When it comes to installing bike tires, there are certain tire/wheel combinations that can be particularly frustrating. Whether you have standard clinchers or tubeless tires, you may find that some tire beads won’t properly seat on the rim. This leaves you with a tire that partially dips into the rim and results in a bumpy and unbalanced ride. There are a number of common tricks to prevent this such as using soapy water, compressed air to quickly inflate the tires, or going up to the maximum tire pressure to get the tire beads to seat. If all these fail, don’t worry as Park Tool has a tool for you. The Park Tool PTS-1 Tire Seater is designed for stubborn tires that don’t want to mount properly. With a Channel Lock design and wide jaws, the PTS-1 makes it easy to grip on tires and bend/pull them into place. Although the retail price of $56.25 is quite steep, the specialized “banana jaws” are well suited to mount on tires and can save hours of frustration.
The Park Tool PTS-1 Tires Seater is the ultimate tool to get stubborn tires to properly mount on a rim.
|Measured Weight (in g)||742|
|Likes||+ Extended handle design provides great leverage|
+ Adjusts to different size tires
+ Non-slip jaws
|Dislikes||– Expensive specialized tool|
– Metal jaws easily scratch rims
– Wide jaws are suited for larger tires
|Where to Buy (US)||Park Tool|
The Park Tool PTS-1 comes in a simple plastic bag with little paper with information about the tool. Surprisingly there isn’t much in terms of instructions on how to use it or tips for mounting tires which would be useful.
FIT & FINISH
If the PTS-1 looks familiar, it’s because it is essentially a modified Channel Lock plier. Park Tool has essentially welded on curved jaws to the ends of the pliers to better match the shape of a tire. Those with DIY welding tools could certainly re-create this tool themselves for probably less than what Park Tool charges for it. Otherwise the PTS-1 feels well made and has a large handle design that provides leverage when working with stubborn tires. The vinyl coated handles help grip the tool and are in the iconic Park Tool blue. As with any Channel Lock plier, the width can easily be adjusted to accommodate everything from skinny road tires to wide mountain bike tires. We also liked the non-slip coating on the inside of the jaws that helps keep the PTS-1 in place.
One of the main reasons we purchased the PTS-1 was to help mount the stubborn Triban tires to our Decathlon Triban RC 520. After having done multiple tire variation tests on the bike, we decided to swap back to the stock tires. As many others have noted, something about the stock Triban rims makes seating the tire beads very difficult. Despite going through all the usual tricks, many portions of the tire would dip into the rim resulting in a very lumpy ride. Thankfully, the PTS-1 saved us many hours of work by making seating the dipped portions of the bead much easier. We recommend placing the PTS-1 at the edges where the tire starts to dip and bending the tire backward/forward to help persuade the bead to lift up.
Due to the metal jaws, we highly recommend using a rag between the tool and the wheel to prevent scratching the paint on the rims. By gently bending the tire with the tire inflated to the desired pressure, we found that the tire would ‘pop’ into place a small section at a time. After a few minutes of work, we were able to mount the full stock Triban tire back onto the stock rim. The PTS-1 appears to work better with stiffer tires as they seemed to be easier to pop back into place. Using the Hutchinson Sector 28 tires, a softer Tubeless Ready tire, we weren’t nearly as successful. The takeaway here is that the PTS-1 tool can definitely help, but with some wheel/tire combinations, (particularly when installing used tires) it may be much more difficult.
Overall, we found the Park Tool PTS-1 Tire Seater to be a useful and easy to use tool to mount stubborn tires. Even though it’s simply a Channel Lock plier with jaws welded on, it provides the needed leverage to pull on tires to get the seat bead to properly mount on the rim. We highly recommend using rags to protect the rims as the metal jaws of the PTS-1 easily scratch the rim. For our use, with very stubborn Triban tires and stock wheels, the PTS-1 made easy work of getting the tires to properly mount. When the normal tricks of soapy water, and air compressors / high tire pressure still leave you with tires beads that dip into the rim, we highly recommend considering investing in the Park Tool PTS-1 tool.
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.