Author Topic: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off  (Read 852 times)

What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« on: April 17, 2019, 04:28:02 pm »
What is the best tyre lever for stubborn jobs nowadays? 

I've never bought anything special before, just used ones that came in puncture repair kits or freebies from events.  But I have met my limitations today.  Stuggled to get a new tyre  on and cannot get it off.  It is a Continental 5000 on a Kinlin XR-31 rim.  It's tubeless and, after I got it on, found it wouldn't inflate as there is a leak somewhere.  So I tried to take it off to re-fit, and I couldn't.  It's actually a bit of a blessing as if I had to do it by the roadside I would be completely stuffed. 

So, any recommendations, on levers and on tricks to make it easier to get off?  I might leave it against a radiator for a while to make the tyre more supple.

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 04:30:54 pm »

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 04:38:24 pm »
I haven't found anything to beat the old-fashioned metal ones.  Apart from anything else, for a tight tyre you need the thinnest possible lever.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2019, 04:39:46 pm »
I've got a set of turbo nutter bastard Topeak tyre levers: Metal, with plastic inserts to protect the rim, and about twice as long as normal levers.  Just the thing for Pro Ones, Marathon Pluses and similar where lever-snapping amounts of Persuasion are required.  What they aren't is thin.  Or lightweight.

https://www.topeak.com/global/de/products/shop-tools/569-supersteel-tire-lever


While the Var is just the thing for *fitting* stubborn tyres, it's just plastic, and I've snapped one trying to remove a tight tyre.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

jiberjaber

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Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2019, 04:40:32 pm »
I've been very impressed by the Schwalbe ones. (the appear to be Park Tools used under license)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Schwalbe-3-Piece-Set-Tyre-Levers/dp/B000UAQL6C

Have you tried some soapy water to help lubricate the removal?

Regards,

Joergen

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2019, 04:50:53 pm »
I'm not trying to teach granny to suck eggs, but have you adopted the method used for getting Gatorskins on/off - that is chasing the slack around the rim, and if necessary using a couple of cable ties or toe straps to secure the tyre to the rim to stop creep-back?
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2019, 06:08:36 pm »
I've got a set of turbo nutter bastard Topeak tyre levers: Metal, with plastic inserts to protect the rim, and about twice as long as normal levers.  Just the thing for Pro Ones, Marathon Pluses and similar where lever-snapping amounts of Persuasion are required.  What they aren't is thin.  Or lightweight.

https://www.topeak.com/global/de/products/shop-tools/569-supersteel-tire-lever


While the Var is just the thing for *fitting* stubborn tyres, it's just plastic, and I've snapped one trying to remove a tight tyre.
I bought a pair of those Topeak levers and will vouch for their ability in removing bloody awkward tyres - in my case a pair of Schwalbe Winter Active 700x30C tyres which had eaten 5 plastic levers, including a pair of VAR levers as mentioned by Jurek. With the Topeak levers they came straight off! (Other long steel levers may be available!)  ;)
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

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Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2019, 06:41:38 pm »
Var.

I snapped my Var last weekend*. I'd had it for years and it always bent like crazy, threatening to snap. And eventually it did. Used a couple of Somas in the end. Mind you, I've snapped the plastic outer off a few of those over the years despite them being "Unbreakable". I do like them though, they're probably my favourite traditional style lever...

*Getting the tyre back on rather than off.
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 06:50:35 pm »
I used to recommend the Pedros ones, but I broke one last summer. When I went into my local stockist and mentioned that the website says they have a lifetime warranty he opened a drawer and showed me several more broken ones!
I still bought another set as they are the best I've used - I think I need to get one of those Topeak ones. :)

DaT

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 07:12:10 pm »
I used to recommend the Pedros ones, but I broke one last summer. When I went into my local stockist and mentioned that the website says they have a lifetime warranty he opened a drawer and showed me several more broken ones!
I still bought another set as they are the best I've used - I think I need to get one of those Topeak ones. :)
I've used the same pedro's tyre lever for years, maybe 5 could be more. How did you break it?

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2019, 08:04:11 pm »
These were recommended here. Had them for some years, not let me down yet.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/tools/sjsc-steel-core-tyre-lever-set-of-3/
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2019, 08:33:36 pm »
These were recommended here. Had them for some years, not let me down yet.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/tools/sjsc-steel-core-tyre-lever-set-of-3/
I've broken one of those too.

They're my lever of choice for sane tyre/rim combinations, thobut.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2019, 08:39:08 pm »
Var.

Or failing that, Pippa in a variety of shoes.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2019, 08:53:46 pm »
Thanks everyone, I've just ordered the topeak ones. They look pretty formidable.

Pedal Castro

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Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2019, 07:52:02 am »
I'm not trying to teach granny to suck eggs, but have you adopted the method used for getting Gatorskins on/off - that is chasing the slack around the rim, and if necessary using a couple of cable ties or toe straps to secure the tyre to the rim to stop creep-back?

Not thought about using cable ties, that's a good idea.

I recently bought a Crank Brothers lever, very good for tight tyres.

