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  #1  
Old 29 Apr 2011
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Removing wheels and changing tyres

Hi all,
Just changed my first motorcycle tyre.....its NOTHING at all like fixing a bicycle tyre, I almost had to take a lunch break it took so long !

Anyway, is appears to all be about technique ?
I have 3 tyre levers, inserted 2 at the same time fairly close to each, left the one permanantly inserted, wedging the other end under the brake disc but careful that there was very little pressure exerted against the disc not to damage it. I then slowly, slowly worked the tyre off using the other 2 levers alternatively prying the tyre over the rim.

Does this sound right ? - It was the only approach that seemed to work for me. (Pain in the @#*%)

Another question.
I also noticed that once the wheel is off the bike, the bearings are exposed, or are they further in the tyre ? Something was being exposed, and that concerned me with respect to working on the lawn and getting grass in the the mix. I suppose one should work over a tarpaulin. It will have to be a solid tarpaulin, at one stage I was standing on the rim, fighting it with my tyre levers! - hopefully I will learn some finess with time.
Can one pack grease into the bearings once the wheel is off the bike, or do you have to remove the bearings to do this ? Should one pack grease into the bearings ? How often ? Can I use CV Lith-Moly Grease ?

Any pearls of wisdom regarding the wheel, changing the tyre, wheel maintenance etc would be appreciated.

But hey, besides looking a twit in front of half of my neighnbourhood, Ive learnt something today !

Tomorrow I try the rear tyre.
SM
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  #2  
Old 29 Apr 2011
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I hate changing tires! I usually have my local mechanic take the rubber of the rim as it saves a lot of time! Wheel bearings wear out over time so its always a good chance to check them. As long as they are greased then dont worry too much about re-greasing.

For the rear tire; make sure the bike is blocked up and secure, tap the axel pin out with a piece of dowel/something soft or the ends of the pin will damage and you will have a hard time getting the nuts back on. Keep check of which direction the axel pin is going and the position of the spacers. To remove the tire push forward to get the chain off and then bring straight back, taking care not to damage the disc. Check your brake pads too; replacing them is easy peasy!

Try and remove the brake disc and sprocket before going mad with the wheel as you dont want them to bend. Only other thing is to check the spoke tension, if the wheel is spoked, and tighten if required with a spoke wrench.

Most importantly; remember that a cup of tea is required every hour as well as a platef of biscuits, ideally chocolate digestives.

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 29 Apr 2011
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You may find that the rear tyre is a bit harder to do than the front as it's usually a bit bigger and butcher.

One point on technique that you may be doing already but I didn't pick up on from your post is keeping the opposite side of the tyre pushed into the wheel well when you're doing the levering. That's opposite as in across the diameter of the wheel, not bottom as opposed to top.

With some of the bigger knobbly tyres making sure you've done that can be the difference between getting the tyre off or not.
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Old 29 Apr 2011
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A warm tyre's easier to work than a cold one, plenty of lube helps. I usually kneel on the tyre opposite to the levers to push the bead in to the rim...
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  #5  
Old 29 Apr 2011
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If you're going to be changing a lot of tyres at home, fasten three equal lengths of wood together to form a triangle on which to support the wheel, keeps discs & sprockets off the ground. I nailed this together about 13 years ago, still going strong as is the home made bead breaker.



I prefer the Michelin / Buzzetti type levers personally and carry a Bead Buddy with me when trailriding bikes with tubes fitted. Practice at home, don't leave it until you have your first roadside puncture. As others have said, warm tyres are more pliable than cold ones. Also worth buying a decent sized pot of tyre lube, I take an old film canister of tyre lube with me in addition to a stripped down 12v compressor.
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  #6  
Old 29 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Pickford View Post
If you're going to be changing a lot of tyres at home, fasten three equal lengths of wood together to form a triangle on which to support the wheel, keeps discs & sprockets off the ground. I nailed this together about 13 years ago, still going strong as is the home made bead breaker.



I prefer the Michelin / Buzzetti type levers personally and carry a Bead Buddy with me when trailriding bikes with tubes fitted. Practice at home, don't leave it until you have your first roadside puncture. As others have said, warm tyres are more pliable than cold ones. Also worth buying a decent sized pot of tyre lube, I take an old film canister of tyre lube with me in addition to a stripped down 12v compressor.
Great Idea the tri angle love the tool as well, I would suggest like most carry some form of tyre lube, & dont forget you can use your side stand to help remove the tyre, or even look at the HU dvd tyre changing
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  #7  
Old 30 Apr 2011
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HU DVD by Grant the tyre guru

Hi

Yes tyre changing is tough. I think that you are doing the right things and practice makes things easier.

There are techniques that make the whole business easier.

For example: The secret is to manage the bead. Breaking it is probably the hardest part but after than you need to ensure that the bead opposite where you are working is sitting right into the hollow of the wheel i.e. it must be as near to the centre of the wheel as you can get it.

When putting the tyre back on use loads and loads of lube (washing up liquid).

Grant (HU founder) has a DVD on tyre changing and it is available from this site. Also, if you make it to any of the HU meetings, there will inevitably be a tyre changing workshop. At the ones I've been to, Grant has demonstrated the art of tyre changing and I always learn something new
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Old 1 May 2011
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Now to show my ignorance. Is "breaking the bread" getting the tyre over the rim ?

Also, I have a tubed tyre, What is the "elastic band" that covers the top of the spokes in the middle of the rim called ? Can these be bought with a new tube ? - it appears quite easy to hack a hole in them while changing a trye.

