Even with simple tools, it seems there’s always room for improvements or updates. In 2015, cyclist Johnny Hintze started Utah’s Snēk Cycling. Pronounced ‘sneak’, the name is a combination of the words slick and neat. Snēk has just announced their Lifeboat tire lever, which was designed to save tubeless riders some trouble.

The key addition that makes the Lifeboat levers ideal for tubeless setups is the built-in valve core removal tools. Cut into the lever, the core removers are always conveniently at hand so you don’t need to purchase or keep track of a separate tool to perform a simple repair.

Snek Cycling, Lifeboat tire levers, metal core

Snek Cycling, Lifeboat tire levers, features

The Lifeboat levers are made from a plastic outer with a full-length metal core for reinforcement. This ‘best of both worlds’ approach ensures your rims (especially if they’re carbon) don’t take unnecessary damage and makes the levers strong enough to pull on tight-fitting beads without snapping. In fact, if you tend to break levers you might be swayed to try these, as they are guaranteed for life.

Snek Cycling, Lifeboat tire levers, unscrewing valve core

The holes near each end of the levers act as valve core removers. Right away I wondered if putting the removal tool at the tip of the lever would provide more clearance for rotation, but Snēk’s promo video shows the tool can twist quite a bit before hitting your spokes. The removers are also positioned with one sitting lengthwise and the other widthwise, so you can use whichever one lines up better with the valve core or flip from one end to the other as you unscrew it.

Snek Cycling, Lifeboat tire levers, bottle opener

The other end of the lever adds a feature most riders will appreciate, but at the cost of another- Where most tire levers have a notch to grab a spoke, holding the lever under the bead for you, Hintze found that some people never used that notch. If you’re one of those people, you’ll be happy to find a bottle opener on Snēk’s lever instead. I personally have mixed feelings about this – I definitely enjoy a post-ride beer, but I do like clipping levers to my spokes and freeing up my hands while pulling off tighter tires.

Snek Cycling, Lifeboat tire levers, dimensions

The Lifeboats levers also lock together, so a pair conveniently stays stacked in one neat bundle. A Kickstarter campaign for the Lifeboat levers starts today (June 5th).Early bird supporters can snag a single lever for $9 USD, or a pair for $16. Lifeboat levers are made in the USA, and the first finished units are expected to ship in October 2018. Check out the Kickstarter page here.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Enough with the bottle openers. Make a tire lever that does it’s job: that is, one with a spoke hook for the really tight beads.

  2. I can already remove a bottle cap with any tire lever ever made. Why sacrifice the lever’s function at it’s primary job for this design?

  3. Who is removing valve cores trailside to inject sealant !? (Who is carrying sealant on their rides !?) Heck, I wouldn’t even remove valve cores non-trail-side; I use red Loctite on that sh*t because I don’t want mine unthreading when I unthread my thread-on pump head.

    • People who do long rides with tubeless tires carry sealant. I guess you don’t. Thanks for your comment.

      I look forward to reading your reviews of other products that you won’t use.

    • I did last week, using my wolf tooth pliers, and always carry a small sealant in the big day bag because here in the southwest there’s a good chance that your tire is full of thorns that would puncture a new tube.

  4. I really like this idea, more for threading cores onto valve extenders because there’s always that guy who rides deep section wheels with 80mm valve and forgets to pack a spare of the same length or carry an extender.

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