Tyres that just won't go on

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Über Member
What's the secret then, eh?
I have just had my first p*****re on my gatorskin's and after a good half an hour I finally got the tyre on (my thumbs are now killing). It was just as hard the first time I put them on and I had a massive amount of trouble getting my marathon plus' on my other bike too (thankfully they haven't had a p*****re since).
What's the best technique then? I can't imagine having to do it at the side of the road as it tired me out way more than several hours of riding!!


New Member
Deal, Kent
talc on the tubes helps


Über Member
Schwalbe Marathon Pluses are notoriously difficult to get on.

Luckily you probably won't have to take them off again until they're worn out as they're virtually p*nct*r* proof!


New Member
If you slightly inflate the inner tube when putting it in the tyre, deflate it to when putting the bead of the tyre on.


FatBloke said:
Schwalbe Marathon Pluses are notoriously difficult to get on.
As are Spesh Armadillos!

A few tips: not everything works for everyone. Talc in the tyre, as someone suggested. Wear rubber gloves. Inflate the tube at first, then when you've got all but the last few inches on, deflate it slightly. Push in the parts of the tyre already on, so that the beads drop into the lowest part of the channel.

If you've got an old scrap inner to practice with, try putting the tyre on over it, and taking it off, several times, using tyre levers. Be prepared to wreck the old inner in the process. Each time you work the bead it stretches just a little...

Take the whole tyre off and try stretching it: hook it over your feet and tug.

As a last resort, but careful! - use tyre levers. All the books tell you not to. If I have to, I try to get as much as possible on with fingers, then pull off another stretch of the tyre that you've already got on the rim. Push the bit you couldn't manage before, on the rim. Then tackle the bit you just pulled off, with tyre levers. Reason? Because the inner should already be seated, less risk of trapping it with the levers. At least, that has worked for me, at a pinch (not literally!).

There is also a special gizmo you can buy, specifically for getting tyres on rims. Can't remember what it's called - link anyone?

[edit]This is what I was thinking of, though I haven't tried it. Not cheap though!


There is a technique, that's easier to show than describe, but I'll try.

Put the tyre on starting away from the valve, push it on all the way around until you have got as much as you can (using the normal rolling on with your palms approach). The bead should be as tight against the rim edge as you can get it.

Go back to the bit directly opposite the valve where you started and squeeze the tyre together so the bead drops into the bottom of the tyre well (if you see what I mean). Do this progressively around the tyre, it'll give you a little more slack, and it's normally enough to push the last bit of bead over the rim. Normally the bead tends to sit just inside the rim (where it's meant to be when the inner tube is inflated), and this doesn't help.

You start away from the valve, since it tends to get in the way of the bead dropping right into the bottom of the rim.

Whether this works can depend on the rim construction, on some rims it works better than others.
I always use tyre leavers to put my tyres back on, I've never ever managed to pinch the inner tube. It's called being careful!! Mind you I don't have to take my tyres off very much, I've not had a puncture this year that I can remember, and that's with several thousand miles under my belt.;)
Careful EMD don't tempt fate...
Tyre levers and washing up liquid around the beads helps them on.

Steve Austin

The Marmalade Kid
The hardest tyre i have put on is the conti turbo training tyre. its not really rubbery and pliable.

Brute force and strong thumbs and some tyre levers worked for me. Funny thing, when i changed wheels, it was easy to put on as it had stretched


Marathon Plus were my favourite tyre except for that very reason. I found you had to work the bead into the lowest part of the rim all around the wheel and that would gain you another few mm over the lip. In the end I bought a VAR tyre lever and that works fine because it works in the opposite way a 'normal' tyre lever does ;)


Hold the wheel so that is is resting against your tummy. Put the tyre on nearest to your tummy and push it on with your thumbs working it round and down both sides away from your body, pushing it as you go. The tyre will go on - promise. The trick is to push "away" as well as "on"

And no need to destruct the planet with additional detergent use ;)

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
Dayvo said:
Sure you had the right size? :biggrin: That normally helps. ;)
Not as daft as it sounds. I once spent hours trying to get some rim tape on, eventually it snapped to the detriment of my thumbs which already had most of the skin missing.

A check on the box showed I had ordered 650c tape by mistake. Doh :biggrin:
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