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Will stubborn tires become easier to mount after a few weeks?

Old 08-14-22, 07:52 PM
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TurboTrueno
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Will stubborn tires become easier to mount after a few weeks?

New rider here.

I got some new tires, which I found quite difficult to install; after several hours I admitted defeat and took them to the LBS. They ended up blowing one tube during mounting. They told me these tires were an extremely tight fit on my wheels. A tube even popped out as he handed me the wheels back, and he had to re-mount it again. I do trust this shop and have heard good things about them, which makes me think it could be a bad idea to run these tires

I have had no problems so far changing tubes at the roadside with my old tires. I am worried these new tires may be beyond my capabilities to change in a reasonable amount of time. I bike to work; with the old tires I have changed the tube in around 5 minutes. I don't want to be fiddling with a tire for 15+ minutes the next time I get a flat.

Will the tires "soften up" and become easier to mount/dismount after some miles?

My issue was not getting the tires on the rim, but fitting the tube inside properly without pinching/folding it. This was also my first time fitting "folding tires"

New tires: "Challenge elite xp pro" 25c (First time trying fat tires. They feel ok)
Rims: "Velocity Aerohead" ( I think they are 20mm wide inside, I forgot to measure them with the tire off. no measurement marking on them)
Old tires: "BBB Roadride" 23c Very easy to mount/dismount, they came with the bike and were over 10 years old. I really liked these tires a lot, but they were starting to wear through after several thousand km.

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Old 08-15-22, 07:16 AM
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"Easier?" No. "Less difficult?" Maybe. Folding tires, stretching the bead slightly by leaving them inflated on a rim is possible. Wire bead tires, fuggedaboutit.
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Old 08-15-22, 08:00 AM
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What rim tape? Is it thin plastic or thicker cloth tape?

Your Aerohead rims look similar in cross section to my old Kinlin rims. The "well" in the center was very shallow, so there wasn't much slack to pull the bead over the edge of the rim. It was so tight that even with just one bead in the center, no tube yet, I couldn't slide the tire around to line up the label with the valve hole. That's tight!

I really struggled, with mangled levers, and sore fingers. But I found a technique that works very well -- see the link below.
Just one lever is needed to mount the tire -- the key is to lift less than an inch of bead at a time, slide the lever over, and repeat. Fast and easy.
Pedro levers are the best.


Aerohead:


Kinlin:




My old thread about mounting tight fitting tires will help.
Inflating the tube slightly when inserting the tube, and making sure it's up in the tire away from the bead is critical, too.
I think your bike store mechanic didn't have very good technique. Not all mechanics use effective techniques.

How to: Tight fitting tire - easy mounting

Last edited by rm -rf; 08-15-22 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 08-15-22, 08:33 AM
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If you have fabric tape in there now like Velox and you replace it with something thin like Stan's or kapton you can get a little extra wiggle room
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Old 08-15-22, 08:46 AM
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Thank you guys. The rim tape is BBB also. It feels plasticky

"It was so tight that even with just one bead in the center, no tube yet, I couldn't slide the tire around to line up the label with the valve hole. That's tight!" Yep that sounds exactly like my current setup. Your post with the pictures is very helpful, I will employ that technique next time

I just didn't know how to push the tube in...the tire was just a flat ribbon sticking out 90deg from the rim
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Old 08-15-22, 12:48 PM
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I think you have just unfortunately have 2 products on the smallest and largest spectrum of their manufacturing tolerances. So the Challenge tires are most probably the smallest diameter/circumference within tolerances, and the wheel is at the largest end, which means they don't fit. And no it's unlikely the tires will stretch that much, otherwise the danger of the tires popping off the rim is a real possibility.
I just got the Challenge Bianca Strada Pro TLR, and it mounted ok, but like yours, it was tight in the center channel, but I use it tubeless, so it took a bit of work but I finally managed to get it to fill and hold on both wheels. So
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Old 08-15-22, 01:08 PM
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25c wouldn't be my definition of a Fat tire. The 110+psi pressures that 25mm tires have to withstand is what makes them such a beast to mount. Either a bigger section tire or one built to a lower max psi will make for a tire that is less tempermental.
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Old 08-19-22, 05:00 AM
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Just out of curiosity, are the 25 mm tires noticeably fatter than the 23 mm tires? I haven't ridden tires that skinny in many years. The bike I rode to the station this morning has 48's. I don't need tire levers to change tires.

But to answer your question, no, they are not going to get easier to mount. Sorry!
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Old 08-19-22, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by TurboTrueno View Post
New rider here.

I got some new tires, which I found quite difficult to install; after several hours I admitted defeat and took them to the LBS. They ended up blowing one tube during mounting. They told me these tires were an extremely tight fit on my wheels. A tube even popped out as he handed me the wheels back, and he had to re-mount it again. I do trust this shop and have heard good things about them, which makes me think it could be a bad idea to run these tires

I have had no problems so far changing tubes at the roadside with my old tires. I am worried these new tires may be beyond my capabilities to change in a reasonable amount of time. I bike to work; with the old tires I have changed the tube in around 5 minutes. I don't want to be fiddling with a tire for 15+ minutes the next time I get a flat.

Will the tires "soften up" and become easier to mount/dismount after some miles?

My issue was not getting the tires on the rim, but fitting the tube inside properly without pinching/folding it. This was also my first time fitting "folding tires"

New tires: "Challenge elite xp pro" 25c (First time trying fat tires. They feel ok)
Rims: "Velocity Aerohead" ( I think they are 20mm wide inside, I forgot to measure them with the tire off. no measurement marking on them)
Old tires: "BBB Roadride" 23c Very easy to mount/dismount, they came with the bike and were over 10 years old. I really liked these tires a lot, but they were starting to wear through after several thousand km.

Thank you for checking my post
I am not sure i understand the don't have problem with getting tire on rim, but with the tube.pinching folding
in general just barely inflating the tube enough to put some shape in the tube helps, also using tube that matches the tire size (smaller but not bigger) helps.
after one bad experience in the wild, If i have tires that are tight to put on in the shop, I let them sit a couple of days and then do a simulated flat fix using what i carry on my bike.
Metal levers can help
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Old 08-19-22, 06:56 PM
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Thank you all
Ended up giving the Challenge tires to a buddy. The tubes kept sneaking out of the tire bead.

Got some Vittorias now which fit completely fine. Also test fit my buddy's Gatorskin and they fit OK.

Too bad because I did like the ride quality of the Challenges. Luckily they will be put to good use so all is well
Squirtdad I like your idea of a practice fix, I will have to steal that

Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Just out of curiosity, are the 25 mm tires noticeably fatter than the 23 mm tires? I haven't ridden tires that skinny in many years.
Hey RHM, they really do seem fatter on my bike . The sidewall height also seems a bit higher. They are quite close to my bike frame now, but manageable. The Vittoria Rubino seem a little fatter than the Challenge XP. My bike is an old 80s one, I do think it could fit most 28s.

The 25 takes some getting used to. Like many have said, it "feels slower" due to the soft ride, but it's certainly more comfortable. My local shops don't seem to carry 23s at all any more

Last edited by TurboTrueno; 08-19-22 at 07:01 PM.
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