Folding a wire bead "non-folding" tyre - a good idea?

by PJ McNally   March 31, 2014  

Prompted by Nick T's comment on an earlier thread, shown below -

- does anyone do this (folding wire bead tyres)?
- is it a good idea? (I'm guessing no, from limited personal experience).

PJ McNally wrote:
Nick T wrote:
To be fair to Wiggle, any company posting wire bead tyres will send them in the round - I'd be upset if my brand new tyres were twisted into smaller loops or even folded so they could save a few bob on postage.

Kevlar beads are foldable and are packaged by the manufacturer like this, look in any lbs and you'll see the racks of wire beads hanging the like an Essex girls stirrup earrings.

Not true - I have ordered wire bead tires online, only to receive a smaller package, with them folded up (figure of eight, squashed flat, then zip tie holding things together). Don't think it was wiggle, but other online bike shops definitely do this.

Once i had the bead then snap, and stab its way out of the tire, only a month or two after fitting. Not impressed! I wish they would not try to fold non folding tires.

5 user comments

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PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [602 posts]
31st March 2014 - 15:15


I have received many folded wire bead tyres from wholesalers undamaged, and folded them like this myself, all without damage. The correct way is not in a figure of eight, but into three loops. I could not describe the technique in words, but done correctly the tyre falls easily into the right position, without effort or bending of the bead.

felixcat's picture

posted by felixcat [429 posts]
31st March 2014 - 15:54


Folding wire beaded tyres into three loops is something cyclists have been doing for years. Here's a pic of the late Ian Hibbel crossing the Sahara, with folded tyres strapped to his forks.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
31st March 2014 - 19:46


I did 'three loop fold' with a pair of tyres I took to work for a workmate. If done right you only need to secure them in one place and you can get away with not securing them atall. Two cable ties top and bottom on the unused side of my pannier rack got them through the 15 mile journey. The only thing I did different to Sheldon was I held the tyre at 4 & 8 o'clock.

Redvee's picture

posted by Redvee [174 posts]
31st March 2014 - 22:50


All very useful! I'll have a go doing this sometime.

I think the tyre where the bead broke after being folded was only doubled over, not in three loops, if I remember correctly. So maybe as long as retailers know what they're doing it'll be ok.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [602 posts]
31st March 2014 - 23:34