Can a tire be just too tight.
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  1. #1
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    Can a tire be just too tight.

    I just bought a set of Michelin Carbon Axial tires. They are incredibly tight. They are so tight that I ripped three tubes trying to get the back tire on, because I had to use a tire lever, and the tire was so tight that there was no way to tuck the tube in so it would be out of the way and not get damaged. I also snapped a tire lever. I've changed MTB tires hundreds of times, and this is my fourth set of road tires. I've dealt with tight tires, but this was ridiculous.

    Is there some trick to doing this? I thought of maybe trying to stretch out the tire, but that somehow seems like a bad Idea. I'm a little hesitant to use these tires because if a get a flat I may end up hosing my extra tube. I mean, I ripped (pinched is more acurate) 3 tubes before I got one to work. Will the tires stretch out some once they are on the bike?

    Thanks
    Kapusta

  2. #2
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    Kapusta -

    Michelins can be a bit tight (was thinking this as I changed one on a Ksyrium at the roadside after puncturing yesterday...) - but not as bad as that. What kind of back wheel is this by the way? Is it a Campy Neutron/Nucleon?

    Neutron/Nucleon back rims (and perhaps some other wheelsets?) are a little wider than the front and this can make life difficult. I once had to take a Nucleon to the LBS after ripping the skin from my thumbs trying to get a Vittoria Rubino on.

    If you can't get it on without resorting to levers, etc. then something is wrong and a visit to the shop is probably in order.

    CC

  3. #3
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    tight

    Quote Originally Posted by Ce Cinquanta
    Kapusta -



    If you can't get it on without resorting to levers, etc. then something is wrong and a visit to the shop is probably in order.

    CC
    That is just not always true, and it depends on the tire and the rim, as there are some near impossible combinations and manufacturing variations can make it even worse.

  4. #4
    Every little counts...
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    Rim tape: The only reason for me NOT to use cloth tapes, when this happens. Fir 97 rims and Axial Carbons were the death of me. A bit easier after I changed to Michelin tapes from the cloth.

    Also, check the tire to make sure that there isn't untrimmed rubber (try sanding a bit off with a bit of rough sandpaper) around the bead of the tires.

  5. #5
    Diesel Engine
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    Rim Well Depth

    Some rims have a very deep 'well', so that when the first tire bead is on the rim, it sinks down lower than normal. This can make it difficult at best to get the 2nd bead on. Also, Michelins tend to be a bit on the tight side on most rims (some worse than others). If your rim well depth is deeper than normal, sometimes a cloth tape like Velox can actually help. What rims are you using?

    I used Carbons for a few years, and while the initial install can be tough depending on the rim, the bead does tend to loosen up over time and as the tire is removed and reinstalled a few times. Also, to avoid pinching tubes, sometimes a good dusting of talcum powder on the tube and inside the tire can help a lot to reduce friction and the chance of a pinched tube.

    Look on the bright side, you won't have to worry about the bead blowing off of the tire . Till then, toughen up those thumbs.

  6. #6
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Backwards, well depth is good..

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Prince
    Some rims have a very deep 'well', so that when the first tire bead is on the rim, it sinks down lower than normal. This can make it difficult at best to get the 2nd bead on. Also, Michelins tend to be a bit on the tight side on most rims (some worse than others). If your rim well depth is deeper than normal, sometimes a cloth tape like Velox can actually help. What rims are you using?

    I used Carbons for a few years, and while the initial install can be tough depending on the rim, the bead does tend to loosen up over time and as the tire is removed and reinstalled a few times. Also, to avoid pinching tubes, sometimes a good dusting of talcum powder on the tube and inside the tire can help a lot to reduce friction and the chance of a pinched tube.

    Look on the bright side, you won't have to worry about the bead blowing off of the tire . Till then, toughen up those thumbs.
    It's been my experience that a deep welled rim makes it easier to mount the tire. With the bead on the rest of the rim down in the well, the effective diameter of the rim while mounting is smaller. This is also why the thinner tape works a little better. BTW, my normal tires are Michelin Axial Pro, Pro Race and Axial Carbon. They go on quite easily on an Open Pro but are a bear on a Ambrosia Balance rim. I think Axial Sport may be the worst I've mounted.

    TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  7. #7
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    Rims

    The rims are Mavic. I'll look at the model when I get home.

    Thanks for the info. I think I will make a run to the shop.

