‘You get what you pay for’ is a familiar saying in the cycling world. This certainly applies when thinking about ‘tyre levers’ (or ‘tire levers’, in the US). This is exactly the type of product which can do more harm than good, especially if your wheels cost you a small fortune. Cheap plastic tyre levers are often too weak to be able to remove the outer tyre. Strong tyre levers are often made of metal, which will leave their mark on aluminium, and should never come in contact with carbon fibre. Choosing the right tyre lever, therefore, is more complex than it might seem. We give the Silca Tire Levers Premio a run for their money.
Silca Tire Levers Premio
They know what they’re doing at Silca. The Silca Tire Levers Premio are categorised as ‘Ultra Premium’. This is logical, given that they have clearly been developed with a high-paying target audience and are designed to be used on carbon clinchers. Metal should never be used on carbon rims, yet Silca had to ensure rigidity. Normal sloppy plastic tyre levers are out, considering that tyres often fit very tightly onto rims these days. And we haven’t even mentioned the tubeless variety yet…
What you really want is the stiffness of metal combined with the ‘softness’ of plastic to protect your rim. However, a plastic tyre lever with a metal core is generally not strong enough for most rim/ tyre combinations. Strength is needed at the point of leverage, which has to be made of plastic to avoid damaging the (carbon) rim. A metal core therefore creates strength in the wrong place and also adds unnecessary weight.
The Silca solution
Silca’s solution was to make its lever out of aluminium, which has a stiff nylon coating on the face of the lever that comes into contact with the rim. This not only creates stiffness where it’s needed, but enables a lighter and thinner lever than the competition. And, we have to admit, they fit perfectly in the hand. Furthermore, the (slim but not small) shape also helps to direct the right force to the right places.
Handy, light and strong
It’s easy to get under the tyre bead with these, thanks to the narrow tips. It’s also easy to jam them behind a spoke, thanks to the flappy protrusion. This, too, is made of more pliable nylon to protect your spokes. Worrying about damage is a thing of the past.
However convincing the marketing blurb is, it’s always a bit exciting to try the item in question out in the flesh, as it were. But Silca appears to know what it’s talking about. The groove under the top of the lever steers the process well, without even a hint of potential damage.
In short: the Silca Tire Levers Premio are the tyre levers you want. With a price tag of €15.71 (excluding shipping) for a pair, these probably cost a bit more than the ones you can get from your local bike shop. But the, think about your expensive carbon rims… It’s a small investment, compared with what they could, in theory, be saving you. Interested? They can be ordered from the Silca website.