Installing hard to fit tires…

25 08 2010

Note: I want to clearly state that I don’t recommend anyone use Marathon Plus tires unless:

  1. you live in an active war zone
  2. you live in thorn country
  3. you get a flat every ride

…for everyone else it’s a bad choice, but there are other times when you’ll come across rims and tires that are hard to fit and this video’s tips will work for those situations equally well.



22 responses

25 08 2010
Ty Smith

Vic, thanks for posting this, but I respectfully disagree with you 100 percent.

I use this tire, specifically because I do commute every day, and time is money! I don’t ever want to be delayed with a flat. With these tires, the worry is virtually non-existant. I can certainly say that in nearly three years of riding with them in downtown San Francisco, riding over and through all kinds of junk, I have never once gotten a flat.

To me, that is worth a bit of a hassle if I ever do need to change a tire, because, well, you never have to do it!

Anyway, just my two cents worth. Still love your blog, this is the only time I have disagreed with you. Can we still be friends? 😉

25 08 2010

I hear you Ty and I’m never going to tell anyone that they are wrong, but I’ve ridden fast, comfortable tires through downtown Calgary [where I lived] for years with a handful of flats [1-3 a year]. I just can’t see using a poor performing tire all year that negatively affects my bike 365 days a year to save a combined 10-25mins of hassle.

25 08 2010

I use the Schwalbe Marathon Extreme. They are easy to get on and off, I’ve never had a flat and they’re half the weight of the plus tire.

25 08 2010

I have this exact issue when fitting my trainer tire. It’s a nylon tire without any rubber so getting it to fit the rim feels like an impossible task. I’ll use this trick next time I have to put it on. Thanks.

25 08 2010

Sorry Vik, but I am with Ty. Had them on my Tikits for three winters and never had a p*nct*re. 25 minutes late for work could be a serious issue some days. The extra rolling resistance doesn’t really bother me as it keeps me fit for the road bike – where I quite agree Marathon Pluses would be a nightmare.

Still love your blog, can we still be friends? 😉

25 08 2010

@Gareth – if it takes you 25mins to change a flat I can see why using flat proof tires would be essential on a commuter bike. I find 5 mins sufficient and you are losing more than 5mins a day with Marathon Pluses so you aren’t saving any time in fact you are losing far more in a year on the Pluses.

If you want a slow tire for training I suppose they have merit, but that’s never appealed to me.

The fact I wouldn’t use them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t!!!

25 08 2010
Ty Smith

I can see your points too Vic. Here’s my story on the marathon plus:

On my old commuter bike, I had these horrible kenda hybrid tires that were flat in the middle, with tread on the outside. Handled terribly. I also had quite a few flats, which caused me to miss trains. Well, I researched and found the marathon plus, but I had a shop install them for me, so the dificiulty in mounting wasn’t an issue.

But here’s the kicker: Compared to those old Kenda tires, the marathon pluses were fantastic. My cornering, roll resisitance – everything was better.
After reading your posts I now realize that it was great from my frame of reference of having terrible tires. So to me, the marathon pluses were a step up in performance, not a step down.

So I really do get your point. It really all boils down to what you want. To me, the “flat proofedness” was a big deal and in retrospect, worth losing a bit of performance.

26 08 2010

i have had a flat using the marathon pluses, a tiny piece of glass worked it’s way through the tire…….the tires didn’t have that many miles on them. And i can see it possibly taking more time to change a flat because you have to find the cause of the flat, sometimes difficult in low light conditons. that being said, i use regular Marathons as my commuting tire

30 08 2010

I’m kind of with the flat tire avoidence crowd. 1 flat in 2600km (so far) on my tikit. And that one was a 3cm long screw that got jammed in the front wheel/muduard & if it hadn’t been making a ticking noise I never would have noticed. Pulled the screw out and the hole closed up enough to get me a couple of km home without getting too flat (lucky. it was nightime and raining and not a whole lot of street light).
Absolute b*st*rd to get the tire back on the rim though. I’m curious if the above technique will work with 16″ rims, as there is a lot less slack to find.

30 08 2010

A memorable English man in his shed moment

30 08 2010

Thanks for this. I’ve run both the marathons and kojak’s on my tikit and found both extremely difficult to put on and take off my rims. I’ll plan to use this trick in the future.

31 08 2010

The ties/straps idea is genius, and I kick myself for never thinking of it. I battled with the Pluses for half a day, trying to get them off and on a pair of tubeless rims. My thumbs took a hammering, and it took 3 months of acupuncture to get them functioning as thumbs, and not sausages, again.

Tubeless rims increased the difficulty by a zillion %!

15 09 2010

nice tip. sort of reminds me of the trick with mounting endos or larry’s on a large marge. never thought to apply it to regular tires. i totally gave myself a blister changing my wife’s road bike tires a few weeks ago!

14 04 2011

Thank you so much for posting this. I was about to give up and take my wheel & tire to the bike shop and beg for help. I even bought a bead jack and broke it. After whining publicly on twitter someone sent me a link to this post and I had it on in 15 minutes.

14 04 2011

@Jody – glad it worked. Happy to help out. Lots of people have helped me online so I try to spread that around.

26 11 2011


Thanks a bunch for posting this – this is excellent!!! I just had a battle with a Conit Touring Plus and I wish I’d seen your video first.

Cheers – Steve

16 04 2012

Thanks so much for this video it is absolutely brilliant!! Never got a tyre on so easily in my life, it slipped on straight away using the cable tie idea.

Thanks again!

31 03 2013

I was pissed this morning as I was putting new training tires on. I missed my morning ride and was very frustrated. I went for a venting run. Came back, googled “putting hard fit to road bike tires on” and your blog came first. I have watched the video and got full of confidence but somewhat skeptical (no levers? Sure). The result? My thumbs got a bit of a workout but tires went in flaless. Good job. Very cool blog. Thank you for the tip.
PS – the accent was treat.

10 09 2013

Wow, how easy is that!

Information is the key to success, cheers for sharing.

Is there a easy way to remove when (if) one gets a puncture, without leavers?



10 09 2013

@Ivan – the key is the same thing….pushing the opposite side of the tire bead deep into the well of the rim. You then use your thumbs to pop the tire off the rim. I tend to use tire levers to get tires off. I always have them with me.

11 09 2013

thxs Vik, just put 4 new tyres on and worked a treat first time easy as pie… I used a bit of soft rope to lace up the tyre to hold the beading in, I got carried away and up one tyre in the wrong direction, so I just reversed the process, still used some leavers to remove the tyre but still without much pressure and deffently without damaging the rim


13 10 2016
Eric Meyer

This video is old but it recently saved my fingers after wrestling with a new training tire for 45 minutes straight. After watching this, I got the tire on in 5 minutes! Thanks!

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