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Mad Scientist Tire Academy

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Sep 25, 2007
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8,805
Location
Cibolo, Texas
Casona Tricepilot offers a free practice clinic on manual tire installation, removal and flat repair. This was originally mainly for tubed dirt bike tires but now has expanded to include tubeless tire flat repair.

It's important to note WE DO NOT USE TIRE STANDS OR MECHANICAL TIRE DEVICES at this academy - it's all done like you'll need to do it - on the trail or roadside, with the tools you have with you. If you just want new rubber on your bike, take it to a service place. If you want to gain the knowledge on how to be confident with dealing with tire problems on a trip in the middle of nowhere, that's what this is about.

The Mad Scientist Tire Academy covers:

What to pack in your tire kit and where to mount it on your bike. Free printed list of tire related tools that we'll laminate and you can take with you.

Tire removal and installation by hand using spoons and windex. That's right, windex.

Why Slime and Ride-On tire sealant are NOT your friends IMHO (but if they're YOUR friends, that's fine)

Patching 101 - why that tiny pack of tube patches is your best friend

Plugging away - tire plug and string kits and how to use them for your tubeless tire flats.

PRACTICE BEFORE YOU GO: Guided practice on YOUR bike before that big trip, so you have the confidence that YOU can handle all your tire problems on your trip of a lifetime, and not be that guy.

Ask yourself:

Can you remove the wheel on your dirt bike and remove and replace or remove and patch the tube?

Do you carry what you need with you or do you rely upon other riders to provide "the stuff"?


Don't be That Guy on your next off road adventure!

GPS coordinates for Casa Tricepilot: N 29.58023, W098.26058

Recommended Flat Tire Kit

Tire Changing Videos (3)

Bonus Session: Chain Tool Video

Front Page shots:





The Mad Scientist Tire Academy is now franchised! Here are our brothers who have extended an offer to assist you in YOUR area with practice and tips on your motorcycle tire skills:

Austin area:

Tricepilot, I would be willing to give a school, if we could find two or three people in this area who wanted to get better. I do have a great kit that I carry with me on rides.

Sam
Houston area:

I'd also be available if someone wants a second pair of eyes when I'm in SW Houston or La Grange. Can't say I'm always around, but when I am I'm willing to help. Give me a shout.
Gonzales area:

I can assist in flat repair around Gonzales or transport a bike :eat:
Bastrop area:

I can host a clinic in Bastrop some time, if anybody is interested.

I even have a spare front rim and old tires and tubes for practice before trying it out on the working bike.

Trice, if you are going to give me a title, I request "Second Vice-Secretary for the Assistant to the Dean of the College of Schrader Valve Depression" or SVSADCSVD for short.
Are you possessed with Mad Skills?? Volunteer to be a tire mentor in your area! When you do, post up in this thread, and I'll add you to the faculty!
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

Skizzman at the Mad Scientist Tire Academy, practicing tube replacement before his current trip to Copper Canyon:

1220409599_D5Vfb-L.jpg
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire & Drivetrain Academy

Bato's Dunlop 606, that he installed by hand at the Mad Scientist Tire Academy last week:

1229486732_NHEqs-S.jpg


No tire stand. No machine. Tire spoons only from a roll kit. And windex.
 
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WhiskeySmith

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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

...it's all done like you'll need to do it - on the trail or roadside, with the tools you have with you.
I would love to take you up on this offer, but I do not currently own a set of tire spoons. I would like to buy some, but do not know which set best fits my needs. Would it be possible to use your set of tire spoons for the initial Academy visit?

-Carl
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

I would love to take you up on this offer, but I do not currently own a set of tire spoons. I would like to buy some, but do not know which set best fits my needs. Would it be possible to use your set of tire spoons for the initial Academy visit?-Carl
Absolutely. The spoons I've settled upon are made by Motion Pro. I use three of their tire spoons. Two regular spoons, and one that has a wrench side for the 27mm nut on the rear axle of my KLR.

You've hit upon another reason to come over here - try my stuff before you build your own road tire repair kit. My list of tools morphed over time, from reading threads on twtex and ADV, watching true experts on the road, benefitting from folks like JT who invented to tube grinder, and so on. You may want to copy what I have, or decide that you have something better that fits how you wrench. What matters is what works for you.

All you need is your motorcycle. We can spoon on a new tire(s) if that's what you need done, or for experience only, we can spoon off and back on one of your existing tires.

