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fitting tyres - tips please
after some early lucky successes, I seem to have had a raft of puncturing replacement tubes when getting the last 12" of the second side of the tyre on.
I'd be grateful of tips for every-time success? Have two 2' tyre levers and two a bit longer than the Austin ones - all modern. Washing up liquid as lubricant? -  perhaps I need the proper lube?
Are smaller diameter tyres harder? 17" and 15" seem to have been more problematic.
Maybe I have just been lucky over the years but here are my tips:
Always make sure the tyres are nice and warm (stick ‘em in the airing cupboard or on top of the range, if it’s not a sunny day.
Experts frown upon it, but I us3 a strong dilution of fairy liquid (proper tyre soap is the preferred option)
Sometimes you can get the tyres on by just treading around the edge, but I use levers most of the time.
Finally I always put a little air (not too much) in the tube before finally fitting, which lessens the chance of pinching the tube.
There you go!
Hi Jon

I know it depends on the type of tyre, size of tyre and temperature but I have never needed levers to get a tyre on (off yes obviously!).  Make sure the tyre is warm...use washing up liquid and walk the tyre onto the rim.  It helps to work on the back face to stop marking the rim and to use quite heavy shoes (but not ones with nails in  Smile.  I always inflate the tube slightly to make sure the valve is sitting properly.

Hope this helps


I was taught to put the levers away when refitting, only use them to get the tyre off. Get the wheel on a hard surface (concrete is ideal) and protect the wheel by putting a piece of carpet down. Put the tyre on the easy side first, then put the tube in (need some long fingers to get the valve into the hole), catch the awkward side of the tyre under the rim, opposite the valve and tread it on with your feet. Use your choice of lubricant. The last 6 or 8 inches is the killer, you may need to jump up and down on the tyre edge and "kick" it on. Concentrate on the ends of the unfitted sector. Eventually it will go on with a satisfying "Pop"!

I haven't punctured a tyre by fitting it using this method and I have fitted many.
Always start and finish at the valve, and make sure the bead is right into the well of the wheel before levering. If you have to use a lot of force then you're doing it wrong. A 19" tyre should go back on without levers.
Talcum powder... just be careful, I found it so slippery that I almost fell off the edge

Got some odd looks from Mrs L coming back into the house smelling of rubber and talc, but hey ho!
Talcum powder is much better than soapy liquid.

Sometimes  a short length of hardwood hit with a big wooden mallet, instead of your heel, works.

If you are using your heels then wear the stiffest pair of shoes you have, Crocs don't do it. Wink
Washing up liquid contains a high concentration of salt. It will rot your rims in time. Talcum is fine but Waxoyl much better as it not only lubricates but gives added corrosion protection to your rims. Of course, you could always buy proper tyre soap. Depends how many tyres you intend to be fitting!

Use a rubber mallet for the final six inches or so.
I agree with what what has been said about the NON use of tyre levers when refitting. When refitting and the tyre is really difficult when you get to the last bit that won’t go on easily I find that a few strikes with a rubber hammer on the tyre rim where it meets the wheel rim will just get it over onto the wheel.

John Mason
Would you believe it "Her who must be obeyed" refers to my Ruby as the toy.


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