How to NOT ruin tubes during tire mounting?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Rob.G, May 1, 2013.

  1. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    I'm having a helluva time. I've mounted at least two dozen tires in the past couple of years, and up until recently, I had only pinched two tubes. Now, the last several attempts have all resulted in pinched tubes. I'm running out of patience and $$ to buy new tubes. I'm wondering if anybody has any good pointers on how to do this without pinching them? If I end up having to fix a flat in the field, I really need to get that technique down.

    The way I've been doing it is, after getting the tire halfway on the wheel (which I put baby powder in and shake around first), I slip a slightly-inflated tube in and fish the valve through the hole in the wheel. Then I work the rest of the tube in. I take my time spooning the other half of the tire, and I slip my fingers in first to make sure the tube is out of the way. This doesn't seem to be helping though.

    I've seen the photos of the technique where you put the inflated tube inside the tire, then use zipties, but I've not tried it, and am not sure how practical that is for a field repair.

    Thanks for any input. :)

    Rob
    #1
  2. Motomedic

    Motomedic Over-caffienated Raconteur

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    Try not to push the tire lever past vertical. I can't say this does it every time, but it helps.
    #2
  3. qkenf4u

    qkenf4u Been here awhile

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    i do multiple street/dirt tires at work all week long....

    if i can use the tire machine its much easier but if not then i do this...

    baby powder as you do
    pump tube up till its round (just enough to get it round, not all pumped up hard)
    put tube in tire at balance dot if need be
    lube bead
    put valve stem thru hole and put nut on first couple threads
    push tire on as far as i can by hand
    use 16" tire irons for last bit of tire
    pretty much same idea for other side of tire till it gets pretty tough to get bead on then i let air out and just grab the rim edge with my iron (you can feel whether its tube or rim under iron...
    being i usually dont have a second set of hands to hold the tire down in middle of rim i use 1x2 pieces of wood to do the job for me.. i just push the tire down and put the wood in multiple spots around the rim where ive already mounted the tire...then spoon the rest of the tire on easy peasy...
    out in the feild youll have fun no matter what you do/dont do....
    good luck
    #3
  4. greer

    greer Long timer

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    I have better luck when I leave the tubes flat. When I try the tube with a bit of air, seems it's more likely to get in the way of the iron.

    Sarah
    #4
  5. Drilldogger

    Drilldogger Been here awhile

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    I've had good luck patching the tube after I pinched it and had to remove it again. Then I'm usually more careful the 2nd time.:rofl
    #5
  6. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    When using Stubby tire irons (i.e. plastic levers), pinching the tube did not happen for me. Regular tire irons (w/baby powder, partially inflated tube, rim protectors) sometimes pinched the tube. Technique and being extra careful (paranoid?) about pinching tubes with standard irons helps me prevent pinching.

    I bought the Stubby's to avoid dealing with rim protectors and prevent damaging the rim but found the non-tube pinch end shape nice. YMMV.
    #6
  7. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Thanks!! Keep it coming. This is good stuff. :)

    The irons I use are the Motion Pro ones with the box-end wrenches on the other end. They're nice and wide and rounded. I also have one Motion Pro one that's longer with a curved end, which is very handy.

    Rob
    #7
  8. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    I've done wit both ways (with a little air in the tube and with the tube 'flat'). But, I seem to have the best luck when doing it the way that Sarah does. I just did my spare set of DR650 wheels last weekend. No air in the tubes, no pinch flats. Like you, I worry about field repairs (and having to dismount a tire due to a pinch flat).
    #8
  9. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    After you have your tube in there and it's time to spoon the last half of the tire on make sure to start opposite of the valve stem, this is the key to a pinch free tube install. You always want to finish at the stem, always. :deal
    #9
  10. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    when you get near the end don't let the spoon go too far beyond "vertical", push the tire with you hand if you can. don't bring the spoon all the way over unless you are positive the tube is free. when you've gotten as much out of it as you can, bring the spoon out sideways... like pull it out parallel to the bead.

    and get one of these....

    http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/partno/08-0388/

    so you can use both hands to work a pair of spoons a little at a time. be sure to keep the bead that has already been set in the rim drop

    I have done the banding thing on tires & installed them with only my bare hands. works really good on some.... not so much on others. TKCs on my GS.... easiest install ever. Sahara 3 on a F650 was a real struggle... not worth the effort.
    #10
  11. Scootern29

    Scootern29 Been here awhile

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    I normally put a little air in the tube and spoon it on like you normally would. The only exception to spoons is that in the last maybe 1/4 of the tire going on I make sure the bead is lubed real good and use a rubber mallet and whack the bead gradually over the rim while applying pressure. It takes the spoon pinch factor out of the equation in that last little bit.
    #11
  12. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    I use the tire irons that have a small "hook" on one end. The hook snaps on the edge of the rim and keeps the iron from sliding into the tire and pinching the tube. I inflate the tube until it's just round. Haven't pinched one in a long time.
    #12
  13. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Thanks again for all the great tips! I found a patched tube in the garage that will work; time and motivation permitting, I'll try again tomorrow or Sunday. If it works, great. If not, I'll take it to a shop. D606's are a pain in the butt.

    Rob
    #13
  14. gatorgrizz27

    gatorgrizz27 Been here awhile

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    I use the same technique and equipment as you and never pinch tubes. One key is not to insert the iron any more than necessary to grab the lip of the rim, as in dont shove it in with a half an inch overhang on the inside. Also a bead holding tool may help if you aren't using one.
    #14
  15. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=822894

    I've been changing tires for too long, and am usually pretty easy on tubes, whether I use irons or the machine. And I'm pretty good at not tearing up rims. Well, sometimes it's not so easy on the side of the road / trail. But this tool pushes the tire on so easy the tube is never touched and if you do it right, the metal pushrod doesn't touch your rim. But its only for mounting the new tire, you still need irons to demount the old tire. We've done 2 group buys since November, about 130 tools. You can order directly from the manufacture as well.
    #15
  16. Tech23

    Tech23 Been here awhile

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    I'll second this good advise. When you pull the handle of tire iron past 90 degrees to the rim, the tip of the tire iron tends to grab the tube and pinch it between the tire iron and the rim...especially if you don't have sufficient air in the tube to help it keep its shape and out of harms way. A light dusting of talcum powder on the tube and inside of the tire will help the tube situate itself inside the tire after the tire is mounted up and you are inflating and deflating the tube a few times to get rid of any folds, twists.

    Tech23
    #16
  17. emti

    emti Been here awhile

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    Do the stem area first, then keep the mounted portion of the tire pushed down into the center of the rim, this keeps the tube there also and away from the bead. And hold your mouth just right.. and dont swear, dont panic. Its just a tube.emti
    #17
  18. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    I think got all my tube pinching out of the way when I was an avid bicycle rider.

    Haven't pinched a motorcycle tube yet.

    Never going past a certain point with the irons is key. Also, don't insert them too far.

    Know where the tube is... be the tube.

    Use the force? :evil
    #18
  19. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    #19
  20. Fourstring

    Fourstring Been here awhile

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    What's the preferred technique for the last eight inches of tube? I was using 18" irons last night WITH my wife holding the tire on; we couldn't spoon it on. The iron was even bending.

    Also, how does everyone handle rim locks? Last, first, doesn't matter?
    #20