Crank Bros Speed Lever Review
The Speed Lever is a new take on an old tool, the tire lever. Normally you would stick one to three tire levers under the tire's bead, pry it out, and then run them along the tire to pop the entire bead out. It was quite a bit of work, so Crank Brothers decided to do things differently.
Their tool is a single telescopic lever that hooks under the bead and snaps onto the axle. Then you just rotate the lever to remove or install any tire.
Pros: In most of my tests, the Speed Lever works as promised. You just hook it onto the tire and axle, turn, and viola, the tire is off the rim! Or... viola, the tire is on the rim! (It has two hooks, one for tire removal and one for installation.)
Cons: It's not a miracle tool. On some tight road tires or tight UST tubeless tires, it still required some finesse and hand strength to get things going. Also, it's a tad longer than a traditional tire lever, so it might not fit in your seat bag.
And, while I haven't had any durability issues, the plastic seems to flex too much whenever it's extended. It just doesn't feel that strong when you flex it in your hands. (Again, it hasn't given me any problems, it just seems to flex a lot.)
The Final Word
Overall, I'm happy with my Speed Lever. It might not work 100% of the time, but it makes quick work of most tire and rim combinations, and it's right at home in my Camelbak.