Workshop tales, trials and disasters.
Maintenance tips, techniques and myths.
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25 posts • Page 1 of 1
A bike I built up for my wife many moons ago has Campagnolo Ypsilon V section rims (700c jobbies) on it. She doesn't use the bike that much but one of the reasons for that is that fitting tyres to it is as hard as hell. The Continental tyres I've bought for it (Grand Prixs and more recently Ultra Gatorskins - the former wire beaded, the latter folding) are such a tight fit that getting them over the walls of the rims (which must be a touch higher than the average) is very tough. Last time I did it I broke a tyre lever in the process! There would be no way my wife could change a flat if she were out riding on her own, hence the disincentive to use it.
Now short of getting some different wheels the best option seems to be trying different tyres. Can anyone recommend a brand (Michelin, Swalbe etc) which might have a slightly more 'relaxed' bead and which will get over the walls of these rims without so much effort?
I find that Continental tyres are really tough to fit to Campagnolo wheels, especially wire-beaded ones. The only other tyres I've used on my Ventos were Michelin Pro2Race and they were OK (from memory).
Litespeed Classic - 3Al/2.5V titanium tube set, Record 9-speed groupset, Open Corsa Evo CX
Alchemy Diablo - Columbus Zonal tubing, Ultegra 9-speed groupset, UltraGatorskins
Gitane Rocks T1 - U6 tubing, Deore/XT groupset, CrossMarks
Thanks for that. Trying find out more elsewhere (and finding plenty of horror stories about tyres and Campy rims) if found this extremely interesting thread on another board.
http://v11.velonews.com/phorum3/read.ph ... 7&t=103731
So if nothing else there is a gadget available.
It's more an issue about the rim than the tyre.
Different models within brands are easy or hard to fit, for example, Michelin Pro2race are easy to fit, where Michelin carbon are hard to fit.
Got bored of my signature
Yes it is about the rims, but from my hunting around web it seems that tyre construction is the key once you have the rims. Apparently those tyres with a traditional cotton webbing in their innards (probably a decreasing minority these days) are more flexible and will stretch more easily to fit over the rims, whilst those with synthetic webbing are less flexible and if they are not a good fit for your rim - well you're in trouble.
I suppose bead construction plays a role too, but with my wife's wheels I've actually found the wire beaded tyres easier to fit than those with a folding bead.
Though the problem is common with Campagnolo rims it seems it is not the only one and in other forums I've found people with problems with Ambrosio and Zipp rims, among others (though i have no problem with the Ambrosios on my 'training wheels' I have to say).
The easiest solution is to take one of your wheels to your local LBS(s) and pick out a selection of tyres that meet your requirements and for her to try fitting them to the wheel, and pick the brand/model that is easy for her to fit.
The Specialized Armadillos I had were easier than the Continental Gaterskins I have now to fit.
A technique which helps is to work the last part of the bead over the rim at a position which is 90 degrees around from the valve either way, and make sure the bead opposite is sitting into the well of the rim giving maximum slack to help the bead over the edge of the wheel rim.
I recently fitted new specialized tyres to my bike and they were difficult to fit with an extremely tight bead, I used silicon spray around the bead and have since removed the rear tyre a couple of times now (for flats) and have found the bead releases over the rim edge relatively easy and the lever doesn't seem to grab the tube, puts a nice sheen on the tyre too.
Those Crank Bros Speed Levers are the ticket. After a lot of sweating, swearing and grunting followed by a number of pinch punctures I finally went out and bought a speed lever. The tyres went on quite easily - a bit of strength required, but it does fit the tyre on properly
I have trouble getting conti gatorskins on my alex rims and have found that maxxis refuse folding tyres fit better.
I also have some Ambrosio track rims that I attempted to put some continental tyres on... 4 pinched tubes later and I gave up!! It was good to read that other forum and see that Ambrosio as well as campa are generally harder to fit..
Sorry to arrive late. Welcome to the Campag / Conti club. I couldn't believe the struggle getting them (Gp4000) on (Scirocco) for the first time. The first flat, well, I couldn't believe I got it, but they stretch and it wasn't so bad.
Campag = big wheels
Conti = small tyres
But it does work once they've been on there for a little while.
I've found folding conti's easier to get on than the wire beads. The wire bead Gatorskin I have was a bitch to get on at first but they seem to stretch a bit with use as when I changed a flat on it it reseated fine.
