Tyre Levers 2015 Challenge
My challenge to find the best tyre levers on the market, for Cost, ease of use, style and practicality.
Pro Form : Tyre Tool
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.
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.
Verdict on the Pedro's
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)
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
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!
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.
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.
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/
notice the bead profile as well on the tip
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!
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!
gets into the bead easily and has the strength to go round the tyre.
As easy as that!
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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
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.