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2019, 10:29:17 am »
a bit late now perhaps but I will put a good word in for the park tool TL-5 tyre levers



too big to carry round but for the workshop they tread the line between strong enough and thin/rounded enough quite well.  The only things I'd knock them for is

a) that being steel they can mark rims up (not as badly as some because they are nicely rounded) and
b) you need three hands if you want to get both tyre levers in and chase the bead into the rim well....duh...


If you have a really tight tyre it makes sense to get the first tyre lever in, and to anchor it to one of the spokes. You can then chase the slack round using both hands or use one hand on the  second tyre lever and the other to chase the slack.

It seems to me that it wouldn't be difficult to make up a hook (eg from a piece of old spoke or mudguard stay) so that one tyre lever can be anchored.

cheers

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2019, 12:15:42 pm »
I used to recommend the Pedros ones, but I broke one last summer. When I went into my local stockist and mentioned that the website says they have a lifetime warranty he opened a drawer and showed me several more broken ones!
I still bought another set as they are the best I've used - I think I need to get one of those Topeak ones. :)
I've used the same pedro's tyre lever for years, maybe 5 could be more. How did you break it?
Trying to get a Schwalbe Lugano off a Roval rim (I bought the wheel secondhand, but the sale didn't mention the tyre - I reckon they just couldn't remove it!). I had a few more and eventually got the tyre off, and completely failed to get a Vittoria Corsa speed onto that rim (ended up taking it to LBS). I think that rim is just big.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2019, 12:41:02 pm »
I've been very impressed by the Schwalbe ones. (the appear to be Park Tools used under license)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Schwalbe-3-Piece-Set-Tyre-Levers/dp/B000UAQL6C

Have you tried some soapy water to help lubricate the removal?

I second this. After bitching at Schwalbe on twitter after breaking 3 leavers fitting a single M+ tyre, they sent me a free set. I've since bought a second set for in the tool box.

For getting really hard tyres onto a rim, I find the VAR Bead Jack to be the best way forward...

J
--
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http://b.42q.eu/

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2019, 01:32:56 pm »
Var.

Pep Guardiola isn't a fan.*

As per Kim's comments, they're great for fitting eg Marathon Plus tyres to a Brompton but too flexible for removing really stubborn tyres, and they certainly aren't unbreakable.

Tbh, I find the best solution is to not own any wheel/tyre combinations that I can't remove with just my thumbs. This is the current state of play with my stable and I intend to keep it that way. Although that may prove impossible if I do get a new Brompton...  :-\


*it's a foopball thing: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/apr/17/pep-guardiola-var-lorente-champions-league-spurs-manchester-city

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2019, 02:28:35 pm »
Var.

Pep Guardiola isn't a fan.*

As per Kim's comments, they're great for fitting eg Marathon Plus tyres to a Brompton but too flexible for removing really stubborn tyres, and they certainly aren't unbreakable.

Tbh, I find the best solution is to not own any wheel/tyre combinations that I can't remove with just my thumbs. This is the current state of play with my stable and I intend to keep it that way. Although that may prove impossible if I do get a new Brompton...  :-\


*it's a foopball thing: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/apr/17/pep-guardiola-var-lorente-champions-league-spurs-manchester-city

Reminds me of the joke about the high court judge, who had no thumbs.
Justice Fingers.

Hark. My taxi approaches.

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2019, 11:04:33 pm »
I haven't found anything to beat the old-fashioned metal ones.
+1. I've had a couple of sets of Cyclo or similar ones for four decades. Rarely use anything else, except for refitting the occasional stubborn tyre. Weldtite still list them, but in bags of 50 :o presumably for sale to shops.

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2019, 04:47:41 am »
For getting really hard tyres onto a rim, I find the VAR Bead Jack to be the best way forward...

J

The VAR Bead Jack is nice, but for truly difficult tire/rim combinations I break out the Kool Stop Tire Jack: 

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/tools/koolstop-tyre-mate/?geoc=US

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2019, 11:51:39 pm »
The best I've come across are the Lezyne Sabre levers
https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/lezyne-sabre-lever-tyre-cro-mo-wrench/rp-prod73465

For on the road use, I use steel levers like these, that are from flat stock, rather than round bar with squashed ends:
https://www.evanscycles.com/fwe-steel-tyre-lever-set-EV183168

I don't trust plastic levers - any that are strong enough not to bend or break are thick enough to make removal even more difficult, given that the tyre has to clear the rim plus the thickness of the lever.

The Var lever is good for fitting tyres, and more portable than the Kool Stop jack above, but is no better than average at removal.

Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2019, 08:16:52 am »
The best I've come across are the Lezyne Sabre levers

Thanks for posting this.  I actually have a set of these and had tried with them but, armed with the knowledge that they were considered as good as it gets, I managed to get the tyre off the front wheel this morning.  So I can return the Topeak ones unopened.

That is the good news.

The bad news - and I am embarrased to post this, but feel that I deserve the humiliation that will inevitably ensue from such an epic bike maintenance fail - is that when I got the tyre off I saw that I had gouged out a bit of the rim by the spoke hole.


Morat

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Re: What is the best tyre lever? Need to get a stubborn tyre off
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2019, 10:22:05 pm »
Go easy on yourself, I think your cycling credentials are intact ;)
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.