|Lezyne Power Lever XL||£4.99|
|Pedro's Tyre Levers||£2.99|
|Tacx Tyre levers||£2.99|
With plenty of leverage and tough nylon construction, Lezyne's Power Lever XL tyre levers are well worth adding to your toolbox, especially if you have a tight tyre and rim combination.
What you get here is extra leverage. Had he been a cyclist, Archimedes would probably have said, "Give me a lever long enough and I shall remove any tyre." The Power Lever XLs are about 3cm longer than regular tyre levers and that adds up to a lot of extra oomph for persuading reluctant tyres off rims.
There’s no doubting Pedro’s levers are amongst the best I’ve come across, making short work of most tyre/rim combinations and very keenly priced to boot. However, they’re not as effective as telescopic designs on really tight beads and one of our test levers snapped clean in two while battling my expedition wheelset. Luckily, a lifetime, no quibble warrantee gives peace of mind.
I’m tempted to dismiss the lurid colour schemes as little more than clever marketing but objectively, these professional grade levers are easy to spot hiding in toolbox but our green test pair weren’t the easiest to find on a grass verge. Beefy reinforced plastic construction is designed with a chisel tip to lift even the tightest beads while the pronounced bodies prevent them slipping out at the crucial moment.
Available in a choice of red, blue or black, the secret to these Tacx levers is good, ergonomic design. There's no gimmicks, and no clever marketing: just reliable and inexpensive performance. Supplied in sets of three, their banana profile might raise eyebrows but is surprisingly effective compared with traditional models and makes short work of stubborn rubber.
Measuring 13x2cms, their stout, curvaceous profile fits comfortably in the palm while a pronounced lip burrows easily beneath the tyre bead, allowing it to be eased from the tightest of rims. Using my benchmark and notoriously difficult XC tyre /downhill rim combination, I only required two levers and while it took plenty of force they lifted the bead without fuss - this combination has snapped a resin coated steel set clean in two.
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Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.