Tire Iron Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by LabRat, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. LabRat

    LabRat Playpen Attendant

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    I need to change my first flat, and being a procrastinator/slacker/poor student type, I haven't bought all the required attruments for the job yet. So without further a'do y'all have any good suggestions? I welcome any info you can provide and any advice overall on selection would be gratefully appreciated. Also, if you know of any delas available that wuold be great too.

    thanks,
    J.D.

    PS - For those interested I just picked up a Craftsmen bike lift for $70 sale ends today 6/12/05
    #1
  2. creeper

    creeper Still alive...

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    Long ones... with a wide, flat spoon on the end. And more than two... four is good.

    These... or these or maybe some of these or...
    #2
  3. bpeterson

    bpeterson no other way to say it

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    I like th 16" MotionPro ones.
    #3
  4. RoadNotTaken

    RoadNotTaken Been here awhile

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    I use 3 of the 16" Motion Pro irons and the Harbor Freight tire changer setup. That's all I've ever used so I can't compare to other irons but it definitely works well on my adventure wheels. You might want to pick up some rim protectors. I use a cut up piece of garden hose but they're really beat to hell now. Also, the Marc Parnes balancer works great too!
    #4
  5. elgreen

    elgreen Crotchety Contrarian

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    Depends on the tire and the bike, and whether you want to be able to change tires on the road. On the road, I carry a couple of 8" MotionPro tire irons and a MotionPro combo tire spoon/axle wrench (saves me one wrench in my toolkit and does double duty). In the shop, if you can afford it, get a couple of big tire irons in addition to a spoon (the spoon will break the bead on a tube-type tire if you use a wrench through the hole as a handle to twist it after shoving it down there). The big tire irons typically have two ends, a hooked one and a straight one, and make changing a (tube-type) tire almost a pleasure.

    Note that I have tube-type tires on my bike, tubeless tires with their stiffer beads will probably require the big tire irons and an actual bead breaker tool.

    I recently ordered a couple of "Bead stops" from J.C. Whitney, I haven't needed to change tires since I got them though so I don't know if they actually make it easier. My back tire is getting worn, so I guess I'll know in a month or two.

    -E
    #5
  6. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    I've got twenty or so irons around the shop. For shop use, the 16" Motion Pros with the curve in one end are the best I've ever used and the only ones that work really well for changing big/wide sportbike rubber. They've got just the right curves and hooks. But they're too big for carrying in a trail tool roll. For this, I use 8" straight ones and cuss a lot.

    I'm unsure why you'd ever need more than three. You're always prying up a portion of the bead just outside of the section you're holding with two, and once you get it pried over, then the one in the middle is unnecessary, so you pull it out to do the next portion. But you do need three.

    - Mark
    #6
  7. NJ_Bob

    NJ_Bob Occasional Adventurer

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    I have 3 of the BMW irons that are about 8" long. I keep them on the bike, and use them at home also.
    #7
  8. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    (Re: motion pro 16" iron)

    Every time I change, that iron makes it possible. But I don't carry it. I think I'm kidding myself into believing I can change a tire with these shorter trailside irons. When I get around to it, I'm going to wrap two of the 16" ones up and attach them where the toolbox normally goes, or something like that.
    #8
  9. Snuffy

    Snuffy Long timer

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    Gots me 3 16" iv'e carried around for 30 years. 3 long irons are all you need.
    #9
  10. configurationspace

    configurationspace delooper

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    I have the motionpro super-long 16" irons. You don't need to generate that much torque when changing tires, and long irons can get in the way. I saw the 8" irons that they're selling in the BMW shops -- they look very nice! Provided they don't cost your first born, I'd get them.

    I also have one of the ken-tool 9" irons that creeper linked to -- my favorite tire iron so far.

    You'll probably want 3 irons though, not just 2.
    #10
  11. elgreen

    elgreen Crotchety Contrarian

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    It is indeed possible to change tube-type tires with the 8" tire irons. Not pleasant, but possible. I did it once just to prove to myself that I could do it (I used two 8" tire irons and a tire spoon/axle wrench combo, the same stuff I carry in my tool wrap). I agree that the 16" tire irons make it much more pleasant. If you doubt you can use the 8" tire irons on the road, carry two 8" tire irons and one 16" tire iron. Use the big tire iron to pry the tire over the rim (after breaking the bead all around of course), jam the 8" in the gap, pull out the big tire iron, and move the big tire iron onward to pry the next part over the rim. Put second 8" in that gap (it helps to have 3 hands at this point, but I usually use my knee on the first tire iron here!), pull the big tire iron out, move big tire iron to next point. Past this point, you can keep sliding the second 8" tire iron around the rim behind the big tire iron in a "two steps forward, one step back" progression. It works. And saves the pain of hauling around *three* 16" tire irons. It's easy to add two 8" tire irons to your tool roll. It's easy to find someplace to strap one 16" tire iron onto your bike. Finding someplace to strap *three* of them is, well, maybe if you ride a Goldwing :-).

    -E
    #11
  12. techieguy

    techieguy Lost in the woods

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    Another vote for the Motion Pro. I have 2 of the Motion Pro 16" irons.
    #12
  13. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    Now that I have two of the 16" irons, I find it doesn't work out so hot. I found that a smaller 10" iron I have from the motion pro kit works better in combination with one 16" iron. Part of it is that I think the longer irons get in the way. But that's probably more my fault since my last change I did from the sprocket side.. heh, forgot there is not a removeable sprocket carrier on the exc.
    #13
  14. NJ_Bob

    NJ_Bob Occasional Adventurer

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    The reason the I suggested 3 short ones, is because (on a BMW - not sure about your KTM) you can use the brake disc to hold them while you work with the 3rd one.

    The BMW part # is: 71 11 1 237 871 "tire lever" $8.24 from ChicagoBMWMotorcycles.com

    I do think that having one long lever would be helpful as others have suggested.
    #14
  15. hook

    hook On a ride...

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    By the way...I bought a set of titanium irons from the aerostich website- and an iron with a 24mm wrench built-in from tuaratech...all 3 items are incredibly light, which is a must for me on this long ride.
    #15
  16. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

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    I have the Motion Pros. Don't like them and one broke. About 5 years ago I bought what I think was a Scott Summers product. The name has long since worn off but they are the best irons I've seen. Or were. They are like these except have a red plastic handle:

    https://secure.srcinc.net/prodpage....ted=55&Product_Selected=ACCSACTI00&StartRow=1

    These are super expensive, but they have the exact same "spoon" as mine and I can bet they are comfortable too. What's great about this type, as opposed to most others, is you can pound on the end of it if necessary. If you ever use an iron that doesn't jab your hand, you won't go back to your old ones.
    #16
  17. R_W

    R_W wannabe

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