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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Too make a short story long... (otherwise see "short version" below" )



I got a "deal" (free) on a couple of new tires recently as my neighborhood "Honda" dealer went belly up a few weeks ago
. The Rear is a Dunlop Elite and the front is a Bstone Spitfire... Matching stock sizes and profiles...





Both were old and somewhat hard (er than hell) as well as flattened by being wrapped... ( Ok, I know I'm riding on "less than great" rubbers, but these are better by far than the 198? kenda slicks I was running)





So, anyhowse... These (insert profanity of choice here) Tires were a couple tough customers when it came to seating the beads. A combo of stiffy tires and the dreaded hump bead of Honda's first tubless rim job... "das comstar"



Only five hours for the rear and maybe another two on the front
It's one reason, I have not been here... I was up to 2:30 am night before last giving it "one more shot" (more to do with "Mardi Gras" than tires
'nother story, another time
) )



I put them in a hot car in the sun to warm them, Cleaned the bead and rims, soaped the %$^$^^###s and went after it with a 15cfm at 90psi industrial compressor. Tried various squeezing with ratchet straps, jumped on em, hit them with the maul, spoke to them soothingly (and otherwise)... all the time watching tiny bubbles exit tween tire and rim
YES... I even did the deadly Ether ignition, all to no avail. Eventually with about a quart of dishwashing soap the beads started to seal and seat... when I heard that fwap fwap of sucsess I felt like a little girly man... so proud, yet so beat up...



Today... they go back on after fork maint, brake shoes and some bearing gizzing...



Short version:



How the heck do Y'all get beads seated on comstars ??? first picture of someone using shaving cream wins
has anyone ever changed a comstar mounted tire on the side of the road? I don't think it's do-able...
 

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you're far from the first one to struggle Jeff

I take mine to a shop so have no cunning wheezes to offer

but have seen manys the CX tyre with a tube in it

where someone gave up battling with it and took a short cut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
you're far from the first one to struggle Jeff

I take mine to a shop so have no cunning wheezes to offer

but have seen manys the CX tyre with a tube in it

where someone gave up battling with it and took a short cut.




Just the term "Cunning Wheezes" has made my day.
I'll bet you I can make beer come out someone's nose... if I properly time a shot of "Cunning Wheezes" across their bow at lunch






I really think mine was facilitated by just having big air volume and enough time with sufficient air pressure which not everyone has access to. Probably used 5$ worth of electricity by the time they both had fwapped... I've had worse times with comstars and going oversize. The bead just wants to lay in the deep part of the rim and leak.... no amount of squeezing seems to push the bead outward or seal it so air will...



There has to be a better way...
 

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I just watched my local shop change my tire yesterday. I originally dropped it off and when I picked it up they'd put the tire on backwards, but the guy was nice enough to stop what he was doing to change it right there. Took him about 5 minutes, he has a home-built bead breaker (basically just a long lever and fulcrum and clamp) and 3 tire irons and a bottle of soap spray. To seat the tire once he switched it he just had an air compressor, but it looked like he didn't put the valve stem in until after he hooked up the air hose and seated the bead. Changing tires is the one thing I haven't tried to do yet, sorry if this didn't help at all, but at least you know that it's possible to get good at it!
 

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The last tire fought me similar to what you went through. The only difference is I didn't have a compressor. I had to run down to the gas station and pay per use on their machine. I used glass cleaner as a liquid slip



As a last resort I tried two straps thinking if I hold it tight over the tire and across the rim that would work. It didn't I ended up putting two straps together and ran it around the circumference of the tire. It was a balance of tight and loose when the bead finally fell into position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just watched my local shop change my tire yesterday. I originally dropped it off and when I picked it up they'd put the tire on backwards, but the guy was nice enough to stop what he was doing to change it right there. Took him about 5 minutes, he has a home-built bead breaker (basically just a long lever and fulcrum and clamp) and 3 tire irons and a bottle of soap spray. To seat the tire once he switched it he just had an air compressor, but it looked like he did put the valve stem in until after he hooked up the air hose and seated the bead. Changing tires is the one thing I haven't tried to do yet, sorry if this didn't help at all, but at least you know that it's possible to get good at it!


