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Schwalbe Tyre Levers

10
£4.99

VERDICT:

10
10
Great tyre levers; buy some
Very tough
Built-in clips that help mount tyres
Perfectly shaped bead hook
Er, maybe you don't like blue?
Weight: 
37g
road.cc Recommends

This product has been selected to feature in road.cc recommends. That means it's not just scored well, but we think it stands out as special. Go to road.cc recommends

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Schwalbe's tyre levers have a small but clever extra wrinkle that makes it easier to mount some tyres, and they're tough enough for the tightest tyre/rim combinations. They're among the best tyre levers you can buy, and they're short for easy portability.

The unique (or at least unusual) feature of Schwalbe's tyre levers is a hook in the lever body that you use to pin the tyre bead in place as you install it. (Birzman also makes levers with this feature, but they're a tenner for three.)

> Buy now: Schwalbe Tyre Levers for £2.99 from Amazon

Sometimes, as you push a tyre into place on the rim, the other end of the unmounted segment pops off as quickly as the mounted segment goes on. Schwalbe to the rescue with the hook in the body of these levers. It grabs the hook on your rim and holds the bead in place as you push the middle of the remaining bead into place.

It certainly helped fit my go-to stupidly-tight tyre and rim combination of SRAM S60 aero wheels and Giant P-SL2 tyres – both are over a decade old, thankfully long discontinued, and from the era when tyre/rim compatibility was the Wild West. The rims don't have a very deep well, and the tyres are more than a little undersized.

> When to change your bike tyres — 7 warning signs to look for

With the Schwalbe levers holding the tyre in place, I was able to push the last section of bead over the rim by hand – no lever required. It was still a time-consuming job and I still wouldn't risk this tyre/rim combo in the field, but that I could do it at all validates the usefulness of Schwalbe's little hook.

Getting tyres on is all very well, but tyre levers need to get them off, too, and in this department the Schwalbes also excel. The hook tapers to a fine point on the end of a tight-radius curve that easily slips under even my silly-tight test set. You still need a bit of finesse to get the levers in exactly the right places, but they lifted the bead off with aplomb.

They coped with every other tyre I tried, too, even one I expected to be difficult, the 16-inch (38-305) Schwalbe Marathon Racers on the BTwin Ultra Compact 1 Second Light. These actually turned out to be a relatively loose fit and the only reason I mention them is to wonder if Decathlon chose this size rather than the 35-349 16-inch that Brompton uses because they make for easier tyre changes.

> Clincher bike tyres: find out the easy way to fit them

Anyway, you don't have to take my word for how good these levers are. When we talk about tyre levers, these Schwalbe levers frequently pop up as a firm favourite of our readers.

In a comment to my review of Park Tool's heavy duty levers, EK Spinner said 'always the Schwalbe levers for me, the hook for helping to get them back on is brilliant, and let's face it Schwalbe know more about tyres and their fitting than most companies that make tyre levers'.

And when we mentioned we had a set of these levers in for review, galibiervelo commented: 'The Schwalbe [levers] are the best I have used in 35 years of biking, so good I only bring one with me in the tool roll.'

Kil0ran agreed: 'They're only let down by poor instructions which lead to people using them wrong. Originally designed to help fit Marathons they work brilliantly for tight tubeless tyres. Only lever which enabled me to get some GP5000 tubeless tyres on my rims.'

Value

You can pay anything from £2 to £32 for tyre levers (or even £58 for Silca's levers with a built-in CO2 regulator), but a fiver for three levers is right in the mainstream of normal tyre levers like Pedro's for £5.99 (reviewed by Shaun in 2017), Muc-Off Rim Stix (reviewed by Matt in 2020), for £5.49, or Topeak Shuttle Levers, up a quid to £8.99 since Mike reviewed them in 2021; even Lezyne's beefy Power Lever XLs that I reviewed back in 2015 are only £6.

> Read more road.cc reviews of tyre levers here

And the Schwalbe levers may be a fiver at rrp, but you can pick them up for just three quid from Amazon – follow the buying link up top.

Conclusions

It's not like tyre levers are much of a considered purchase. I suspect most of us just grab a set from the bike shop when we need them, more or less at random. Well, next time you find yourself in need of levers, buy a set of these if you possibly can; they're the absolute business.

Who should buy the Schwalbe tyre levers?

Everyone. 'Nuff said.

 

Verdict

Great tyre levers; buy some

road.cc test report

Make and model: Schwalbe Tyre Levers

Size tested: One Size

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

They're for removing and fitting tyres, and small enough that they can be carried easily.

Schwalbe says: "Makes changing tires a snap. The new shape and surface of the tire lever makes the assembly and disassembly of a tire more enjoyable. For both tires and hands too!

"The new tire levers are especially helpful in difficult assembly operations. Clip it onto the rim, to fix the already mounted section of the tire, and it won't slide out when the last section is levered onto the rim."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

The unique feature here is a clip in the lever body to hold in place the section of tyre that you've already lifted over the rim wall. The idea is that keeps the tyre in place while you lever the last section into position.

Schwalbe's not saying much about the materials – the plastic feels like nylon and it's almost certainly internally reinforced.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Tidily moulded.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

At just 37g for three they're not going to slow you down any.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

Fairly broad blades so they don't dig into your hands.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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

They work really well for both removing and fitting tyres.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

They're just very effective and easy to use; the hook to help fit tyres is the icing on the cake.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

You can pay anything from £2 to £32 for tyre levers (or even £58 for Silca's levers with a built-in CO2 regulator) but a fiver for three levers is right in the mainstream of normal tyre levers like Pedro's for £5.99, Muc-Off Rim Stix, £5.49, or Topeak Shuttle Levers, £8.99; even Lezyne's beefy Power Lever XLs are only £6.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes. I mean, insofar as anyone *enjoys* using a tyre lever.

