Routine bike maintenance is less intense and takes little time, so it’s usually easy to handle. But it takes a different turn when dealing with a flat tire.
Perhaps it’s not a flat tire, but you decided to change your tires after years of service. However, a stubborn tire will frustrate almost anyone.
Many riders usually throw in the towel and leave the tire. But it doesn’t have to end that way for you.
Tubeless or tube-type tires may become hard to get on or off rims due to obstruction. So tube-type tires can get stuff when the tube gets stuck in-between the rim and tire beads. But tubeless tires can become stiff when the tire beads sit on the rim shelf instead of the rim well.
Besides obstructions, other factors can cause a stubborn mountain bike tire. So you’ll learn more about them in this article.
You’ll also learn how to work around stubborn tires when getting them on or off your bike rim.
Why Can’t I Get Mountain Bike Tire On & Off Rim?
For a few reasons, your mountain bike tire can become difficult to work with. For example, when you use a sealant on your tire, it can feel firmer.
So when the sealant dries, it’ll give you a tough time on the bike rim. There’s nothing more annoying than stubborn tires because they seem to drain all your strength.
What’s worse is that you can spend hours getting nothing from them. Well, you most times walk away with numerous bruises.
But this article is here to save you all that trouble! Some factors can make your tire hard to work with on the bike rim.
The section below outlines some of them:
#1. Tire Type
The nature of your tire, being tubeless or tubular, can impact how hard it’ll be to get on or off the rim. So, you’ll have a challenging time working with tubeless tires.
They are tighter than clincher tires and can get stiffer over time. Also, it’s tricky to get all the tire beads to sit in the rim well with tubeless tires.
So that can give you a tough time getting the tire on or off. Then for tube-type tires, the tube can get in the way of fitting around the rim.
That happens when the tube slips between the rim and tire beads. So you’ll notice some part of the tube hanging outside the tire.
#2. Rim-Tire Combination
With the right rim-tire combo, working your tires is easy. This scenario happens when you want a tight fit for your tires.
Although you want to avoid having loose tires on your bike’s rims, try not to make them too tight. The tires are hard to come off, even if you manage to mount them.
It always helps to get the correct rim-tire combination so that your tire will be a perfect fit for the rim.
How Do You Get a Stubborn Mountain Bike Tire Off the Rim?
Using the right tools can help you get the most stubborn mountain bike tire off the rim. You don’t have to spend much time probing the tire with your hands.
There’s a high chance you’ll end up with sores and blisters with the tire still on the rim.
But you can avoid that by using some of the methods below.
#1. Use Tire Levers
Tire levers are handy tools to help you pop out tire beads on stubborn mountain bike tires. They are portable so you can keep them at hand for any trail emergencies.
The great thing about tire levers is that they are flat, so they’ll slip under most tightly fitted tires. You may have heard about sharpening levers. Do well to avoid doing that.
Sharpening tire levers can damage the tire, rim, or both. Also, they can become flat to slip under the tightest fit, but that comes at a cost.
Also, you should avoid using metal levers. The chances of damage increase when using them.
So what you want to do is stick one tire lever into a specific area on the tire. Then, once you get some space, use another to probe around on one side.
You can turn to the tire’s other side when you finish with the first side. You should notice the tire shifting from the rim wall to the rim’s center.
So it’ll be easier to get the tire off the rim after using the levers on both sides of the tire.
#2. Clamp the Tire With a Vice
Getting a tire off the rim can become tricky when you don’t get a firm grip on the tire. As such, you won’t be able to create any space to pop the tire beads.
But securing the tire with a vice can help solve that problem. But you have to be extra careful not to damage the tire. So holding the tire too tight will surely leave a mark.
What you want to do is secure the tire on a flat surface. So a table or floor can work, as long as there’ll be no damage to the surface.
Keep the edge of the rim away from the clamp and secure only the tire. Hold part of the tire with one hand to support it and pull the rim with the other.
Use only slight force to avoid dealing with any damage. First, pull the rim away from the tire, either from the left or right. Then continue with the side that pops.
After that, switch to the other side that has yet to pop. Sometimes you can work the tire without putting it back in the vice.
After that, you can use tire levers (if you need them) to pop the tire beads. Then, finally, you can squeeze the tire and pull it off the rim completely.
How Do You Put a Tight Mountain Bike Tire On?
Tight mountain bike tires are usually a common problem for riders using tubeless setups. Most times, the situation quickly gets frustrating, and riders give up.
But you’ll be fitting a tight tire on the easier to do when you’re patient to take it to step by step. So you first want to ensure the rim’s center is clear of obstacles.
Otherwise, you will not be able to seat the tire beads in the rim well. Thus, the tire will not fit properly on the rim even if you manage to get it on.
Also, with the tire beads sitting in the middle of the rim web, you can fit the tight tire even without tire levers. Sounds too easy?
The table below shows the steps you can take to install a tight mountain bike tire.
|Tire Fitting||Take your tire and fit one bead (either left or right) around the rim.|
|Alignment||Align the valve with the logos on the tire. That gives the fitting a stylish look.|
|Rim Sitting||It always helps to ensure the first tire bead sits in the middle of the rim, away from the rim shelf.|
|Bead Fitting||When you fit the first tire bead, you can turn to the other side and start fitting it.|
|Clearance||Ensure the beads move from the rim shelf to the web of the rim. That will give you more clearance to fit the last part of the tire.|
|Final Fitting||Finally, you can pull down on the last part of the tire to get it on the rim. It should fall into the web, and you’ll hear the pop sound.|
You can follow this video for visual instructions if you have trouble fitting your tire.
How to Remove Bike Tire from Rim Without Tools?
Having a flat tire on the trail is usually hard to avoid. Although riding with a complete toolset is a long shot, you wouldn’t want a bad tire to ruin your fun.
So, knowing how to fix your tire without tools comes in handy. You may have tire levers available, but the method you’ll learn can serve you with or without them.
Please, follow the steps below to remove a bike tire from the rim without tools.
- Unfasten the axel and detach the tire-rim combo from the bike.
- Let the air in the tire as much as possible. Then try to break part of the tire beads to let the remaining air out.
- You can squeeze on the tubes for tube-type tires to get more air out.
- Break the beads on both sides of the tire.
- You can place the wheel on the ground, step on the tire and pull up the rim if you’re having a hard time. That helps to pop even stubborn tires.
- Then, push the tire beads from the rim shelf down into the rim web. That way, the beads will be slack and come off more easily.
- Next, grab a sizable portion of the tire, pull it up and try to squeeze it over the rim. You can use your feet to support the wheel on the ground.
- Apply sufficient pressure to pull the tire away and over the rim. Once you do that, you can pull the tire off the rim round on both sides.
- The tire will come off easily, and you can then fix a replacement tire. You can also use the section for fixing tight tires to replace your bike tire.
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