It’s not often that companies take the time to re-think something as ubiquitous and established as the tire lever. Sure, there are some that are stronger than others, and some that become favorites by being a bit more comfortable, but there are very few different tire levers on the market. At Interbike last year, we had the chance to meet Dave from Prestacycle. A relentless tinkerer, Dave was excited about his new Prestalever tire levers. With their patent-pending “Rim Hook,” Prestacycle claim that their Prestalevers are faster, safer, and easier to use than anything else on the market. Prestalevers in hand, we headed to the workshop to see how the claims held up. Hit the jump to find out how they worked.
Square in cross section, Prestalevers are noticeably sturdier than garden variety tire levers. What really sets them apart, though, is the deep groove opposite the fairly standard bead hook. When removing a tire, the narrow (but thick) lever seems no easier than normal to get under a bead. Once the bead hook has found purchase, though, the lever’s Rim Hook slides over the edge of the rim. With the Rim Hook engaged, it’s then easy to leave the lever in place and start a second. On looser tires, one can just slide the Prestalever around the rim and be done with it. To disengage the Bead Hook, just push the lever away from the center of the wheel and turn the lever 90 degrees. Even on snug road tire and rim combinations, I’ve yet to need more than two levers. Certainly fast and definitely easy.
Better still (in my opinion) is the Prestalevers’ tire mounting ability. With the Rim Hook engaged and the bead hook on the outside of the tire, it’s easy to run the lever around and mount all but the most stubborn tires. As always, it’s important to take care not to pinch the inner tube. The Bead Hook’s self-locking ability makes it easy to keep the bead from coming off in one place as it’s mounted in another- something that standard levers can’t really do. The only instances where this method hasn’t worked for me were when trying to mount used tubeless tires- the dried sealant on the bead was just too sticky. When mounting stubborn tubeless tires, I use one Prestalever, Bead Hook engaged, as an anchor and work towards it from the other side of the gap.
What else is cool? The Prestalevers’ nylon material seems slicker than some other levers’ and as a result less likely to drag on the rim or tire. The oversized hanging holes make them easy to get on to and off of nails or pegboard hooks . Because they don’t rely on spokes to stay in place, Prestalevers are a great choice for anyone with deep section clinchers.
Of course, most tubeless tire manufacturers (and some rim manufacturers) recommend against using tire levers at all- they can damage tubeless-specific beads and weaken lightweight beads. That said, sometimes there’s no other option. Are they faster and easier than any of my other tire levers? Absolutely. Safer? Maybe- if used properly, I can’t see one launching across the workshop like standard levers can when they lose purchase on their spoke. At $8 apiece, they’re not inexpensive but, all in all, Prestacycle’s Prestalevers are well thought-out and work noticeably better than anything else in my toolbox.