Race Ware Handle Bar Gripps

Race Ware Custom Cycle Components


Silicone Grips Review 

Black and Green.

I have been asked to review these Silicone Grips from Race Ware Direct, they are new to their range and not up on there website at the time of writing this, but do check it out as they maybe listed in the next few days.
Weight 50 Grams per grip.
Length 130mm. 
Soft Silicone.
 These are made in the UK and made of a silicone foam.

 I have fitted the Black pair to the 29er to see how I get on with them, as I am use to a solid rubber type grip and these made out of a Soft Silicone.

 Fitting is easy to do, simply remove the old grips and slightly wet down handle bars, then slide on to suit, the Race Ware grips come with an end stopper,  they were slightly too long for my Bontranger bar ends, but I have not cut the grips to size yet, as I want to try these on my other bikes.

 Once on I left them for a few days to tighten up on to bars, as this will help them stay in place and not slide around or move while out on a ride. 

Green Race Ware Silicon Grips fitted to a Kona MTB
Courtesy of Daniel Raven
This is his verdict on the Race Ware Silicon Green Grips.

Easy to put on with a bit of water I've just gone for a 6ish mile ride in woods tried with and with out full fingered gloves. With gloves on the feel is good they are comfy but feel really big and thick like motorbike grips. With no gloves amazingly grip and a  good feel but i did notice they feel hot after a few minutes direct to skin.
 Ease of install :10 out of 10 No gloves wet grip: 8 Gloved wet grip: 8.5 Feel: personal opinion 8 And they look good

My Verdict on the Race Ware Silicone Grips.

 I wore a pair of old Gel cycling gloves for the ride, at first I was not too keen on the feel of the smooth Silicone grips, as they felt a bit too smooth for my liking, but after 20 miles they seemed to bed in and get better, I did not find they made my hands sweaty and the grips seemed to get better the longer the ride went on! 
At the moment I have not cut the grips to size as I may try them on another bike or even pass them onto another rider to test out.
The Green set I have passed on to another cycling member in my group to review, as he will be using them in a Mud Sweat and Gears competition, so I am awaiting photos and feed back as I write this.
The Black pair look good, feel good, and do not move around like some grips after you fit them, as for the Green set not too sure how they will stand the test of time due to dirty hands etc, so hopefully I will find out and let you all know.

Priced  £13.95 inc UK Postage.

Check out Race Ware Direct for all kinds of cycling mounts for lights, Gamin's, and GoPro cameras, if you are in need of something special drop them a line they will be more than pleased to help. 

Foot Note This is not a Paid Advertisement for Race Ware

Tyre Lever 2015 Challenge Results

Tyre Levers 2015 Challenge

  My challenge to find the best tyre levers on the market, for Cost, ease of use, style and practicality.

The Lever's I will be testing are as follows and in no particular order.

Upgrade bikes : Lezyne : Alloy Levers
                          Lezyne : Power Levers Composite
                          Lezyne : Power Levers XL
                          Lezyne : Saber Levers
                          Pro Form : Tyre Tool 
Pedros    : Pedros
Weldtite : Cyclo tyre levers x 3 - Glass Nylon  
                 Cyclo tyre levers x 3 - EZTech
Stort Valley Cycles : Crank Brothers : Speedier lever

Wheelies Bikes : Raleigh Tyre Levers
Halfords : Tyre levers x3 glass fiber
Parktool : Madison UK : TL 4.2 tyre levers
                                        : TL 6 Steel core
Decathlon : B'TWIN Tyre levers x 3

As you can see by the list of levers here, there is plenty of choice in the market, but which one will give you value for money, ease of use, and also most important, be gentle on your rim's!  This is the aim of my Challenge.

Tyre change and removal will be used on 2 types of bikes with 3 types of tyres, these include a road bike tyre, [ just a standard tyre  you may have on your own road bike], and a mountain bike tyre, again just the normal tyre you have on your own MTB bike, the 3rd type of tyre is a very tight tyre size 700x40cc that I use on my 29er. This is the tyre I broke my original tyre levers on, and so started off this challenge.
The rating will be a easy system of...

1 : Ease of use.
2 : Quality of manufacture.
3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratching.
4 : Value for money.

A 1 to 5 point score rating for all sections, then totaled up at the end of each lever test.

