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Anyone change their own tyres?

Discussion in 'Biker's Cafe' started by Freeman, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Freeman

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 24, 2004

    Posts: 5,564

    Ever since I've owned a bike I was adamant that I would do all my own maintenance. Unfortunately due to lack of tools or experience, I have never attempted to do two things, change my tyres and valve checks.

    My question. Does anyone here change their own tyres and if so what tyre changing tool kit do you recommend for a reasonable price?

    I have my eye on the following:
    http://www.abbastands.co.uk/product-detail.asp?pid=38 - But I feel it's a bit on the expensive side?

    Or, I go the poor mans way and get this bead-breaker tyre iron combo - http://www.adventure-spec.com/default/motion-pro-beadpro-tire-bead-breaker-and-lever-tool-set.html and a cheapo wheel balancer from Amazon, something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ryde-Motor...qid=1502616424&sr=1-2&keywords=wheel+balancer and buy stuff like the valve extraction tool and tyre lube on it's own?

    Any suggestions would be great.
     
  2. tom_e

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 26, 2003

    Posts: 26,858

    Location: West mids

  3. Dogbreath

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 16,651

    Location: Devon

    I always change my own tyres. I use a cheap bead breaker and a kit that converts a paddock stand into a balancer though you do need a specific type of paddock stand for this to fit. I didn't get the bead breaker until I moved up to larger bikes as my workbench vice opened far enough for breaking beads up to around 160 section.

    Other than that, you'll need a set of tyre levers (I'd recommend getting three levers rather than two) and a set of rim protectors, plus valve extractor and weights etc. You can use a bit of hose pipe split lengthways for rim protection, but the proper things are cheap and work better.
     
  4. Freeman

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 24, 2004

    Posts: 5,564

    Thanks. I like the look of that bead breaker.

    I'm also looking to save space, what are your thoughts on this sort of bead breaker? - http://www.adventure-spec.com/default/motion-pro-beadpro-tire-bead-breaker-and-lever-tool-set.html
     
  5. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,779

    Location: Kent

    What's the total cost to get set up for this?

    I do 12-15k miles a year across 2 bikes and I think it would still take me a couple of years to get back even, £15 per tyre change for a loose wheel, with maybe 3 changes per year (2x rears and 1x front) as I get 6-8k out a rear and 10-12k minimum out a front.
     
  6. Freeman

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 24, 2004

    Posts: 5,564

    Realistically from £100-200 depending on the kit.
    For me it's £20 for a tyre change plus fuel to get there so about £22 a change.
    Thing is for me it's not about saving money but more about being able to do all the maintenance on my bike. I enjoy tinkering on my bike as a hobby so it's worth it to me.
    In the long run, no, I don't think you'd save money by doing it yourself unless you change from summer to winter tyres each year and have 2+ bikes I guess?
     
  7. Foghorn Leghorn

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 5, 2003

    Posts: 2,383

    Location: Cheshire

    I've been changing my own tyres for a few years now and there's very little kit you need to buy.
    Pair of tyre levers
    3 rim protectors
    Tub of tyre soap
    Valve fitting tool
    Valve core removal tool
    Wheel balancer
    Wheel weights
    Tyre valves

    Wheel balancer was the most expensive bit at £16, total spend around £50 and I change 10+ tyres a year.

    I use a couple of lengths of wood to break the bead, a track pump to inflate the tyre and I only bother with balancing the front wheel if at all.

    I can change a pair in about 30 minutes if I push but usually spend an hour or so and clean the wheels, swingarm, forks etc
     
  8. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,779

    Location: Kent

    10+ times a year :eek: That's either some epic mileage or tracktyres and 2 or 3 more bikes...
     
  9. Foghorn Leghorn

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 5, 2003

    Posts: 2,383

    Location: Cheshire

    :D

    Two road bikes and a race bike, and a big tyre bill :(
     
  10. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,779

    Location: Kent

    Thought so, yeah if I had a trackbike I'd do the tyres myself, would be far too much money and time to get them changed each time otherwise.
     
