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Verdict: 
A well-made tool that is pretty easy to use and worth the cash for super-difficult-to-fit tyres
Weight: 
120g
Challenge Clincher Mounting Tool
8 10

Mounting open tubulars and difficult clinchers is never fun, but if you're snapping levers, this odd-looking Challenge Clincher Mounting Tool makes the job a lot easier – at a price.

  • Pros: Makes fitting difficult-to-fit tyres and tubeless systems easier, funnily enough...
  • Cons: Quite expensive compared to a good set of levers

Most tyres are absolutely fine to mount with just my thumbs. I have, though, on occasion, needed levers for new tyres and the tightest tyres I've ever fitted snapped two levers. This tyre mounting tool presents a useful solution for such situations.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

The lever works by lifting the final section of tyre onto the rim while being supported by the opposite rim bead. Mounting the Challenge Strada Open Tubular tyres that I was reviewing at the same time, I found it to be a more stable and therefore powerful method.

Using the tool is pretty easy, with the one-handed operation allowing the other hand to provide stabilisation. You do have to be careful to not pinch the inner tube, though, so that issue still exists.

I can see this tool being really useful on tubeless systems where the tyre-rim interface is rather tight. This is certainly the most rigid system for mounting tyres that I've used. That rigidity comes from the high-density synthetic polymer construction. The tool is safe to use with beaded carbon and alloy rims. I experienced no issues with damage to tyres, rims or to the tool itself.

> How to fit clincher tyres

At £15, it's much more expensive than a decent set of levers, but if you're mounting a few tubeless tyres each year then it's going to be worth it. Would I buy one? Well, since I snapped those others, my Park Tool levers have managed just fine, so... not yet. If this tool did tubulars too, then I'd definitely get one. No matter how much pre-stretching I do, they always fight back.

One final thing to consider is the size. A set of levers, even long ones, will slip into a jersey pocket or saddle bag easily. This won't, meaning you'll have issues with a roadside fix should this tool be vital for installation.

All things considered, this is a well-made tool that works, but 15 quid is a fair chunk to pay, so give consideration to your potential usage. If you struggle with tyres or mount a lot of tubeless tyres then I'd recommend it.

Verdict

A well-made tool that is pretty easy to use and worth the cash for super-difficult-to-fit tyres

road.cc test report

Make and model: Challenge Clincher Mounting Tool

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for

It's for mounting clincher and open tubular tyres. It helps get the final section of the tyre onto the rim.

Challenge says: Challenge handmade tubulars and clinchers seating tool.

HD synthetic polymer construction safe to use with beaded carbon and alloy rim designs.

Single handed application with storage clip.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The hardened plastic is standing up well and the tool hasn't damaged any tyres.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Once you get the hang of it, this works well, lifting the tyre bead onto the rim easily.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

I've done a few stubborn tyres now and the tool isn't showing any signs of use.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10

There are no pointed edges, making it comfortable in the hand.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Pricey when compared to good levers, but worth it if you really need it.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Really well. It makes lifting the final section of the tyre onto the rim very easy.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It makes a doddle of stubborn tyres.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It won't avoid a pinched tube, and with your new found strength you've got to be careful.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yeah, it's simple to use once you've got the hang of it.

Would you consider buying the product? If I had the need.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they struggle with mounting tyres.

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is a really good tool and very well made; if your needs make it worth having, it'll justify the price.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 177cm  Weight: 64kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.

11 comments

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Rose on a Rose [28 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

This looks like a development of the Simson Tyre Mate that I bought a few years back.

These devices are worth their weight in gold and, being similar in size to a mini-pump, can be stashed in a jersey pocket if you're heading out on a ride.

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Plasterer's Radio [418 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

MTFU try harder!!

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dreamlx10 [273 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

The BBB version is £7.95 in SJS Cycles

 

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billymansell [42 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

I've the BBB version in my workshop tool bag which is identical to the above and cheaper. A great workshop tool for tight tyres and on the bike I carry one of the VAR tyre tools which does a similar job and better than standard tyre levers for fitting tight tyres on the road.

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oceandweller [80 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

This looks like it might be useful. I've never failed to fit a tyre by hand, tho a Panaracer GravelKing Mud came pretty close recently, but I pay for it - the arthritis in my hands & wrists will be much worse for a day or two after a tight tyre fitting. £15 doesn't seem too high a price if it means missing a day or more of constant pain a few times a year.

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Spangly Shiny [204 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
dreamlx10 wrote:

The BBB version is £7.95 in SJS Cycles

 

£6.57 at JE James.

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andyp [1581 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

MTFU try harder!!

 

Not always possible. Have some empathy with those with disabilities or who may not be as 'manly' as you.

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pamplemoose [37 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

MTFU try harder!!

 

You've clearly never tried the Conti Sport/Mavix CXP22 combo.  I can't do it with just hands.  Multiple bike shops mechanics have failed to do it with their hands.  Someone on one of my club rides decided I was just being cack at getting the tyre back on and managed to break one of their levers.

 

But I'm positive you're manly enough to do it without breaking a sweat.

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Liam Cahill [122 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Plasterer's Radio wrote:

MTFU try harder!!

You're clearly much too muscular in the arm department to be a cyclist

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TypeVertigo [428 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

I have one of these, purchased while vacationing in Tokyo. It's called a "tire bead jack" and actually made by Taiwanese tool firm Bike Hand, just rebadged by others.

If you have a folding bike with 20" (406 mm) wheels and wire-bead Schwalbe Marathon tires, they're a huge help. It also aids initial mounting of Continental 700C road bike tires, as the beads on brand-new Contis can be very tight (they loosen once they've been stretched by air pressure as mounted on a wheel).

Better to have one in the toolbox and not need it, than need it and not have it, IMHO

https://accidentalrandonneur.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/tool-review-bike-h...

Avatar
TypeVertigo [428 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

MTFU try harder!!

Or you could try going about it a smarter way instead of using brute force.