I will not be posting up all the photos on the tyre changes as this would get a bit boring and long winded, but instead I will be high lighting the good and the bad points, with photos of the problems I find along the way.... 

So lets get started then........

First I will be using the levers from the Lezyne range, the Alloy Levers are priced at around £10.00, so not a cheap option, but then you do pay for a quality design, constructed of polished aerospace-grade aluminum, for a high strength-to-weight ratio. Lezyne states it has an "aggressive hook geometry which provides ideal leverage when dealing with difficult tire beads,"  I will find out if this is the case when it comes into play on the tyre change.


 Lezyne Alloy Levers comes with a nice pouch to keep them together, also will help stop them rattling in your tool bag.

 With the Lezyne Alloy levers I had no problems with the MTB tyre removing or refitting, but on the Road bike tyre, the levers did seem to have a feel of  harshness against the rim,  I also noticed it was  slightly harder to get a grip of the lever when running it around the bead, hence a little bit more fiddly. 

 The tyre on the 29er rim is a 700 x 40cc size, so you can see it is much narrower and it is also a solid tyre, which means you can not fold it, thus making it a tougher challenge for any lever! 

 Getting the Alloy Levers to get in and under the rim was a bit of a challenge with this tyre, the levers did not seem to be big enough to get a real grip on it to force it into the bead, I did manage it finally but it felt as if the levers could be scratching the rim.

 Another problem with the Alloy levers were, they could not be tucked between the spokes for placement, handy when you need a free hand for a moment.

 The Alloy levers certainly had no problems holding out to the force on the 700x 40 cc tyre

 Found it hard to get a good grip on the Alloy levers when running it around the bead to break the seal.

 I did not like the feel of the Alloy against the rims, but this might just be down to the fact I have not used Alloy levers before, only resin ones.

 Refitting the 700X 40cc Tyre with the Alloy levers, I found the extra strength came in handy when getting the final bit of tyre onto the rim.

Verdict on the Lezyne Alloy Tyre Levers.....

1 : Ease of use.
I found it hard to get a grip of the Alloy levers, due to of the narrow body of them. Points awarded 3
2 : Quality of manufacture.
Extremely well made, they come in a great sleeve to hold them together, but it did not include a spoke hook in the design.  Points awarded 3

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch.
Felt on the very tough tyre that it could possibly mark the rims over a period of time, would think twice about theses on a carbon rim to be honest. Points awarded 3

4 : Value for money.
I have checked out several websites and they are all priced around the £10.00 mark which tends to make them high end cost, they certainly would not break easily if at all. Points  awarded 2

 Total score 11 out of a possible 20.

Next are the Pedros Tyre Levers.

On the hunt for the" best out there" I had asked other cyclist what there favorite levers were and I had lots of replies stating the "Pedros"  are the best! 

 Pedros are Priced from £2.99 to £3.99 so it pays to shop around.


Pedros's are made out of a molded box construction and a proprietary plastic composite blend so they reckon they are unbreakable, but it says on there website "As long as your riding buddies don't steal them from you, we are confident the Pedro's Tire Levers will be the last levers you buy.  Do yourself a favor and give them a try.  You will love them! If you ever, somehow, manage to use your gorilla strength to break them, our levers are backed by Pedro's lifetime warranty, and we will happily replace them for you"..... 
Well I have never heard of a clam like that!
So lets test theses ones out! 
 They come in a multitude of colours, Pink, Blue, Green etc. 

 Nice design with the tip slim enough to get in to the tyre bead, easy on the road wheel and even better on the MTB tyre.

 MTB Tyres are no problem for the Pedro's, the only thing I found was the lever popped off the rim when sliding it around, no real concern but this is something that a few of the other levers have not done.

 Strength is the Pedro's forte as they say! 
The tip is nice and thin to get into the bead easily. 

 On the 700x 40cc tyre the pressure was on for the Pedros's to perform, and they did! but yet again they lost grip on sliding the lever around the bead.

 Strong Box design, with a life time guarantee!

Twin spoke hooks, makes it a lot easier to use, but it does not have a valve deflater for a Schrader inner tube valve, so it is just a case of trying to get the corner of the lever to do the job of releasing the air.