General Comment: To be proficient on the trail one has to do this at least a few times to develop the muscle memory needed. Someone with this skill and a complete tire kit will be the go-to guy out there. You'll enjoy your trips more, knowing that you're capable of handling your own tire issues.
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

These Doug Schopinsky videos are what I started with, and they contain many helpful hints and techniques.

I do what he does on the ground, on a ground cloth. There aren't any tire stands out there on the trail. :lol2:







The golden nugget Doug said, buried in the videos, is this: If it's difficult, you're doing it wrong!
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

The only thing you need to lube the bead. Carried in a travel size spray bottle. Lubricates then dries fast.

You can also use it on your windscreen and visor to take in the vista, since your flat tire didn't stop you from enjoying the rest of your trip. :lol2:

1231716143_ehwAV-O.jpg
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

How's the BBQ at these events? :mrgreen:
Thanks for bringing that up! Harmon's BBQ is 2 miles from my house. Texas Pride BBQ is about 8 miles.

All the Doohickey guys that come here often go with me to one or the other :eat:

As a reminder, on 9 July, Saturday, M38A1 reprises his role as the best Q chef in America at our BBQ open house here at Casa Tricpilot
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

The only thing you need to lube the bead. Carried in a travel size spray bottle. Lubricates then dries fast.

You can also use it on your windscreen and visor to take in the vista, since your flat tire didn't stop you from enjoying the rest of your trip. :lol2:

1231716143_ehwAV-O.jpg
Also good for cuts. At least according to that Greek guy in the movie . . .
 
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Far East DFW
Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

Thanks for bringing that up! Harmon's BBQ is 2 miles from my house. Texas Pride BBQ is about 8 miles.

All the Doohickey guys that come here often go with me to one or the other :eat:

As a reminder, on 9 July, Saturday, M38A1 reprises his role as the best Q chef in America at our BBQ open house here at Casa Tricpilot
Not exactly what I had in mind. :rofl: But the heads up on the 9 July thing is good. I might be out of town though sadly...perhaps riding on the gap.
 

WhiskeySmith

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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

Using the information from this thread I feel like I could undertake the challenge of a tire change. However, knowing my mechanical skill set, it is probably best to wait until I can attend the academy. How do I sign up for the next session?

Based on M38A1's post on your July 9 BBQ event and your KLR Doohickey sessions, it sounds like you are quite busy these days. How do you find time to help everyone out?
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

How do I sign up for the next session?
Just PM me and set up a time.

I've got the next two weeks free now that I'm home from Honduras, before I hit the road again.

You just need your dirt bike and any special tools required by the manufacturer to remove the rear and/or front tire.

If your bike doesn't have a center stand, we'll put it up on the lift for convenience, but all of the tire changing itself is done on the ground on a tarp, just like on the trail. We're practicing for the real world, not the garage.
If we have to use the lift, we'll talk about ways to prop the bike up when on the trail. I'll show you what RG made with his welder to give you an idea of what you can do.

Based on M38A1's post on your July 9 BBQ event and your KLR Doohickey sessions, it sounds like you are quite busy these days. How do you find time to help everyone out?
It's selfish. The vast majority of people I find interesting these days own motorcycles. Paying it forward is another way to look at it. :clap:
 
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Sn. Antonio
Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

Why Slime and Ride-On tire sealant are NOT your friends
Because patches won't stick to slimed tubes?

Trade-off could be argued both ways. Sliming the road tube and carrying un-slimed spares covers both scenarios for trips in the boonies.

Just a thought for this potentially religious discussion...
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

Because patches won't stick to slimed tubes?

Trade-off could be argued both ways. Sliming the road tube and carrying un-slimed spares covers both scenarios for trips in the boonies.

Just a thought for this potentially religious discussion...
I'll put it this way - I'm in the Ron Camp (Thumper Tx)

I've slimed and ridden without slime - hands down I'd rather deal with a tube without slime in it if I have to attack it flat and oozing green goop.

For this academy, we practice the mechanics of getting a flatted dirt bike back on the trail, from the perspective of what you have with you (or should) trailside.

If folks want to slime their tubes I'm not going to do anything other than to tell them why I don't recommend it anymore nor demonstrate it here. And I've got plenty of slime left over from those days if anyone wants to claim it.

For the record, for anyone else for whom Slime is a religion, preach it brother and may the thorn angels be with you (:nono:)

The last thing you'd want to see is someone who slimes their tubes and relies on the belief that they don't need to learn how to remove and/or patch a tube because "slime will take care of it".

