A tyre changer for the rest of us

MANY years ago I worked in a bike shop, where I learnt how to use a tyre changing machine – which ran on electricity and compressed air, and cost many thousands of dollars.

Of course, for a bike shop changing thousands of tyres every year it made a lot of sense to own such a machine, but I’ve been a little frustrated ever since – I’ve had to go to a bike shop whenever I’ve had a tyre problem.

No so bad when you’re buying a new set of big-bike tyres, but downright annoying if it’s just a flat dirt bike tyre – sure, you can use levers and do that sort of thing in the garage, but when you’ve used a proper machine, it seems like a very poor substitute.

The No-Mar tyre Changer now fits in between a full-blown workshop tyre changer and a set of tyre levers. At under $1000 (depending on the model you choose, accessories, etc) it’s not something I’d recommend for everyone, but for everyone who deals with tyres regularly – racers, farmers right up to small professional workshops – a No Mar Tyre Changer gives you the tools you need to better manage your rubber.

The shots here are of Cycle Torque’s Ray Macarthur fitting the Continental TKC80 ‘knobbies’ to the Ducati Multistrada we’re using to test the tyres for a future issue.

We struggled a little to get the hang of changing the first tyre, referring to the online videos at www.nomartyrechanger.com a few times to get the hang of using the machine, but as you can see, the second tyre wasn’t a problem at all.

We tried mounting the machine on a steel platform first, but you need to exert quite a lot of force through the tyres when removing and mounting them, and our steel wasn’t thick enough and flexed too much, so we bolted it to the floor of the Cycle Torque studio/workshop. That’s the best way to do it, but not the only way – in fact No Mar make some neat accessories which could make all the difference to some people, like a tow bar mount, which slips into the tow bar tube on your vehicle so you can change tyres at the track or in the field somewhere.

One of the great ideas behind the No Mar tyre Changer is the use of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene at all contact surfaces to avoid scratching. Another is the clamping system, which uses rotating blocks of poly to fit the wheel size and a rotating cam-style block to lock the wheel in place. This is a great system, but it’s a little confusing at first to get it right.

Here at Cycle Torque we’re using the Classic Model. There’s also the cheaper Cycle Hill version designed primarily for dirt bike, ATV and vintage style wheels and a couple of more up-market models designed for more professional use. We got ‘The Works’ package which lets us change tyres on everything from kids’ dirt bikes to heavy cruisers. It also comes with a balancer, weights and lots of accessories.

Right now this kit is $895US, $100 off the standard price… not sure how long that will last. The basic Classic is $645US.

The Cycle Hill ($465US) and Classic are available through No Mar’s Australian warehouse, the others ship from the USA.

No Mar uses an automated warehouse system in Sydney so if you order a tyre changer it doesn’t have to come all the way from the USA – but you pay directly to the USA in American dollars.

If you think the No Mar system is right for you, have a good look at the company’s website and look at all the options and accessories you might need for the types of tyres you need to change, so you can be confident of buying the right product.

Check them out at nomartyrechanger.com.

– Nigel Paterson




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