Verdict on the Pedro's 

1 : Ease of use.  Found the Spoke hook a great idea, easy to hold the lever on the bead with the hooks. Several times the lever did come out of the bead rim when trying to remove the tyre and had to re enter the bead to carry on. No Schrader valve air release, so had to use a corner of the lever to release the air out of the tube. Great grip of the lever for the harder tyre removal. Points awarded 4 

2 : Quality of manufacture. Manufacture was excellent, tough as nails as they say!  Points awarded 5

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch, At no time did I feel the Pedro's were going to scratch the rims.  Points awarded 5
4 : Value for money. At around £2.99 to £3.99 terrific value, also come with a Life time no Quibble guarantee!  Points awarded 5

Total score 19 out of 20.

Next  we have the Cyclo EZTech from Weldtite Priced at around £2.99
(Carded Means sold on a Card)

 The Cyclo are Weldtite's own cycling tool brand, the one's here are made from an Extra strong lightweight polymer.

 The first thing that caught my eye was the clever design of the built in deflater for the Schrader valve, I thought this was a great design feature and it worked very well.

 The "built-in deflater" 

 The Cyclo EXTech has a wide tip, making it a perfect fit for the road bike, and on the MTB tyre no problem on removing and refitting.

 Wide lip.

 Another great feature was the twin spoke hook making it easy hold the bead.

Good all round performance from the Cyclo EZTech lever.

Verdict on the Weldtite Cyclo EZTech Levers

1 : Ease of use. I found the wide tip a bit hard to get into the rim, but once it was there is stayed in the bead of the wheel, they seemed a very tough set of levers with no problem on any of the tyres on.
The hooks for the spokes worked very well and held there place with no problems.The clever Schrader deflater is a nice touch as well, very handy.
Found the lever could have been just slightly bigger so as to get a better grip on the hard tyre removal. Points awarded 5

 2 : Quality of manufacture. The Cyclo levers are superb, with the hooks for the spokes and the deflater.  Points awarded 5

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. At no time did the levers feel like they would mark or scratch the rims of any of the wheels tested. Points awarded 5

4 : Value for money. At £2.99 they won't break the bank.  Points awarded 5

Total Score 20 out of a possible 20

Next on the Tyre Lever challenge are the Lezyne Power Lever XL priced at around £3.99 to £4.99


 These Power Levers from Lezyne are a bit lager than the normal levers that you may have in your cycle bag.
1 :  Good Point      Extra size means extra leverage which is great for the tight tyres.
2 :  Bad Point     They may not fit into your cycle bag,  hence they would probably be better for your home maintenance kit.

I personally love the size of theses levers, it allows you to get a good grip due to their size.
 Made of a fiber reinforced Composite Matrix for increased strength.
 Nice Spoke hook so stays nice and firm on the spoke.

 The tip fits nicely into into the bead.

 Due to the extra size of the Lezyne Power Levers you can easily remove the tyre one handed! 
 Replacement is easy as well, nice design with the tip allowing it to be guided by the rim.

 Great for road bike tyres.

 On the 700x40cc tyre the Power levers XL made light work of the job.

 One lever from start to finish. 

 Get the tip in and under the rim and use the extra size to get more leverage. 

 And it is off. 

 On replacement I found I had to use the two XL Power Levers to get the tyre back on the rim.

 The Lezyne Power Levers XL was going great until I run out of strength refitting of the 700x40cc tyre.

 Just needed that last bit of strength to finish it off! 

 The final bit.

 And there it is, back on with the help of the second Power XL Lever.

  The Schrader deflater on the other side of the spoke hook.

 Verdict on the Lezyne Power Lever XL priced around £3.99 to £4.99.

1 : Ease of use. I found the extra size to be the key benefit of the Lezyne Power Lever XL
Easy to remove the air with the Schrader deflater, and the spoke holder worked a treat. the only down side was they are little on the large side for a small seat bag.  Points awarded 4

2 : Quality of manufacture. Nice feel and design, tough as well. Points awarded 5

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. I did not get the impression the XL would scratch your rims.   Points awarded 5

4 : Value for money. Great value at this price worth having a set in your home maintenance kit. Points awarded 5

 Total Score 19 out of a possible 20

Next is the ParkTool TL-6 Steel Core Levers pack of 2, priced from around £11.99 to £16.99 so you will need to shop around.

ParkTool TL-6 Levers are a composite covered set with a steel core at the heart, so they should be tough as old boots!


 Certainly no light weight the ParkTool TL-6 Levers weigh around 260grams! 

