700C OR NOT 700C?

Q: Is there a tyre size larger than 700c? I have a set of Vuelta XRP Crosser wheels which are difficult to work with. The tyre is a 40-minute struggle to fit, even using steel-reinforced tyre levers, and even trickier to remove as the bead is then so tight on the rim.

I use Michelin Pro-race 2 and Veloflex Pavé tyres. I don?t have any such problems with Campagnolo Vento or Shimano 105 wheels. My worry is that if I get a puncture miles from home I won?t be able to get the tyre off to fix it!

Renwick Cowan, via email

A: This is a problem not with the size of the 700c tyre or rim, but a combination of the two. Unfortunately, certain rim and tyre combinations result in a tight fit. To ease things, use a low profile rim strip, as thicker varieties can make matters worse.

Work all the slack around the tyre so that it is in one place to make the final part of the fitting as easy as possible. This will eventually result in having very strong thumbs! Also, experiment with different tyre brands or sizes. Sometimes slightly wider tyres have a looser fit, e.g. 25c instead of 23c, and will be fine for training.

Finally, avoid metal tyre levers if possible. These will end up damaging the rim and will be more likely to puncture the inner tube.

Stu Bowers

CW Tech writer, bike-fit expert and UK Scott rider has raced for GB at mountain bike and cyclo-cross