. You're the FIRST sexily provacative bike tire changer I've seen Anywhere 😉 so make a redo video of this just wearing your birthday suite 😉👅👅💪👍

  31. Few things can piss me off more than a tyre that just doesn't want to cooperate. I'm stuck with one right now. MTB. Been fighting with this satanic abomination for almost two hours, and my fingers and hands are sore as fuck. Going to the bicycle mechanic now and paying my way out of it before I end up stomping on the fucking wheel.

  32. How exactly do we keep the bead in the center of the rim, when the inside of the tire is filled with deflated inner tube ? Clothes pins ?

  33. This video just saved my thumbs! I'd been struggling with a Zipp 404 and a 5000 Continental tyre but after pushing it into the centre of the wheel, it slipped on like a dream! Si, you are a life saver. I can now give you a big thumbs up as my thumbs aren't bleeding from pushing the tire endlessly around the rim. Cheers!! xx

  34. I'm sorry, but this video is stupid because it doesn't show mounting an actually difficult-to-mount tire … mine is vastly tighter than the one shown (and no, it's not tubeless).

  35. wow…great tips, I was about to go to the local LBS for help and your video really helped me get it done! fyi, my tire had about 4" of tire that would not go over the rim…it was not easy like yours! 🙂 thanks.

  36. I was about to throw my tlr mavic wheels after trying for more than an hour to put some gator hardshell on with an inner tube.
    That trick about finishing at the valve and pushing it was the one that saved me, you are the man!

  37. " I've never admitted defeat". Hehe. Good Vid ThX. Or "god forbid when your on the side of the road in the middle of winter". Your deity forbids that?. What's the punishment as I've committed that sin?.

  38. "We're going to show you how to get a real difficult tyre on"
    Literally pops it on using your hands. I'm sorry what.
    That's not a difficult tyre.

  39. Dammit man, I just struggled with one tire for 2 god-damned hours (whereas the other one basically was a piece of cake), and your first suggestion solved my problem in literally under a minute! I love you!!! 😎

  40. Si was not kidding about the importance of centering the bead. Spent 20 minutes fighting the tyre, levers flying all across the room. Having centered the bead got it in in literally 30 seconds. Cheers for the excellent advice!

  41. Tip #1 paused it at 1:20 and that's all I needed! This after BREAKINGTHEFKNplastic thingy… ahhhhhh! Thanks so much

  42. I took a tire out of a box. I’m ready to fling everything into the street because I can’t get it get it to stay on the rim.

  43. First, use Steel Core tire levers. Second and more importantly, buy and use the Kool-Stop Tire Bead Jack – only $12.99 on Amazon, and it makes the task of mounting a tire onto a rim go MUCH more smoothly. Third, instead of just mounting a new tire & tube on a rim, put the tire (no tube) on the rim, take it off, on again, off again, on, off… then and only then, install the tire with the tube.

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