Tools to Help You Get Stubborn Tires Off Stubborn Rims

Here’s a few tools that will help you get that pesky DH bead tire off that impossible rim. If you’re into watching funny things, take your DH wheel down to the bike shop and pay them $5 to take it off. Sometimes it proves quite entertaining.

You might think you need Chuck Norris to help you, but you really don’t. See inside for more info.

There is some technique involved with taking stubborn tires off of rims as well as some strength but this layout will focus on the tools. I’ve compiled a list of tools and solvents I’ve used at one point or another. has a good guide if you’re looking for basic techniques.
Below you’ll see some tools that will help you take stubborn tires off, or put them on. Sometimes pre-stretching the bead can prove beneficial as well as other techniques.

Tire Levers:

These help give you leverage where you need it. Price ranges from $1 – $30 depending on which one you get.

Park Tools blue plastic lever (TL-1) ($3)

  • These work quite well and are some of the strongest plastic levers you’ll find. They’re strong, but do eventually bend enough and break. They’re pretty cheap and every bike shop usually has these on hand. They have a very nice lip that hooks tires quite well.

Park tool (TL-2) ($3)

  • The TL-2 is thinner and wider than the TL-1 and, therefore, it works differently. The TL-2 has more engagement with the bead of the tire so it can be “popped” off using just two levers.

Park Tool (TL-5) ($17)

  • These are great for when those tires get really hard and provide tons of leverage. The problem with these levers is that they’re steel. It’s easy to bend / scratch your rim if you’re not careful with these guys.

Park Tool (TL-10) ($30)

  • This is a shop quality tire removal tool. It works well in my experience, but can be a pain to setup and use.

Pedros DH Tire Lever ($15)

  • This tire lever, similar to the Park TL-5, is metal but has a handle on it for better comfort. Again, care has to be taken since it’s a metal tire lever and can ding/scratch rims.

Crank Brothers Speed Levers ($6)

  • Plastic design, but has a good bit of leverage that most other plastic levers don’t offer. They are also telescoping, so you can mount the end on the axle similar to the Park TL-10.

Soma Steel Core Tire Levers ($5)

  • Plastic outer, metal core inside. These aren’t known by too many people, but they’re great as they protect your rims with the plastic, have a similar profile as the Park TL-1, but have a steel inner core to make sure the tire comes off.

Quick Stick ($4)

  • Most bike shops have these and they’re real easy to use. They’ve got lots of leverage and are easy to slide around the rim.

Maxxis plastic tire lever ($3)

  • Plastic levers. They’re thicker than Park’s TL-2, and wider than the TL-1’s so they make changing DH tires a bit easier.

Solvents and Products

Tioga Beadwax ($8)

  • This stuff works great and applies to the inside of your tires to help you slip the tires on easily

Dawn / Dishsoap (Free!)

  • Sometimes the best stuff is free. Chances are you have some at your home. Dish soap works great to help get those UST DH tires on, or any other stubborn tire.

Wrist Strengthening Tools

Power Balls ($30 – $100)

  • This is a ball inside a gyro and it gives your wrist a really good workout. Check out the video! You’ll at least get a laugh

[gv data=”nC5AjM2NI_c”][/gv]

Hand Grip ($5)

  • There may be other words for this device but basically you squeeze the two ends together and it strengthens your wrist/hand.

You can get most all of these tools from Chad @ RedBarnBikes.

If you’re looking for the Power Ball, you should be able to get one from Fry’s Electronics, or there’s a few other places online that carry them.

Got something to add? Leave a comment below.

Previous Coverage