Dirt Bike Tube & Tire Change: Screwdrivers v.s. Tire Irons

This Is Why You Should Use Tire Irons Instead Of Screwdrivers When You Change The Tires On Your Dirt Bike

How To Change Your Dirt Bike Tire - Screwdrivers vs Tire Irons -I am doing this comparison using tire irons instead of tire spoons.

If you were set on using screwdrivers to begin with, you probably don’t change your tires much and spending $50 on a nice set of tire spoons and a bead holder isn’t practical right now.

Or, your just in a… pinch (Pre-Pun!)

When using screwdrivers to change your tire you run the risk of damaging the tire, the tube, and the rim. Each one more way more expensive than buying the right tools to begin with.

Yes, In a pinch, you can change your tire with screwdrivers. But you need to be much more patient, and this article will show you what to watch out for when screwdrivers are your only option.

Lucky for you, I made a different article where I show you how to change your tire using tools you already have.

What Damages Tubes, Rims, & Tires?

When changing your tire your main focus is to not damaging anything because damage means dollars.

It’s all about point of contact.

The point of contact with the tire, rim & tube is where most damage occurs.  This is where the pressure is the greatest.

With a screwdriver, the body is narrow, and your edge is narrow, square, pointed and flat. This focuses all the pressure on one small spot.

Screwadriver Ends

With a tire iron, the body is wide, and your edge is wide, rounded, smooth, and curved. This spreads the pressure across a wider contact area.

Tire Iron Ends

Tire Damage

When under pressure, your screwdriver is 100 times more likely to rip your tire bead than the iron is for 2 reasons.

The sharp square edge is the obvious cause, but the shape of the screwdriver is what makes the edge so damaging.

The flat end of your screwdriver needs more pressure to keep the tire hooked when pulling it up and away from the rim.

The end of your tire iron is curved to avoid that exact problem.
Screwdriver Rippping Tire

Tube Damage

With ANY tool, you run the risk of pinching your tube. Avoiding this is simply a matter of patience and skill.





Dirt bike tire tubes are VERY strong, and the majority of flats are caused by a loose rim lock. So losing a tube because you pinched it during install is insanely frustrating.

When I drag my screwdriver edge across the tube vs the iron, you can see the edge of the screwdriver makes a more noticeable mark.

Scraping Screwdriver VS Tire Iron Across Tube

When I push the ends of the screwdriver and irons directly into the tube you can see the shape of the iron gives the tube more room to stretch.

Pushing Screwdriver VS Tire Iron Into Tube

The larger surface area of the iron lets the tube distribute the pressure across a wider area of rubber, greatly reducing the chances of a puncture.

Rim Damage

As mentioned earlier, a wider point of contact reduces the chances of damage. This is exactly how the rims on your dirt bike hold up to the insane forces put on them. Every impact is spread out across the tire, rim and spokes.

Bottomed out suspension

But when you put hundreds of pounds of pressure on a single spot, your rim can bend, or in my case, crack.

Rim Crack

You know where I’m going with this.

The narrow shaft of your screwdriver focuses all the pressure on one tiny spot on your rim, whereas the iron has a larger point of contact to distribute that pressure.

The best way to make sure your tire, tube, and rim stay undamaged is to take your time.

I hope this article will motivate you to go buy some basic tire irons and save yourself some money and headaches!

If you have any questions or anything to add, please leave them in the comments or on our FaceBook page!

Keep Reading! – How Your Rim Lock Works

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