Tyre Tool

Reverence: Lezyne Tyre Levers

Reverence: Lezyne Tyre Levers

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Two summers ago my wife and I had the pleasure of visiting friends in Switzerland. The country is so expensive that I took home only two souvenirs: white Assos socks and a pair of Lezyne tyre levers. I assumed Lezyne was a European company. It was in this Swiss bike shop and I’d never seen the brand in an American store, ever. “Ewwww, exotic Swiss tire levers, I can afford these.” The levers were white “composite matrix” with a natty neoprene sleeve but really I bought them because I could fit them in my luggage and they were affordable ($4 US). Switzerland wisely (for them) never joined the EU but the Swiss franc makes buying swag painful. As a side note, the Assos socks are really well made. They look a tad less white now but have retained their essential Assos sock essence in every other respect.

Two years on and these levers have earned and kept the coveted number one position in my mobile rear pocket man-sachel. They are superior levers. Their hook design works better than levers made by Park, Pedros or King. I haven’t tried the Mavics Bretto has revered. I don’t know what the “composite matrix” is but it is strong as hell. Should it be so hard, designing an effective tyre lever? These are like medical instruments. Nurse, Lezyne tyre lever please. The thinness and specific curve of the bead hook makes these the levers used atop Mt Velomis.

Michelin tyres and Campagnolo rims (my favorite pairing) are at opposite ends of the clincher fit tolerances. They are wicked tight, harder to get off and on than the recently abandoned tubeless Hutchinsons. No other levers so easily get under the Michelin bead and take the horrible strain like these Lezynes do.

Sitting on the edge of the road in Kuala Lumpur, sweat pouring down your face as you bend to the task of switching inner-tubes, the sounds of snapping stalks from the jungle getting closer. Do you want the best tyre levers in your sweaty trembly hands? For you tubular riders, these might be excellent for husking that punctured tyre off the rim. At 26 grams, it would not be a bad bet. Hell, if you have to defend yourself against the enraged Malaysian monkey, a mini-pump in one hand and an unbreakable Lezyne medical instrument in the other might work out for you.

There, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve written an article singing the praises of a tyre lever and I can’t stop spelling tyre with a “y”. It’s what we do here. We obsess.

Disclaimer: Velominati has a friendly relationship with Lezyne and we have received some very well designed and well executed products of theirs, as have Keepers Tour riders from the 2012 Belgian love-fest. As I stated at the begining of this post, I bought these tyre tools when I didn’t know the first thing about the company. I admit that I was so impressed by their tyre levers I was inclined to try more of their products but my dirty Schleck love for these levers is not influenced by our relationship with Lezyne.

// Accessories and Gear // Reverence

  1. It’s called ‘English’ for a reason.

  2. @brett

    It’s called ‘English’ for a reason.

    Except in Scotland where its called Scots

  3. Here’s something about cycling in Scotland in the 18th Century for instance:

    We think na on the lang Scots miles,
    The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
    That lie between us and our hame,
    Where sits our sulky sullen dame.
    Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
    Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

    A “sulky sullen dame” of course being the VMH abandoned when a ride on “that fucking bike” went on a bit longer than expected.

  4. @the Engine

    @brett

    It’s called ‘English’ for a reason.

    Except in Scotland where its called Scots

    Except in the U.S. where it’s called Insane Gibberish.

  5. @the Engine

    @brett

    It’s called ‘English’ for a reason.

    Except in Scotland where its called Scots

    And in ‘Murka where its called “talkin'”.

  6. @motor city

    @Gianni

    @Nate

    The spelling of Kilometre in Rule #26 always stands out to me. If you are going to have a rule encouraging the use of a non American measure then you may as well also spell it the non American way to confuse your co-workers further.

    No. We are confused enough here. No need compound the troubles.

    @the Engine

    Here’s something about cycling in Scotland in the 18th Century for instance:

    We think na on the lang Scots miles,
    The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
    That lie between us and our hame,
    Where sits our sulky sullen dame.
    Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
    Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

    A “sulky sullen dame” of course being the VMH abandoned when a ride on “that fucking bike” went on a bit longer than expected.

    That is beautiful. We have been whipped for centuries.

    Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
    Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

    Gold.

  7. This is a good article, one we can all relate to and one where the object of reverence does not involve the need to sell a kidney or a time machine to obtain. I have Michelin levers which while incredibly flexible seem thin enough to slip between my tyres and the Campy rims and do an awesome job of unseating the bead. I also have some Maxxis levers which while stronger than Thor’s hammer are also so thick they can only have been designed for unseating tractor tyres. (See, tYres, not tires which is something riding does to me).

    Thank you for the information on aluminium rims vs aluminium levers (see there’s another letter snuck in there too, to correct the spelling), these are the only Lezyne ones I have seen to date.

