The arrival of these Meqix ST tyre levers coincided with my decision to swap the Ilpompino's narrow section slicks for something buxom given potholes are breeding like the proverbial in these parts. Minimalist and extremely chic with their lazer etched graphics and powerful retaining magnets to prevent loss/ separation, they come with designer pricing and despite the smooth surfaces, I'm not convinced steel and relatively soft alloy rims are a match made in heaven.
Bringing a tear to the eye of retro-grouches everywhere, are classic steel tyre irons of the type that seem to have vanished in recent years -with a chrome coating and etched with the Carradice logo they're also rather pretty.
Three quid doesn’t go far but it buys a pair of Bike Hands extra long tyre levers. Kind to tyres, tubes and rims, they’re the perfect antidote to frayed tempers, blistered thumbs and ultra stubborn race rubber. Measuring a whopping 20cm they’re biased toward workshop use and the more delicate telescopic type might prove more practical for wedge packs. Nonetheless, ours remained undefeated whatever genre; profile or bead material was presented to them.
There’s no doubting Pedro’s levers are amongst the best I’ve come across, making short work of most tyre/rim combinations and very keenly priced to boot. However, they’re not as effective as telescopic designs on really tight beads and one of our test levers snapped clean in two while battling my expedition wheelset. Luckily, a lifetime, no quibble warrantee gives peace of mind.
Available in a choice of red, blue or black, the secret to these Tacx levers is good, ergonomic design. There's no gimmicks, and no clever marketing: just reliable and inexpensive performance. Supplied in sets of three, their banana profile might raise eyebrows but is surprisingly effective compared with traditional models and makes short work of stubborn rubber.
Measuring a mere 9.5X1.2cm, Lezyne’s Matrix tyre levers might interest those looking to complete a minimalist toolkit but are best suited to roadside emergencies and riders with smaller hands.
Tyre levers have come a long way from the dreadful Zinc-plated days of yore, and Lezyne have done a street style makeover on the metal tyre iron with the Saber. It's sure to appeal to the fixed and mtb crowd and, more importantly, is a decent lever to boot – not the best out there, but better than you might think.