There are a variety of things that you need to take with you when you’re out riding. Some of them are just common sense, water and food, while others it may depend on where you ride and for how long. One of the MTB essentials I always insist on carrying is tyre levers, because you never know when you or your riding buddy may get struck with a flat.
Aren’t All Tyre Levers the Same?
Quite simply, no. You can buy some for £25 (why you would I don’t know) or some cheapo ones for £1. Over the years I’ve used a wide range of tyre levers, and always considered them a wear and tear piece of kit. I’d often use them till they snapped, consider that normal and then buy some more cheap ones. After a while I realised that this was simply wasted cash, so I did what any cheap, DIY mountain biker would do – I used teaspoons.
Teaspoons? Yes, you read that right. At the time I had these study steal teaspoons (none of those cheap IKEA things) which had a nice little lip at the end, perfect for hooking out the wire beading. I’m not going to lie, this worked brilliantly for a year or so, but after four popped tubes I noticed that the metal was shredding the paintwork off my rims. That’s when I knew it was time to go back to purpose built tyre levers.
Pedro’s Tyre Levers
Being your average mountain biker I knew that there was no way I would ever fork out for a pair of £25 tyre levers unless they magically produced beer from the exertion of getting the tyre off. However, I did shop around to see what were considered the best for the money, and everybody pointed me in the direction of Pedro’s Tyre Levers.
Coming with a price tag of just £3 I jumped on this suggestion and immediately saw what everyone was raving about. These levers are made from extremely tough plastic and come in a delightfully bright yellow, which means that you won’t lose them on the muddy floor while you change your tubes.
Emergency Kit You Can Rely On
Since buying these levers I’ve only had to replace three tubes. One was on a set of Continental Mountain Kings, which are a particularly weak-walled tyre and can be pulled off by hand if needed and Pedro’s tyre levers made quick work of it. The other two were on my Maxxis Minions, which are duel ply and tough as nails to get on and off – a bonus for the tyre, a nightmare for changing tubes! The levers were fantastic and didn’t flex or show signs of straining.
The worst thing you can do when stocking up on MTB essentials is to buy kit that doesn’t work. That’s why I reckon you should save your money by buying something a bit more expensive – if that makes sense? If I’d have bought Pedro’s tyre levers three years ago I could have saved probably £50 on tyre levers over all! Do yourself a favour and grab a decent pair and you can save yourself the hassle of trying to use sticks, rocks and nails to get your tyres off in an emergency!