Tight tires - I'm so frustrated!!

So I got this neat Tioga Factory DH 2.3 tire for Christmas (reco’d by Sofa, I think), and I’ve been trying to put it on. But it’s so tight it takes 2 of us to hold all the levers and the wheel to squeeze the last bit on. Unfortunately, and despite being careful, this has lead to damaging the tube, so now my new DH tube has holes in it! Ugh! It’s not like I’ve never put on tight tires before, but this one really takes the cake. I’ve had to get out the metal tire levers and work them hard. Even trying to be super careful of the tube, centering the tire to maximize the available diameter, and scrupulously checking to ensure no bit of tube is caught under the bead, I’ve screwed it up twice. Any suggestions?

Merry Christmas everyone!


I guess I don’t have any advice on this one yet but I sure can relate when it comes to putting the Coker tire on the new Aero rim. Took about the same effort as what you explained for your experience.


Hey I did too!

But on the other thing. My best suggestion would be to just pump up the tire little by little andre align it every 2-3 pumps(depending on your pumper). and be very slow and patient with it. I had the same problem a while ago so I hope this helps.

consider yourslf lucky. it’s far better to have a REALLY tight tire that a really loose one. I had the misfortune of having a really loose tire, and i even tried crazy glueing the bead onto the rim. d’ont feel so bad, with a really tight tire, once it’s on you can generally run slightly lower pressures (good for MUni) so there is a bright side to this story.

Merry Christmas.


Did you try 6 or 7 pounds of baby powder? Talc? Cornstarch? Or the like?

To Ryan,

Thanks for pointing out the bright side. Too bad my original plan was to be able to switch back and forth between the new DH tire and my street tire depending on what kind of riding I planned. That plan clearly won’t work out! So now I’m looking into getting a whole new rim/hub/cranks/pedals setup so all I have to do is switch out the wheel. I may try building the wheel myself since that cuts the cost roughly in half and isn’t too hard. :slight_smile:

To Pants,

Haven’t tried all that powder yet – probably make the uni smell baby fresh though – not sure that’s the right image for MUni. I also thought of soap solution as a possibility. Thanks for the idea.


The primary trick to the Aero Coker rim is the inner channel. Talc may help, but the channel is the key.

  1. Use adhesive rim tape instead of the rubber rim strip.

  2. For both beads (the first and the second), be sure that most of the bead that is already on the rim lies in the center channel.

If you follow these guidelines, it is fairly easy to put on the tire and no excessive force is required. I did it easily by myself, once I discovered this.

Talc may be primarily of use for seating the tire properly once it is actually on the rim.

Unicycle.com should carry metal tire levers for the downhill tires. DH tires can be difficult to put on. I still remember the firt time I tried to remove a 3" Gazz from a Sun Doublewide rim.

I picked up a proper metal tire lever from a local DH bike shop. I picked up another of a different design from Geoff Faraghan at the Lake Tahoe muni weekend. The plastic levers don’t work with hard to install DH tires. The bike guides tell you not to use metal tools when installing a tire, but they’ve obviously never tried to install a DH tire. Just don’t use sharp things like a screwdriver to install a tire. Use a proper tire lever.

Intense Tires makes a metal tire lever

It looks like Park Tools is going to be making a metal tire lever

There are others, but I don’t have links or manufacturers for them. Your local bike shop might be able to find them in their catalog.

U-Turn gave a real good tip for installing a tire. When you get most of the bead inside the rim, move the bead into the center area of the rim where the diameter of the rim is smaller. That will give you a little extra room as you work to get the rest of the bead on the rim.