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aknopak 05-06-2004 11:08 PM

Re: How To Change Your Own Tires
Interesting article, well done. As you note, whether it's worthwhile depends on where you are.

First of all, I do nearly all maintenance on my bike myself, I think it adds a whole dimension to bike ownership. That said, swapping tyres is the only thing I gladly leave to the pro's.

Over here we have specialists who will swap and balance tyres for 10 euro per tyre, and they will do it on the spot. My record is 15 minutes for front and rear combined (I hadn't even finished my coffee!).

Your rims do have quite a few nicks and scratches on them.

I think you are probably more likely to get those when changing the tyres yourself. The pro tyre-lifters don't put as much pressure on the rims, instead they compress the tyre so it comes off by itself without having to pry.

My 2 cents.

saaz 05-07-2004 12:40 AM

Re: How To Change Your Own Tires
I used to change my tyres all the time before all the shops around here got tyre changing machines. I do take off the wheels myself and take them in. And what is this bit about taking a few days or all day at a shop..I get it done as I wait usually, all included in the price of the tyre.

Steve781 05-07-2004 02:22 AM

Re: How To Change Your Own Tires
For an equally detailed approach that doesn't use the harbor freight stand, check out this link

seruzawa 05-07-2004 02:44 AM

Re: How To Change Your Own Tires
Good article. I didn't know about the Harbor Freight stand. I've been using a very large C-clamp to break the beads.

A large vise suffices to hold the axle for balancing as well.

And, amazingly, there's a gas station less than a mile from my house that has real live old fashioned free high pressure air hoses.

It's much nicer to have the right tools though.

maladg 05-07-2004 03:08 AM

Re: How To Change Your Own Tires
Nice article, good pictures and great info. Still, I gave up doing my own tires about 10 years ago - after 22 years of "rolling my own". Nope, I don't miss it at all! Having said that, if I do ever get that KLR650 I've had an eye on, its back to sweatin over "tar arns".

Thx to MO for keeping a good flow of interesting articles coming!

bigjames 05-07-2004 04:11 AM

Re: How To Change Your Own Tires
Changing ones own tires:


Friend just got clipped for $80 for changing a tire, off the bike by a dealer, whom I doubt he will buy another bike from. Difficult bike, no, it was the rear tire from a BMW GS! Hell, if it were on the bike, takes about 15 seconds to get it off!

You know your brakes were put back together correctly! Uh, yeah, put on incorrectly by a dealer almost killed me once....

You just don't get as nasty reaching for your wallet as you do changing that old tire.

You make it a point to keep the wheels relatively clean....


Where did that damn tire tool go? You'll find out shortly after the ride starts. Don't ask how I know....

You ever try changing a Duplop 491 (or any modern VERY stiff sidewalled tire) with that stiff ass sidewall. How much religion do you want to lose?

Takes WAY more than 15 minutes to do it your self. Now, how are YOU going to balance that tire?

Why won't Gojo clean this crap off my hands? Damn, lava doesn't work either....

Why......won' damn, have to wait on the air compressor, again.

Oh, you don't own an air compressor? That would be a PROBLEM!

Their machine can do it in less than 15 minutes. You can't, I don't care how good you are!

If you buy the tire from the shop, sometimes (and I do mean sometimes) installation is included in the inflated price of the tire!


I still have the tire irons, haven't used them in years! I don't change my cars tires, why would I want to change the bikes? I do take the wheels off the bike and install them my self, due to the above mentioned brake problem suffered after one such dealer tire change. NO ONE works on my brakes but me after that little episode....

Yeah, yeah, I know the whole Zen thing about working on your own bike and all that. But I do all the work on my computers and don't feel any closer to them.....and when I work on the bikes, they stay broken a LOT longer....

and other stuff seems to get broken along the way....


sportbike_pilot 05-07-2004 04:26 AM

Re: How To Change Your Own Tires
Thanks for your comment but most of those nicks and scratches actually got there from having the previous set of tires put on by a vendor at the track. Most shops and trackside tire vendors do a great job and are very fast -- but sometimes their equipment and/or personnel are not particularly easy on rim cosmetics. I've had most of the powder coat stripped from the outside edge of a rim more than once. I can almost always do less damage myself.

SRMark 05-07-2004 04:46 AM

Re: How To Change Your Own Tires
I change my own tires when they go flat on the trail. That's it. Otherwise the guys at the shop do all of them. And Malcolm Smith can still change a tire on the trail quicker than just about anyone else

electraglider_1997 05-07-2004 04:46 AM

I also use a large C-clamp to break the bead and I use an old tire to set the wheel on to keep it from damage as I spoon off the tire.

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