 The thick tip of the TL-6 made it hard to get in to the bead to start it off with, and took several attempts to get it into the bead to grip the tyre.

 Once in the rim, you had to keep a hand on that tyre lever whilst you struggled to get the next one in to the tyre bead.

 Had a struggle to start with, but once in it seemed to be doing the job of getting around the rim.

 The TL-6 Levers did not feel kind to the rims, they did not scratch them, but it felt like they were  about to dig in to them.

 Good leverage was possible once in to the bead.

 The challenge was going well up to a point! 

 And then this happened, I was not using excessive force, well no more than I used on any of the other levers in the challenge.

 And that was the end of that lever! 
The composite covering just snapped off under a bit of pressure. 

 Not to sure if this is a design or manufacturing fault.

1 : Ease of use. Found the TL-6 hard to get started because of the thickness of the tips, and a bit on the heavy side. No spoke holder or Schrader deflater. Points awarded 2

2 : Quality of manufacture. The TL-6 Broke on it's first use and easily under no real pressure. Points awarded 2

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. I felt the TL-6 could possibly damage a rim in some way, if it lasted long enough. Points awarded 2

4 : Value for money.  I have checked the web for the best price, and they do seem a little expensive for the job they do.  Points awarded 2

Total Score 8 out of a possible 20

Next I am testing the Lezyne Saber Lever, sold as a pair and with a neat sleeve to keep them together, priced around £13:50 to £22:99 so I recommend you shop around if your interested in these.

 These Saber Levers are large! Length is 165mm so you should get plenty of grip on these  ones! 
Very well made and has a "Bottle Opener" along with a 15mm pedal wrench built in as well, very handy if your out on the trail some where.
The weight of these are 64g

 The Saber Levers are a neat design, they have a profile design on the tip of the lever to act as a guide for the rim and tyre.
 I found there were no problems with the Lezyne Saber Levers on the starting of on any of the tyres I tried, they simply slipped in under the tyre nicely.

 I was a bit worried at first in case the Saber Levers scratched the rims, but found no evidence they had done so, on both the road and MTB rims.

Strong as anything! 

The Saber does not come with a spoke hook in the design, but I found it was large enough just to hook the top end under a spoke, as long as it does not ping off and hit you, so take care if you do try this method.

Found the Saber Levers nice to work with, plenty of grip with a nice thin strong tongue, great for getting into any hard bead.

On the 700x40cc tyre there was no problem getting the Saber in and around the rim,

Nice thin guides on both sides for the on and off motion.

Verdict on the Saber Levers by Lezyne priced from £13:50 to £22:99

1 : Ease of use. Found the Saber levers to be a good set of levers, they got into the bead easily and once there, they stayed in the rim until the end. You need to take care the tip does not nick the inner tube. Points awarded 5

2 : Quality of manufacture. Top marks for the design for the Sabers. Points awarded 5

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. I found the Sabers did not feel like they were going to scratch the rim, but not too sure how they would be on a Carbon Fiber wheel. Points awarded 3

4 : Value for money. I just have to give these a big 5 points here, just cannot see how they would break under normal use, bonus in the bottle opener and the pedal spanner, maybe to large to fit in your saddle bag. Points awarded 5

 Total Score 18 out of a possible 20

Next  is the Crank Brothers Speedier Lever Priced at around £5.73 to £6.50
Thanks to http://www.stortvalleycycles.co.uk/   for the loan of this one.

Has the classic Knuckle Duster design! 
Made from Nylon material, not too sure what else! 

On a road tyre the Speedier struggled to get into the bead, the tip did not seem to be strong enough to cope with the pressure needed to get into the rim.

Once in I was hoping for a great performance from the knuckle shaped handle, but to be honest this just seemed like a gimmick and made the removal a bit awkward. 

On the road tyre I did manage to get around the bead with a quite a lot of effort.

On the 700x40cc it just did not have the strength in the tip to get under the tyre and I felt as though the tip was bending under the pressure.

The Speedier are only sold in singles, and here it would have been better maybe if I had more than one to help get the tyre off the rim.

On the refitting there is a nice looking hook with "Refitting" printed on the end to tell you this is the refitting end, slide it under the wheel rim and hopefully slide it around the wheel to get the tyre back onto the rim, but again it was too much of a struggle with our 700x40cc tyre, again the same on the road bike tyre. 

