Tyre changing time

Nothing too special today, just changing the rear tyre and thought it may be a good idea to post some ideas/ramblings. Just as much for my own future benefit as a reminder as it is to share the experience.

First, before starting the job, the night before I jumped on Youtube and checked out how some of the experts recommend changing tyres. It was interesting to note some interesting difference between experts and also to my own experience. This erves as a reminder to do a bit of preparation and research but also to think through what other people say and do and evaluate the quality of the information and how it applies to you. Here's how I went, the photos tell the stories:

This first photo shows how I pack down the tool bags which fit inside the homemade tool tubes. One 90 mm tool tube is bolted to each side of the bike onto the grab rails. The bags themselves came from some laptop bags we had bought previously for our IT business, which we have since sold and they have been repurposed. The red bands come free from the postie, I have been collecting them from home and the medical centre I work at once a week. They help squish the toolbags down so that they slide in nice and easy. The tyre levers are full size motorcycle levers that bolt onto the same bolts that hold on the tool tube. Here is a cost comparison with some more traditional alternatives:

Repurposed toolbags: $0.00 : Aftermarket toolbags: $15.00 each, at least.

Standard tyre levers: $25.00 each : Lightweight tyre levers: $50.00 each, at least. By the way, I have two of those just in case.

DIY tooltubes: $35.00 all up for both : Aftermarket tooltubes: $70.00 each, at least.

What I am trying to show here are two things. The first is that some closed cell dense foam is glued to the bottom of the tooltube. That prevents the tools and toolbag from constantly hitting the bottom plate causing it to evenutually fail. The second is that with the toolbags folded over and compressed, I can keep laminated cheat sheets such as the user manual for the GoPro camera and the wiring diagram for the bike.

Here's a neat trick. If your bike has a cush drive, the sprocket carrier falls away from the cush drive hub. Makes a mess with rubbers falling out everywhere. Tie the sprocket carrrier via a couple of cable ties to spokes. I have used re-useable cable ties.

Here is the reason I am changing the rear tyre. The one on the left is the six-month old Dunlop Trailmax 130/80 and it will be OK for ongoing road use, perhaps. On the right is a Mitas E07 120/70. I needed a new tyre with big knobs to be reasonable safe for a ride on Saturday up Duck Creek Road. The slightly smaller size is an experiment and I need to be prepared for situations where the best tyre is not available. In theory it should be fine and the bike may turn in a bit faster. In practice ... well I will have an answer on Saturday night.

I often read about the important of installing a rim lock which is a device that locks the tyre down onto the rim. I wonder if that is really necessary when you have a seratted edge on the rim as below. To me that looks like it at least doubles the amount of surface area between the rim and the tyre as well as adding an edge that bites into the tyre. Certainly braking the bead on one of these (the XT225 rear wheel is the same) is realy difficult. That also means that even if the tread is OK, changing tyres back and forth on such a rim is not a good idea as the sidewall around the tyre bead becomes damaged.

One step I did not photograph was checking the tube for pinches. You can pinch a tube both when installing and also removing. So in this case I reinstalled the tube valve, pumped the tube and checked it for holes and pinches. All was fine and so I then removed the valve core and put the tube back in the tyre, put the valve core back in and put in a small amount of air to help ensure that the tube was in the right shape, filled in the space and in turn, this helps avoids pinching the tube when putting the tyre back on.  This photograph tries to show too that the tyre is uni-directional and you must install the tyre with the "Drive" arrow facing the correct way. Maybe if you click on teh photo and look at the full size version you can see the drive arrow.

Of course, you normally puff some talcom powder in the tube and roll it around to help everything slip. I did not have any and so gave the tyre a light spray of Yamalube tyre lube. I also sprayed that on the bead on both the old and new tyres. It really aids the removal and installation process incredibly.

Four more tips on putting it all back together but nI did not photograph these . If you have the equipment, balance the wheel. I haven't tested this but everything I have read is that a balanced wheel/tyre combo really makes a difference, even on a motocross or enduro tyre. So that will be another day, another experiment. The second tip is to consider removing the rear brake caliper when reinstalling the wheel. It really makes a difference on this bike. The third tip was taught to me by my friend Alain and it is to lightly grease any spacers around the rear hub and axle. This holds them together whilst you are juggling everything around to push the axle through. The exposed outer layer of grease also acts as dust trap/seal and helps prevent dust getting into the seals. The final tip, another one Alain taught me, is not to leave the alignment of the rear wheel to chance and just use the half-moons as a guide. Measure the distance from the swingarm bolt to the rear axle bolt just to be sure. Both side should match and this will ensure the tyre works as designed, avoid vibrations and uneven wear.