In other words, I'm just helping people learn and practice how to remove a wheel and remove a tube and either replace it or patch it. If they want to go home and add Slime to the equation more power to them, I just have my very good reasons for not doing it. Others may have just as good reasons for doing it.

The only useful green slime at Casa Tricepilot is guacamole :rofl:
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

I'll take my bacon on the side please. :mrgreen:


Wouldn't want to ruin perfectly good bacon.
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

So many good openings, sigh.................................just to far away. And that promised BBQ!! [ it was promised, right? ] Anyway, wish I could be there even though I don't have a DS.
 

RollingJ

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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

I use individual size bottles of bubbles for my tire lube. The 'party pack' of 24 was $2 or so. I have a gargantuan bottle that lives in my tire change bucket. I have never had a problem seating a bead with a little bubble juice on the bead. I like that there is no alcohol to dry the rubber out. In fact, the glycerin is a rubber rejuvenator of sorts. I have plumped up cracked and squished carb o-rings long enough to get new parts in the mail. And, it will let you know real quick if you pinched the tube!

I have just ordered one of these (linky) so I can take the 24mm and 17mm sockets and breaker bar out of my tool bag.

My trail kit has 3 nesting MotionPro 8 1/2" basic irons. My toolbox at home has 2 MotionPro 16" irons and 2 old Craftsman 16" irons.
 

DaveC

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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

I would suggest that in the future that the class be held on a patch of baby head rocks and cactus. You know, to give it that air of authenticity.
1220409599_D5Vfb-L.jpg


:mrgreen:

Good idea even with out the cactus and rocks.:clap:
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

I would suggest that in the future that the class be held on a patch of baby head rocks and cactus. You know, to give it that air of authenticity.
:clap: :lol2: :rofl:

I may also add 4 or 5 cardboard cutouts of "buddies" standing around in various states of apparent frustration, to give the practice scene even more of that air of authenticity.
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

:clap: :lol2: :rofl:

I may also add 4 or 5 cardboard cutouts of "buddies" standing around in various states of apparent frustration, to give the practice scene even more of that air of authenticity.
If each one isn't offering it's own piece of completely different and generally incorrect advice, it won't be that authentic. :rofl:
 

DaveC

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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

If each one isn't offering it's own piece of completely different and generally incorrect advice, it won't be that authentic. :rofl:
Somebody get started on the cutouts and we can put balloons with the incorrect advice printed inside each. Just like the comics! How ever having some seasoned veterns show up would really help set the mood.:trust:
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

I hope someone decides to try taking the class during the july 9th BBQ. EVERYBODY could stand around and tell them the proper way to fix the tire.

Trice, what kind of pump do you recommend on the trail? I have a slime brand one that has served me well, but 2 years later and its ready to die. My dad just got the little aerostitch one, but neither of us have used it in its actual setting. Just wanna know what youve had experience with, and what you, being the master, recommend.
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

I hope someone decides to try taking the class during the july 9th BBQ. EVERYBODY could stand around and tell them the proper way to fix the tire.

Trice, what kind of pump do you recommend on the trail? I have a slime brand one that has served me well, but 2 years later and its ready to die. My dad just got the little aerostitch one, but neither of us have used it in its actual setting. Just wanna know what youve had experience with, and what you, being the master, recommend.
I use a Slime pump also. I also have another brand. It really doesn't matter, what does matter is that you practice with it. A lot of riders, what they do is they throw what they think is a reasonable tire kit together and hit the trail. Then, they're taking their tire kit out and hoping they can figure out how it all works without ever having practiced before. I've seen this with tubeless tires too and tire plug kits.

I'm not a tire flat fixing master, but I've seen those guys on the trail. What I did figure out is that to really enjoy being out there on a motorcycle adventure, it's prudent to be able to be self-sufficient in the tire department. What I've learned is that practice is the key, and you really can't practice unless you've done it at least once in a controlled situation, with someone helping you figure it out. Well, at least it's much easier that way. I think it was on one of Richard's Beyond Epic Junction rides where I watched RickM do the flat on a rear tire on a KLR. I quickly realized I wasn't anywhere near his skill level on dealing with a thorn in a tire, and if I had to do what he did for myself or a riding buddy, we'd be there all day. That's when I went home and decided to pull the wheels on my KLR and watch online videos and read posts and talk to people and figure out how to make flat fixing and tire changing painless. And that's a good point to emphasize - it isn't just for flats - I do all my tire change outs/new rubber installation just like one would do on the side of a dirt road, on a tarp in the driveway with only my "road" tools. I even gave away my tire stand.

