Crank Brothers Speed Lever

SUMMARY: Not as useful as I had hoped.

I bought my CrankBrothers Speed Lever a few days ago, and have changed 4 tires with it. I had read about this tool in my bike repair book. The author said it was really good. I read some other online reviews, and most said it was a good tool. So when I bought two new tires for my road bike the other night, I wanted to pick one up and try it. The store where I bought the tires didn’t have it, but another local bike shop did have one of the speed levers.
When I got home, I quickly read the directions, and tried to remove the tire from the rim, and couldn’t get the tool to slide. The directions said that if the tire/rim fit is tight, you maybe need to lube up the tire with soapy water or spit. So I used spit. I managed to get the tire, and replaced it with the new tire. In order to get the new tire on, I was forced to use a rounded fork handle in addition to the tool.
I change two more tires last night. This time, I have a bowl of soapy water. I wetted down the tire with soapy water, and used the Speed Laver to get the tire off the rim. When mounting the new tires back onto the rims, I was again forced to use a fork handle to get the last bit of the tire onto the rim.
So if the tire is tight on the rim, the tool doesn’t work well. The tool didn’t break, but I was a little concerned that it would break when I was pulling on it. It’s a great idea. Maybe if they made a metal version for shop use only. One that you could really crank on.
I may pick up a set of Park Tool tire levers. I will keep the Speed Lever. Who knows, maybe with more practice, I might actually be able to get the thing to work by itself.
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