The Ultimate Guide to Insanely Tight Bicycle Road Tyre Installation

The Ultimate Guide to Insanely Tight Bicycle Road Tyre Installation

Can't install your road bicycle tyre on your wheel? Thinking it must be the wrong size? Thumbs dislocated? New tube punctured by your tyre lever?

This post is your salvation and last stop in your quest for internet guidance on how to get your f*$king road tyre on your wheel and go riding.

Equipment needed will be some thin profile tyre levers like the blue Schwalbe ones, and getting yourself the f*$k together.

Tubed / Non-tubeless Tyres

First, seat one tyre bead on the rim. You don't need the tube yet. The beads are the inside edges of the tyre. One each side.

Line up the center of the logo with the valve hole when you do this, don't be a Fred.

If you can't figure out what the bead of the tyre is, you might need to just go to a bike shop / life coach / call your Mum or Dad and ask them to pick you up and if you can move back in with them.

If faced with an absolute prick tight tyre/wheel combo even this step can be a struggle.

Work it around with your thumbs so the bead sits in the center channel of the rim.

Then pop the last section of bead in by working inwards with both hands and the wheel sitting in your lap.

Can't get it with your hands? You can lever the last section in with your THIN tyre levers. Thick type tyre levers will f#$k it up.

With one inserted either side of the remaining unseated section. Centimetre by centimetre if you have to.

Lever both at the same time or at least maintain tension on the bead with one while you lever the other otherwise you'll just be chasing the bead around the wheel.

Next, inflate the tube slightly to give it some shape. The tube should look and feel a bit like your favourite brand of cabanossi. But softer. I don't know, like 8 PSI.

Insert the valve of your plumped tube into the wheel valve hole and push the tube up into the tyre cavity all the way around without twisting the tube.

Twist the tube and you're f*$ked. Don't push the tube up into the tyre cavity and you're f*$ked.

Sit on a f*$king chair. Don't stand up and bend over. The ground is also acceptable.

Put the wheel on your lap, unseated / open side of tyre facing up.

With the valve at 6 o'clock, move your hands to the 12 o'clock position and start pushing the tyre into the rim with your thumbs.

Your right hand will move clockwise. Your left hand anti-clockwise.

Keep going until both hands are struggling to get the bead pushed into the rim.

With real dog of a rim / tyre combo this might be as early as the 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions. What a c$%t. 

Rotate the wheel in your lap so that the valve is now at 12 o'clock.

Starting at the 6 o'clock position, squeeze / pinch / massage the tyre with both hands bringing the beads together in the center channel of the rim.

At this point double check the tube is still at home up in side the tyre and not getting in the way of the beads. Let a little bit of air out of the tube. Not too much.

After the massaging, continue pushing the bead of the tyre into the rim with your two hands converging toward the valve.

Here comes the actual hard part.

Once it becomes too hard to push the bead with your thumbs, use the thin tyre levers, inserted either side of the un-seated section to lever the bead in.

Even an inch at a time is fine. Can't lever both at the same time? Maintain tension on the bead of one side while you lever with the other and then vice-versa.

After making some progress go back to the 6 o'clock position and again work your hands around massaging the tyre into the center channel of the wheel rim.

Look closely and make sure you aren't catching tube with the tyre levers. If you are, put a little air back into the tube and get it to stay up inside the tyre more.

Keep levering both sides inch by inch, centimetre by centimetre if necessary until the bead finally pops in.

Massage the tyre all the way around and pull the beads towards the center channel of the rim to check that you haven't pinched the tube.

Having summited that life challenge inflate and go ride your bike, Champion.

Tubeless tyres (assuming wheel already set up tubeless with valve)

Only differences to the above procedure is:
- ignore any steps relating to the tube






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