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.