A Revolutionary Way to Change a Bicycle Tire… Here’s a Hint: Leave the Tire Irons in Your Saddle Bag
Everyone I’ve ever seen change a tire has used a tire iron. Every. Single. Time.
Until last week.
I was dropping off a rear wheel at the shop to be relaced. Seconds before I left I realized I needed my rear tire to put on a spare wheel I had at home. No sense in riding a new tire this early in the season, right? Of course right.
I raised a finger in the air and exclaimed, “Wait, fine shopkeep! I need my tire!”
I strode confidently toward one of the shop benches for tire irons… I was in the back of the shop. Matt, the owner, stopped me in my tracks.
“Neigh, neigh, my young apprentice, we shan’t be needing the irons of the tire”, he said.
Aghast, I stumbled backward as if mortally wounded, clutching at the heart fluttering in my chest…
“Kind sir, that’s imposs…”
My word trailed off as, with a pinch, a twist and a healthy push, the tire and tube were stripped from my clincher wheel. I $#!+ you not.
I looked at him as Luke first looked on Yoda after realizing who the little green fella was.
But unlike young Skywalker, I’d paid attention to those deft three moves and I shall now pass them on to you, my friends, because that’s how I roll.
May the Force be with us.
First, let the air out of the tube, all of it. Dead flat.
Next, opposite the valve stem, pinch the tire so you’ve got the tire and tube between your thumb and forefinger.
Next, bend/wiggle the tire back and forth until you can see a little daylight betwixt the tire bead and rim, like so:
Then, with one move, twist and push the tire away from you and the rim… the tire and tube will come off, straight away – and the twist is not left or right, it’s away from you, top to bottom (or tread to bead):
You want to look like some kind of pedaling Svengali? Next time you’ve got a flat, try that little move and watch the jaws go slack.
*** I should add, here, this won’t work with every tire and rim combination – some tires are simply too tight on the rim, though I did this with two different sets of wheels and it worked both times for me.