Not for the tight tyre.

You can see the marks on the Crank brothers Install end where I tried to get it in to the bead not sure how long this would last as your only tyre lever.

On Crank Brothers website it does say these have a "Life time Warranty" 

Verdict on the Crank Brothers Speedier Lever

1 : Ease of use. I found this a hard one to get used to, not very good in the starting off process on a tight bead. Points awarded 3

2 : Quality of manufacture. Material seemed to be a little on the soft side for a lever to tackle the hard to remove tyre. It looks a good design, but takes up a lot of room in your saddle bag, plus you may need two. Points awarded 3

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. Safe to use on any rim. Points awarded 5

4 : Value for money.  Having tried a tough tyre removal you will probably need to have two of these with you. Points awarded 3

Total Score 14 out of a possible 20

Next on the Tyre Levers 2015 challenge is the TL-4.2 from ParkTool priced at £2.51 to £3.59 

UK Supplier is Madison UK http://www.madison.co.uk/

 This one is a new addition from the ParkTool stables of cycling products, made from Super strong composite material, including two spoke hooks and a wide flat tip for the tight bead.

 The moment you pick this one up, you just know it is going to be a great lever! 

 Wide tip for the hardest of beads to break into, and super strong as well! 

 Twin spoke hooks that hold and work well.

 Tyre profile on the reverse helps to keep the TL 4.2 in the bead.

 Will not damage the rim. 

 No problem with road tyres or the harder 700x40cc tyre, the design of the TL 4.3 is top class.

 Easy to get under the tyre for the start of  removing of the tyre.

 Works a treat on the MTB tyre as well.

 Handy simple design for the Schrader valve to let the air out

 Works so well on the 700x40cc tyre,
notice the bead profile as well on the tip


1 : Ease of use. Simply magic! feels so right in your hand, the right size to get to good grip to move around the rim with, Spoke holder works well, the Schrader air removal tip works a treat, stackable to fit the seat bag. Points awarded 5

2 : Quality of manufacture. Everything about the TL 4.2 says quality. Points awarded 5

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. Made from plastic, had no problem with scratching the rims. Points awarded 5
4 : Value for money. A set of two these will be the only levers you need in your bag! A great price. Points awarded 5

Total Score 20 out of a possible 20

Next  is a classic shaped set of tyre levers from Weldtite called  Cyclo Tyre Levers x3

Priced from £1.95

Constructed in plastic and reinforced with glass fiber to give them extra strength, a classic shape that a lot of cyclist will feel comfortable with, they are slim, they fit easily into your saddle bag, stacking neatly together and are as light as anything!

 Neat combination
 Slim points to get into the tight bead easy.

 Glass fiber reinforced.

I found there were no problems getting into the bead, to start  the removal on a MTB tyre.

Neat spoke hook on one end.

Nice built in Schrader air removal tool 

 On the 700x40cc tyre they found it a bit hard going, the tip took several attempts to get into the bead and once in it was a case of using the spoke hook and inserting another lever close to try to start the bead off.
 700x40cc was a struggle, had no real problems on the normal road bike tyres.

There was no way the levers were strong enough to go round the rim in one go, but worked alright when doing it a section at a time. 

 Nice feature the spoke hook and Schrader air removal tool.

Verdict on the Weldtite tyre levers x 3

1 : Ease of use. On my road and mountain bike tyres I found there was no problem getting into the bead, but on the tighter 700x 40cc tyre they did struggle a bit, having to take it in much smaller sections  to get the tyre off. Points awarded 3.

2 : Quality of manufacture. Nice strong design, stood up to all I put them through, nice compact size.  Points awarded 4.

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. Had no problems with any rim damage. Points awarded 5. 

4 : Value for money. High score for value for money. Points awarded 5.

 Total Score 17 out of a possible 20

Next  tool is a really clever design from Pro Form, simply called the "Tyre Tool"!
Available from Up Grade Bikes http://shop.upgradebikes.co.uk/Catalogue/Workshop-Tools/Proform-Tyre-Tool  
Priced around the £9.99 mark.

I must admit at first sight I thought of this one  as being a "Gimmicky" as I had not come across it before, but it turns out to be a very clever tool.

Description, This has a Patent pending at the time of writing this article.
The Pro Form boast an "Easy On Off" tyre tool! even on the hardest tyres!

