Best tyre levers reviewed and rated

Such a simple tool, but not all are created equal

Best tyre levers
(Image credit: Future)

Tyre levers are fundamentally a pretty straightforward tool, but I’m sure we’ve all experienced the frustrations of a badly designed and flimsy set. Getting tyres on and off your wheels doesn’t have to be a struggle – a good set of levers will see you spending less time faffing and have more time riding.

We’ll jump straight in with our favourite tyre levers, but for more details on what to look for in a set of tyre levers, and our testing procedure, that’s tucked in just below 

The best tyre levers

Best tyre levers

(Image credit: Future)

Pedro's tyre levers

The ultimate lever for workshop and home use

Specifications

Material: Plastic
Rigidity : High
Colours: Yellow, Pink
Stackable: Yes
Extra features: Spoke hook

Reasons to buy

+
Super stiff and robust
+
Easy to hook under the tyre bead
+
Stackable

Reasons to avoid

-
A little bulky for a saddle bag

Pedro’s tyre levers are simply excellent and have been our go-to for years now. The lever head is the right thickness and curvature to effectively slide and hook itself underneath the tyre bead. 

Although constructed from plastic, the levers are absolutely rock solid. With no flex, it’s that much easier to coax the tyre over the rim – and it’s much more reassuring feeling like you’re not about to break them.

The levers neatly clip together and, being available in either yellow or pink, they really stand out in your tool kit and are very easy to find. 

They are the most bulky levers we’ve tested and they don’t fit neatly in a saddle bag, so this is more an option for home than on the move. But given their efficacy, we don’t think it’s excessive having a pair of these as a ‘workshop’ set.

Best tyre levers

(Image credit: Future)

Schwalbe tyre levers

Best for putting tyres back on

Specifications

Material: Plastic
Rigidity : Low
Colours: Blue
Stackable: No
Extra features: Spoke hook, rim clip

Reasons to buy

+
Wide profile moves a lot of tyre in one go
+
Can clip onto the rim to stop the tyre bead popping off
+
Easy to use spoke hook

Reasons to avoid

-
Very bendy in use
-
Not stackable
-
Spoke hook doesn't work on moderately deep wheels

Although first and foremost a tyre manufacturer, it does make sense that Schwalbe would also have a keen interest in tyre levers too. 

The very wide shape of the levers means you’re moving much more of the tyre in one go, making it a bit more efficient to pop the bead over the rim. There’s also a pretty neat spoke hook which, despite its minimalistic looks, can also handle flatten, bladed spokes.

The best thing about these levers is the rim clip at the other end. I’m sure we’ve all felt the frustration when trying to put the last section of tyre over the rim just to have another section pop back off. Wedging the levers in with this clip keeps the tyre in place and makes that last part so much easier.

There are a handful of downsides that mean these levers don’t quite hit the topspot of the Pedro's. First, the Schwalbe levers are quite flexy, which doesn’t feel especially reassuring and with particularly stubborn tyres it means the lever will just bend rather than pop them off. Also, the spoke hook system doesn’t work with rims over 40mm deep.

Best tyre levers

(Image credit: Future)

SKS Leverman tyre levers

Best for extra functions

Specifications

Material: Plastic
Rigidity : Low
Colours: Orange
Stackable: No
Extra features: Spoke hook, valve core tightener, Schrader bleeder

Reasons to buy

+
Efficient, wide profile
+
Integrated valve core tightener and Schrader bleeder
+
Spoke hook

Reasons to avoid

-
Very bendy in use
-
Not stackable
-
Spoke hook doesn't work on deep wheels

The SKS Leverman levers use essentially the same design as the Schwalbe levers, being wide and quite flat. On the one hand, this does make them quite quick and efficient in use, popping off more of the tyre in one go. But on the other, they are quite flexy and with some tyres the Leverman levers will just bend rather than shift the tyre.

