Prestalevers – Making Tough Tire Changes Easy

I’m currently running Campy’s Shamal Ultra 2-Way Fit wheels.  The internet is full of comments about these wheels being very difficult when it comes to mounting tires.

So maybe it’s a common trait among Campy alloy wheels. Great wheels but I dread getting a flat.  

Tires are impossible to mount without lots of muscle and tire levers.

Anyway after much grunting, groaning I finally got them on and my blisters have healed up nicely!

Only issue was fitting my continental GP4000s clincher on the rim was harder than riding a 10km steep hill!! I burst 2 tubes and broke a lever and after 40mins, manage to fit only one tyre! 

Other than the fact I’d quote the hill in miles and I spell ‘tire’ with an ‘i’, I was going to say something very similar to the last reviewer.  I too have broken a tire lever.   One of my recent tire changes at home took 36 minutes only for me to realize the tube had been damaged and had a leak.  And the tubeless tires are even more difficult.  It was to the point where I wouldn’t run tubeless, and dreaded mounting regular clincher tires.

Thankfully, after seeing some claims and reviews about the Prestalever, I received a set of three to review.  Prestacycle claims that the “Prestalever is Quicker and Speedier than anything you’ve ever used” and it is also the “#1 tool for removing difficult tires.”  I was happy to put this claim to the test, though it would mean mounting and dismounting another set of tubeless.

First, I removed and installed Michelin Pro3 clincher tires.  Now I’m going to embarrass myself by admitting this, but I had just changed a tube in my back tire 3 times the weekend before.  I had a flat on the road, mounted a new tube only to find I had pinched it with my lever and punctured it, borrowed a second tube from a friend, punctured it with my tire lever, borrowed a third from another guy, and finally got one in successfully. To make it even worse, I didn’t know that the punctures were there until I inflated the tire with CO2.  So, we also went through 3 CO2 canisters.  I only admit this to stress the fact that the difficulty of dismounting and mounting these tires with my previous levers was fresh in my mind.

I really was doubtful about the Prestalevers, but I’ll cut straight to the chase and say that dismounting and mounting the Michelins was unbelievably easy with them.  Prestacycle shows that for standard clinchers, one can sometimes get away with just one lever for removal.  However, for tubeless, and it seems Michelins on Campy Shamals, they recommend using three to make removal a cinch.  To do this, you simply insert the levers under the bead and catch the rim hook on the rim.  Do this with the other two, leaving about 4 inches between the levers.  When they are all in, press each lever towards the hub, and even the toughest tires pop right off.  After the third is pressed, it can then be slid around the rim to totally free the tire.  I used this process for removing both the standard tires and the tubeless tires with great results.

The rim hook design of the Prestalever really shines when mounting tires.  Again, when mounting the Michelins, I found I had to use the levers slightly differently than the directions instruct.  I installed the tire by hand as far as possible, which still left about 25 to 35% needing to be mounted.  I hooked one lever on the rim on one side of the exposed bead and a second on the other.  These hooked levers kept the bead from dismounting as I wedged the third lever under the gap and lifted the bead into place.  Easy!

For the tubeless, I had to slightly modify this process.  I still mounted as far as possible by hand, and hooked two Prestalevers to hold the bead.  However, the bead was so tight that I couldn’t fit a third Prestalever in to lift the remaining bead.  I had to use one of my thinner levers in conjunction with the Prestalevers to perform this final step.  Still, having the Prestalever’s ingenious rim hook design there to act as a second set of hands made the install a snap and turned what was a 30 to 40 minute job into about 10.

As I was writing this review, I decided that I should also give the levers a chance on my Ksyriums with Continental GP4000s tires using the instructions found on the Prestalever site.  I stopped typing, walked to the garage, dismounted and mounted the tire with only one lever, and was back to the couch typing in less than 4 minutes.  Amazing!

I’m very impressed with the Prestalevers.  They make mounting standard clinchers on normal rims child’s play.  They’ve also made even the most difficult tires easier to mount and have allowed me to run tubeless again without fear of being stranded with a flat tire I can’t change.  I also get a feeling that future tire changes are going to be a lot less painful.

If you have had difficulty removing or installing tires on your wheels, give Prestalevers a go.  If you don’t have difficulty, but want to replace two levers with one and know that that one is tough enough to never let you down, get a Prestalever.  Prestalevers can be ordered from their website at www.prestalever.com.  In addition, you can find much more information on the levers there including the instructions referenced throughout this review (http://www.prestacycle.com/docs/Prestalever_Directions.pdf).

– Alex