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DualsportWA 12-08-2012 05:19 PM

School me: using tire irons without puncturing tube
Well, I've decided to install tires for the first time in a while, this time for my Husqvarna TE610. :) I got the front (21") one on fine, but I'm having trouble with the rear (18"). Everything is going fine except I've punctured two tubes trying to get the last 18" of the last side of bead on when installing the rear tire.

I'm following these instructions: This has been a great resources. I've learned a lot from watching this guy, and except this issue everything else is going smoothly...

I have 8" motion pro tire irons, and some longer ones with slight bend on one side and more of a hook on the on the other side. I had the puncture happen with each style of iron aaaarrrrrggh!!!

A few questions:
1. How much pressure should I put in the tube to minimize risk of tire iron puncture?
2. Am I just stabbing the irons in too far?
3. Any other tips for avoiding this issue?

Gotta get this down in case I need to do this in the back woods :)

Any help would be appreciated!

PineyMountainRacing 12-08-2012 05:47 PM

I've never put extra air into the tubes, although I use plenty of talc or baby powder. I always inflate the tube a little, even a brand new tube, and dunk it in a tub of water just to be sure there are no leaks. In 30 years I've had a couple bad new tubes. Then I pull the core out of the stem, dry it off and make a mess with baby powder.

I use the tips of my irons, just over the edge of the rim (rim protectors on my nicer rims) and just make sure the opposite bead is down in the relief channel. Take a small bite a time. When you're starting out, it's nice to have an extra set of hands to keep the bead down on the opposite side. If you're sweating or forcing it, stop and have a brewski, and come back in a little bit.

Good luck, it's still more work on the side of a road or up a trail, but having done it plenty of times at home you'll have the confidence to git er dun!

Doghouse_Riley 12-08-2012 06:53 PM


Originally Posted by DualsportWA (Post 20207436)
A few questions:
1. How much pressure should I put in the tube to minimize risk of tire iron puncture?
2. Am I just stabbing the irons in too far?
3. Any other tips for avoiding this issue?

1. Enough to barely hold it's shape.
2. Yes and/or pinching part of the tube between the tire and rim.
3. Round off any sharp corners on your irons. Go slow, don't just jab them in there. Also if you're forcing something you're not in the right position. Reposition and try again. It's very much a feel thing that gets easier with practice. The first time I changed the tires on a bike I was by myself. It took me 2 hours and I felt like I just went 5 rounds with Dan Henderson when I finished. It got better.:D

Kamala 12-08-2012 07:01 PM

Make sure the bead on the opposite side of the tire you are trying to get over the rim is sitting in the valley of the rim. Also make sure the tire and rim are well lubricated. Good purpose built Tire Irons are a must and there are a few "Gizmos" like a "Bead Buddy" that really make the job a lot easier.

Beezer 12-08-2012 09:39 PM

when the iron is ready to come out, roll it out sideways... parallel to the rim instead of the same plane as the spokes

Zuber 12-08-2012 09:59 PM

Only bring the irons up to 90 deg (vertical). More than that is when you pinch the tube between the iron and the rim.

Don't get greedy, only move the iron over 5" or so for the next bite.

Use lube, Armor All is good, Soap, no oil or grease.

If it is hard to pry on, look at the oposite side and push it into the drop center.

Air up the tube several times to get the wrinkles out.

clapped_r6 12-08-2012 10:36 PM

look at this pic, notice where a little "relief" is cut into the straight end:

i have a set of these, and if you pay attention to keeping the relief on the rim and not slipping in, no more pokes.

i've also modded a generic steel set of irons with a little grinding and it does the same job......

boardrider247 12-09-2012 07:55 AM

Lots and lots of lube makes all the difference in the world.
I simply use mix of dish soap and water, heavy on the soap. Keep everything good and wet, re-apply often.

Should make your life much easier.

clapped_r6 12-09-2012 08:19 AM

I don't need lube for changing tube tires. Even at home, some talc on the tube is it. I had to lube tubeless, and the last trials tire I ran. Dirtrider mag had a tire change video awhile back
Google "dirt rider quick tire change"

concours 12-09-2012 09:22 AM

By far, the MOST COMMON MISCONCEPTION is that you holed the tube with your irons. The fact is, MOST of the pinched tube events come from when the tube is down in the drop-center portion of the rim, 180 degrees from where you are working. When you pull the bead over the rim, the other side is forced down into the drop and cuts the tube. The goal is to have enough air in the tube to keep it UP OUT od the drop-center channel.

DualsportWA 12-09-2012 10:27 AM

Thanks guys this is super helpful I'm going to try this again taking my time, cutting a relief into the flat end of the tire irons and not going past 90 I think that will do it :)

jon_l 12-09-2012 01:47 PM

I read Neduro's tire changing thread from beginning to end, before attempting my first tire change last Spring:

I have done several since, and while not fast, and not easy, no issues so far.

The best advice I found so far is:

1) if it gets really hard, stop before you break something, because you're doing something wrong, so back off, and start again.

2) putting a little air in the tube helps keep it where it belongs, and away from the tire iron.

3) keep the tire in the deep, center of the rim

DualsportWA 12-09-2012 06:31 PM

Success! I was careful this time to only rotate the irons up to 90deg, and also used clamps to compress the tire into the center of the rim opposite the area where the bead finished getting inserted. Patience, finesse, etc.

Also got my Hyde racing skid plate on. Time to go riding in the dirt!!!

victor441 12-09-2012 06:43 PM

If you use zip ties to squeeze the beads together it is nearly impossible to pinch the tube and it is much easier to mount the tire too...I learned the method here at and am completely sold on it. FWIW the zip ties can be reused too, it is easy to release the locking tab w/ a small screwdriver. Tire lube helps a lot too and works better than soapy water, a gallon is about $12 at Napa

Kamala 12-09-2012 08:12 PM

I'm kicking myself for not posting the best tip of all in my previous post. Place the tire in your car/truck, parked in the sun windows up. Or if you are yuppie scum like myself just throw it in the Sauna. A hot tire is so much more flexible and a pliable it practically jumps on the rim by itself.

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