This job is pretty easy if you know the key tricks. And it's those tricks along with an emphasis on building a really good, lightweight, simple trail kit for tires that I enjoy showing folks. I didn't invent these tricks - I simply pay attention to the real experts out there and put my own hodgepodge tool kit and lesson plan together to help other people.
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

If each one isn't offering it's own piece of completely different and generally incorrect advice, it won't be that authentic. :rofl:
:lol2: :rofl:

Trice , you have the prettiest avitar :clap:
She shows up and supervises at all Mad Scientist Tire Academy lessons. :sun:

Somebody get started on the cutouts and we can put balloons with the incorrect advice printed inside each. Just like the comics! How ever having some seasoned veterns show up would really help set the mood.:trust:
I was thinking about getting out the industrial fan and the garden hose, and having my wife clang two garbage can lids together, to simulate patching a flat during a thunderstorm. :lol2:
 
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Next Class is 14 May

Class is IN SESSION this coming Saturday 14 May at 1 PM at Casa Tricepilot. Carl (WhiskeySmith) is coming over from Seguin.


:sun:

I will also be BBQing CHICKEN on the BIG GREEN EGG for anyone who wants to stop by and play the role of helpful kibbitzer

:eat:
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

WhiskeySmith (Carl) came over this afternoon with his F800 and we did the front tire on his bike for flat repair school.

Did a round of steakburgers on the Big Green Egg prior to wrenching just to make sure there was enough energy to do the job. :eat:

Tools, technique, and helpful hints to keep a dirt bike on the trail.

Also sacrificed an old tire for tubeless plug practice and a tube for patch practice.

Then on to a Thai restaurant for some excellent food and to meet Carl's beautiful girlfriend (Supat :trust: - I think that's her name). Thanks for the meal, Carl :bow:

Schizzman was down from Austin to make sure all went well. :clap:
 

WhiskeySmith

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Tricepilot is The Man

Wow, what can I say other than "Bob is The Man!"

As he mentioned, there were steakburgers, technique and helpful hints were passed along ( I've got to make sure I get me one of them "hook" thingy's ), he provided a tire and tube (new, I think) for plug and patching practice. Schizzman came down and shared stories from his recent Mexico trip.

What Bob didn't mention is that he also discussed other common "breakdowns" that might occur on the trail and my readiness to overcome them. All of this on a day when he had a family event later in the evening that he also needed to be ready for.

Thank you Bob and Schizzman, for taking to the time to help me become a better rider.

-Carl
 
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Recommended Flat Tire Kit

Here is a list I recommend for your consideration. Experienced riders may have fewer or more or different, it's all good. This is a starting place, tailor your kit to suit your needs.

Front Tube Spare
Rear Tube Spare


I carry 2 each of the spare tubes, one set in a bag on the front fender of my KLR, and another set with the flat tire kit

Valve Core Spares
Valve Core Tool


In a pinch, you can replace a lost valve core by harvesting another from one of your spare tubes.

Tire Spoons

You'll need at least 3 to be efficient. I use Motion Pro. One has the correct socket size for the rear axle of the KLR built in.

Bead Buddy

Also by Motion Pro. See the video at the beginning of the thread.

Bead Lube

I use windex but I also have Bead Lube. Windex is cheap and evaporates quickly. This was also in the video.

Talc

Helps prevent pinch flats when reinstalling.

Valve Stem Nut Wrench

Totally optional. Helpful, but pliars can do the same job. Sometimes the valve stem nut is round and won't take a wrench, so pliars are fine.

Valve Hook Tool

I made one from a Craftsman hook with the end ground off so as not to poke the tube. Helps to grab the valve stem during reinstallation.

Electric Pump

Your choice. You'll need to practice with it to get familiar with it and know its limitations.

Battery Pigtail

No point in having an electric pump if you can't tap the battery.

Pigtail Extension Coord

Optional, helps when you're inflating someone elses tire.

Rubber Mallet

Helpful when removing/installing axles.

Bead Breaker

When with a friend, use your buddy's kickstand. When solo, may be helpful. There are different kinds on the market. Practice to know its capabilities and limitations.

Length of Wire or Coord

In the event you wish to suspend a brake assembly

Brake Pad Shim

Helpful in the event someone squeezes the brake lever. Prevents the brake pads closing with no rotor present.

