Help! New Shimano ultegra 6700 wheelset - can't get tyres on!

by shortfat007   March 7, 2010  

Crying
Per title, I've taken delivery of my new spanky Ultegra wheels and I've had a helluva job getting tyres on. The rims are tubeless compatible (so says the sticker) although I'm trying to run normal clinchers.
I couldn't get Bontrager tyres on, I struggled with Conti Super sports, and I finally got a pair of Conti Grand prix's on after a complete mare and (shame oh shame) a couple of broken tyre levers. The obvious problem will be if I ever get a flat out on the road I'll be calling home for a lift.
Has anyone else had the same problem and is there a solution? Or are there any particular tyres that fall on any easier?
Otherwise, there'll be a pair of lovely new wheels going cheap!

21 user comments

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i've had the same problem but in my case it was a pair of Easton EA50 SL rims. the tyres were Conti Super sports also.
ive always found that mavic rims (CXP33/MA4) were never a problem with any tyres.. apart from that im no help im afraid!

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1085 posts]
7th March 2010 - 18:17

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some tyre/rim combinations are worse than others but i've not heard of any specific problems with the 6700 rims. It's possible that the internal shape of the rim is making it harder to drop the bead into the middle of the rim, this give you more play when you're pushing it on.

if you're doing it at home you can use a bit of talc or soapy water to lower the friction between the rim and the bead, that might help. not much use out on the road though, i'd suggest getting some really good tyre levers. I'd recommend the Topeak Shuttle ones: http://road.cc/content/review/4709-topeak-shuttle-12-tyre-levers.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7501 posts]
7th March 2010 - 20:38

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this from the man who's probably put more tyres on Ultegra wheels than anyone else I know: Albert at distributors Madison.

"Not a known problem no. All the wheelsets I used for the press days had Conti Attack/Force clincher & tube combos on and they went on absolutely fine. Likewise, in the past we’ve had to use the Dura-Ace SL Scandium tubeless with clincher and tubes, they pretty much share the same rim profile and were fine."

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7501 posts]
8th March 2010 - 9:45

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thanks for the responses chaps, will try to refit and see if any better.
Cheers

posted by shortfat007 [3 posts]
8th March 2010 - 11:19

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posted by Old Cranky [276 posts]
8th March 2010 - 16:21

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I like the Pedros plastic tyre levers, since they are very strong, but also nicely rounded at the edges to protect both tyre and rim.

Another tip I've found useful is to try to keep the bead of the tyre in the well (centre) of the rim on one side of the wheel while you're levering the tyre over the rim on the opposite side. This slightly reduces the effective diameter of wheel.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
9th March 2010 - 16:54

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move to japan! some sort of secluded mountain top location hidden by mist, and under the eager eye of grey haired master learn the mechanics art of Iron thumb!!

posted by rustyrider [5 posts]
13th March 2010 - 22:09

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Shortfat - i'm not pleased to hear that you're struggling, but at the same time i am! Sorry, but I thought i was going mad. I've just finished building a bike up and the last thing i thought i would be struggling with is getting the tyres on the wheels; but I also have brand new Ultegra 6700 wheelset and the tyres are not even close to going on. After lots of head scratching and effing and jeffing I was ready to give up and sell the damn things, but determined not to let them beat me. I’ve tried Michelin and Vittoria tyres and both are nowhere near to going on. Managed to get the back tyre on after loosing my temper but then realised I’d popped the tube! I’ve used Var tyre levers, and talc powder, but still not going on!! (talc just made it easier for the tyre that I’d already got on to the rim to pop back off again – and it made a mess!). P.S. can’t believe the bloke at Madison hasn’t had a single problem – you fibber!........but as I’m now getting desparate and he reckons he’s got Conti Attack/Force tyres to fit…..you’ve guessed it……I’ve ordered those tyres!!! If that doesn’t work it’s going to have to be tubeless, which will be a new one for me.
Shortfat – have you had any luck since writing your original post? Ta, Matt.

posted by matt637 [52 posts]
25th March 2010 - 8:36

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I hate to suggest buying something else when the tyre should just fit, but what about some Crank Brothers Speed Levers - Shaun used them to get the Vittoria Open Paves on to his rims when he was testing them. Maybe it is the tyre though because as Dave said we've been able to get tyres, other than Contis… don't Madison do them too Smile, on to Dura wheels which have pretty much identical rims.

Crank Bros Speed Lever in action.jpg
Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
25th March 2010 - 8:56

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I wonder if it's because both of the tyres i've no success with so far have either carbon and/or kevlar in making them very tough. That tyre you've got in the picture looks really soft and supple; what is it?

posted by matt637 [52 posts]
25th March 2010 - 9:27

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Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
25th March 2010 - 9:34

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tony_farrelly wrote:
It's the Vittoria Open Pave Eco

http://road.cc/content/review/15731-vittoria-open-pave-evo-cg-folding-tyre

And I thought that these tyres were notoriously tight!

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
25th March 2010 - 11:10

1 Like

cat1commuter wrote:
tony_farrelly wrote:
It's the Vittoria Open Pave Eco

http://road.cc/content/review/15731-vittoria-open-pave-evo-cg-folding-tyre

And I thought that these tyres were notoriously tight!

Oh, sorry, they are aren't they? Those are different wheels.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
25th March 2010 - 11:13

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rustyrider wrote:
move to japan! some sort of secluded mountain top location hidden by mist, and under the eager eye of grey haired master learn the mechanics art of Iron thumb!!

Very funny. On a similar note - you might find it helpful if you scream out loud as you try to pull the last bit of bead over the rim edge.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
25th March 2010 - 11:16

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Yep different wheels Cat1 - and the reason for the Speed Levers was that Shaun did indeed find them mightily tight.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
25th March 2010 - 11:17

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i did scream out loud, but it still didn't make the last bit go on!
glad other people have spotted the fact that they're completely different wheels in the picture - i think we originally started talking about the ultegra 6700 wheelset.
cheers for all the suggestions, but i'm not going to hold my breath. they're so far away from going on they may as well be on different wheels!

posted by matt637 [52 posts]
25th March 2010 - 12:59

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You haven't bought 650c tyres have you? <ducks>

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
25th March 2010 - 13:54

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Yes very funny cat1; but joking aside, i have had crazy thoughts like that myself as i've never had such trouble getting tyres on wheels. no, these tyres are ones i've had on two other wheels (bianchi elevation and mavic cx63) with no problems whatsoever.
any more suggestions? (serious ones this time!)

posted by matt637 [52 posts]
25th March 2010 - 14:58

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Another thing I've done before is attempt to "pre stretch" the tyre by trapping it under the insteps of my feet and giving it a good pull. I think it helped a bit.

I guess that if you have an old rim which you can get the tyre onto, then it might help if you fit the tyre, inflate the inner tube (so that the beads are forced onto the high, largest diameter edge of the rim) and leave it overnight to stretch.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
25th March 2010 - 17:20

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I've actually managed to get the Conti Attack/Force tyres on the Ultegra wheels! Big Grin Still a bit of a struggle and had to use the Var tyre lever (cheers Old Cranky for that), but they're on; and no swearing, no popped tubes, no broken levers, no talc and no soapy water, but some sweat......so apologies to Albert at Madison for calling you a fibber.

posted by matt637 [52 posts]
31st March 2010 - 12:46

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Eureka! Michelin Pro Race - fell on, no issues. Bloody conti's were a nightmare! Confused

posted by shortfat007 [3 posts]
11th April 2010 - 19:42

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