 Nice wide tip

 "Easy fit system" end.

Pro Form Tyre Tool Clasp.

The makers say that the "Easy-Fit System even the toughest and tightest of fits can be conquered, all at the side of the trail."

Pro Form Easy-Fit tip has the toughness to get into any tyre bead easily! 

This is the normal tip end,
gets into the bead easily and has the strength to go round the tyre.

Removal is as easy as anything I have tried in the test so far.

Replacement with the Pro Form tyre tool is  easy and makes light work of the job. 
Hold the Pro Form Tyre Tool in your hand and fit the rim groove onto a section of rim where the tyre is fitted.

Patented Rim Groove profile. 
Run this all the way around the rim and the tyre simply pops on! 
Very clever design! 

Tip gets in and under any bead easily.

Strong enough to go the full distance of the rim

The great thing about the Pro Form tyre tool is it can handle even the hardest tyres! 

Easy-Fit system.

Very tough Easy-Fit ProForm tyre tool.

 On MTB tyre this is where the Pro Form tyre tool shines!

 Place the clip on to the tyre to hold the tyre on the rim.

 Last few inches use the Clip to hold the tyre onto the rim.

 Fit the tyre tool into the rim and slide it clockwise around the rim to pop the tyre on to the rim.

 All done!
As easy as that!

 Simply remove the clip and pump up the tyre!

If you ride on the trails with a back pack then this is the tool for you, but if your a road cyclist then this is far too big for the seat bag! 
For great video take a look at the link below for more info on the Pro Form tyre tool.

 1 : Ease of use. Found this to be one of the easiest  tyre tools I have had the pleasure to use! Even hard to fit tyres were no problem, and even the MTB tyre, where one side of the tyre usually comes off the rim as you get to the end, this is no problem with the Clip and Easy-Fit system. Points awarded 5

2 : Quality of manufacture. Not too sure how long the Pro Form would last in a cycle maintenance shop, but I feel in the average cyclist kit bag a long time. Points awarded 4

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. This will be gentle on any rim. Points awarded 5

4 : Value for money.  I think the price of around £9.99 is good value for such an amazing tool!      Points awarded 5

Total score 19 out of a possible 20.

Halfords a well known name on the high street, have the Halfords Glass Fiber Reinforced Bike Tyre Levers x 3 priced at £4.99  (Thanks to Tom my local Halfords bike specialist)


 Glass fiber reinforced tyre levers, a classic design, found these to have no problems removing any road tyres if you took it in small sections!

 Gentle on the rims.

 Road tyres managed to do it gradually.

 The tough 700x 40cc tyre was a real challenge, but they managed to do the job, they did not break under the pressure of getting the tyre off the rim.

 MTB tyres no problem, but road tyres and the 700x 40cc you just had to take your time and do it in smaller sections.

Smaller bits of the tyre was the way to go with these! 

 1 : Ease of use. I found if you take your time and do it in smaller sections these levers are alright.    Points awarded 4

2 : Quality of manufacture. No real problems, strong enough to withstand a lot of pressure on a tough tyre. Points awarded 4

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. Gentle on the rims  Points awarded 5

4 : Value for money. The price does seem to be a bit high compared to some of the other levers used here in the challenge.  Points awarded 3

 Total score 16 out of a possible 20.

The name Raleigh has been around since the year dot!  [Thanks to the guys at Wheelies] for these levers.

Priced at around £8.99
These look like a really solid tyre lever from the Raleigh company, they come in a set of 3 and have metal inserts so should be strong but gentle on the rims.

Pack of 3, metal inserts mean they weigh a bit more than the normal plastic lever.

Nice tip, smooth edges with a nice profile.

 Nylon with Steel Insert.
The name Raleigh is synonymous in the biking world ! 

Very good idea having all the spoke hooks interlinking to make the levers compact.


Neat design, smooth profile, nice spoke hook.

On the MTB tyres no problem getting into the rim to break the bead, the levers give you plenty of grip to apply as much pressure as you need to the bead.
Spoke hooks hold very well give you a extra pair of hands to use. 

On the road tyres the Raleigh levers held up very well with no problems anywhere.

On the tough 700x40cc tyres the Raleigh levers just could not get in to break the bead with just one lever, the trick here was to break the bead with one and then use the spoke hook to get the next lever in to carry on. 

