scratched tyre wall

What's your best idea for avoiding this elementary mistake? I did not inspect the bead carefully after installing these winter tyres. Sure enough, on a subsequent inflation, and when the contact area was completely dry, the rubber outside was chafed. The actual polymer that takes the pressure underneath was not ripped, and so I continued to use the tyre. Still, now that an area is weakened, I'm looking for the smoothest way to reinstall it.

Also: am I asking too much of bike tyres by reusing the same rims and exposing the walls to so much rubbing season after season? Car tyres are not exposed to this much stress. Summer/winter tyres are mounted on different rims. Is it unreasonable to subject bicycle tyres to repeated installations?

  • 1
    the way to avoid this mistake is to check the seating of a tire whenever it's mounted. it doesn't matter if the tire is brand new or is being installed after sitting idle on a shelf for a while. Hit it with the air and check that the ridge near the bead is exposed over all 360 degrees of the tires. Truthfully, I don't understand how the fact that the tire had been mounted before is pertinent to this question
    – Paul H
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 4:02

1 Answer 1


Note: this answer mainly concerns fairly tight-fitting tubeless-style tires on tubeless-compatible rims.

Personally, I like to use soap as a tire seating aid for difficult tire+rim combos. Bar soap is somewhat less messy, but liquid soap works great too. Just smear some around the tire beads on both sides. Adding some to the bead seat on the rim wouldn't hurt either for particularly difficult installations.

Of course, it would be prudent to inspect the successfulness of the tire installation before deeming it ready to ride. If the bead isn't correctly seated and/or the tire is wobbling, you should re-evaluate...don't just pop the tire on and inflate it and assume it will fully seat on the first try.

Regarding your concern over tire swapping causing damage, I don't think there's a consensus that it is harmful. I've certainly never seen any warnings on any of the tires I've installed. With tubeless tires, excessive tire lever usage may damage any air retention features built into the bead, but structurally I don't think it would be an issue. I don't think tire installation with normal plastic tire levers is anywhere near stressful enough to permanently damage the structural integrity of a ~3mm diameter Kevlar hoop.

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