If you run tubeless tyres this is the tyre lever you need in your life. The Snek Lifeboat Tyre Lever is one of those “why didn’t I think of it first” products, in that as well as removing tyres, it also has an integrated tubeless valve core remover. Oh, and there’s also a bottle opener as well.
The company has taken to Kickstarter to make the product a reality. It’s hoping to raise £7,084 and if you want to support them and get your own tyre lever, it’ll cost from $9 for a single lever, or $18 for a set of two levers. If successful they’ll be shipping in November to anywhere in the world.
Most tubeless setups use valves with removable cores. This allows you to easily add sealant after the tyre has been mounted to the rim. It also allows easier inflation with a pump during the initial installation. In rare cases, you might have to add more sealant during a ride, particularly a mountain or gravel ride over rough terrain, and there are various products like GUP and Vittoria Pitstop that act as repair kits.
So there are times when you need to remove the core. Most tubeless valves come with a small plastic tool designed to remove the core, but due to their small size, they are easy to lose. I should know, I’m always misplacing them.
That seems to be the inspiration for the Lifeboat Tyre Lever. “I was tired of looking for a tool to remove the valve core of my tubeless tires everytime I wanted to add sealant. My valve core remover was hard to keep track of and always seemed to be missing. That’s when I thought, why not just have a valve core remover as part of the tire lever?” explains Jonny Hintze of Snek Cycling.
“In addition, the lever includes a bottle opener for the post-ride beverage. It was time for a tire lever that kept up with cycling trends and technology.”
Having a tubeless valve core remover built into a tyre lever seems a pretty good idea then. You’re less likely to misplace a tyre lever for a start, and if you ever need to remove the valve core during a ride for whatever reason, you’re going to have one with you.
The tyre lever is made by sandwiching a metal core with a plastic outer to ensure it is capable of removing even the most stubborn tyres without damaging the tyre or rim in the process. It’s made in the USA and comes with a lifetime guarantee.
“I was also frustrated with levers breaking. I wanted a lever that was tough enough to handle the repeated abuse of tire maintenance, and was built to last rather than something that was disposable,” adds Hintze.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.