When it comes to mounting road tires, there’s huge variation in how easy the process can be. From loose fitting clinchers to painfully tight road tubeless tires, this unique little British tyre lever promises to take away the pain using a grooved lever blade to unmount & claw to remount stubborn road rubber.
TyreKey, an easy-to-use No-Pinch tire installation tool
Even though you don’t actually need it for many tire+rim combinations, the standard tire lever is a simple, but necessary tool for every cyclist – a smooth-tipped, non-marring pry bar that lets you leverage a tight tire bead over the edge of the rim. But as simple as it is, pretty much every cyclist has struggled at least once to get a hardheaded tire on, and probably inadvertently pinched a tube in the process. Now with the adoption of more road tubeless tires, a securely fit bead becomes ever more important and many tire+rim combos have become more difficult to manage.
Enter the TyreKey, designed and manufactured in North Yorkshire to ease our tyre [sic] mounting woes.
TyreKey, an alternative tire installation tool – How does it work?
The TyreKey was developed specifically to help repair punctured tubes out on the road when hands are rain-soaked & fingers frozen, that time when you are most likely to pinch a hole in your last spare tube.
So to pull a tire off, you slide the TyreKey under the bead like a standard lever, but then the claw design allows you to twist the key to easily pull the bead away from the rim. The TyreKey doesn’t really look to be better than a standard lever for unmounting, but reinstallation is its secret power.
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Tubeless road is definitely the future. Currently (barring Mavic's UST) there is little collaboration between tyre and rim manufacturers in terms of tolerances or standards for tubeless. Both sides often err on the side of caution for rim and tyre bead circumference to ensure the system is secure. This can lead to extremely tight combinations which can be a real pain to fit. – TyreKey makes the job a whole lot easier, without risking damage to carbon rims or puncturing the rim tape.
After installing a new tube and making sure it is inside the tire body (or sitting a tubeless tire in place), by hooking that claw over the entire tire the hook on the claw lifts the lire bead into place without ever contacting the tube inside – no pinching possible. Since the TyreKey doesn’t have to fit between the tire bead and rim, it should work for tight tube-type and tubeless setups, making it a universal aid for any tight tire-to-rim combination.
TyreKey, an alternative tire installation tool – Tech Details & Pricing
Of course the claw design does limit the size of the tire you can use this tool width. TyreKey suggests that it is best suited for up to 35mm tires only – sorry fat tire gravellers & mountain bikers (you’ll have to wait for the bigger version that is currently in development.)
The injection molded in the UK, carbon rim friendly TyreKey weighs just 20g and is a decent bit bigger than a standard lever at 148x48x6mm. But if you have a tight tire setup on your road or cross bike, the TyreKey is probably well worth the added bulk and the £9 asking price. #stockingstuffer