5min to put it on backwards...
you gotta hate envy guys who make it look so easy... I used a tire machine to break the bead and remove the oldies. that's the easy easy part... even getting new tires on the rims is no biggie. getting the beads to seat is another story sometimes. comstars have this inner lip on the inside that I was told is a safety bump in that a flat will not roll off the rim... Old wives? I dunno...







Yes for sure... take out the valve core and use a locker chuck. Plug in the air quick release and Pray... Getting the largest volume of air as quickly as possible is the way.



Stich, how long did it take to seat under air pressure? I'm thinking maybe twenty minutes or more for my rear alone. The front was surprisingly not much easier...
 

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Stich, how long did it take to seat under air pressure? I'm thinking maybe twenty minutes or more for my rear alone. The front was surprisingly not much easier...


Ever go into a gas station where you have to drop quarters into a mini compressor. I think they might give 3 minutes max. When things are actually working in your favor I think it only takes 30 seconds or so.
 

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I have experienced similar problems, but not quite to the extent you did. I think Kingston's comment about not putting in the valve stem may help. There are some air chucks that won't release air until the stems are in tho. In those cases, I just use a blow gun on the valve stem.



Lots of lube seems to help too. I use a film of DuPont #111 sealing compound to help with the sealing. The ratchet straps usually help, but in your case, the beads had been compressed together for maybe years by the wrapping. The only solution I can think of to help that may be to insert a old tube into the unmounted tire and inflate enough to pry apart the beads. Then let it sit in the sun for a day or so. That may help reform the shape enough to allow them to remain apart for easier sealing. Lots of air quickly is the best solution, maybe a air tank or pig would help with that.
 

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I think you knew all the tricks, and tried them! I've changed more than a few CX/GL tires (almost always new/fresh tires) and have not had any very serious difficulties, although some are more troublesome than others. My battle is inevitably more with removing the old tires (breaking the beads actually, I use a huge steel vise for that). Which leads me to this conclusion: You did everything right, but the age, stiffness and deformity of the "new" tires was making it that much more difficult. Don't let this experience discourage you, after that, you may be able to install a fresh tire with only your bare hands! Hooray for not giving up!!!! Some folks recommend against diluted detergent as a lube (they make tire lube for this) but I think if you are not racing on the tires and/or don't have mega horsepower it's not a concern.
 

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However, if it doesn`t go on within about a minute and a half i quit struggling and go straight to `the easy method`.

We`ve all seen these videos


You mean the backwoods no chance of a service center fixes that have been adapted by inner city kids just short of running around with their hair on fire. Kaboom.



I thought I remembered you listing a small can of combustibles that you used from time to time. Much better than using a full can of starting fluid and wondering where your eyebrows have gone.
 

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I change m own tyres.

It can be a PITA and a waste of good leisure time and every time i do it i think it`d just be easier to pay the (inflated) prices of a local bike shop to do it. (did you see what i did there? Inflated tyre prices,geddit? No? Oh...) But, buying tyres online is much cheaper, so that does it for me.



As the OP noticed, successful DIY bead seating depends a lot on the condition of the tyre, if the sidewall is deformed through bad handling/storage it can be a bugger to get them up on the rim.

If the tyre is in good condition it will go on very easily, in fact most of the time i can pump my new tyres up with a regular double-barrel foot pump. Some lubricant on the bead helps a lot here.

However, if it doesn`t go on within about a minute and a half i quit struggling and go straight to `the easy method`.

We`ve all seen these videos of off-roaders seating their tyres after they`ve come off the wheel with some kinda` flammable gas and it works with bike tyres too.

Here`s one i did, listen to this baby fwap;



[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQiqcRIA5zM&tracker=False[/media]



The trick seems to be to remove the valve core and give the tyre a little tap/depress the tyre with your foot just after the gas is lit - that sets off the seating process. I think the idea behind the valve removal is so that when the hot air inside the tyre cools down and contracts it pulls in air from outside and maintains the tyre inside/outside pressure - you can hear the whooshing sound of the air in the clip. If you leave the valve in place when the air cools down it contracts in volume and pulls the tyre back off the rim. This method only seats the tyre on the bead, i had to pump it up to running pressure as normal using a foot-pump.



Getting the old tyre off can be a struggle, too.

