Yesterday I struggled to mount a tire on a rim even though I have done it countless times before without any troubles. A few minutes prior, it took a lot more muscle and time to get the 23mm Continental Grand tire off my Hed Jet Plus rim, but I was distracted and did not give it much thought. But when I tried to get the tire back on, I was completely focused on the task. I tried and tried and tried, and could not get the tire to go on even after fighting with it for 30 minutes. Sure, I turned 50 earlier this year, but I should have enough strength to mount a tire! I am impatient, and I seriously considered just mounting another wheel set on the bike so I could go ride. Instead I cried on Twitter, and quickly got a response.
Jason Losey, who has probably touched this exact tire and wheel combo hundreds of times, suggested on Twitter "You're doing it wrong…", and he was right.
I also got a call from Greg Kopecky who used to work for slowtwitch and now works with Hed. He is super smart when it comes to wheels and tires.
"Is that wheel a Jet Plus and is the tire bead sitting completely in that center groove?" asked Kopecky. I said "yes and yes," but as I talked to him I noticed a small area where the bead of the Continental tire was still sitting on the elevated outer area of the Hed Jet Plus rim, and once I pushed that section down the tire went on without trouble. Had I been more thorough and patient I would have been riding an hour earlier, but apparently I am not alone. Many cyclists struggle with rims that have that shape, and the experts at Hed have two great videos online where it explains the proper mounting and removal of a tire from a wide Hed rim.
In this video Andy Tetmeyer explains the mounting of a tire onto a wide rim.
Plus of course you need to remove the tire properly.
"These same tips that we talk about apply to just about any rim out there that has a tubeless-ready or UST profile – e.g. Shimano, Bontrager, Stan’s, etc. The diameter of the rim gets significantly larger as you go from the center channel of the rim to the braking surfaces – this is what helps make a tubeless tire air tight (so the fit between the tire and rim is very close). Interestingly enough, however, the Jet wheels are not actually tubeless compatible, although they feature this type of alloy rim, but all of the Ardennes Plus wheels use the same rim and are fully tubeless compatible, because they don’t have the carbon fairings," said Greg Kopecky.