  8. 20some years after their intro, i still like the quikstick. i do carry some levers similar to these lezynes as well, albeit prefer to use bare hands.

  9. @Giles

    Yeah, $4 US for Lamborghini of tyre levers!  That is a deal. One can’t even buy a damn inner-tube for that and the levers may last until you lose them.

  10. I’m with Giles. I  too use Campag rims and Michelin training tyres. The Michelin levers have been my favourites for as long as they’ve been available but when I went to my LBS recently to buy some to give to a group of kids I was training for the Great Victorian Bike Ride here in Aus I was told they don’t make them anymore. Lezyne may be as good, but I struggle to accept that they could be better.

  11. @Pistolfromwarragul

     Lezyne may be as good, but I struggle to accept that they could be better.

    Fair enough, don’t struggle.  I don’t think the Michelin levers are available too often in the US. Tyres yes, levers, not so much. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them. 

  12. Nicely done. I’ve never put much thought into levers (leavers?). I’ll check ‘em out, they’re probably lighter than what I’m carrying now.

    Kidding aside, I’ve never lit on a pair of levers I liked. They break, have bad lips or are flimsy. Metal ones are great for the shop, but on the bike versions; I’ve not been happy. I’m gonna get a set.

  13. @gaswepass

    albeit prefer to use bare hands.

    Why not your teeth?

  14. @Beers

    I have always wondered, if you are from a country where English is a second or lower language, do you learn British or American English? Would our European, Middle Eastern and Asian Velominati like to comment?

    It depends. Here in the UAE and I think the Gulf generally what you learn depends on what school you go to and which curriculum they follow. So there are British schools, American schools, Australian schools, French lycee etc who will all follow the curriculum of their affiliation.

    At a British school you would do GCSEs and A levels, and I assume the others do their respective examination courses and learn the appropriate spellings, formulae and shit like that.

    Many kids come in and out of the system at some point from or to their home countries so it has to be transferrable.

    In terms of general spelling in public on shops, labels, brochures, even road signs… frankly you’re grateful if the writer has managed to convey the meaning with some approximation of syntax and grammar. Spelling is the cherry on top of the cream on top of the icing on the cake.

    Even the transliterations from Arabic are not standardised or  standardized. You can see the same place name spelled differently on three consecutive road signs. And names… it could be Mohammed, Mohamed, Muhamed, Mohamad and I’m sure I’ve left a couple out.

    That said, their English is a lot better than my Arabic. Arabic is a hard language to learn and a very very difficult language to write. I know a few people who speak reasonably good (if non-standard) Arabic but couldn’t read or write it to save their lives. The letters change depending on the word.

    So where English uses combinations of letters to change a sound, Arabic uses the same letter but the sound depends on the shape and position, not unlike Pitman shorthand if anyone has ever done that.

    Plus there are many words for the same thing. The way it has been explained to me is that the word and the adjective are combined. So  we have a noun like Lion and then use an adjective to modify it such as old, angry, fierce etc. In Arabic the word for an angry lion is different to the word for an old lion.

    Which I know is a lot more than you asked but I’m just putting in context that whether it’s tire or tyre really doesn’t show up on the radar.

  15. @G’rilla

    @gaswepass

    albeit prefer to use bare hands.

    Why not your teeth?

    too sharp

  16. Mixed views on this one…I bought their puncture patch kit which I think is fabulous…especially because it even contains a tyre boot in case you shred your tyre.  However on second use one of the levers snapped….completely failed.

    This is a brilliantly designed item so I was really disappointed.  The good news is that I bought it from my LBS.  I took it back to them and they sent it off to Lezyne who immediately issued instructions to give me a new one, so I can’t fault the company…maybe I just had a duff one.

  17. @frank

    @the Engine

    @brett

    It’s called ‘English’ for a reason.

    Except in Scotland where its called Scots

    And in ‘Murka where its called “talkin'”.

    Which reminds me – “lever” rhymes with “fever” not “ever”

  18. That was a good lil’ read on something which seems so benign. A timely article for these seeking xmas stocking filler inspiration.

    On English, well I grew up in Canada, so my colleagues at work seem to expect me to speak and write like a ‘murican, as they think they are similar (which is of course utter tosh, like saying Scots and English are the same) however, I dont dissapoint them, so liberally sprinkle my reports with ‘murican spellings and of course I write the date the other way round. That said, the ‘murican date is lazier as it uses less words to say (‘December 25th’ as opposed to the laborious ‘the 25th of December’ )

  19. @the Engine

    @frank

    @the Engine

    @brett

    It’s called ‘English’ for a reason.