Otherwise, stretching the part that is already seated to make more slack where it isn't, then rolling it on seems to be the technique. Also sometimes they are harder, sometimes easier - there's a bit of variation in how tight they are out of the box.
Contis are known for being ultra-tight to get on, but a little technique helps no end.
Inflate the tube just enough to keep it pushed out against the tyre and away from the rim.
Steel-cored tyre levers are your friend. Buy three.
Use one to stop the tyre from creeping back out of the bead groove, and then on the opposite side of the valve, creep the bead in about an inch at a time using the other two hand-over-hand to lift the bead up-and-over the rim edge and into place.
Thanks for all that. Steel core tyre levers seem a good idea, but in the end the concern is for my wife to be able to get the tyres on (after flatting somewhere), not me. I can get 'em on (even if it's hard work), but my wife, with less strength and little experience technique wise, would probably find it impossible. At the very least she'd lack the confidence needed to feel comfortable when out riding.
Ultimately the best bet seems to be to find the best tyres (Michelin maybe, but some people have problems with those too - Veloflex?), but in the meantime I think I'll try out some of the gadgets, starting with the Crank Brothers Speed Lever and going on to the Kool Stop tyre jack if need be.
I wonder if a few minutes in the dryer (for folding ones of course) would help when going to fit them for the first time?:shock:
Your best solution is to take your wheels and go into your LBS, with your wife and of all the tyres in the shop, for her to try them all out to find ones which are manageable to fit to the rim. You can check fairly quickly when a tube is not involved for this purpose.
I have heard of a technique of rolling the tyre onto the rim with the palm of the hand, described by the women/girls of Bike North BUG. The technique was discussed and shown on special rides advertised as women only rides with the express purpose of having a workshop in fixing flats on the ride.
Now remember the tyre when inflated on the rim, it sits inside the hook of the rim. With this in mind maximise the ability to get the tyre on the rim by making sure that the bead of the rim is sitting in the well of the rim (the deepest part of the rim) at the opposite side of the wheel to where you are getting the tyre over the edge of the rim. Make sure that the tube valve and valve hole position is not in the area of or opposite side of the rim where the final part of the tyre is being coerced over the rim. The best place for the tyre valve placement is 90 degrees out to either the left or right side.
If the LBS does not have a big enough selection of tyres, then try another shop. You probably even try the speed lever if they have one. The benefit to the shop, is they don't need to be with you while doing your on hands research, just a corner, and that will likely get more custom from you and your wife if she has the confidence to fix her own flats, and rides more....
Perhaps when a suitable set of tyres is found, the use of tyre liners might be considered to improve puncture resistance.
Mmmmm, taking pregnant wife (I did say se was not using the bike much at present) and two year old son to various Canberra LBSs one Saturday morning to try on tyres. I'd rather throw $15-20 at the problem first, thanks.
I have found conti tyres difficult to get on also. Particularly on my shimano wheels, which don't have much of a recess where the rim tape is, to allow the bead to sink into, giving less freeplay to get the final part of the bead over the rim. I have found maxxis detonators easier and quite a good tyre so far too.
quote="Parrott"]I have found conti tyres difficult to get on also. ... I have found maxxis detonators easier and quite a good tyre so far too.[/quote]I don't intend to disrespect your experience, but Detonators aren't so well rated for their puncture resistance. Might be easier to fix, but Jean (or Mrs Jean) is likely to be fixing more often. In my view prevention is better than cure.
Contis are definitely my preference for puncture free life but I have to acknowledge that if it takes a practised 'technique' to get them on without fuss, then a newb (maybe with kids in tow) is much better off with something a bit more beginner-friendly installation-wise.
Australian Cyclist has an ad this issue for Michelin 700c touring tyres with puncture protection, some even with sidewall cut protection. Might be worth a look? Won't be as fast-rolling as Contis, but if they're easier to work with then the slight price premium could be worth the peace of mind.
if you want an easy tyre/rim combo i think i have it. My Grand Prix 4000S (the black ones with silver writing) tyres came in the mail. Fitted them to my Mavic Aksium wheels and it could not have been easier. Easiest rode tyre i have put on, Only need one tyre lever and that was for one last push over the edge, could of gone with no levers if i wanted to.
So i vote 1 for Grand Prix 4000S/Mavic Aksium combo
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