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.
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.
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.
A well-made tool that is pretty easy to use and worth the cash for super-difficult-to-fit tyres
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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.
The hardened plastic is standing up well and the tool hasn't damaged any tyres.
Once you get the hang of it, this works well, lifting the tyre bead onto the rim easily.
I've done a few stubborn tyres now and the tool isn't showing any signs of use.
There are no pointed edges, making it comfortable in the hand.
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.
About the tester
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.