review: crank bros speedlever

September 30, 2006

i bought this as i thought that it would help me with getting my awkward tryes on and off. it doesn’t. i know that crank bros are more a MTB company so maybe it will be more suited to MTB tyres?

with road tyres the thing initially gets a good grip under the bead – but when you try to rotate the lever it will not move, no matter how much talc, soap or spit i put on the tyre and lever it is going nowhere.

the problem is that the tyre is too tight to the rim and if you manage to move the lever along all it does is move along and doesn’t unship the tyre – and probably does the tyre some damage in the process. you still need to use another lever to prevent the tyre from just droping back onto the rim after the lever has passed that point.

as for refitting the tyre, even worse 😦

the stuff that the lever can do is the stuff that you can do with your bare hands. it is the crucial last 10% that is difficult to get on where the lever fails. again it will not move along the rim regardless of what lubrication you apply and i would be worried about forcing it as this would either break the lever or damage the tyre or inner tube.

all in all a pretty useless gadget. it may work on easier tyres, but they are not the ones i have a problem with. i can deal with the easier tyres with my thumbs! failed to live up to expectations and do the job it was bought for. and it was £6!

1/10 (the 1 for the initial easy hook of the tyre bead.) a triumph of advertising and hype over ability.

UPDATE: the thing finally broke after about 3 uses! the head snapped off after snagging up as described above. wiggle (the company i got it from) have agreed to replace it (i didn’t really want another one, i just sent them an email saying how crappy i thought it was) so cheers to them and 10/10 for customer service. however, i don’t think i will be using it too often.


One Response to “review: crank bros speedlever”

  1. tbv said

    Wow, I don’t know what magic touch I have, but this thing is the greatest thing since sliced bread, for me at least. I’ve been using one for three years after 30 using regular tire irons, and it’s great. I’ve used it on every one of the 10 bikes I maintain for the family, and never had a problem.

    Defferent strokes for differnt folks, I guess.


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