Here`s my version of the bead-breaker you can find details of all over the net;









And then there`s the balancing...........



BTW, does every American garage owner/backyard mechanic have a compressed air system as standard?

It seems like a lot of you have access to this most useful of facilities.

It`s not very common over here...
 

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BTW, does every American garage owner/backyard mechanic have a compressed air system as standard?

It seems like a lot of you have access to this most useful of facilities.

It`s not very common over here...




I think the key might come with the words garage owner. If you have the space and the means then it seems like you should have a compressor as they are very useful beyond inflating tires.



What I miss after moving to Milwaukee from a smaller area is free air. Anywhere up north it seemed like every gas station had a free air hose behind it for topping off tires and now down here they have these cheap but effective coin operated boxes that don't store much air.
 

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I have had my share of problems with new tires as well. The only way I could get the bead to seat on this last tire (brand new) was to push the tire past the inner lip all the way around on both sides and basically hold it sideways in the air while infating. I found that as soon as I set the wheel/tire down, it would leak on the top side. It may have been a fluke, but that was the only way to get it to seat. I used the ratchet straps, bouncing it, swearing at it, lubing it with copious amounts of hand soap, etc, but it never popped. I used to work at a Ford dealership as a mechanic (and I am Ford factory certified) and I remembered that we always popped the bead back on while the tire was horizontal, so I tried it and that was the only way that worked. Like I said, might have been a fluke, but it's worth a try.
 

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I'd say many guys (could be gals, but usually guys) with a garage and tools would have an air compressor of some type. Something needs to fill the spot next to the stick welder? My current one is "old iron" that goes chuga chuga chuga, all the way up to 160 psi. I use an adjustable regulator for the more commonly used 100 psi, but the extra umpf is handy for some things, like filling portable tanks (pigs). $50 well used and excellent condition when a retired Mercedes auto mechanic neighbor died five years ago. Air tools of all kinds have become more common in my circle of folks in the last 10-15 years too, impact wrenches, nailers, grinders. The small portable air compressors seem to have become "must have" items with many guys I know. IMO they're too small to do "real work".
 

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However, if it doesn`t go on within about a minute and a half i quit struggling and go straight to `the easy method`.

We`ve all seen these videos of off-roaders seating their tyres after they`ve come off the wheel with some kinda` flammable gas and it works with bike tyres too.
Guilty
I tried the gas station compressor to seat some 32's...no dice. A can of starting fluid works wonders. Though I was getting some odd looks, seeing as I was basically playing with fire at the gas station... (oops)



BTW, does every American garage owner/backyard mechanic have a compressed air system as standard?

It seems like a lot of you have access to this most useful of facilities.

It`s not very common over here...


Sadly, not every one.
 

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Those damned petrol station air pumps !!

Round here you have to queue to get a token and they seem to have all the power

of a bubble blowing machine then time out before you manage to check/inflate

more than 3 tyres !!

Grrr!

One of my lads gave me one of those little inflators you plug in a cigar lighter socket

A very handy wee thing for the van and bikes.

Dunno if it would seat a tyre though,I may to buy a can of Lynx like Eurovee
 

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Those damned petrol station air pumps !!

Round here you have to queue to get a token and they seem to have all the power

of a bubble blowing machine then time out before you manage to check/inflate

more than 3 tyres !!

Grrr!

One of my lads gave me one of those little inflators you plug in a cigar lighter socket

A very handy wee thing for the van and bikes.

Dunno if it would seat a tyre though,I may to buy a can of Lynx like Eurovee




Reg,

The answer is probably no on the cig lighter pump. I used one to seat a tube tire a few times but when it came to tubeless I couldn't get enough oomph to do the job. It's very small but harbor freight has a 3 gallon compressor on sale for $50 right now. But if you're going to go that far and have the space it would be worth it to get at least 10 gallons.
 

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If you really get stuck and can't get the bead to seal, any decent tire shop will have a bead "Cheetah."



The interesting part is at about 1:25 in this vid:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL1BRo01dak&feature=related



Another method (no BTDT on a bike tire)is to wrap a bicycle inner tube around one side of the wheel at the bead and fill with enough air to fill the void at the bead between wheel and tire. This will seal the void so the tire will fill (before the pop), take the air out of the tube and pull it out of the bead.
 
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