    Kapusta

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    I just bought a set of Michelin Carbon Axial tires. They are incredibly tight. They are so tight that I ripped three tubes trying to get the back tire on, because I had to use a tire lever, and the tire was so tight that there was no way to tuck the tube in so it would be out of the way and not get damaged. I also snapped a tire lever. I've changed MTB tires hundreds of times, and this is my fourth set of road tires. I've dealt with tight tires, but this was ridiculous.

    Is there some trick to doing this? I thought of maybe trying to stretch out the tire, but that somehow seems like a bad Idea. I'm a little hesitant to use these tires because if a get a flat I may end up hosing my extra tube. I mean, I ripped (pinched is more acurate) 3 tubes before I got one to work. Will the tires stretch out some once they are on the bike?

    Thanks
    Kapusta
    Michelins are the hardest tires to put on. I've mounted damn near every tire brand out there, and I always cringe when someone says "I'll take the Michelins, could you put them on for me".

  9. #9
    chica cyclista
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    tire / rim combo

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    The rims are Mavic. I'll look at the model when I get home.

    Thanks for the info. I think I will make a run to the shop.

    Kapusta
    That Mavic / Michelin combo is notorious for being tight. But even I can mount them without levers if I really work at it. Takes blistered thumbs, sometimes.

    Sounds like you got a particularly bad set. I'd take it to the shop and ask if you can watch one of the wrenches install it. Assuming he/she doesn't cheat and use a Speed Lever (these are good, too), there's a definite trick to mounting a stubborn tire. It involves using both gravity and leverage, and it's nearly impossible to describe here. You basically have to brace the valve side of the rim (with both beads mounted) against your upper thigh, then bend over (looks funny, yes) and use your body weight, shoulder leverage and gravity to push the remaining bead on. Put your back into it. Work the tire on in little increments, and the last bit should just "pop" on.

    I can't understand why modern Kevlar clinchers are such a beast to mount these days. They used to be silky smooth and were a joy to install, and now the bulk of standard Kevlar bead clinchers are even worse than the old-school wire beads were.

    I can only assume that some idiot sued the mfgr. for some improperly mounted tire that "blew off" due to their own stupidity in seating the tube underneath, and now the industry is running so gunshy that they're making tires so tight that they're next to impossible to mount. Just wait until some female or junior cyclist gets stuck by the side of the road with a flat and one of these godforsaken tires that won't mount and they are kidnapped or worse...
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

    /Grandpa LFR

  10. #10
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    It's more likely the rim than the tire

    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger
    I can't understand why modern Kevlar clinchers are such a beast to mount these days. They used to be silky smooth and were a joy to install, and now the bulk of standard Kevlar bead clinchers are even worse than the old-school wire beads were.

    I can only assume that some idiot sued the mfgr. for some improperly mounted tire that "blew off" due to their own stupidity in seating the tube underneath, and now the industry is running so gunshy that they're making tires so tight that they're next to impossible to mount. Just wait until some female or junior cyclist gets stuck by the side of the road with a flat and one of these godforsaken tires that won't mount and they are kidnapped or worse...
    That might be the reason, but the more likely problem is the rim. The design of nearly all rims offers an incentive to the designer to "raise" the spoke bed, making the box section larger and therefore stronger. The incentive to raise the spoke bed (instead of "lowering" the inner face of the rim toward the hub) is because it uses no more material and therefore doesn't make the rim heavier. A "higher" spoke bed means a larger inner diameter and this makes mounting tires much harder. Many current rim designs are pushing the limit on this, and Michelins are just a little bit tighter than most tires, making them the most frequent, but not only, offender.

  11. #11
    Unrepentant Mountainbiker
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    Second the Axial sport

    Michilens are hard enough with a kevlar bead, but the wire bead on the axial sport made mounting the tires on 19 yr old Ambrosia rims damn near impossible. I had tire levers flying across the room as I tried to mount those $%&#ers. I have since sold the bike, but feel pity for the new owner strugling with those tires!
    It's no fun unless it hurts!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanM
    Michelins are the hardest tires to put on. I've mounted damn near every tire brand out there, and I always cringe when someone says "I'll take the Michelins, could you put them on for me".
    Dan - you have a PM...

    CC

  13. #13
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    There is a plastic lever device called something like 'Tire Jack' that you can buy. You stick it over the edge of the rim on the opposite side of the tire. Its long clothespin like part goes around the outside of the tire and it has a plastic hook that grabs the bead over the rim on the opposite side. Works like a charm on that last bit.

    Actually found a picture of the white plastic VAR lever set that I have on another thread:
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/com...ck-237419.html
    Last edited by jmfriedman7; 08-02-2012 at 04:36 AM.

  14. #14
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    Holy thread revival! This thread is over 8 years old!! LOL!

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