Known for riding off the front of group rides only to be caught in the first mile, CJ got back on a road bike and realized he must win the Donut Derby at least once in his life. Regularly pledging he's "not a climber," he can be found as a regular attendee of Trexlertown's Thursday Night Training Criterium or sitting on the couch watching Paris-Roubaix reruns. CJ has been a constant rider of the Hell of Hunterdon in New Jersey and races the Tour of the Battenkill before going into seasonal hiding on cross-country ski trails.

Review: SKS-Germany Tyre Levers

Review: SKS-Germany Tyre Levers

(2015) I have often been the butt of jokes at bike shops for my snail’s pace at changing punctures. My rebuttal is: Why rush? If it’s a race and I puncture, my race is over anyway. If it’s a training ride, I want to make sure this is my only stop regarding the repair. It’s great to see riders whipping through the repair process but sometimes some things need an extra second of inspection before continuing down the road.

  SKS-Germany Tyre Levers in their packaging - with a pumpkin for a touch.

SKS-Germany Tyre Levers in their packaging - with a pumpkin for a touch.

Brian of Kermesse Sports came up to me at the beginning of Oktoberfest and told me how excited he was for the SKS tire (tyre) levers. He stated he had gotten into conversation with their booth at Interbike, one thing led to another, and boom. Their levers found their way into each goody bag for Oktoberfest. A German company involved in Oktoberfest? Even better.

I decided to try them today.

  Size comparison among my three levers. From left to right: Pedros, Lezyne, SKS-Germany. All three snap together. Lezyne has a flashy Power Strap.

Size comparison among my three levers. From left to right: Pedros, Lezyne, SKS-Germany. All three snap together. Lezyne has a flashy Power Strap.

I’m not particularly excited to remove my Vittoria Pave (Paves were discontinued for 2016) gumwall tire. I only have one. I know it looks ridiculous to ride around with mismatched tires. I feel a gummy absorption under me when I have this tire mounted up. Recently I’ve been a tad nervous about the Vittoria Pro tires. Only three times I’ve had to take evasive maneuvers because a tire couldn’t hold a line. All three times involved the Pros. I still slap them on because the winter road conditions haven’t come about; there’s no need for the Schwalbe Marathons just yet. At a scant $45 per casing, I don't get too emotional when they bust (unless you read my write-up about the Donut Derby).

I decided to do two field tests with the SKS levers. First, how do they fit in my Rapha cycling wallet? Very simply, they fit in the pocket perfectly. At just a little thicker than a couple frequent buyer coffee cards, these levers take up next-to-no space. I mean it. These levers are slender. It was a good start.

In my effort to remove the Green Stripe Army veteran, the lever easily slipped under the bead of the tire. Even easier was the sliding action around the tire and rim. In no time the tire/ tube popped off. I didn’t need the second lever at all.

  Size difference from the side. Again from left to right: Pedros, Lezyne, SKS-Germany. The SKS levers are just that slim.

Size difference from the side. Again from left to right: Pedros, Lezyne, SKS-Germany. The SKS levers are just that slim.

One area of contention is the angle of the spoke anchor. I had to wiggle it a little bit to lock onto the spoke. Even then it didn’t feel fully secure. But as mentioned above, I didn’t need the second lever so this may be a non-issue.

I am extremely excited to stick these is my cycling wallet. When space is a premium, these levers take care of minimal occupation. They also pack a punch with their size. Sometimes when items are slimmed down, they lose power. Not these. The plastic felt sturdy, the surfaces felt smooth, and the lever does its job. When a tool manages to meet all these needs, it’s a relief to know one less concern has left the repair kit.

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