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Recently bought the A23's. Wanted to see if the wider rims lived up to the hype of a smoother ride, better cornering, etc. After getting the wheels built by my shop, however, it appears to have been a colossal mistake! The problem: I can't get the tire on AT ALL!!!! Ended up with blood blisters on my fingers, not to mention probably coming close to getting a hernia, stroke, and/or heart attack trying to get the freaking thing on! Even a screw driver was of no use. (Only managed to get a tire on -- barely -- after taking off the rim strip and not putting a tube in.) Usually use Mavic Open Pros, could get the tires on those with no problem. Anyone know of a problem with these rims? Is it something inherent with a wider rim? (The inside depth of the A23 appears to be a mm or 2 shallower than the Mavic. Could that be it?) Or, could it be how the wheel was built? (I'm thinking maybe not enough tension.) Is there another "wide" rim I can try that is likely to work better?

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First make sure you really do have the right size. Remember, there's a difference between, say, 1-3/4 and 1.75 -- they are different size tires and will not fit the same rims. After that, try a "Quick Stick". –  Daniel R Hicks Jan 30 '13 at 1:39
    
The tire should fit on the appropriately sized rim pretty easily. No lube or screw drivers needed (invest in some tire levers, though!) –  WTHarper Jan 30 '13 at 2:35
    
Also, Velocity only makes the A23 in 700c...what does the label on the tire say for size? –  WTHarper Jan 30 '13 at 2:37
    
It is true that some tires do not fit some rims particularly well, even if the two are supposedly compatible. There is a maybe 2mm variation in tire diameters at the bead, and probably a 1mm variation in rim diameters. –  Daniel R Hicks Jan 30 '13 at 2:54
    
As WTHarper said (and based on your blistered fingers description): you ARE using tire levers, aren't you?! –  heltonbiker Jan 30 '13 at 13:20
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2 Answers

Some tires can be a really tight fit on any rim, and some combination of rim and tire can be extra tricky.

A touch of soapy water, rubbing alcohol, or windex can be used to lube up the rim where you are trying to slide the final portion of bead over. Try to use both hands with palms on the edge of the tire that is not seated to twist the tire on to the rim. It will get easier after they have been mounted once and put under pressure, but the first time can be a real pain.

If all else fails, a tire lever can be used, but be careful not to pinch the tube between the tire and the rim when doing this. I've had issues like this with new rubber and had to pry a few panaracer ribmos on with a pair of plastic levers.

I've also heard that heating the tire a bit can help. I'm haven't tried this one. Putting it in the sun for a bit seems reasonable, but I'm not ready to toss my new tires in the clothes dryer for 30 minutes. Some people swear by it though.

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A guy at the LBS told me to pre-stretch my tire before putting it on. Pull it between your arms and foot to get it stretched out the first time before trying to mount it on the rim. –  Kibbee Jan 30 '13 at 19:02
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From some rather small experience I had with the problems you describe, I could give you these advices:

  1. The first time you install a new (never used) tire is always the worst. Every tire gets a bit more "soft" to install after it's used a bit;
  2. When you are inserting the "last bit" of tire bead, you have to be sure all the rest of the bead is centered in the rim, so that it may sink in the deepest part of the rim and release some bead for you to use the levers and put it in.
  3. It's VERY important you pay attention to the position of the valve. It should never be opposite (180°) from the "last bit" of tire you are installing, otherwise the opposite side of the bead will not be deeply centered in the rim;
  4. Levers should be thin. That means they must be of a very strong material, preferrably engineering plastic. I use Schwalbes (blue ones) and they are very good. Some other levers I have sometimes don't work, in these cases only the Schwalbes do, but there may be other good brands around.

At last, it's not impossible that your rim and your tire (at least the particular ones you have with you) are incompatible with each other. I would recommend you try to install the same tire in another rim, and another tire in the same rim, to check where the problem is, before asking for replacement of a part that is actually OK.

Hope this helps!

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An important trick is to press the valve in a half-inch or so when seating the tire around the valve. Then squeeze the tire flat so that the beads mostly fit in the spoke head "ditch", giving you more slack where you're trying to "jump" the rim. –  Daniel R Hicks Jan 30 '13 at 2:56
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