TeamCBC Cycling Tip – How to Install a Difficult-to-Fit Tire

Last year I gave a positive review of the Continental GT5000 tire. What I failed to mention was how difficult they can be to install. However, it can be done. Here are some tips on how to install a difficult tire.

Tire Placement
The most important tip is to make sure the bead is resting in the center of the rim. That is where the circumference is the smallest. With the wheel resting at your feet, use your thumbs to push the bead of the tire into the well of the rim. Work them down as far as you can. Think of it as pushing all the slack to the bottom.

Thinner Rim Tape
Although you need rim tape to protect your tire from the spoke holes, some rim tape is thinner than others. If you’re having problems, try using thinner tape.

Warm the Tires Up
Although there is no hard evidence to support warming your tires, it should help in theory. If nothing else, it will make it easier on your fingers.

Finish at the Valve
When pushing your thumbs down around the tire, try to leave the last bit of bead by the valve. This is the part of the rim that has the smallest diameter.

Lube the Bead
We’re not talking chain oil or grease, you could damage your disc brakes. Use soap or soapy water. This will allow the bead to slip onto the rim easier.

Tire Levers
Everyone uses tire levers, but the trick for difficult tires is to use two tire levers. Slip two tire levers under the last section. Flip one up and then the other.

Hand and Finger Roll
Wear gloves to give you more grip, grab the tire with both hands and roll the tire with your fingers.

Here is a video that demonstrates the above suggestions in more detail. Also, I included a video on how to install a GP5000 tire.

Stay safe!
Rick Bunnell
President, TeamCBC