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Tire changing tricks for the weak-of-thumb?

Hi folks -- I'm wondering if anyone has a clever technique or useful tool for changing tires that doesn't require a strong left hand. (I had surgery on my thumb last year and my strength is probably about 30% of normal now -- and it wasn't particularly strong in the first place!)

Thanks and pedal on!

6 Replies

There is a sort of jack-lever that you can get. They are especially good for tight-fitting tires on the last bit to be seated. I don't think REI sells them, but they look a little like a deformed pair of pliers.

Try searching "bicycle jack levers."

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@LJMcGuire_NM_Cyclist recognizing that strength is a somewhat relative term, and that I don't consider myself to have strong hands, I have had good success changing tires with the Pedro's tire levers. We have good instructions in this Expert Advice article on changing a tube with a lever!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Seconding Pedro's. They're wide and stout, so you can use the palm of your hand more than just fingers / thumb. 

Also, maybe obvious, there are some rim/tire combos that are looser than others. That's a more expensive option but you might find a good combo that isn't brutal to install.

search google / amazon "Bicycle Tire Repair Tool Lever, Tyre Remover Inserting Installation Pliers"

yes tire levers in general...don't have to be Pedro's

The nice thing about tire levers is that you can hook them in place while you work another around the tire...

To improvise, if the tire is not a super tight fit you can even used a larger flat bladed screwdriver to pop the bead over the rim.  You have to be extra careful not to pinch the inner tube (you have to be anyway but screwdrivers have corners are are sharper) or scratch alloy rims.  Better for older bikes or steel rims.

Thanks for the advise folks - I have got some not-too-spiffy levers but nothing that made it much easier on me. Let me check out some of the specifics suggested here!

Cheers and pedal on!