LIFELINE PROFESSIONAL TYRE LEVERS

12g (each) black 3pack £1.99

LifeLine Professional Tyre Levers are a nicely designed set of levers that won’t cause too much concern to your wallet if left on the verge, but offer a sound level of performance at a budget price.

 

Pros: cheap and cheerful and effective.

 

Cons: nothing significant, at this price.

Spec 3.75/5

 

Budget does not mean thoughtless. Splayed to the hand they appear to have an ergonomic-ish design for thumb and ball of hand. The splay also has two slots designed to slip over a spoke, taking the place of a larger notch common on many levers, and not just those of my youth. The tip looks slim, so should be easy to locate under the bead. Just make sure that you locate the first lever roughly half-way between a pair of spokes.

 

Plastic is what you’d expect at this price.

 

The levers clip together for storage.

Performance 4/5

 

They lifted Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 700x32C tyres off with ease. Likewise, Lifeline’s own Essential Armour Commuter tyres. Although neither need it, I’ve used them to lift the tyre back on, too.

Could they survive the Marathon Plus challenge? Well …. drum roll … in short, yes, they could. An old touring bike, well ridden, with notoriously sticky Marathon Plus tyres that have not been removed since Heaven knows when, was selected to provide a stern test. Of course, I squeezed the beading before getting to work. Well, they hooked easily under the bead and lifted it out without much as a flex. They put them back, too, with equal aplomb.

 

Performance overtime may turn out to be a different matter. I’ve lifted twenty tyres off now and there seem to be no ill-effects. Even the my Topeak Shuttle levers lost their point, literally, after too much heavy work. Steel reinforced plastic levers from Edinburgh Bicycles (bought many years ago) continue to do their duty well on all tyres. Bear in mind, too, that we are talking roadside, rather than workshop, duties. 

 

I have not tried them on tubeless set-ups, but then, you hope not to have to. Moreover, we all know that some tyres are tighter fits on some rims than others: reality is not as neat as sizing suggests. However, they did lift LifLline Essential Armour tyres with Tannus Armour on and off very nicely.

 

Value 4.25/5

 

What do you want for £1.99? Topeak Shuttle levers come in at over £7 – often discounted – whilst most other plastic levers, including from SKS and other reputable manufacturers can match £1.99, but (as far as my Googling goes) only with a discount. So, if you want a light, functional lever, with some nice design points, then you’ll probably not regret the outlay of £1.99.

 

Conclusion

 

Although the thought behind the design struck me immediately, my other first impression was of a set of levers that would do well to survive contact with the first heavily entrenched enemy. In fact. I’ve got a lot of confidence in their general performance. They seem reliable on all the tyres in my fleet. They are now in an on-board tool-kit.

Verdict 4/5 Very good value levers , primarily for roadside use.

 

Steve Dyster

 

http://www.hotlines-uk.com

PUBLISHED APRIL 2020

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The plastic mount should fit most saddle rails, although there may be issues with suspension seat posts.

 

Finally, there’s a light loop and a little reflective detailing.

 

Mounting 3.5/5

 

On the subject of the mount, the Iron Pack range offers a choice of ways to secure the pack to the saddle rails: plastic (TF) or Velcro (DS). Debate can drag on about the merits for road riding, gravel, off-roading etc. Generally, people have their own preference. On the whole, for rougher riding, I prefer a more solid fixture – so I’d go for the TF for off-roading and gravel. On the other hand, the DS may move a little more, but that, to me, is hardly significant with small bags – even when weighed down by tools etc.

 

A quick glance at the TF bracket shows that it is not symmetrical. The groove on one side is slid onto the saddle rail. The whole bracket is then twisted, so that the more rounded corner slides in. Push the whole firmly until it is lodged securely between the rails. No release levers; no hex-head bolts; no Velcro loops; no fuss.The plastic mount should fit most saddle rails, although there may be issues with suspension seat posts.