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?

  • 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". Commented Jan 30, 2013 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
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 2:35
  • Also, Velocity only makes the A23 in 700c...what does the label on the tire say for size?
    – WTHarper
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 2:37
  • 1
    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. Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 2:54
  • As WTHarper said (and based on your blistered fingers description): you ARE using tire levers, aren't you?! Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 13:20

10 Answers 10


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!

  • 6
    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. Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 2:56

What type of rim strip are you using? If you are using a cloth strip, the thickness of that material makes it nearly impossible to mount a tire. Their website says to use a low profile tape, typically used for tubeless applications. http://www.velocityusa.com/product/rims/a23-622 "Tight tolerances require the use of a low profile rim tape like Velotape to avoid tire installation issues." Rims manufactured in Australia shouldn't have this issue as they did not have the tubeless web.

Edit: also make sure the far bead of the tire is sitting in the drop center portion of the rim. This should give the difficult portion of the tire bead enough slack to mount inside the bead hook of the rim with much less difficulty.

  • 1
    Perfect! After switching to low profile tape on my A23's my tires went on with no problem.
    – Bryan P
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 4:57

Had the same issues. Couldn't mount a tire, got blisters trying. Was ready to send them back & eat the return shipping & restock fee. Found a Video on you tube on how to mount the A23. Changed rim tape from velox to a synthetic type. Followed the advice. Tires just slid right on with no effort after changing tape. Under 3 minutes. Tires were Schwallbe Durano Kevlar bead, with Ritchey Rim liners & generic tubes.

  • Could you post a link to the viodeo you are referring to? It would make the whole thing easier.
    – Slovakov
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 22:26
  • 1
    Better is to describe whats in the video given that it could go down.
    – Batman
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 2:14

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.

  • 4
    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
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 19:02

I think the A23 rims are just widely incompatible. I just had a wheel built with one, and tried to install Schwalbe Marathon Almotions. Result: punctured tube, two broken tire levers, and a wheel with no tire.

  • Schwalbe Marathon tyres can be very tough to fit on many different rims, probably because the thick puncture proof layer. It does depend on what size tyre and what size rim. But once its fitted, it shouldn't need removing any time soon.
    – vclaw
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 20:55

It sounds like it's more a matter of poor technique than the gear itself, to me. Then again, if you are running steel bead tires, the difficulty of mounting your tire is likely to go up. Folding bead tires generally go on easier, and with some brands, you get a much nicer version on the folding variety.

Be sure to be pulling the tire towards yourself, and the center of the rim bed, perpendicular to the rim sidewall as you move it over the edge, rather than just up and over it. This will help get the tire pulled into the lowest part of the bed and make it easier to get that last bit of bead over the rim. If you are having to resort to screwdrivers(?!), spray a little soapy water on the edge of the rim and put that screwdriver away!

A23s are designed to be used w tubeless setups, so that likely accounts for the tighter fit. Tighter tolerances are not a bad thing!

Not saying it might not be a poor match of tire to rim, but as technique improves and the tire gets used to your rim, it definitely will get easier over time.


Have the same problem with Velocity A23s--I read all the above--and while some mean well--the answer seems to be that some tires are simply not compatible with the rim(as some have mentioned)!!

I was riding Conti-Gatorskins-700x23 yesterday--flatted and where normally I can use my hands to put on a tire or take off had to use tire irons for both feats--and where I can normally change a tire and be on my way easily in 5 minutes +- it took me 20 minutes in the hot sun after 50 miles!!!

So thought today I would put on some Conti 4000 Grand Prixs 700x25s---I even put the tires in the hot sun --- about ruined a rim trying to mount the tire--using tire irons and then reverting to a screwdriver(which of course scratched the rim)--and it was simply not possible to get the tire mounted--oh yeah and I use velo plugs!!

Even if I could get the tire mounted and it stretched a bit--I don't want to go through changing a flat==like I did yesterday--Needs to be a more standard sizing for both rim and tires!!!

I'm either ditching the rims or finding a tire that works with the rim(which I'll try first as it's the cheapest way to go!!)

And if anyone knows of a tire that works well with the Velocity A23s--by all means please let me know!!!


  • Two minor points: 1) It always takes at least twice as long in the hot sun. 2) Get a Quik Stik. Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 20:51
  • Have one--thanks--Regarding the Velocity A23s---after more research seems like a lot of people have probs mounting tires on this rim.I took the same Conti 4000 700cX25 and mounted it with no problem on another rim I have. Once again--To me the bottom line is if the tire is that difficult to mount new--even though it will stretch some--do you really want to take a chance on a flat and having to remount a difficult tire while out on the road!!!
    – Ron S
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 22:11

I've had similar problems with other Velocity rims. This tool can help a lot when you have a really tight fit.


Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack

It also helps to move the tire bead on the opposite side down into the center of the rim, sometimes even a few mm makes all the difference.

My riding buddy uses Michelen Pro Service Course 4's on his A23 rims and does not have any problems.


I finally got tires on these wheels. I "prestretched" them by mounting them on another wheel and inflated them for a week. After this I could mount the tires. What a pain these wheels are. Dumb.


I still like these rims very much and purchased another set (A23 OC's) just a couple months ago. They feel like my old racing wheels with the 4000S's. I have made a few minor changes to tire mounting. I use thinner wider tape especially with OC's and I find the worst it gets is when you start the last 18 inches over the rim. For the next few inches I use an 'iron' keeping close tabs on the tube to prevent a pinch. Thank goodness I can get the last foot or so on with my fingers and less chance of a rim pinch. Of course I do all the other usual stuff like keeping the beads squeezed to the center and not letting the valve rubber cause difficulty. I usually check around the tire between the bead and rim for pinches when on the road. When changing tires at home and not in a ditch I inflate halfway, deflate to let the tube clear with the tire not beaded, than run it up to 115. After 30 some years of this I still find the tube gets sneaky on me sometimes, such is life.

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