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Old 04-23-2009, 01:38 PM   #11
RottenScummyTroll's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Bozeman, MT
Oddometer: 236
This is a different tack, but can save some dough on the road for sure.


Learn to change 'em yourself, and you'll save a bundle. Heck, just one time and you'll pay for your tire levers.

Planning ahead on a long trip for tire changes and having them shipped to friend's house along the way can help too, buying tires online saves a good bit.

"But how do you break the bead on tubeless tires? I thought you need to have a special tire changer for that..."

Not so. In fact, all you really need to break the bead even on sportbike rims is 3 tire levers - and they don't even have to be super long. Here's how:

1. With the wheel on the ground, insert 2 tire levers between the rim and the tire about 12"-14" apart. Press these levers DOWN, toward the center of the tread.

2. Insert the 3rd lever about midway between the other two. However, instead of pressing down, instead pry UP on this lever AWAY from the center of the tread. This is putting direct pressure on the bead and moving it in toward the center of the rim, not just pressing on the sidewall of the tire like the other two levers.

3. Work the center tire lever back and forth between the outer two levers, prying upwards. The bead won't come loose if you just pry in one place, you have to "worry" it a little and work it down off the rim.

Once the bead is broken, proceed as normal. (I'll have to do a writeup on this with pics sometime. People almost always make tire changes harder than they really have to be, it's a pet peeve of mine.)

I was able to change both tubeless tires on my Strom in less than 45 minutes like this, using just 3 tire levers and a floor pump. Sure beats paying the dealer $30 apiece to do the same.

I should note that if you're doing this on the road, it's nice to do it at a gas station with air. Those tiny little 12-volt compressors sometimes don't move air fast enough to seal the bead on a tubeless tire. (CO2 cartridge pumps aren't a sure thing either - they move air fast enough, but not enough volume per cartridge.)
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