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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Washington State

    Installing new Gaterskins on my road bike.

    So, after getting one flat after another and checking my tires, I decided it was time to buy some Gatorskins to hopefully, avoid some flats in the future. I ride on the roads for the most part with lots of broken glass, sharp gravel, the occasional syringe etc. I've had osteoarthritis in both thumbs for awhile and in the past have had a few cortisone shots in each one because of 'trigger' thumb so my hands aren't the strongest. Still, I've never had a problem changing flat tires but when it came to getting these new tires on my wheels....no way in hell could I manage it.

    Just checking if any of you have a tip for me. If not, my neighbor is a bike tech and I can take my wheels over there. I just hate feeling like I can't do something.
    Vertically challenged, but expanding my horizons.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    It's not just you. They're...difficult, especially the wire-bead version.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva

    Saving for the next one...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    northern Virginia
    I use a tool like this (Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack) to get the tires on the rims, for Gatorskins and some other brands.


    It's not small, but it is lightweight.

    Another good tool is the VAR tire lever, though I don't know if that's available any more in the US. It does the same thing as the Kool Stop but is smaller so it fits better in a bike bag.

    I think some other companies also make a tire lever that is designed to help you get the tire onto the wheel. Regular tire levers (made to help you get the tire off the rim) can also be used, but there's a risk of puncturing the tube.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Washington State
    Thanks for the info. on this tool. I'm having my friend put the tires on my wheels, but it looks like I should purchase the tire lever just in case I end up with a flat (which I'm hoping won't happen for a long time after installing these tires!).
    Vertically challenged, but expanding my horizons.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    If you can get them to install the tires, take them off, then reinstall, it will be much easier for you to work with them if you get stuck alone somewhere. Always harder when they are brand new.

    I have a similar tool. It lets you install and remove, rather than just remove.

    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-26-2014 at 09:46 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.


    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Dallas metro
    I read somewhere about putting the tires in your dryer for 10 minutes to get them to soften up.. Works great at home but doesn't help you if you get a flat on the road. Knock on wood I haven't gotten a flat with Gatorskins.
    Specialized Oura or Romin Evo Saddles



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