New Shoes...Advice?

So I got my first experience at changing a tire by myself today. With all my past bikes, I always took the wheel into the shop and had them do it. Since I got my first flat on the trail the other day, I felt I needed to experience the whole spoons vs. rubber fiasco. Well, it wasn't as bad I imagined, though it was a 21" front tire. The hardest thing I had to deal with was getting the damn valve stem through the hole once I had one side of the tire on. I also opted to got with a Bridgestone Ultra Heavy Duty tube in order to virtually eliminate the problem, which didn't help mounting either. Those tubes are incredible, a tire within a tire in my opinion. Anyway, aside from a tube snake for the valve stem, what are some of the trade "secrets" to getting a tire on in under 20 sojourn took me about an hour not counting removing the wheel from the bike. Here are some of the tips I found already:

-16' Curved irons (God Bless Motion Pro)

-Lots of baby powder inside the tire

-Lube the beads to get 'em to slide over the rim easier (I used Simple Green)

-Tube Snake

-I C-clamped the bead together on the opposite side in order to get it into the drop portion of the rim when I got to the last bit of tire to lever over

Did I miss anything else? I'm waiting on a new rear tire, a Maxxis Desert IT, also with a Bridgestone UHD tube, so that'll be my next attempt. How much harder are 18" tires? One last thing...I only barked one knuckle during the whole thing, but I did learn that you shouldn't wear white shorts when you change tires on your garage floor, duh! :) ...SC

All I can tell you is that the front is a piece of cake compared to the rear! The rear is way, way harder. I scratched the crap out of my rear rim trying to change the rear tire. I also sweated a bucket of sweat and cussed my brains out. :)

OK here's a priceless tip

Place the tube in the tyre (with a small amount of air in it) before you put it anywhere near the rim. Put the tyre on top of the rim, insert the valve through its hole in the rim and push/lever the first edge of the tyre onto the rim.

Doing it this way saves you all the hassle of trying to insert the tube into the half fitted tyre. This technique will save you getting very sore hands, especially when working with the rear tyre.

I take mine to a guy near me who will change tyres for £4. Not much use if you're out riding but for that price I'll never do it myself.... :)

The Maxxis IT's are a bear.... The rear will take more time, try to get the tire warm and use long tire irons.. Good luck, you can do it, I do all my tires too..

You need 3 - 16" long Motion Pro tire irons! They make the job easier!

No lube or soap! The tire irons grip better and dont slip. You dont need baby powder either. :)

With Bridgestone HD tubes do not partially inflate them!

With Bridgestone Ultra HD tues only put the valve in first in the rim and a nut on it to keep it from falling out.

Now place the rest of the tube up and around the rotor. Start the tire mounting at the valve and tuck the tube into the tire. Now mount first side of the tire on. Now just tuck in the rest of the tube into the tire and finish mounting the final side of the tire. Do not use this method with flimsy tubes or light HD tubes. :)

There is no substitute for experience. After the first hundred or so, you'll be a pro! I use curved irons, Yamaha bead lube in cold weather, no lube when it's warm. Mechanix gloves to protect my dainty paws. After I stuff the tube in the rim, I air it up some to straighten it out; then let all the air out. When the tire is warm they practically jump onto the rims if you use any lube at all. Indy is right though about lube making the tire irons slippery.

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