  11. unKle

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 24, 2002

    Posts: 1,261

    Location: Kent

    I've always changed my own tyres, but I've been fortunate enough to have a tyre machine in places I've worked. My current job there's no such luxury so I've invested in a few tools, which pretty much has been covered above.

    I use a Sealey machine (TC965) and bar (TC963) at home. Without trying to lower the tone, it's all about protecting your rim and using plenty of lube :o:D
     
  12. Foghorn Leghorn

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 5, 2003

    Posts: 2,383

    Location: Cheshire

    :D

    Yup, I learnt early on not to be stingy with the soap, makes life a lot easier
     
  13. Foghorn Leghorn

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 5, 2003

    Posts: 2,383

    Location: Cheshire

    £20 to £25 a pair changed at circuit, certainly adds up over a season. I use tyreleader or oponeo for loose tyres or occasionally I'll pick up some scrubs.
     
  14. Danm54

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 20, 2009

    Posts: 1,755

    I spent around £100 on kit to change tyres, got lube, weights and balancer plus a bag of new valves.

    Not done many miles this year but I do have 5 bikes so its more about ease and convenience than saving money.
     
  15. Freeman

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 24, 2004

    Posts: 5,564

    Took the plunge and bought everything I need. Cost me £78 in the end. The biggest expense being the tyre iron/bead breaker combo which I splashed out on because I really like the look of them, well engineered and better yet they fit into my tool chest! That was £50 - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/253029087930
    I spent £20 on a balancer and a few ££ on wheel weights and rim protectors.
    Valve extractor I'm stealing off my bro and I'm hoping I have an alternative to Windex as a tyre lube somewhere in my house.

    Looking forward to giving it a go! Hopefully no scratched rims :p :)
     
  16. Fireskull

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 31, 2006

    Posts: 9,657

    Location: Eastleigh / Winchester

    :p

    I have a cheap balancer like in the OP, BUT I would recommend you change out the bearings for some better ones, mine went bad real quick.
    Also have a bead breaker like the Abba one, works fine, but I also have one attached to my tyre changer.
    I have a car changer like this:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mechanics...06&rk=1&rkt=1&&_trksid=p2045573.c100506.m3226
    With a motorcycle tyre changing adapter that attaches on top, cant actually find any on eBay at the moment but it makes it look like this:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sealey-Ma...043593&hash=item20f748afdc:g:BZAAAOSwPYZU74fH

    And this is the most important thing, a decent tyre lever, makes changing them much easier, plenty of youtube videos on how to use it.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tyre-bar-...051903?hash=item283c57637f:g:RZ4AAMXQxVZRCRuq

    I have been changing my own tyres and friends tyres for years now with this setup.
     
  17. Freeman

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 24, 2004

    Posts: 5,564


    That's a nice setup. Only problem for me is that it takes up space which I don't have.

    Those bar tyre levers are great, so easy!
     
  18. Foghorn Leghorn

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 5, 2003

    Posts: 2,383

    Location: Cheshire

    Thanks for the bead breaker link, not seen those before.

    Motion pro make some good kit, I use their fork seal slide hammers

    https://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/tools/category/ringer_fork_seal_drivers/
     
  19. MatteH Oxford

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010

    Posts: 1,654

    Location: Wiltshire

    I don't use levers, I have a 18v cordless angle grinder and I cut the old tyre off. I break the bead using a long length of timber wedged under my van while the rim sits on 2 pieces of 4''x2''

    To put the new tyre on, I cable tie it and use tyre soap. Balancing is done statically on a paddock stand.
     
  20. Freeman

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 24, 2004

    Posts: 5,564

    Well that was easy!

    Decided to change my front tyre earlier than normal (still got 10,000 miles out of it though!).

    Took about 45 mins altogether which isn't bad for a first time. I reckon I could do it in less than 20 next time including putting away of tools etc.

    I used the following:


    Total: £76.37

    Minus what it would have cost me to take it to the shop, this time round it's only cost me £54. Couple more tyre changes and I'll break even.

    Very satisfying and well worth it!