    Except in Scotland where its called Scots

    And in ‘Murka where its called “talkin'”.

    Which reminds me – “lever” rhymes with “fever” not “ever”

    Rarely has a lay up cross in to the box been quite so perfect…. He shoots….he scores!

  20. @ChrisO

    Which I know is a lot more than you asked but I’m just putting in context that whether it’s tire or tyre really doesn’t show up on the radar.

    Clearly! Thanks for the info ChrisO

  21. @Beers I had two teachers pivotal for my English, one Italian with strong British roots and the other was an American opera singer from Seattle, still love them both.

  22. @Deakus

    Mixed views on this one…I bought their puncture patch kit which I think is fabulous…especially because it even contains a tyre boot in case you shred your tyre. However on second use one of the levers snapped….completely failed.

    This is a brilliantly designed item so I was really disappointed. The good news is that I bought it from my LBS. I took it back to them and they sent it off to Lezyne who immediately issued instructions to give me a new one, so I can’t fault the company…maybe I just had a duff one.

    Are the levers that come with the kit the same as the levers you buy on their own?

  23. @strathlubnaig

    That was a good lil’ read on something which seems so benign. A timely article for these seeking xmas stocking filler inspiration.

    On English, well I grew up in Canada, so my colleagues at work seem to expect me to speak and write like a ‘murican, as they think they are similar (which is of course utter tosh, like saying Scots and English are the same) however, I dont dissapoint them, so liberally sprinkle my reports with ‘murican spellings and of course I write the date the other way round. That said, the ‘murican date is lazier as it uses less words to say (‘December 25th’ as opposed to the laborious ‘the 25th of December’ )

    Hell, I was talking to a wummin on the phone yesterday. I’m from just outside Glasgow (Bishopton) and she asked me if I was Canadian. WTF? I mean to say, I’ve been over in the midwest for 22 years but I’m pretty sure I don’t sound like I’m Canadian. Mind you, I do live in Wisconsin which is kinda close to Canada.

  24. @the Engine

    @frank

    @the Engine

    @brett

    It’s called ‘English’ for a reason.

    Except in Scotland where its called Scots

    And in ‘Murka where its called “talkin'”.

    Which reminds me – “lever” rhymes with “fever” not “ever”

    “Fever” and “ever” don’t rime?

  25. @Gianni

    are you in KL?  My time somewhere in S. Germany is almost up and I am likely heading out to the far east next. With my bike :-)  I’d be grateful for a heads up if you have the time.

  26. @wiscot

    @strathlubnaig

    That was a good lil’ read on something which seems so benign. A timely article for these seeking xmas stocking filler inspiration.

    On English, well I grew up in Canada, so my colleagues at work seem to expect me to speak and write like a ‘murican, as they think they are similar (which is of course utter tosh, like saying Scots and English are the same) however, I dont dissapoint them, so liberally sprinkle my reports with ‘murican spellings and of course I write the date the other way round. That said, the ‘murican date is lazier as it uses less words to say (‘December 25th’ as opposed to the laborious ‘the 25th of December’ )

    Hell, I was talking to a wummin on the phone yesterday. I’m from just outside Glasgow (Bishopton) and she asked me if I was Canadian. WTF? I mean to say, I’ve been over in the midwest for 22 years but I’m pretty sure I don’t sound like I’m Canadian. Mind you, I do live in Wisconsin which is kinda close to Canada.

    still looking for a reference to exposure to english as a first language there

  27. @Deakus

    @the Engine

    @frank

    @the Engine

    @brett

    It’s called ‘English’ for a reason.

    Except in Scotland where its called Scots

    And in ‘Murka where its called “talkin'”.

    Which reminds me – “lever” rhymes with “fever” not “ever”

    Rarely has a lay up cross in to the box been quite so perfect…. He shoots….he scores!

    Favorite SNL sketch ever. Exceptionally strong work. +1 Badge to you, matey.

  28. @al  KL? I guess not as I don’t get that. Write me at gianni@velominati.com we can discuss your transit and what KL is. It’s early here so maybe I’m not running up to speed.

    ding, ding, ding. Kuala Lumpur! No. But I’m obsessed about those monkeys fucking me up.

  29. @frank

    @Deakus

    @the Engine

    @frank

    @the Engine

    @brett

    It’s called ‘English’ for a reason.

    Except in Scotland where its called Scots

    And in ‘Murka where its called “talkin'”.

    Which reminds me – “lever” rhymes with “fever” not “ever”

    Rarely has a lay up cross in to the box been quite so perfect…. He shoots….he scores!

    Favorite SNL sketch ever. Exceptionally strong work. +1 Badge to you, matey.

    Now I know how Mark Renshaw feels

  30. @the Engine

    Been there all to often.