A lot of pressure was need to pop the tyre over the rim and the Raleigh Levers coped well with the tough tyre. 

Nice feel to the levers, comfortable in the hand.

Once all stacked together I found they were a little bit weighty, this may worry the keen cyclists out there, who ride with small seat bags and choose not to want to carry them in the rear pocket of their cycle jerseys.

Gentle to the rims. 

Verdict on the Raleigh x3 Nylon with Steel Inserts.

1 : Ease of use. I found these to be a nice touch, soft nylon and large enough for the extra pressure needed, spoke hook worked well, also able to release air from a Schrader tyre valve with the spoke hook end. Points awarded 5

2 : Quality of manufacture. Strong but a little on the heavy side due to the metal insert. Points awarded 3

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. The nylon feels as thought it could handle a Carbon Fiber wheel with no problem. Points awarded 5

4 : Value for money. Considering what else is on the market, price wise I thought these were a bit on the dear side, but when you consider they have Steel inserts they are bound to last a very long time.     Points awarded 3.

  Total Score 16 out of a possible 20

Next in the Tyre Levers 2015 challenge is a set by Decathlon and their own brand B'TWIN,  http://www.decathlon.co.uk/Buy/Tyre+levers
Priced at £0.79 a lever or a set of 3 for £2.29
Five colours to chose from Black, Yellow, Purple, Blue, or Red.

 Small and light.
5 colours so you won't lose them in the dark.

 Schrader valve air release tip and Spoke hooks.

 Twin side profile to help stay on the rim.

 These B'Twin levers are made out of PA66 polyamide material avoids breakage when bent. 
Comes with a 2 year guarantee!  

 Schrader air removal tip works a treat.

 MTB tyres were no problem for the B'Twin levers, on the road tyres they were surprisingly good.

 Was very surprised on theses levers, they could have done with being just a bit larger for a better  grip when  running them around the rim.

Great spoke hook that stays put and does not fly off if placed on the spokes correctly.
Road tyres no problem for the B'Twin levers.

  When using on the tough 700x40cc tyres it was a bit of a problem getting into the bead of the tyre due to the wide tip.

Once the B'Twin levers were in the bead, it was a case of taking smaller gaps to get the tyre to pop, the spoke hooks held well and did not dislodge at any time.
Gentle on the rims, would probably be good enough to use on Carbon wheel sets.

Put a lever under the edge — the bead — of the tyre and push down hard hook the spoke lever under the spoke and repeat, this way you will get under the bead to pop the tyre off.
with the third lever going in, you should now be able to run your tyre lever around the rim to remove the tyre, job done! 

I managed to get the 700x40cc tyre removed with no real problems and the tip of the B'Twin's did not nick or pinch the inner tube. 

Can handle the harder tyre with ease.

Replacement was just as tough! 

Small insert of the tyre was the main key with these levers. 

  Managed to get them back on with no problems.

Verdict on the B'Twin tyre levers x 3

1 : Ease of use. Very easy and comfortable to hold and grip, strong enough to remove the hardest tyre using them in small inserts. Points awarded 4.

2 : Quality of manufacture. Great quality, nice touch with the spoke hooks and the Schrader air release.  Points awarded 5.

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. The B'Twin felt that at no time would they be able to damage a decent wheel. Points awarded 5.

4 : Value for money. At 79p a lever it has to be great value.  Points awarded 5.

 Total score 19 out of a possible 20.

Last on the list is a set from Panaracer  these were passed to me by the owner of my Local bike shop  Lee Valley Cycles https://www.leevalleycycles.co.uk/catalogue/search?searchTerm=Tyre+Levers+

 I noticed he has not got these listed on his website but Dave tells me these are "His Favorite's"  so who are Panaracer ?

I have had a look on the website and can't seem to find a price for these anywhere sorry to say.

 With the Panracer they come in a set of 3 and neatly stack together into a nice bag,

 First thought how thin theses one are! 

Funny shape but you will get used to them being different.

No Schrader design built in but I just used the tip and it worked just as well.

Spoke hook was a great design here, they clipped in and held all the time not once did they dislodge! 

Tip got in deep enough on the MTB tyres.

Gentle on the rims

The real challenge for the Panaracer levers was the 700X40cc tyres, on the road tyres and MTB there was no problem getting into the rim, but on the 700 it had to take it in smaller sections, to eventually get in the rim to pop the tyre.

