Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mounting Difficult Tires

A reader asks:

I'm trying to switch to a tubeless Hutchison Fusion 3 on a Campy 2-way Shamal rim...I'm finding it difficult to mount (tips??)...but I look forward to the ride.

Assuming your problem is mounting, not inflation, here is what I would suggest: 

Mount opposite the valve first, you don't need it getting in the way and taking up valuable bead. Remember, the tire bead needs to be in the low point of the rim, so it can't hurt to pinch the tire a little. You should always be able to get one bead on first. Then push the other bead on to the tire up until near the valve. Hold that in place with one hand (As a right handed guy, I use my left hand to hold the bead in place), then, with the other hand, push as much of the bead on as possible. You should always be able to get all but about 10 inches on by hand without much work. Next, insert a strong, plastic tire lever about an inch past where the bead is no longer mounted. I use the blue, Park tools levers. Holding the other side with your left hand, push the bead over the rim with your right. Without removing the lever, move it over another inch, and repeat. It will be a challenge, especially with a brand new tire.

Often, just unsticking the lever will cause it to slide several inches, instead of just one. Be conservative and just do an inch at a time. Once you have the bead inside the rim within a few inches of the valve and almost have the full bead seated, you can often just roll the tire with the palm of your hand and it snaps into place. Finally, you will need to push the valve up into the tire so that he bead can be seated between it and the rim as you screw the nut down.

Remember, I read all the comments, so be sure to let me know how it works for you!


  1. Thanks! I read your reply to my post above and along with trial and it on..can't believe it after all the effort!! I've put on all kinds of tires but this one was by far and away the most's the way it worked for me...

    1) Read the directions and look at the illustrations for a 2-way fit tire - sounds simple but getting the first bead into the well in the middle helped get the first side on...then...2) that first bead needs to move out of the middle to the outside of the rim to give room for the second bead...the first bead can be done by collect hot water with something like dishwashing soap in it...I used a clean stiff bristle brush...a lever like Pedro's or Park Tool's and the KEY for me this time - BRAND NEW GARDENING GLOVES...4) brush the first third of the tire and rim with the water/soap mixture...5) work the second bead on the rim making sure to push the first bead to the outside or the rim as you go...6) soap up the tire and rim of the next third on both sides and do the same thing...7) put on your gloves...the gloves provide extra grip/leverage AND saves your thumbs from blisters...the reason as I see it that the last third is difficult is that the first bead won't move to the outside as easily on a 2-way fit tire BUT keep working at it...8) turn the wheel around and start opposite the valve where you first put the second bead on the rim and push the first bead to the outside all the way to where you stopped...put water/soap on one half of what's left to do and hold the other side firmly in the bead in as far as you can toward the valve holding the other side firmly in place with your gloved hand...(keep trying to work that first bead to the outside as you go)...9) now it's time to use a lever...hold the side you just worked with firmly in place...(I let it dry first)...wet the rim and tire on the unfinished section...WET THE LEVER...about an inch from where the bead is on the rim insert the lever...use the lever an inch at a time moving toward the valve working the second bead on the rim - remember to hold the other half firmly in place...10) for me, the last bit around the valve I used my gloved hands to pop it in place...and...victory!! All in I said...the KEY were the gloves for the extra grip/leverage and to protect my hands.

    That's my method!

  2. FYI - I was putting Hutchinson Fusion 3 tubeless tires onto a Campagnolo Shamal Ultra 2-way Fit set of rims...very nice rims and hubs...soaped up the tires on both sides...quickly pumped up the tires to 140lbs with a floor pump...everything snapped into place...released the air...checked it all out...and that was that.

  3. This looks great I have never seen anything like it before thanks for sharing.
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  4. I installed Fusion 3 on Bontrager Race X Lite rims this weekend. Stan's rim tape went in well. I inflated tires first with tube installed to further flatten the rim tape and stretch the tire a little. I had to improvise to get the bead over the rim; it's a three or four hand proposition. I use a pair of Stanley wood clamps. They are trigger-squeeze for one hand vlamping and have rubber jaws. I LIGHTLY clamped across the brake surfaces just where the bead stopped going over the rim. Then I used my levers to get the bead over the rest of the way. The rest of the install went per Stan's YouTube video. Had a bleed-down issue on one rim, likely leakage at the valve stem, which then vented at the weep hole in the side of the rim. Shaking sealant at the stem and a nice long ride and everything is as advertized. They hold air as well or better than clincher/tube combo. As for the ride? DeeeeLux! Bike is a LeMond Arrivee titanium frame. The tubeless takes the buzz off the sharp Chip & Seal that tops most of my roads. This is my second tubeless conversion. I have more than 2 years on Fusion2/Mavic Kyserium combination. On a carbon bike these are too plush. I need a little road feel back.

  5. This looks great I have never seen anything like it before thanks for sharing.

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