  31. @Kyle

    too often.

  32. Pedro’s all the way…

  33. I should try a set of these. Last year I had so many flats you’d think my father owned  an inner tube factory or something.

  34. @Beers

    @Ron

    And gotta ask – end of the world is coming. Will the Velominati in New Zealand be the first to get their last bike ride?

    Nah, you’ve seen all the disaster movies and tv shows Ron, the end of the world always starts in the US!

    Sorry Ron it did not happen today friday 21st maybe your friday 21st. but what a day to get out and roll !

  35. @Russ M

    (Just upload your images using the upload button or embed fully qualified URLs using the image button – pasting images into the posting editor doesn’t work…)

  36. @Deakus

    @the Engine

    @frank

    @the Engine

    @brett

    It’s called ‘English’ for a reason.

    Except in Scotland where its called Scots

    And in ‘Murka where its called “talkin'”.

    Which reminds me – “lever” rhymes with “fever” not “ever”

    Rarely has a lay up cross in to the box been quite so perfect…. He shoots….he scores!

    By the way, if you haven’t seen Seven Psychopaths, then go fucking see it right now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just go do it.

    And once you’ve seen this, you’ll think this is absolutely hysterical:

  37. @frank

    wish they had done more w/ Tom Waits.

    Walken just seemed like he was having the time of his life…

  38. @the Engine

    you forget that the Yanks say Scotch instead of Scots, like Edinburgh in Yank is Eedinburg… however I digress. Lezyne are the bollox. My tYre levers fit neatly in my key pocket together with their aluminIum-note the 2i’s-puncture kit. This is where form definitely meets function, not style over content

  39. @zalamanda or eedinboro

  40. i love Lezyne stuff. if possible, its always my brand of choice. but i just bought 2 of their flow bottle cages and its pretty crappy to be honest. bad fit and quality. :D

  41. @Barracuda Here in the southern USA we pronounce it “tars”….

  42. I have a Lezyne multi-tool at home that I won in a (Merckx forgive me) MTB race. Whomever designed it had such a mastery of aesthetics, that I’m afraid to use it and scuff it up.

  43. @Deakus cowbell.  The prescription

    @strathlubnaig  I grew up in Canada. Well I aged in Canada. And people ask me if the village misses   Me.

    I stumbled upon some plastic coated steel levels branded by Specialized and they do the trick for me. Park shop levers for the workbench.

    .

  44. @Dallas

    I have a Lezyne multi-tool at home that I won in a (Merckx forgive me) MTB race. Whomever designed it had such a mastery of aesthetics, that I’m afraid to use it and scuff it up.

    Nothing wrong with winning at a mnt bike race. Quite Merckx in fact. I won a saddle once at a cross race by virtue of my willingness to finish instead of pulling off.  Lanterne Rouge.

  45. @frank that’s the kitty nip gold we expect from this damn site!

    cowbell indeed

  46. @Dan_R

    @Dallas

    I have a Lezyne multi-tool at home that I won in a (Merckx forgive me) MTB race. Whomever designed it had such a mastery of aesthetics, that I’m afraid to use it and scuff it up.

    Nothing wrong with winning at a mnt bike race. Quite Merckx in fact. I won a saddle once at a cross race by virtue of my willingness to finish instead of pulling off. Lanterne Rouge.

    Well pulling off during a race would get you arrested in most of the civilised world…

  47. @the Engine Chapeau!

    i am sitting in my local Starbuck’s, waiting for my truck to get out of thop shop, and I am the only XY chromosome in the place, including the table of EMTs! I want to feint a heart attack.

  48. You missed a trick and bought the economy ones, if yours are the “Lamborghini of tyre levers” then someone’s going to have to build a whole new car to compare these to

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/lezyne/alloy-tyre-levers-ec018040#features

  49. @Gianni  Sorry I missed this one, but have just come back from leave. I will definitely be adding these monkey fighting tools to my Santa’s list. Do they come with a complementary rabies injection in that natty neoprene cover?

    Risking life and limb, I stopped on my ride today to take a couple of pictures of the monkeys for you, no gibbons, just the common “rat” variety. Note the garbage eating rodent like behaviour and sorry for the crap i-phone photos but it’s still a 3….

    Actually they were really pissed off I stopped and I could not get close without getting warned to stay away…..

    Have a great Christmas and may your stocking be full of shiny bike parts….and perhaps some V cufflinks…..

    Jungle full of fruit and the little bastards want to eat garbage…….

    Closest I could get without being hissed at

  50. @VeloVita Don’t know to be honest…they are pretty solid though…having said that I was putting some serious hurt on them at the time in the battle to squeeze my gatorskins over campag rims so I can’t complain too much..

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