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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!

13 Replies

Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack.  I ride with one 100% of my rides.  I’m 63/ female and can ride a century no prob but changing tires is often a challenge.  Especially when they are new.  The Kool Stop is about 10-12 inches of leverage.  Look it up🙂 and no more tire changing worries.


The trick to getting a tight tire back on the rim when tire levers don’t work in reverse, is to start the bead of the tire inside the rim. Work your way around to get half of the tire or more on the rim. Then, with a tire lever, start pushing the already mounted portion of the tire toward the middle of the rim where there’s a dip and more room (or a smaller circumference.) work a little more tire past the rim and repeat. Some tire / rim combos are very stubborn, but this is your best chance. 


I have learned that tubeless tires are much harder to change. The bead is stiffer and they are a challenge. 


My all time favorite tool for changing tight tires is the Var tyre lever. It’s some what similar to a kook stop bead jack but better. They are hard to find, but I have found them on some British cycling products sites. I also like the kool stop bead jack