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In clincher tyres, are folding tyres easier to put on and remove than the tyres with wire bead?

I was trying to swicth from decathlon resist+ tyres to Specialized Allsport and found it really really hard. I cant imagine being able to change a tube on the roadside with such a hard and difficult tyre.

I am a weekend/leisure rider for hobby. for that, if i get a ouncture on road, would a folded tyre be easy to take off and switch tubes than using a wire bead tyre

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    Personally I find (flexible) folding tires harder to mount because they tend to assume some random, curled-together shape. Wire bead tires you can just throw on and maybe need some force for the last few centimeters. – Michael Nov 26 '20 at 7:35
  • many thanks for your perspective. I want to be able to swich a tube in 15-20 min if I get a flat while on the road. I do carry spare tube and levers with me, but I think I will need a lot of practice. – ankar Nov 26 '20 at 7:51
  • @Michael when using tubes it helps to get a wee bit of air into the tube before mounting to conform the tyre to shape. When you mount one bead after another rather than both beads at once more air may be used. Mounting tubeless tyres unfolding the tyre and hanging it up for an hour or so also makes it easier to get the tyre in shape. – gschenk Nov 26 '20 at 12:27
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    One thing to do is try your roadside tools for at-home maintenance tasks. That tests your tyre levers and pump, for example – Chris H Nov 26 '20 at 15:25
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I'm not sure that you have the brand names of those tyres exactly accurate.

In general the bead of a wired tyre contains wire and cannot be folded for storage like a folding tyre can. All things being equal, that makes a wired tyre likely to be harder to mount.

However there are plenty of folding tyres that are hard to mount too, and this may vary to some extent on the size of your rims, the size of your tyres, and other factors.

Mostly tyre mounting comes down to technique and practice.

Here's a video

showing how to mount tyres with bare hands.

If that does not work for you then tyre levers (you don't mention) are something to try. Plastic ones are less likely to damage your rims/puncture your tube, while metal ones are easier. If you have arthritis or something then there are special rims that are designed to make tyres easier to fit.

However for most people it's going to come down to practice.

There's nothing inherently wrong with wired tyres, but a most of the time they are the cheaper ones and tyres are not something to cheap out on, since cheap ones will slow you down 100% of the time, whereas a cheap drivetrain vs. an expensive one will not have much effect.

See also this Help selecting between wire/folding tires

Suggest you practise at home until you can do the job well. If you cannot manage it, then your options will depend on how and where you are cycling - where I cycle there's usually a tyre change place (for motorbikes) within a mile or so, and they charge a very small amount of money. If you are cycling where there is not, then it will become more important that you can fix things yourself. Here you will probably want to consider between choosing a heavier more puncture resistant tyre (which will slow you down) and a lighter one (which will get more punctures, but will be faster). Often the very cheapest tyres, which the ones you mention sound like, focus more on puncture resistance, but there are others that can be better. There are various other options such as 'tubeless' (which usually requires an expensive investment in new wheels, tyres, sealant), special tubes which contain slime, and other things designed to reduce the impact of punctures, but most of the time your best bet is to 'get good' at changing tyres, in that things like tubeless tyres don't completely eliminate the risk of punctures, and so you are still left with the same technique issue of you vs. the tyre.

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  • Thank you for your suggestions and comments. I think I stated the tyre brands correctly, both resist+ and specialized allsport are wired beaded tyres. and I did use levers, in fcat 3-4 levers. My issue is not occasional weekend puncture, but to be able to change a tube on the roadside. Agree that practice makes one better. But I think there is probably a sweet combination of the rim one has with the certain tyres... just hard to figure it out – ankar Nov 26 '20 at 7:50
  • So long as you don't snap them, I've found plastic levers to be much easier than metal if I need them to put tyres on. Maybe my (flat) metal ones just aren't very good though. – Chris H Nov 26 '20 at 8:19
  • I don't think there is such a tyre as Specialized Allsport. Perhaps you mean Specialized All Condition Sport. 'All Condition' is the tyre model. Sport is the specific version (there are others such as All Condition Armadillo). For some reason in the context of bike tyres 'Sport' tends to mean cheap. – thelawnet Nov 26 '20 at 11:34
  • my mistake! it is called'roadsport' – ankar Nov 26 '20 at 12:14
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Both the easiest and the hardest tyres I've mounted have been wired, but all the folding tyres I've had have been at least moderately hard. When fitting you don't want the bead to fold, you want it to be almost a perfect circle (just very slightly distorted as you pop it over the rim).

Wired tyres tend to get a bit easier to remount after they've been used for a while, but folding tyres don't seem to. The wire is wound, and I suspect there's a tiny bit of stretch available. Also if the wire isn't perfectly round to start with, fitting it for a while will pull it into shape.

It is possible for tyres to go on too easily, then they pop off again. I've had that with a wired winter tyre that was easy to fit the first season, and wouldn't stay on when I refitted it the next year.

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    With all types of tyres and rims it's a matter of tolerances: If the rim is on the upper size limit and the tyre on the lower, it will be hard to near impossible with any type of bead. – Carel Nov 26 '20 at 9:00
  • A big problem with folding tires is that they don't naturally seat evenly on the rim. You have to spend a lot of time getting the sidewall to be even around the rim. (It helps somewhat to unfold the tire and let it "relax" for several hours before mounting.) – Daniel R Hicks Nov 26 '20 at 14:14
  • @DanielRHicks I didn't find that fitting a brand new Durano in the pouring rain (i.e. not spending more time than I had to) when it had been strapped to my mudguard for weeks. So it might vary between tyres. – Chris H Nov 26 '20 at 14:50
  • @DanielRHicks pumping the tyre to a high pressure helps with that. Conti recommends for some touring tyres pressure far in excess of the 'max' pressure printed on the sidewall. – gschenk Nov 26 '20 at 15:01
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    @gschenk maybe you're right. Personal circumstances plus COVID leave me with only the options of fixing it, or walking a long way before and after getting a train - so I carry even more than normal – Chris H Nov 26 '20 at 15:18
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In my experience tyres with wire beads are easier to force onto rims relying on strength and levers.

For modern folding tyres with a aramid fibre (eg Kevlar) thread in the bead good technique and a proper well in the centre of the rim are necessary. Applying more and more force hardly stretches the bead further. This is an important requirement in tubeless tyres as the bead has to keep the tyre taught on the rim to retain air.

Beyond what I have written above the differences between manufacturers and products are too great to make any general claims on how easy wire bead or folding bread tyres are to mount.

For example, I found Schwalbe G-One (folding) nearly impossible to mount, Schwalbe Marathon plus (wire) and Conti Contact Tour (wire) very hard, while I could just pop on Maxis Mud Wrestler (folding) and Schwalbe Land Cruiser (wire) without straining my hands. The variation between tyres is enormous.

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  • NB difficulty mounting tyres also depends greatly on the rim. The G-One so difficult to mount on my stock wheels were easy to mount on a DT Swiss rim. In the first case I had to resort to tyre levers (!) after two hours of trying. Most tyres get easier to mount with use. However, there are also exceptions: I worked an hour with tyre levers and makeshift tools to pry off a tubeless tyre where plenty of sealant congealed. On a ride this would have lead to a walk home. Don't rely on swapping in tubes as a roadside fix when riding tubeless. – gschenk Nov 26 '20 at 15:07

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