The spoke hook uses a similar principle to the Schwalbe levers, but being a bit further down the handle, it means you can use it with slightly deeper rims – although still not as deep as a more traditional lever with the hooks on the end. Interestingly, on shallow rims, the Schwalbe’s position is slightly easier to use, even if it can’t cope with rims as deep as the Leverman can.

As a pair of final party tricks, these SKS levers have an integrated valve core tightener and Schrader bleeder. It can be so easy to lose the tiny plastic tighteners, so to have one as part of a larger tool is really a great help. The Schrader bleeder is something I haven’t used so much – pretty much all of my bikes use Presta valves and I don’t mind using my finger nails to let the air out of Schrader valves if I need to.

Best tyre levers

(Image credit: Future)

Veecome / Winston-UK tyre levers

Best for simplicity

Specifications

Material: Plastic
Rigidity : Medium
Colours: Black
Stackable: Yes
Extra features: Spoke hook

Reasons to buy

+
Effective tyre hook
+
Spoke hook
+
Stackable

Reasons to avoid

-
No extra features
-
Not as robust as the Pedro's
-
Black is easy to lose

These tyre levers get badged up by a number of brands, but they are the same model. They're pretty much what you might think of as ‘normal’ tyre levers , although there are others with a similar looking profile that do have slightly different ergonomics and shapings which aren't as effective.

This model, though, do the job perfectly well. The tip has the right curvature and width to slide under the tyre and the lever itself is stiff enough to effectively pop the tyre up over the rim. Although quite cheap, they do this job better than both the Schwalbe and the SKS levers.

The Pedro’s levers, though, are on another level, being just so easy to slip under the tyre and absolutely rock solid. On the other hand, these Winston UK levers are really easy to fit into a saddle bag, making them a great choice for on the go. 

Best tyre levers

(Image credit: Future)

LifeLine Pro Tyre tyre levers

Cheap

Specifications

Material: Plastic
Rigidity : Medium
Colours: Black
Stackable: Yes
Extra features: Spoke hook

Reasons to buy

+
Low price
+
Stackable

Reasons to avoid

-
Ineffective at shifting the tyre

LifeLine is Wiggle’s in-house component and accessories brand and usually it offers products with an excellent balance of performance and price. With these levers, though, that balance has tipped a little too far in favour of price, to the detriment of their performance.

The lever tip is quite difficult to slip under the bead of the tyre and there isn’t enough curvature to reliably stop the tyre slipping back off once you do manage to get the lever in and under.

The levers are quite slim and are stackable, which makes them quite easy to transport. But fundamentally, the purpose of a tyre lever is to get tyres on and off the rim, and there are simply better options than these levers – which are worth every bit of the price.

What to look for and how we tested

 The first aspect to consider is the material. Although metal tyre levers will rarely snap (although we’ve known some cheaper ones to bend) we’d generally advise steering clear of this type of lever due to the risk of damage to the rims of your wheel – particularly in the case of carbon.

As such, plastic is our go-to choice, however there are still some pitfalls to be aware of with these sort of levers. Most fundamental is their rigidity and strength – we’ve snapped plenty of cheap tyre levers on stubborn tubeless tyres over the years, while overly flexy ones can just bend rather than popping the tyre bead over the rim.

Additionally to that, the shaping of the tyre lever head is very important for giving you enough purchase on the tyre to begin to coax it over the rim in the first place. 

Next to consider are any extra features the tyre levers. Some are designed to hook onto your spokes, helping to keep the lever in place while you get onto the next portion of the tyre. Others have integrated valve core tighteners or clip neatly together for easier organising. 

Finally, there’s the size of the lever to consider. Some levers offer excellent functionality, but would be tricky to fit neatly into a saddle bag. There are those who would say that investing in two sets of levers, one for riding and one for home, would be excessive – but if you’ve continued reading down to here, your heart’s probably telling you otherwise.

With all the tyres and wheelsets we have in on test, we’ve used these levers on a huge variety of hooked, hookless rims with clincher and tubeless tyres.

The qualities we look for are how easy it is to hook the tyre lever under the tyre, the flex and robustness, as well as any extra qualities or features specific to the design.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1