Changing tyres on 36er, mega tight!

Anyone had any issues with changing tyres on their 36er? I’ve got a nimbus rim with nightrider tyre, and the thing is near impossible to remove. It’s so tight I’ve bent my tyre levers (steel levers!) getting the tyre on and off.

Is this normal?

I don’t know about the Nimbus rims and tire but I do remember threads about the Coker tires and Airfoil rim being as difficult as you describe.

I’ve changed the nightrider tire on a KH 36er - damn tight! I only got it off (and back on) after using dishwashing liquid to lube up the tire leve, rim and tire. it is messy, so do it outdoors.

Sorry, I don’t have any other tips.

Why is the 36" so much harder to deal with than the 29" or 24"? The tire is bigger, but so is the rim. I’m just wondering why it’s so difficult?

I have had the same problem.
My method:

  • small tool to get the valve out of the tube (so the tube is absolutely flat :roll_eyes: )
  • now pinch the sidewalls of the tire so they be on the middle of the rim
  • use 2 big tools to let the sides of the tire go over the rim
  • invoke the 10,000 names of god :astonished:

and that’s it! (I am pretty sure the last tip is the most effective :D)

I agree that it’s really tight. But my 26" setup with 3" Gazza and 47mm TryAll rim is about as tough to change tires.
I use a downhill tire lever, a couple of regular steel ones and some text markers to press the tire towards the middle of the rim and keep it there. It works but I’ve given up the concept of fixing flats in the middle of a tour. It didn’t happen to me yet, but if it ever does it will suck.

No idea why these rim and tire combos are that tight. They should definitely change that. I could hardly imagine a girl being able to change those tires at all… It really should be much easier IMO.

I feel better knowing it’s not just mine…

I will try this right now.

Doing it with a friend and there were some awkward moments…

“It’s so tight”
“Get it in, all the way”
“Squeeze it with your hand. Harder!”
“Use more lube!”

If you use that green slime, you’ll never have to worry about fixing the tube :smiley:


I use 5 pedro’s tire levers spaced out no more than one spoke apart, and near the end when I’m getting the tire back on, I use four.

One to hold one side in place, and three all together as one solid block, moving them one tire lever at a time.

I can change a tire in about 15 minutes or less not including the tube prep for a 29er tube.

This is just a guess, but it might have something to do with the larger size. As spoked wheels get bigger, they get inherently weaker. As tires get bigger, it may be that they get easier to pull away from the rim when cornering. I’ve seen this happen with penny-farthing bikes. Not that their tires are similar, but it seems as the wheel gets larger, the tire needs to be tighter to manage similar cornering forces.

Also, all the 36" tires on the market are built to be pretty heavy duty, which may be a factor in changing them as well.

Lastly, a tire that’s too loose is useless, while a tire that’s a little too tight is only a pain in the butt when mounting and unmounting it. They might be choosing to err on the side of functionality?

I think a lot of the problem I was having was with the steel tyre levers I was using; I kept pinching the tube when levering the tyre back on and making punctures.

Anyway, got some of the wide plastic levers that hook onto the rim nicely, and now I’m back on the road with a 29" tube.

The difference with the 29" is amazing, it feels like I’m riding totally different machine. Idling is much easier, as are those quick direction changes you do with your hips.

My scales say:

36" tube: ~600grams
29" tube: ~220grams


I’ve been thinking about this since you posted, and I think that John is probably right, but I also have another idea.

Consider that the rim is only so deep, maybe about 10-12mm, and that the depth is about the same on most rims regardless of size. Now, when you move the tire to the middle of the channel, and pull it away from the rim across the wheel you will only be able to pull it that distance plus any slack that you can get from the circumference of the bead. And that’s the problem. On a smaller wheel the depth of the channel is a much higher percentage of the circumference than on a large diameter wheel. That difference allows us to get more of the bead out of the channel before it gets difficult.

So, that’s my theory. I’m sure that it’s riddled with problems, and over simplifications, but for some reason it makes sense to me.

Taco _ell

Caution: I used too much side pressure to get my 36er tire on once and did this…