These RaceOne tyre levers are designed specifically but not exclusively for tubeless/tubeless-ready rubber, which can prove challenging given the tight tolerances required. Despite my initial scepticism, they have tamed some notoriously stubborn tyres and have also withstood a surprising amount of force without fracture or similar damage.
- Pros: Inexpensive, robust and great for tubeless-ready setups
- Cons: Less effective with stubborn, traditional beads
Compared with other designs, including levers from Pedros and B'Twin, the chisel tip has a more pronounced lip. These promised to make shorter work of tight, Kevlar beads and racier, narrow section road rubber.
I was told the RaceOnes are made from an 'ABS plastic'. On the levers themselves you'll notice the raised logo and three lines reminiscent of a wireless symbol. I initially thought this decorative/branding, but it also provides additional grip to thumb and forefinger.
There are various colours available – as you can see here – and another nice touch is the holding cap, which prevents Bermuda Triangle-esque vanishing...
So, how did they do? Overall, I've been pleasantly surprised.
First up, I wanted to whip some friskier tyres onto my fixed gear winter/trainer. The 33mm Soma Fabrications Supple Vitesse is tubeless ready and gives a responsive and supple ride but can really fight back, especially on deep-section rims.
Curiously, I only needed two levers to scoop it aboard a Halo rim, whereas a Mavic MA40 demanded the full set (not to mention some primal grunting).
Next in the tubeless-ready line-up came some Bontrager R3s. These were also headed for deep-section hoops, Miche Xpress to be precise – traditionally a recipe for bruised thumbs, primal grunting and words not typically found in religious texts.
The Bontrager lulled me into a false sense of security, 70 per cent slipping aboard with nominal effort. Compared with my go-to Pedros, the RaceOne's wider, leaner tip caught the bead first time and with much greater accuracy.
A quick nibbling technique, plucking the bead onto the rim in small sections, won the day, although I resorted to a fourth, bargain-basement nylon lever to cajole the final section home.
Even then I needed to exert a surprising amount of force on the RaceOne. Thankfully, they are incredibly malleable, achieving a deep, graceful curve. I was expecting one to shoot out and slap me in the face, or snap, but they did the business.
Next came some 25mm Panaracer Pasala PT folding tyres. Save for the folding bead it's a very traditional wire-on model. It's easily ported between shallower road hoops, but sweeping the final 30 per cent aboard a deeper section rim, such as the Miche, can be a real pain – especially by the roadside.
Removal was quicker than with either the Pedros or polyamide B'Twin but still required two of the three levers to peel the folding bead and supple casings from the rim's sidewalls.
Despite the casing having relaxed a bit over time, repatriation still proved a struggle. It demanded all three levers and reinforcement from a fourth resin model languishing in my tool box.
Although efficiency and comfort are my two primary concerns when it comes to the humble tyre lever, personalisation (and easy recognition) is also nice; to that end, as well as our red, white and blue set there's a wealth of other options.
Overall, the RaceOnes are inexpensive, very capable, and well suited to tubeless tyres. If you're going that route, I'd say they are worth a look. When tackling stubborn, traditional wire beads, the B'Twin and Pedros levers have an edge.
A good choice if you're running tubeless or tubeless-ready tyres
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road.cc test report
Make and model: RaceOne Tyre Levers
Size tested: 3 piece kit, with cap
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
RaceOne says, "Tire levers RACEONE® 3 pieces kit included useful cap, available in a wide range of colors. Possibility to compose national flags. BOX 50 PCS Kit Tire levers RACEONE®."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
ABS plastic, pack of 3.
Flexible and seemingly very solid, so far.
Very effective on tubeless/compatible setups, less effective on stubborn, traditional clinchers.
Seem very resilient and have withstood a fair bit of force without any signs of fatigue.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, I've been seriously impressed by their ability to sweep tubeless-ready tyres on and off, but this has been tempered by good but not great prowess when refitting really stubborn traditional clinchers. Designs with a spoke hook can make this job considerably quicker/easier.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Inexpensive and very effective with tubeless-ready setups.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing per se, given the design brief. However, performance wasn't so good with more traditional tyres, which might be significant if your group ride has a designated tool caddy.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, for tubeless tyres.
Use this box to explain your overall score
For removing and refitting the latest generation of tubeless/tubeless-ready rubber they're very good levers. They're not so good for traditional wire-bead rubber, but that shouldn't take away from a 'very good' overall score.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)