Campagnolo Neutron tire mounting tricks

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by Master-Ti

I'm in the middle of overhauling the bikes prior to spring, and am having a tough go with tight tires on my otherwise beloved Campagnolo Neutron wheels.

I recall these rims being very difficult to mount Michelin ProRace 3's the last time around, so for this season I thought I'd give Vittoria Open Evo CX a try.

No luck! I'm finding them just as difficult to install. I can't do it with bare hands alone. I've tried the soapy water trick and the warming of tire with a blow-dryer trick, and end up having to use a tire lever to get the last bit of bead over the rim, followed by a pinch flat! 3 pinch flats later, I'm all ears and hoping to hear your tricks!

BTW, what would happen out on the road with a flat? Would I get pinch flats on my spare tube as well? It almost makes me want to go back to tubbies!

Thanks in advance!

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by Gazelleer

thin rimtape

by Weenie

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by em3

Mounting a tire on Nucleon/Neutron rims is really no different then any other clincher. I own 4 sets of Nucleon/Neutron rims and have never found the process of mounting a tire on these rims different then any other rim. Be sure you use plenty of talcum powered and are adding a bit of air to inner tube before inserting tube into tire casing.

Here are a couple of links on basic mooting techniques that might be helpful:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=84615&hilit=neutron+mount ... out_103005


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by mrfish

OK, the long answer:

You need to improve your tools and technique ;-)

Start by using one flat and robust tyre lever. If you're using those nasty blue Park tool ones, throw them away. They are OK for MTBs but no good for road tyres as they're too thick and not that strong. I prefer Pedros Milk levers which I got free with a magazine many moons ago. They're about 25mm wide and 3mm thick, flat and made from indestructible milk carton material. There are some pics on the net, the newer Pedros yellow ones are similar, but can be broken.

I'd recommend a rubbing talc on the inner tube before installing, plus maybe some on the inside of the tyre so that it slides over the rim. Then add just enough air to round out the tyre, then ensuring the tube is fully seated inside the rim. All the way round. Then you can lever the tyre bead to your heart's content and the tube can't be popped as it's not trapped by the tyre. This solves 95% of issues.

If the rim is still super-tight, deflate the tube and try again more carefully.

If still no joy, get the tyre 80% of the way on, then push the installed section of tyre bead inwards to get it into the dip in the rim to free a few mm and repeat.

If this still doesn't work, it's sometimes easier to install the tyre on a moderately easy to install rim, and inflate to 120psi and leave it for a day or two to loosen it a bit. I've never been beaten by any Campag rim so far!

The short answer is that you will be stuffed if you get a puncture on these rims without necessary technique to get them on and off. But it does get easier once the tyre is stretched / worn a bit.

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by JKolmo

It also helps out a bit if you pre-stretch the tire by mounting it on a rim w/o the tube and let it sit for a while. Then take it off and mount it with a tube the real deal. That way you don't pinch the tube when stretching the tire the first time. A bit like stretching tubulars on a dry rim before glueing them on. I never use tire levers, talc etc when mounting clinchers.

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by Birillo

I agree with mrfish. You just need the right tyre levers. Michelin make something similar: they're yellow, about 25mm wide, with a short hooked profile at the end that seems to grab the tyre bead and lift it off the rim without any of the slippage that occurs with conventionally shaped levers.

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by solarider

They are indeed one of the hardest rims to fit tyres to!

Use very thin rim tape. Stans is great because it is narrow and thin but does the trick.

Mount one side of the tyre fully and makes sure it sits down in the middle of the inside of the rim channel rather than under the bead where it will eventually be seated. This will make mounting the other side of the tyre easier.

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by claus

Are those Michelin tyre levers still sold somewhere? I only have two of them and I can't find them anymore.

BTW: mounting tyres on the Neutron is not that hard (I have a pair)... compared to the (old) Shamal.

When I run into those problems I usually mount the tyres on one of my "easier" rims, e.g., Zonda, fill up the tubes, and let them sit for a while. That seems to help.

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by Andrewjn

Pretty much what everyone has said here. I have used neutrons for about 6 years and to start off they were a hard gig, especially with ProRace 3's. Talc the inner case all round, use michelin levers and take your time. Make sure you inflate the tube a lttle so it takes shape. This will help with not pinching the tube. Do not do big sections as this will mean you will need max force to get it over the rim.Start with sections of 3 -4 inches once you can no longer push it over withh your thumbs. Also make sure you engage the rim and not the tube by softly edging the lever up to the rim and getting the lever lip to contact and slide over. Also patinec , do not be in a hurry as you only get more frustrated. After some years I have eventually got it down pat and it is relatively easy :smartass:

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by fitty4

I have neutron myself with veloplugs and electrical tape. For years I started at the valve, someone else taught me that, then I read a thread and I believe I watched a video with a guy mounting a tire without tools and finished at the valve and I actually found this easier as well.

This way I can I can almost mount it without tool and I have by no means superman powers in my thumbs, the technique is a little bit when you mount a tubular by using your weight to stretch the tire like this video: ... re=related" onclick=";return false; around 3:45

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by PoorCyclist

If you do the valve hole part of the tube LAST, this is supposed to avoid pinching, as the valve is holding the tube in place better, then you can be a bit safer with the lever. I have always used the palm to finish but it was painful. It makes a big difference to wet the last bit with soapy water or spit if you are not at home.

But after a month pre-stretching the tire at 125psi on another rim, and deployed in use 10 months it was still a bit difficult with strong gloves after I took a ride home. I decided I do NOT want to be in that situation on the road . I decided to ride with a slightly looser fitting tire that is easy to change especially when I don't have leather gloves and the energy.

by the way Zipp recently released a rim tape that is white. This is easy to install and thin, and I am slowly converting my stubborn wheelsets to this tape. They are not too expensive either.

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by Zachariah

Believe me, it's the Michelin Pro Race3 tires. Those things are very tight on 95% of most road clinchers. A comparable, worthy replacement is the Schwalbe Ultremo ZX...which mounts with bare hands easily. They just as fast - if not, better.
Due to the urging of all the ladies...I do NOT shave my legs!

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by petal666

There is something wrong with Neutrons if you require levers to get a tire on.

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by kbbpll

I just mounted Vittoria Open Corso CX onto my new Neutron Ultras with no issues. The tires were previously on some DT Swiss RR415s for about 300 miles, so yes they were pre-stretched. It did take one lever at the last 3 inches or so to pop it on, but my thumbs are old.

by Weenie

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by Courant

Use a couple of zip ties or straps (carry zip ties in your saddle bag). Principle explained in this genius video, where the dude fits a Marathon Plus, which is a pig of a tyre:

Got to grips with fitting tight tyres after a horrid roadside experience (with PR3s!) involving multiple pinch flats and a snapped lever. Since then, I've never had a problem!

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