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The Tyre Glider is a unique new tool that's well-suited to removing or fitting most tyres on most rims, easy or stubborn. It's not perfect and won't work on some rims, but it's small and works much better than most tyre levers, most of the time.
Over the years various contraptions have appeared that aim to update the humble tyre lever, and with varying degrees of success. I didn't rate the TyreKey tool, for instance, but others have had success with 'tyre jacks' like the Kool-Stop Tyre Mate.
Whilst the Tyre Mate has glowing reviews, it's also huge – no way is it going in a saddlebag, and it's too big to carry as a might-need-it in a jersey pocket. There's got to be a better way.
Invented in Wales during the Covid lockdown and inspired by opening a can of tuna, the Tyre Glider is fatter than a couple of levers (40 x 30mm at its chunkiest), but considerably shorter than most at 78mm. It easily disappears into a saddlebag or pocket, and being red it's easy to find. The plastic is a special low-friction type, formed from recycled materials. Nice. The design is under a patent application.
By far the best way to understand how it works is to watch the video on the Tyre Glider website.
There's a hook that goes under the bead, but as the tip is a blunt 3mm thick – great for strength – it's not great with tight beads where you may have fractions of a millimetre clearance. It's also 35mm long, leading to a lot of wriggling to get under all but the loosest of beads. With a stiff tyre sidewall or chunky tread to bend out of the way, it can prove challenging.
Because you aren't working multiple pointy objects under the bead, there's far less risk of pinching a tube / putting a hole in your tubeless rim tape, however.
On several tyres I had to first break the bead away from the rim wall and push it into the centre channel to get enough slack. Any 2.0 version should feature a deeper, sharper hook to make getting started easier.
One note for users of tight-fitting tubeless tyre systems: you might find the bead requires more force to unseat than you are capable of trailside. I've had to resort to standing on tyres to break the bead before, so it's wise to make sure you can actually do it before relying solely on a Tyre Glider for trail use.
Once you're in, you use the 78mm of leverage on hand like a handle – the Tyre Glider sits flush against the rim, sticking out. That handle gives plenty of grip to push or pull around the rim, quickly unseating the tyre as you go.
Re-seating the bead is a different process. Once you've pushed a short section of bead over the rim, you clip the Tyre Glider onto the right-hand rim wall as you look down at the wheel between your legs. You then push it forward around the rim, where the bulged section guides the bead over the rim in a most satisfying manner.
I found as you near the end of the lap the effort increases considerably – for tight tyres the trick is to leave the tool in place at this point, then go back around and push the bead into the rim centre with your thumbs, creating slack to then easily complete the process.
The Tyre Glider is good for rim hook profiles up to 3.3mm wide – that's the widest rim hook section it will engage. Reports are that Zipp 404 rims won't fit the tool, and Zipp 202 rim hooks are likewise about 4mm wide, so they're probably out too. I didn't try it on any hookless rims, but as there's literally no hook to hold the tool down on as you push it around, I'd say it would be a non-starter.
I'm left-handed, and had no issues using the tool. I can appreciate some may struggle though, and it would be nice to see an option for working in the other direction. At least when removing a tyre it is possible to pull the tool instead of pushing it.
Omitting workshop-only tools, the Tyre glider is up against the traditional two-piece lever set, of which we've reviewed many. If a tyre is spectacularly recalcitrant three levers may be needed, so it could be saving a fair bit of space in your seatpack, frame bag or pocket.
At £9.99 each plus £2.99 delivery these work out at £12.98 – you only need one – and really it's still a bargain. The TYRE LEVER Hutchinson Stick are a more traditional way of dealing with tight tyres, and very good, but £14.95. The Lezyne Lever Patch kit is still around and still cheaper at £9, though, and uses composite levers as sides on a neat aluminium body.
The Tyre Glider is the first genuinely innovative cycling tool I've seen in a long time - not just an improvement, but completely new thinking. As mentioned there are some caveats around technique, and I'd like to see the hook portion be sharper to get under tight beads easier, but for most tyres on most rims it should be fine.
Compact, innovative and easy way to get most tyres on and off with a minimum of fuss
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Tyre Glider tyre lever
Size tested: n/a
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?
Tyre Glider says: "The Tyre Glider is a small and compact evolution of the tyre levers currently on the market. It's unique design and features ensures that changing a bicycle tyre is now accessible to all individuals and completes the task in a more efficient manner allowing for the swift removal and installation of even the most tight-fitting tyres across all the bicycle disciplines."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
TOP FEATURES OF THE TYRE GLIDER
Safe for most types of rims and tyre widths
The wide scoop design of the tool makes it safe for all types of rims and enables cyclists to easily take their tyres off and on.
Clips securely to tyre
The tool clips onto the rim of the tyre, ensuring faster and more efficient tyre installations. The unique clip design also ensures cyclists no longer have to use their thumbs to remove or replace a tyre, which can be painful and dangerous
Tackles tight tyres
Tackle tight tyres with ease and speed with the Tyre Glider. If you're struggling to remove and install an impossibly tight tyre and often end up with a pinched tube, our no-pinch tool can deliver the results you need.
Although the Tyre Glider is small and compact in size, it's made from incredibly strong and durable plastic. This ensures you can throw it in a bag and take it with you on off-road cycling adventures without having to worry about the tool becoming damaged or reducing in quality. Even when placed under intense pressure, the tool will not snap.
At Tyre Glider, we're not only passionate about cycling, we're passionate about protecting the world around us. Every tool we create is made from recycled materials and sustainable sources. Enjoy the great outdoors with the help of your Tyre Glider, safe in the knowledge you're helping to protect the environment.
Our product is suitable for beginner and experienced cyclists. No matter how frequently or far you cycle, it's essential you have the tools to properly maintain your bike and care for your tyres.
Solidly made from recycled materials – feels tough as old boots.
Much quicker than tyre levers.
Thick and strong.
20g is good against 2-3 levers.
Doesn't hurt your hands.
For its speed and ease it's great value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performance is great once you learn the technique.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The satisfaction of a quick install.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The challenge getting a tight bead hooked yo remove.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's at the expensive end for tyre levers, but not unreasonably priced for what it offers.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
With a sharper hook for dealing with tight beads, and the ability to fit deeper-hooked rims like the Zipp Firefrests, the Tyre Glider would be a nine. As it is, it's still very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe My best bike is: Nah bro that's it
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L
Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.