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The Hutchinson Tyre Lever is a single standalone design, and although it lacks the universal compatibility and outright efficiency of my workshop tyre 'wand' (I wouldn't show the Hutchinson a carbon rim, given the steel core) it's a dependable staple for general home duties.
Measuring 20cm long, its stainless steel core with a thermoplastic coating along one end theoretically improves strength, giving some advantage when tackling a particularly stubborn steel rim and tyre combination while protecting aluminium alloy rims from dents, and tubes from puncture wounds. Smooth, sculpted ends reinforce this narrative.
I've pitted it against a cross-section of tyres that can prove tricky customers and have, for the most part, been reassured by its blend of efficiency and rim/tube friendliness.
I'm a big fan of Continental Contact Plus tyres, but their 42mm sections can be tricky to remove and repatriate on medium depth gravel rims (not that I've had much cause to do so since they're ultra-dependable). Provided I've pinched the sidewall to prevent it peeling away, the Hutchinson's composite lip just scooped the remaining bead home. No straining, no grazed knuckles, no agricultural language.
It was a very similar story with those 16x1.75 tyres common to children's bikes, although I took advantage of their chromed steel rims and went for the tool's steel end for some more controlled force.
In some instances, it's been necessary to employ what I refer to as the 'letter knife' technique. This involves lifting the bead and then carefully sliding the bead away, small sections at a time. And there have been a couple of occasions where I've needed to bring in a second lever.
The steel section can become a little slippery – not so much that it threatens to slide out of your hand, but I found donning a set of mechanic's gloves (with silicone grippers on the fingers and palms) a shrewd move when undertaking a series of swaps.
Although it's ready drilled for the tool board, the steel core means it can be mounted to a magnetic tool holder for easy storage. It can also, of course, be slipped into a bag or pannier if you or one of your riding companions has a particularly stubborn tyre/rim combination.
I've also deliberately left it out for a few wet and windy days – no hint of tarnish, which is a welcome sign.
Its rrp of £8.95 is competitive, given the specification. The TyreKey Tyre Tool comes in at £9.98, but is made from composites, and Mike Stead's experience suggests it's limited to narrow section road tyres. The Ice Toolz DH Aluminium or Carbon Rim Tyre Lever is a penny more at £9.99.
My workshop favourite is Cyclo's TL07720 Tyre Removal and Fitting Tool. It covers pretty much every eventuality but we're talking £14, getting on for twice the Hutchinson's asking price.
Then again, I've found Lifeline's set of two plastic tyre levers very effective and incredibly good value for £4.99 – 16cm long and made from surprisingly solid composites, so no need to think twice before tackling a carbon rim.
Ultimately, the Hutchinson Tyre Lever is a decent staple for the home workshop and those situations requiring more leverage than the humble wedge pack duo. However, those with carbon rims and/or needing the last word in oomph will need to look elsewhere – and possibly spend a bit more.
A decent lever for stubborn beads and metal rims
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Hutchinson Tyre Lever
Size tested: 20cm
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?
It's a medium-sized tyre lever for generic duties and situations where greater efficiency is needed.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Steel core for strength, thermoplastic coating to protect rims, tyres and tubes; 20cm long.
Seems very solid.
Efficient and dependable on most tyre/rim combinations, although, as with other steel core designs, I would steer clear of carbon/composite rims.
No obvious weak spots/indications of premature wear/fatigue thus far.
Feels reassuringly solid for 75g. Light enough for carrying in panniers/bikepacking luggage too.
Competitive, given the specification.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Generally efficient and effective on most tyre and metal rim combinations. No grazed knuckles or blistered thumbs thus far.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Solid, yet relatively lightweight. Lipped ends seem good at burrowing beneath and lifting beads without puncturing the tube.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, given the design brief, but there are better options if you are looking for a single tool for all tyre/rim combinations, carbon/composites being the most obvious.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Its rrp of £8.95 is competitive, given the specification. The TyreKey Tyre Tool is £9.98, while the Ice Toolz DH Aluminium or Carbon Rim Tyre Lever is a penny more at £9.99. My workshop favourite is Cyclo's TL07720 Tyre Removal and Fitting Tool, but we're talking £14.
Lifeline's set of two plastic tyre levers are very effective and incredibly good value for £4.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, provided they could accept its limitations.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Solid, efficient tyre lever for situations where more leverage is required. However, there are better choices for those seeking a single lever for all tyre/rim combinations.
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, mtb,
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)