With my Comp Safari racing, getting a puncture could be a common sight on race day and getting it sorted at a garage afterwards is a pain and a added expense! So I've been thinking about getting some form of tyre changing machine for a while now. I bought two tyre levers a while back, but just trying to change a tyre on the garage floor with your Dad standing on it isn't ideal, safe or easy!
I thought about one of the old school tyre changing posts with a bead breaker would be good and wouldn't take up too much space in the garage. I then thought about buying a full on tyre changing machine, getting a cheaper one, but it'll take up so much space and wont get used that often. I went back to the tyre post idea.....you could buy a brand new manual tyre changer for £35 but I think it'll break the first time you use it!
Last week an old school manual tyre change with a tyre lever and bead breaker came up on ebay locally and I thought I'd put a bid on it as I quite fancied it. The tyre levers along are £40 each so I thought it was worth it. I put a bid in of £55 and soon won it for £52!
This was how it looked when I collected it. the chap (and advert) said it hadn't been used for many years and so would need a bit of a rebuild! He also talked me through how it worked. I knew there was a bead breaker and that the tyre sat on the top and was held in place by a locking pin. What I didn't realise was the bead breaker also held the wheel in place. As you can see in the photo to use the bead breaker you take it away from the lower bracket to use, but then the ram also pushes down on that bracket and pulls the central pin down to clamp the wheel in place. ( Hope that makes sense). I didn't know that it did this until the chap told me, so I was well impressed when I collected it!
I proceeded to strip it down and give it a quick wire brush and clean all the dirt and cob webs off of it. The valve block just needed cleaning and freeing up, the cylinder worked fine and the central post that sits in the central tube needed freeing of too.
Once it was all back together the plan was to bolt it to my trailer and have a play. Then if it worked I would then go about painting all the parts properly and make it look pretty!
As luck would have it the bolt holes lined! So I was already to have a go. I had a wheel and tyre that the bead was already broken on so I used this first.
So I used this end to remove the tyre. This end seems to be so much easier that a flat tyre lever and the bar is a lot stronger than the levers as the bar was not flexing!
I then refitted the tyre just for practice. It took a while to get the right technique, but should get easier over time and I'ver ordered some of the proper tyre lube/soap/paste stuff so that should make it easier still.
I then had a go with the bead breaker. In the past when I've used a high lift jack to break the bead it's always been a nightmare of a struggle, but this made it look easy!
None the less I ended up with a garage full of wheels and tyres off rims. I can now mounted the tyres onto discovery rims to match that of the racer!
All in all I'm well happy with my purchase and will strip it down again for some paint and relocate it on the trailer in a neater position over the winter.