Changing a bicycle tire is not all that difficult a job—I ought to know, I’ve had to do it enough! I live in the far-north suburbs of Chicago and the “rails-to-trails” bike path near my house is affectionately known by locals as the “glass highway.” Even with puncture resistant Kevlar belted tires you can still get a flat. Unfortunately, puncture resistant tires are a bit harder to get off the rims than thinner tires. The good news is that the Cobra Tire Tool makes bicycle tire removal a snap.
The Cobra Tire Tool is a modified tire lever—on one end it has an extra hook in the shape of a snake about the strike. The end of the tool that looks like a standard tire lever is used to pry off the tire, while the larger hook fits over the chainstay or fork blade. After you get the tool in place you slowly spin your tire and in just a few seconds it will pop off the rim. If you want, you can patch the tube while the tire is still on the bike!
When I started writing product reviews I decided to never use photographs supplied by manufacturers. However, a still photograph cannot do justice to this tool, so I asked Jim Walls, inventor of the Cobra Tire Tool, to use his video of the tool in action. This video is less than a minute long—watch it and prepare to be impressed.
The Cobra Tire Tool is three inches long, weighs under half an ounce and is made of nylon and fiberglass so it should not mar your bike frame. It also comes with a lifetime warranty against breakage. The cost is only $6 (postpaid) and is available directly from the company Web site. This product is made in America.
At the moment the Cobra Tire Tool is only available for Road Bikes, Tri, and Hybrids. A tool for mountain bikes and fat tires is in the works.