Kill That Snake Bite

from Toe Clips Summer ’94

Our experience has shown that to achieve the best tire to rim relationship, the technician needs to observe some basic mounting techniques. By following these guidelines, you can feel comfortable that your clincher tries are mounted correctly and will provide the rider with a long service life.

Begin with a clean rim and tire. This is always preferable and insures that no small, sharp items interfere with the internal structure of the tire, tube or rim. After dusting both with talcum powder, insert the tube into the tire casing. With a small amount of air in the tube, it will be easier to mount both items and help prevent pinching during the mounting process.

Once mounted and with a small amount of air in the tube, you should work your way around the tire to check that the tube is completely inside the tire.

Next, pump the tire up to about half its pressure. Again, work your way around the tire and check that the tube is completely inside the tire and not caught under the tire bead. This is the time to grasp the tire and work it back and forth to ensure that the tire bead is well in the hook of the rim. This step is most important to ensure the tire is straight on the rim. Not doing this step increases the possibility of an improper bead-to-rim relationship. The result of not following this step is a tire tread that snakes its way around the wheel, instead of running true as it was designed and manufactured.

Now take the tire up to proper pressure and holding the hub, spin the wheel and eye-ball the tire to check one last time for trueness. If you have not achieved a true tire-to-rim mount, deflate the tire to about 3 bar and work the tire back and forth again until you have a good tire-to-rim relationship.

Re-install the wheel on the bicycle, check the skewer for tightness and proper retention, and you are ready to ride.

Written by Jim Ingram who was working for Continental Tires at the time

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