Can't get my Creepy Crawler Off

Got a 4 year old creepy crawler on my KH20. Having a heck of a time getting it off the rim. The rim is deep and the tire tucks under. I have a pair of Pedro’s tire levers, which are pretty fat and big. Everyone seems to swear by these, but I prefer thinner ones. Am I the only one?

I ordered a few more Park TL-1s, which are thinner. Don’t want to use a screwdriver. Will a few more tire levers do the trick? I’ve actually never needed to take the tire off this rim before. Does anybody else struggle with getting this tire off the KH rim?

Try clamping the sidewalls together 180 degrees from where you are prying the bead. This will help the beads drip into the well of the rim, and it should give you more room to get the tire off. At the shop we had a special tire lever that we used on very stubborn tires. It had a spoon like a normal lever, but it had a long extension with a ring on the end that dropped over the hub axle. The pivot at the hub allowed us to pit a lot more leverage on it, and one lever would quickly pop the bead off of the most difficult tires.

I’ll see if i can’t find out what it was called, maybe even find a photo.

If you haven’t already tried, some sort of lubricant might help. On motorcycle tires I use WD-40 or soapy water. Neither seem to have an impact on wheel/tire slip once everything has dried out.


Talcum powder?

Washing up liquid :smiley:

Yeah I tried soapy water etc. No go. I’ll wait for my thinner tire levers to come in the mail. Hopefully that will allow me to get under the bead better.

Looking forward to giving this rim some TLC. Plan to true it up tighten etc. This gets the most use and abuse of all my rides, and I’ve never performed any maintenance on it apart from rotating the cranks a few times.

You could try putting it into a closed plastic bag and freezing it in a food freezer so that the tyre walls shrink and contract away from the rims. :slight_smile:

Is the inner tube absolutely as deflated as you can get it? Even a little bit of residual air pressure makes it infinitely harder.

You’re right. There was a bit of air left in the tube. Once I got all of it out it didn’t take too much to get the tire off. I thought I had gotten all the air out.

I’m going to true this baby up. I’ve ridden it very hard over the years and it shows.

I also notice the bearings are pretty dirty. They are sealed right? No real maintenance there right? Except for maybe just cleaning some of the gunk off? when I roll the rim on the frame I do hear a bit of resistance. How long before you have to replace them?

It’s actually the opposite. The whole tire does shrink reducing the diameter making it a tighter fit. It also makes the rubber less pliable and harder to manipulate. When tubeless tires first came out, we used to leave them in the hot car to make them easier to mount.


Sealed bearings are not technically serviceable. You can remove the seals, flush them out, and repack them, but you’re not supposed to. Remove your frame from the bearings and rotate them in your hands. They should feel smooth. Compress the bearing with your fingers. It should still feel smooth. If it’s rough with no compression, it needs to be replaced. If it’s only rough with compression, it’s worth servicing them.

What do you mean by compression? Squeeze them where?

Another questions: I’ve built quite a few wheels from scratch, but rarely trued up an old already built wheel. Is it best to just loosen all the spokes and start from the same baseline?


Although sealed bearings can be cleaned, such as soaking them in a jar of gasoline then relubricating, I often ask myself why? I service the uni/bike/skateboard/rollerblades so infrequently for the amount of use/abuse I give it, and bearings are so inexpensive (uni bearings on UDC are sixteen bucks a pair)…best to replace them.

Kahunacohen, here’s a great video on truing. I’m a truing hack, not an expert, and this video is informative.

I’ll check it out. Like I said I can build a pretty good wheel at this point and true it well. The question is more what to do with a wheel like this that is pretty true, but some of the spokes are pretty slack. What I think I’ll do is first take a look at the rim where the spokes are slack and see if simply tightening them will true the wheel even more. I’d tighten them in small increments, trying to even out the rest of the spokes trying to get them all at close to equal tension.

As far as the bearings, I’ve ridden this unicycle pretty hard for 4 and a half years through all kinds of weather. Is that about the useful life of bearings, or would you expect longer?

When I roll the wheel on the stand, mounted in the frame I feel some roughness, but not a crazy amount…

This could be a couple of things. First, if the wheel was bent badly, and then retrued it could result in very uneven tension, and yet be running straight. The other scenario is that your rim is so stiff that it is running fairly straight even with unbalanced tension.

In the first case i would detension the wheel, and bend the rim and bend it back straight. Then it should come up to tension and be fairly straight. I would favor even tension over trueness.

If you have very stiff rims it’s amazing how bad the tension can be without seeming to effect trueness. I trued some carbon wheels recently that had terrible tension. It was all over the place, but the wheels were only out of true by a mm. I balanced the tension, and the wheels trueness was within .005".

In either case the wheels will present problems with breaking spokes, taco’ing, and etc. so, either way it’s a good idea to get it dialed in.

It’s actually the opposite. The whole tire does shrink reducing the diameter making it a tighter fit. It also makes the rubber less pliable and harder to manipulate. When tubeless tires first came out, we used to leave them in the hot car to make them easier to mount.

Once the tyre shrinks back from the rims then you allow it to warm up again before totally removing it. Having said that I’ve never tried it myself. It was just an idea which I thought might help.