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Schwalbe's tyre levers have a small but clever extra wrinkle that makes it easier to mount some tyres, and they're tough enough for the tightest tyre/rim combinations. They're among the best tyre levers you can buy, and they're short for easy portability.
The unique (or at least unusual) feature of Schwalbe's tyre levers is a hook in the lever body that you use to pin the tyre bead in place as you install it. (Birzman also makes levers with this feature, but they're a tenner for three.)
Sometimes, as you push a tyre into place on the rim, the other end of the unmounted segment pops off as quickly as the mounted segment goes on. Schwalbe to the rescue with the hook in the body of these levers. It grabs the hook on your rim and holds the bead in place as you push the middle of the remaining bead into place.
It certainly helped fit my go-to stupidly-tight tyre and rim combination of SRAM S60 aero wheels and Giant P-SL2 tyres – both are over a decade old, thankfully long discontinued, and from the era when tyre/rim compatibility was the Wild West. The rims don't have a very deep well, and the tyres are more than a little undersized.
With the Schwalbe levers holding the tyre in place, I was able to push the last section of bead over the rim by hand – no lever required. It was still a time-consuming job and I still wouldn't risk this tyre/rim combo in the field, but that I could do it at all validates the usefulness of Schwalbe's little hook.
Getting tyres on is all very well, but tyre levers need to get them off, too, and in this department the Schwalbes also excel. The hook tapers to a fine point on the end of a tight-radius curve that easily slips under even my silly-tight test set. You still need a bit of finesse to get the levers in exactly the right places, but they lifted the bead off with aplomb.
They coped with every other tyre I tried, too, even one I expected to be difficult, the 16-inch (38-305) Schwalbe Marathon Racers on the BTwin Ultra Compact 1 Second Light. These actually turned out to be a relatively loose fit and the only reason I mention them is to wonder if Decathlon chose this size rather than the 35-349 16-inch that Brompton uses because they make for easier tyre changes.
Anyway, you don't have to take my word for how good these levers are. When we talk about tyre levers, these Schwalbe levers frequently pop up as a firm favourite of our readers.
In a comment to my review of Park Tool's heavy duty levers, EK Spinner said 'always the Schwalbe levers for me, the hook for helping to get them back on is brilliant, and let's face it Schwalbe know more about tyres and their fitting than most companies that make tyre levers'.
And when we mentioned we had a set of these levers in for review, galibiervelo commented: 'The Schwalbe [levers] are the best I have used in 35 years of biking, so good I only bring one with me in the tool roll.'
Kil0ran agreed: 'They're only let down by poor instructions which lead to people using them wrong. Originally designed to help fit Marathons they work brilliantly for tight tubeless tyres. Only lever which enabled me to get some GP5000 tubeless tyres on my rims.'
You can pay anything from £2 to £32 for tyre levers (or even £58 for Silca's levers with a built-in CO2 regulator), but a fiver for three levers is right in the mainstream of normal tyre levers like Pedro's for £5.99 (reviewed by Shaun in 2017), Muc-Off Rim Stix (reviewed by Matt in 2020), for £5.49, or Topeak Shuttle Levers, up a quid to £8.99 since Mike reviewed them in 2021; even Lezyne's beefy Power Lever XLs that I reviewed back in 2015 are only £6.
And the Schwalbe levers may be a fiver at rrp, but you can pick them up for just three quid from Amazon – follow the buying link up top.
It's not like tyre levers are much of a considered purchase. I suspect most of us just grab a set from the bike shop when we need them, more or less at random. Well, next time you find yourself in need of levers, buy a set of these if you possibly can; they're the absolute business.
Everyone. 'Nuff said.
Great tyre levers; buy some
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Schwalbe Tyre Levers
Size tested: One Size
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?
They're for removing and fitting tyres, and small enough that they can be carried easily.
Schwalbe says: "Makes changing tires a snap. The new shape and surface of the tire lever makes the assembly and disassembly of a tire more enjoyable. For both tires and hands too!
"The new tire levers are especially helpful in difficult assembly operations. Clip it onto the rim, to fix the already mounted section of the tire, and it won't slide out when the last section is levered onto the rim."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The unique feature here is a clip in the lever body to hold in place the section of tyre that you've already lifted over the rim wall. The idea is that keeps the tyre in place while you lever the last section into position.
Schwalbe's not saying much about the materials – the plastic feels like nylon and it's almost certainly internally reinforced.
At just 37g for three they're not going to slow you down any.
Fairly broad blades so they don't dig into your hands.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They work really well for both removing and fitting tyres.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They're just very effective and easy to use; the hook to help fit tyres is the icing on the cake.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
You can pay anything from £2 to £32 for tyre levers (or even £58 for Silca's levers with a built-in CO2 regulator) but a fiver for three levers is right in the mainstream of normal tyre levers like Pedro's for £5.99, Muc-Off Rim Stix, £5.49, or Topeak Shuttle Levers, £8.99; even Lezyne's beefy Power Lever XLs are only £6.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes. I mean, insofar as anyone *enjoys* using a tyre lever.
Would you consider buying the product? I did.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
There's really nothing to fault here. The Schwalbe tyre levers work extremely well and bring some useful extra functionality to mounting tyres as well as being very good at removing them. The £5 rrp is very reasonable and they can be found for just three quid a set, which makes them an absolute bargain.
About the tester
I usually ride: Scapin Style My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb,
John 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 founder Tony Farrelly, 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. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.