Replacement was the same the Panaracers were not strong enough to run all the way round the bead, but in the end they worked well enough to get the 700 on and off the rim. 

Verdict on the Panracer tyre levers x 3

1 : Ease of use. I personally found you had to grip them that bit harder to get in to the rims, for some strange reason, it may have been due of their shape. Spoke hook worked a treat.Schrader valves were no problem. Points awarded 4.

2 : Quality of manufacture. They did not seem all that strong, I believe although they passed the challenge on the 700,  if the levers were used on a lot of hard to remove tyres don't think they would last to long. Points awarded 3.

3 : Gentle on the rims with no scratch. The Panracer could be used with no problems on Carbon rims they did not leave a mark or scratch on the 29er rims.  Points awarded 5.

4 : Value for money.  I can not find any information on price. Points awarded 0.

 Total score 12 out of a possible 20.

The Results of the 2015 Tyre Levers Challenge

This has been a quite a tough challenge as I did not realize, there were so many types of levers on the market, from small saddle bag size to the large workshop type. I found some great designs and some new looking ones  as well, the one that I thought was genius was the Pro form Tyre Tool, although bit on the large side for the seat bag but if your a mountain bike rider and use a back pack well worth checking out such a clever design and a must have tool!
A good standard of quality was found in most of the levers apart from a set from Parktool TL-6 which broke.
The TL-42 turned out to be a winner with top points awarded! The ParTtool TL-42 just felt so right in the hand and felt like it could handle anything I put them through,  I must admit I liked these a lot!

Lezyne came up with some great designed levers, especially the Power Levers XL, scoring highly with a 19 out of 20.

Pedros was a name a lot of cyclist told me about, and with a Lifetime guarantee seems like a good buy, only lost out on points because the lever kept slipping off the rim.

Halfords still has the classic lever design and held up well but you had to struggle a bit on the tough tyre, still good enough for the casual cyclist but the price let them down
Raleigh  with the metal inserts was a nice lever, a bit on the heavy side though, and a bit on the pricey side, but then you pay for quality.

Decathlon and the B'Twin came in with a great value lever, it stood up to all I threw at them with ease! and  at the price of just 79p each great value as well as superb spoke hooks and Schrader air release tip, you just can't go wrong ![especially if you are prone to leaving them behind on the road side after repairing a puncture.]

Crank Brothers Speedier Lever was a let down on the tough tyre challenge found just one not to be much good, and the price for two of them would probably make you look else where.

Weldtite scored highly with there Cyclo EZTech set of levers great design strong and a great price, also the Cyclo Levers did not do to bad either in the challenges, they stood up well to the tough tyre and are a great price.

Lezyne Alloy levers                                 11 out of 20
Pedros                                                       19 out of 20
Weldtite Cyclo EZTech                            20 out of 20
Lezyne Power Lever XL                          19 out of 20
ParkTools TL-6                                          8 out of 20
Lezyne Saber lever                                   19 out of 20
Crank Brothers Speedier Lever                14 out of 20
ParkTools TL-4.2                                      20 out of 20
Weldtite Cyclo Levers                               17 out of 20
Pro Form Tyre Tool                                   19 out of 20
Halfords Glass Fiber reinforced levers      16 out of 20
Raleigh metal insets                                   16 out of 20
B'Twin tyre levers                                      19 out of 20 

Looking at the result on the points table we have a tie for the winner between the Weldtite Cyclo EZ Tech with 20 points and the ParkTools TL-4.2 with 20 points, with others very close in the final results.
Most, if not all of the levers would do the job of removing your tyres, some better than others, it goes to show if you take your time and pick the right lever to suit your cycle and your needs the levers should last a very long time.

I would like to say a big thank you to all who have let me take their products to the wheel for the challenge so my thanks goes to (in no particular order )to
Upgrade Bikes/co.UK and Lezyne UK Lezyne.Com
Crank Brothers Stort Valley Cycles 
Decathlon and B'Twin
Halfords Cycling Harlow
Raleigh and Wheelies.co.UK
ParkTools and Madison.co.UK
Panracer and Lee Valley Cycles 

No Inner tubes were harmed in the process of this tyre lever  challenge.

Foot Note This is not a Paid Advertisement for Any of the above manufactures or suppliers.

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