Headlamp

What? You think all flats happen at high noon?

Reading Glasses

For the older guys.

Marking Chalk

Super handy for marking your place on a tube or tire

Pliars

To pull out the item that made the hole. Also can help remove valve nuts or cotter pins from axle nuts.

Socket Wrench

For axle nuts and pinch bolts. Will probably already be in your tool kit.

Axel Nut Socket

You can get a tire spoon from Motion Pro with your correct size built in.

Pinch Bolt Socket

Front axle item.

Socket Extension

May be required. Helpful on one side of a KLR front axle.

Gloves

Optional

Tarp

A small section of tarp keeps your area clean when working on a sandy trail. Keeps sand out of your bearings and helps keep things from getting lost in the sand. Can double as an emergency rain shelter or sleeping tarp. Doesn't need to be huge.

Rags

Optional

Patch Kit

Practice. Practice . Practice. Don't make the first time you use a patch kit a real world trail side situation. Always make sure the glue hasn't dried out from years of storage. Let the glue "flash over" before applying the patch. Sand the area, then clean the patch area with an alcohol wipe.

Alcohol Wipes

String Kit (or Plugs) for Tubeless Tires

Tire Pressure Guage
 
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What not to forget

"If it's difficult, you're doing it wrong"

"Both beads pop to the outside to remove the rim"

"Always have a list"

"Practice before your ride"

"Compress the bead into the rim to provide more lever space"

"Practice in your garage with trailside tools"

"Don't be "that guy" "
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

:clap: :lol2: :rofl:

I may also add 4 or 5 cardboard cutouts of "buddies" standing around in various states of apparent frustration, to give the practice scene even more of that air of authenticity.
And don't forget, one must have a camera in his hand. :nana::rofl:
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

WhiskeySmith grabbing some shade as he gets ready to drop the tube back into the tire

smugshot1311130-L.jpg


Relaxing at the Thai restaurant where his girl works

smugshot8293776-M.jpg


Schizzman enjoying dessert

smugshot7292950-M.jpg
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

Great videos! I've been doing it wrong. Wish I'd seen this before putting the new tennies on last weekend. Got proper tools...just wasn't using them right.
Thanks Trice. :thumb:
 

JT

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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

There is something about the shape of this spoon that just makes it work better than any others I've tried. The curved end is perfectly shaped and rounded and the price is right too. If you need more leverage, you're doing it wrong.

RockymountainATV.com $2.99



And to avoid pinch flats during reassembly, never move the iron past 90 degrees(straight up) when levering the bead back onto the rim.
:chug:
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

There is something about the shape of this spoon that just makes it work better than any others I've tried. The curved end is perfectly shaped and rounded and the price is right too. If you need more leverage, you're doing it wrong.

RockymountainATV.com $2.99



And to avoid pinch flats during reassembly, never move the iron past 90 degrees(straight up) when levering the beadback onto the rim.
:chug:
My tire tool kit is made of tusk products. I have that spoon, the fender pack and 2 spoons (lost one), the bead buddy, the valve stem fishing thing, and another large spoon with a handle on it. Tusk stuff works extremely well and its very cheap.
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

WhiskeySmith grabbing some shade as he gets ready to drop the tube back into the tire

smugshot1311130-L.jpg
I've spotted another opportunity for some realism. Take away all shade except from two items, a bush that's lower than your knee and a scraggly tree with no leaves on it anymore....then increase the temperature about thirty degrees at least. :rofl:
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

I've spotted another opportunity for some realism. Take away all shade except from two items, a bush that's lower than your knee and a scraggly tree with no leaves on it anymore....then increase the temperature about thirty degrees at least. :rofl:
:rofl:
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

Great videos! ...... Got proper tools...just wasn't using them right.
Rick M and a bunch of other guys around here do tires even better than the guy in the video :sun:

If you need more leverage, you're doing it wrong.

And to avoid pinch flats during reassembly, never move the iron past 90 degrees(straight up) when levering the bead back onto the rim.
:chug:
Great tips John :clap:

My tire tool kit is made of tusk products.
Good testimony on Tusk products from you and John :)
 
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Re: San Antonio's Mad Scientist Tire Academy

I have ZERO experience with rim locks.

Looking forward to my first encounter with them. Curious as to anyone with rim locks on their wheels who might be able to provide tips or tricks....now or later.
 
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