Im busy building a rack to carry extra fuel and water on my XT, so didnt get a chance to tinker with the rear tyre today. Any advice on bearing lubrication would be appreciated. I noticed the bearings on my front tyre but was not sure when one should add additional grease ? In addition, should the disc and sprocket really be removed before removing the rubber ???? - if so, a puncture is certainly a right royal pain in the b*tt !

Thanks again all.
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Old 1 May 2011
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Breaking the bead is getting the old tyre unseated from the rim, so you can get the levers in and the bead down into the well in the centre of the rim.
I've always called the elastic band rim tape, they should be available with tubes and tyres but if you're nipping it you're probably putting the levers in too far (which can lead to a nipped tube).
Bearings need lubrication, check for play and smooth running and if they are dry push some grease in, they don't need packing solid, just a good coating.
The disc and sprocket don't need removing, it's good to get pieces of wood to keep them clear of the ground, the sprocket will take more abuse than the disc which it is possible to bend if you aren't careful.
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Old 1 May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trichelia View Post
Now to show my ignorance. Is "breaking the bread" getting the tyre over the rim ?

Also, I have a tubed tyre, What is the "elastic band" that covers the top of the spokes in the middle of the rim called ? Can these be bought with a new tube ? - it appears quite easy to hack a hole in them while changing a trye.

Any advice on bearing lubrication would be appreciated. I noticed the bearings on my front tyre but was not sure when one should add additional grease ? In addition, should the disc and sprocket really be removed before removing the rubber ???? - if so, a puncture is certainly a right royal pain in the b*tt !

Breaking the bead - you've taken the wheel out of the bike and then you've let the air out of the tube / tyre and unscrewed the valve. So far so good. Next step is to get the tyre levers in there and start levering the tyre off, right? Well, take a look at the tyre now; it's still stuck to the side of the wheel rim and you'll have to push it away from the rim in order to create some space to fit the levers in the gap. Easy, right? Well, it is on some tyres - just put your foot on it and it'll break away. On others it can be really difficult and you'll need some help - like Steve's wall mounted device in the pictures above.

On the road / trail you're unlikely to have a handy wall so other suggestions such as using the side stand might be of some help. The rear wheel of my CCM is an Excel rim with a Michelin Desert tyre and breaking the bead on that combination is so difficult it took me half a day in my workshop - and that was using a tool like this -




Next bit - the elastic band that covers the spokes is called a rim tape. Its function is to stop the rough edges of the spoke nipples causing a puncture by rubbing through the tube. They're cheap enough to buy (my last one, a month or two back was just over a pound) and it's a good idea to replace it when the tyre's off if it looks a bit worn. Some people use a few layers of duct tape instead but the cost of the duct tape is probably more than a new rim tape.

Wheel bearings. I'm firmly in the "if they works leave them alone" camp. In 40 yrs of biking I've replaced one set of wheel bearings that wore out and had another set done as a warranty claim on a new bike. That's it. If you ride the bike through bogs / rivers etc so the wheel bearings get submerged then, yes, you'll need to take them out, clean and regrease them but otherwise ....

I'm not sure which bike you've got and designs / specs vary but on some just getting the bearings out to examine them will ruin them. On others the bearings are sealed and don't need extra lube. If you can see the balls in the bearings it's probably worth working a little grease in there (I use my fingers and push it between the balls) but otherwise just leave it. Just make sure you're using the correct spec grease.

Steve's triangular wooden contraption for keeping the disc safe when removing tyres is a great idea and I've got a poor man's version of it that I use. On the trail though you'll have to come up with a substitute. As a rule the sprocket is tougher than the disc so it's the sprocket that goes on the ground. I've dug a small hole to drop it into so the rim is on the ground before now, other times / other bikes it's just been plonked down and I've started levering. I make my assessment of how delicate the parts are before I start applying serious force.

In the worst case, removing the disc and sprocket may be an option, but, with the disc in particular, whilst taking it off may be easy enough, when you bolt it back on afterwards you need to be very careful that you don't get dirt in the bits that fit together, otherwise you'll end up with the disc slightly off centre and causing vibration when you apply the brake. You can get this problem in a workshop so you'll have to be very careful doing it in sand.
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Old 1 May 2011
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Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
Steve's triangular wooden contraption for keeping the disc safe when removing tyres is a great idea and I've got a poor man's version of it that I use. On the trail though you'll have to come up with a substitute.
How poor can yours be, mine cost about 50p all those years ago?

I'm a fan of this type of lever, not a great pic but they're curved at one end and there's a lip on the underside that allow the lever to pivot on the edge of the rim without slipping in to the tyre and damaging the tyre and/or rim tape.

Motocross Motocycle Professional Tyre Lever | eBay UK

I also carry a bead buddy with me and have another in the garage, once fitted it frees up both hands for operating levers.

Motion Pro Bead Buddy 2 - Motion Pro - Motion Pro Bead Buddy 2 - adventure-spec.com: Off-Road Adventure Motorcycling gear,UK,enduro,rally,rallye,touring,rtw,mx
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Old 2 May 2011
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I found changing tyres at home easier on the back if you worked on a small metal barrel/rubbish bin
This allows you to work at normal height rather than hunching over. The barrel does double duty as a rubbish bin in the shed.
Another great help is a rubber mallet with a bit of lube the mallet can bash the tyre over the lip with no danger of pinching the tube between lever and rim.
An 8" G-clamp can be used as a makeshift bead breaker and on the trail you can use the side stand and a bit of rider assistance as a bead breaker.
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