Tru-Tension Tyre Monkey – Christmas Sorted
Could the Tru-Tension Tyre Monkey be your new best friend?
Is there any item more prosaic than the lowly tyre lever? A simple lever to remove or install a tyre, you’d think there wasn’t much to it, but that’s where you’d be wrong! It has to have an edge fine enough to slip between tyre and rim, but strong enough not too bend or snap. The lever also has to be long enough to allow a good grip, but not so long that you can’t carry it easily. The Tru-Tension Tyre Monkey attempts to solve the tyre lever issue with a one lever design.
Some tyre/rim combinations can be a complete pain to remove. They’re so tight that they require the strength of an immortal to get that first edge up. Then you need the finesse of a card-sharp to work two or three levers simultaneously to then get the tyre off the rim. Once you’ve removed the tyre you then have to re-install the thing. This normally starts oh so easily, until the last twenty centimetres or so, which can take hours. If you’re lucky you’ve been doing all this at home, indoors. If not, you’re standing in the cold and rain, while your buddies try and decide how much longer they’re prepared to wait.
So the guys at Tru-Tension came up with the Chain Monkey. Tru-tension are a UK brand that design and manufacture a range of maintenance solutions for bikes, motor-bikes, Karts and scooters. In their bike range are brake-rotor covers, lubricants and various cleaning products.
How does it work?
Tru-tension took a look at the tyre lever and decided it needed an update. They thought the old design was “fiddly and frustrating to use“. Which for new riders they can be, I’ve had to teach this basic skill to novices and it’s amazing how difficult some people find it. Even if you are an old hand, some tyre/rim combinations can just be hard work.
The Tyre Monkey tries to solve these problems by adapting the standard lever shape. While it still looks like a tyre lever, the hook end has been re-shaped to overcome some of the difficulties. The hook is now much wider and sticks up from the body at around 90 degrees. There’s a small lip at the top of the hook, to keep it locked against the rim as you push the tyre-bead off. Underneath there’s a channel that sits on top of the rim and helps keep everything in place when re-installing the tyre..
This design allows you to use your body weight, pushing against the lever. The added bonus is that it keeps your knuckles away from the spokes, I’ve often grazed my knuckles when struggling with difficult tyres. Tru-Tension are confident that you’ll only need one Tyre Monkey in your pocket to get the job done. It’s also compact enough to slip into a Christmas stocking!
Tru-Tension say the Tyre Monkey is suitable for:
- All bicycles, including Road Bikes, Mountain Bikes, E-Bikes, Children’s Bikes, BMX
- All tyre and rim widths
- Left and right-handed users
- Hooked and hookless rims
- Tubed and tubeless tyres
They do add the caveat that it “may not work on every rim and tyre combination“! I think that’s pretty honest of them, as I said some combinations are just impossible. We’ll see if we can get hold of one and try it out on our collection of tyres and wheels; in the warm and dry though!