Would you consider buying the product? I did.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

There's really nothing to fault here. The Schwalbe tyre levers work extremely well and bring some useful extra functionality to mounting tyres as well as being very good at removing them. The £5 rrp is very reasonable and they can be found for just three quid a set, which makes them an absolute bargain.

Overall rating: 10/10

About the tester

Age: 56  Height: 5ft 11in  Weight: 100kg

I usually ride: Scapin Style  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb,

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

Add new comment

21 comments

Avatar
fizrar6 | 1 year ago
0 likes

I've never ever owned plastic tyre levers that haven't snapped. For this reason alone I would never buy them.

My metal levers can hook on to a spoke to prevent the tyre from popping back into the rim so no need for fragile paperclip design thing, which will no doubt break.

Avatar
Hirsute replied to fizrar6 | 1 year ago
1 like

Not worried about the rim then ?

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RoubaixCube replied to fizrar6 | 1 year ago
0 likes

I cant speak for other plastic tyre levers but I have owned the same set of plastic levers I got from an halfords puncture repair kit around 2005-2008 and these have the little hook that wraps around a spoke you speak of... I think Evanscycles used to have the same levers in their repair kits although i dont know about now. Zefal have more or less the same in their universal repair kits (i seem to have misplaced the ones that came with my kit...) but maybe not as strong.

Ive removed (and installed) Conti 4 seasons, GP5000s and Schwalbe Durano Plus (all folding bead) on 31mm and 55mm hoops with the halfords levers and while they might have ended up flying 50 meters away from me in a random direction a few times. They are still in one peice which now makes me worry about the brittleness of the plastic as they start to further age. It will be an end of an era when one of these breaks...

Ive used metal levers and i wouldnt do this again due to possibly damaging the rims either physically or cosmetically - GP5000's were almost nigh on impossible to get on.

Avatar
ktache replied to RoubaixCube | 1 year ago
1 like

I still have my Pedro's mid 90s milk levers, the putting bead back on bit broke on one of them, but the getting bead off is still good on that one and the other two are still going strong.

I got some new and very lurid Pedro's levers because they were highly rated and in the LBS, just in case and now I pointlessly want these.

I still haven't used my scwlabe soapy stuff.

But I might use my Hutchinson tubeless repair patch this weekend.

Avatar
RoubaixCube replied to ktache | 1 year ago
0 likes

My halfords levers go with the bike everywhere. While im at home though I have a crankbrothers Speedier Lever and a BBB cycling BTL-78 'easy tire tool' which i think is direct copy of a park-tool tyre tool.

The crank brothers and BTL-78 have been pretty instrumental in helping me remove and replace tyres since i bought them earlier in the year and I can highly recommend them both.

Avatar
mjcycling replied to ktache | 9 months ago
0 likes

Ive got my pair too

 

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kil0ran replied to fizrar6 | 1 year ago
2 likes

I've tried my best to break these and failed. Dozens of tires fitted. The paperclip is only used when fitting and doesn't bend - it's clamped securely between rim and tire so isn't subjected to much force. Rest of the body is very flexible and I'd imagine it's internally reinforced because I've put a huge amount of force through them wrestling tight tyre/rim combinations.

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grasen | 1 year ago
0 likes

Why does Schwalbe pay Park Tools USA to use the blue colour? Hasn't the rainbow enough colours?

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OnYerBike replied to grasen | 1 year ago
2 likes

Presumably for the same reason that Park Tool have bothered to trademark the colour blue in the first place - i.e. the colour becomes associated with the brand and so people are more likely to buy it. In this instance I would guess Park Tool products are associated with being high quality and reliable, and Schwalbe felt it was worth paying to cash in on that reputation.  

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hawkinspeter replied to grasen | 1 year ago
0 likes
grasen wrote:

Why does Schwalbe pay Park Tools USA to use the blue colour? Hasn't the rainbow enough colours?

I wonder if they've done a deal to use Park Tools' blue and Park Tools will copy their lever design in future

Avatar
grasen replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

Or maybe they want anybody using blue to pay them money? (extorsion? many companies used blue - ex. Tacx). I'm also thinking of european tool company Unior that has changed its cycling tools to red.

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yupiteru | 1 year ago
2 likes

These are the only ones that I have not (yet!) managed to snap, so for the very tight combinations like Gatorskins and Mavic X517 that I use on my commuting bike they are essential.

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Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
2 likes

I can't picture how the bead hook thingy works is there a pic?

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zedthegreat replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
5 likes

Read this site a lot. Like its content. Except they have so many reviews where the product is not shown in use. It infuriates me!

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glenjamin replied to zedthegreat | 1 year ago
2 likes

Yes!

Especially when it's packable jackets/gilets that don't show the size when packed

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Tom_77 replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
9 likes
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Secret_squirrel replied to Tom_77 | 1 year ago
1 like

That's brilliant thank you. I thought it was the notch in the side did it. 

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jayinjapants replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
0 likes

I have these, they're great, but had no idea that's what the paper clip like bit was for! The notch I use for hooking to a spoke when taking off the tire, not sure if that's correct or not though!

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McVittees replied to jayinjapants | 1 year ago
0 likes

I'm guessing that if I'm using hookless rims, these levers will have nothing to grip on?

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kil0ran replied to McVittees | 1 year ago
0 likes

I don't have hookless rims so can't verify this but I suspect you're right. Will still work very well as a conventional leaver but the clip will have nothing to clip onto off the rim doesn't have a hook.

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kil0ran replied to jayinjapants | 1 year ago
0 likes

Yep, that's what it's for.

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