Rarely do specialty bicycle tools have an application in auto and light truck service, but there is one little known exception: tire levers. Tire levers are excellent tools for working rubber boots, l...
Rarely do specialty bicycle tools have an application in auto and light truck service, but there is one little known exception: tire levers. Tire levers are excellent tools for working rubber boots, large grommets and dust seals into position, offering angled prying surfaces at each end and a large radius hook. They’re a handy size, readily available and best of all, cheap. Plastic levers work best, but if you’re using metal, try to find levers manufactured from rod stock rather than the stamped-steel units. If you’re stuck with steel levers, work over the ends with a pedestal grinder and emery cloth to eliminate boot-tearing sharp edges. Make sure that any plating is ground well back; chromium debris is definitely not recommended behind boots and grease seals.
They work by the same principle used for changing bicycle tires, and come in convenient sets of three, which is the optimal number to use on larger, stubborn boots. Three tools and two hands make using the tools a little like juggling: it helps, where possible, to use the hook end of at least one of the levers to lock it against something handy to free your hands. There won’t be a spoke, but the hook end can be opened up slightly to accommodate larger flanges, welded seams or housings. And don’t forget: tire levers can also be used to change bicycle tires.
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