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Rabaconda Street Bike Tire Changer Review

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Several months ago, I bought the Rabaconda Street Bike Tire changer. I didn't need to change tires then, but I figured prices would not do anything but go up, and with the supply chain difficulties of the past few years, I thought why not? Besides the price seemed to be what I had seen a year earlier...and they were offering free shipping, which is normal...but they weren't charging sales tax. That's a big deal for Washington state residents. ;)

It definitely looks unusual in the pictures.


And the demonstration online makes it seem like a breeze to change your own tires.

There's a really great review on Rumble of someone using it for the first time. He likes it.

My experience last night and this morning, was similar to his. In the Rabaconda video, I'm sure the tire was hot and soft. Everything was prepped and he knew what he was doing. The Rumble reviewer and I both opened the box, and went at it. And surprisingly enough, it worked.

If you watch the review, he makes it hard on himself by pulling on the bar to remove the bead. It's far easier if you move the bar to the 9 o'clock position and push down. Let your body weight do the work. And at the end where he uses a tire iron to get the last bit of the bead over the duckhead, it's easier to just rotate the tire a few inches more to the 12 o'clock position and use the bead breaker to move the tire bead over the duckhead.

That's the general gist of my "review". Here's some more details and observations.

I've been changing my own tires for the last few years. I started out using tire irons on my knees in the garage. I highly recommend this for a great workout. It'll develop muscles you didn't know you had. :D It's very doable, but you need to remember to follow the basic principles. If you do, it works. If it doesn't, you will get nowhere. One of those basic principles is to use lots of lube. It can be the nice white creamy tire lube professionals use. Or even something as simple as Windex. The other basic principle is to keep the opposite side of the bead down in the drop center. It's impossible to get a non-flexible bead over a metal rim without doing that.

I bought a bead breaker finally. That made that portion of the tire changing easier, but didn't get the tire off the rim and the new tire on the rim. I ended up scratching my rims. Oh no! :eek: But so far, no one has come up to me to say there's a scratch on my rims, so I guess the world didn't stop. :)

But there was still a lot of effort involved in changing the tires. I did have the advantage of being free to change my tires on my schedule and not when the stealership was able to fit me in. But I could see the day coming when the effort would put me back at the mercy of the stealership's schedule...and then there's the cost. When I saw the Rabaconda tire changer they first designed for off-road bikes, I was intrigued. When they came out with a model designed specifically for street bike tires, I thought it was a definite possibility.

The Rabaconda tire changer fits together quickly. No wrenches are needed. Storing it is just as easy. They provide a bag to put all the pieces into and put into a corner of your garage...or to take to the race track to change tires. The feet have rubber on the bottom of them, and it doesn't move while you're using it. Breaking the bead is perhaps the hardest part of using it. On my rear tire, the bead broke easily. On the front tire, it took more time and effort. Like in the Rumble review, that tire had been on a long time. Getting the tire off, was pretty easy once I understood what the machine was doing and went back to the basics. Getting the new tire on, was the easiest I've ever done. My front tire this morning was on in less than 5 minutes. With no real effort.

I'm sold. No regrets.

I could've waited a couple more years till the decision to buy a tire changer was forced on me, or to start paying the stealership to change my tires. Around here, that second option is costly. So I bought the Rabaconda tire changer now, so I'd get a few more years of use out of it. BTW, their website is Rabaconda Street Bike Tire Changer.

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