Some tires you only have to look at badly and they slip off the rim. Often you don’t even need to unpack the tire levers. With a little kneading and applying pressure to the right places, the tire bead jumps over the rim flange. But sometimes the tire doesn’t want to go on the rim or off. There are very special candidates, often it is road bike tires or tubeless tires. But even touring tires like the ever-popular Schwalbe Marathon has the reputation that this is not easy to mount. What to do? A walkthrough for stubborn cases.

Check Size Specifications

Before we want to apply gewallt… we should be sure that we are talking here only about tight tolerances in industrial production. And not try to put wrong tires on too big rims. You should know the following sizes:

  • 28″ (28 or 28-inch tires): the common sizes on all modern bikes. Also known as 29s (the marketing name for large MTB tires, but they have the same initial size to the rim). It always depends on the inner diameter of the tire. This is 622mm according to ETRTO specification for 28er tires. So your tire should have a size designation according to the following pattern: xx-622. The first two numbers are the tire size (width) and -622 stands for the inner diameter, which fits the 28-inch tire.
  • 650B (or 27.5″) tires: a mountain bike and gravel bike tire size that is less common. These are slightly smaller. The ETRTO size ends at xx-584 (this rim or tire inner diameter is 584mm).
  • 26 Tire: Classic youth bike and aging MTB tire size. The ETRTO size ends at xx-559.

So be sure to check that the rim and tire each have the same diameter. For 28er tires is the magic number: 622. This must be in the rim and tire size information.

Tips And Tricks For Mounting

So that the tire jumps better on the tire there are some tricks, which are explained in detail here. However, one piece of advice always applies: It is a question of technique and rarely a question of force. If you have to use a lot of force, then only in very rare cases do you do something right. Only if all techniques are really of no help should you really use force. And only as far as you can estimate that you do not damage the rim or other material. Otherwise, something is very wrong.

Finger Technique

The first step is always to try to remove a tire from the rim or place it on the rim without a tire lever. Tools should only be used when you really need them.

When Removing: Press the tire with a lot of bodyweight over the rim. Here you can also quietly apply a little more force.

When Mounting: Similar, but in the opposite direction. But first, we need to get to the starting position, where there is already decent tension on the tire.

Pull the tire as far as possible on the rim, completely without tools. The wheel is in front of you and with both hands, you work the tire left and right until the bead on the rim tightens.

You can also fix one side with your leg and work with both hands on the other side, building up the tension.

The important thing in the first step is that there is tension on the tire. This last piece is the starting position from which you work your way forward piece by piece and millimeter by millimeter. This can be tricky and tight. And doesn’t always go quickly.

Here you can also try to put the tire over the rim and pull it to the other side so that the bead then jumps over the rim with it. This works better with large tires than with narrow road bike tires.

With this technique, you can again work properly with force, as long as no tools are involved. The tire is placed completely around the rim and then the bead is wrapped over the rim.

If this does not work at all, first try to move the bead a little further with your fingers. If the tire then always loosens on the other side and you can not get further with fingers alone, then there is another helpful tip. Before it goes to the tool.

Embedding The Tire Correctly

The following trick is often quite sufficient. It should not be a trick, but always the first step if you want to roll a tire over the rim wall. The tire bead belongs in the center of the rim – the rim bed. This gives you crucial millimeters in the battle to get the tire over the rim.

The bead must lie in the rim bed (in the center) all around. This is an important and crucial trick that can make all the difference.

Go around once and pinch the tire a little with your thumb and forefinger so that the bead is in the center of the rim. Try to have pressure on the tire (i.e. the tire is already wide open until it gets tight). So that the bead in the rim bed also remains.

In the cross-section, it looks like the bead of the tire must lie in the rim bed. There the circumference of the rim is smaller and you have a little more clearance.
Using tire levers correctly

If it doesn’t work with fingertip feeling, then tire levers are needed. The small-tire levers are usually the first choice, with a set of two.

Again, try to stay in the starting position, the tension is on the tire. While using the tire lever, work your way forward in small steps.

Hold one side firmly with your hand while the other presses the tire over the rim wall. Often the tire will try to slip off again on the opposite side. Therefore, you must only take small steps with the tire lever. And at the same time, you have to use the other hand (or your whole body) to keep the tension and not let the tire slide down where you are not lifting.

While one hand is fixing one side you have to use the lever to try to work forward from the other side in small steps.

The Cable Tie Trick

If the tire always slips on the other side where you are not levering at the moment. Then one can stop this play fast. With cable ties. Simply pull these so tightly that the tire would come off again over the rim side. The cable tie prevents slipping. But you have to place it exactly where the bead would jump over the rim. Better explained in the picture.

This trick is usually very helpful, as you now have both hands free for levering. However, the cable tie must fit well and lie exactly at the point where the bead would next pop off again.

More Leverage

If you don’t want to handle cable ties, you can also use a larger lever. This is not always so helpful when pulling up. Since it usually does not fail at the lever arm. This helps rather when pulling off tightly fitting tires.

Large tire levers can be very helpful, especially those with a metal core.
As soon as you have a really long lever (about 15cm) it becomes more dangerous for the rim. With enough force, you can damage the rim. Although this is not child’s play, there must already be Wumms behind it. But who can estimate your strength here on the Internet – you have to do it yourself. As always, if you’re not sure, don’t rush it. A professional mechanic with a lot of experience and practiced technique could make short work of the tire.

A Round Thing

I hope the tips could help you already! If not, then unfortunately only helps first time further edit the tire or off to the workshop with it.