MXA TEAM TESTED: RABACONDA DIRT BIKE TIRE CHANGER
WHAT IS IT? The Rabaconda is a high-quality, well-designed tire-changing tool that takes a lot of the work, pinched tubes and rim dings out of mounting new tires. It works best with bib mousses, but can handle air tubes. It was designed and improved by off-road riders.
WHAT’S IT COST? $449.00 (tire-changing tool), $85 (five Rabaconda long tire irons).
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the tire-changing tools.
(1) Good stuff. At first, the Rabaconda seems to be too low, but after a couple of tries, it turns out to be the perfect height to keep you off your knees or stooped over like grandpa. It comes with a carrying case, which at first glance seems to be way too small; but, thanks to quick-release levers, the 10 major components break down in a few minutes and can be reassembled just as quickly. Although the Rabaconda is called the “3-Minute Tire Changer,” it isn’t quite that fast. Most of the MXA guys could change a tire with a tube in it with tire irons in the same amount of time it took to do it with the Rabaconda, but Most MXA guys are not interested in installing or removing a mousse without the Rabaconda. The Rabaconda makes every step a logical part of the process. No cut knuckles. No flying tire irons. No pinched tubes. The Rabaconda is invaluable is in mounting and dismounting mousses. The MXA gang runs mousses in cross-country races, but we never look forward to wrestling with a mousse, tire irons, vise grips, torn beads and tire lube. With the Rabaconda, it is easy to install a mousse (we start with a lubed mousse inside the tire). The long lever arm provides the power to utilize the bead breaker to seat the bead (although we can and didn bend the Rabaconda tire irons).
(2) Learning curve. The MXA wrecking crew has one test rider who is a whiz at changing tires at the track. With little more than two tire irons and a Bead Buddy, he can mount new tires in flash. When he first tried the Rabaconda, he said that he was faster with tire irons. So, we took them away and forced him to fix flats, mount new tires and install mousses with the Rabaconda. He whined for a couple of races, but after his 10th tire, he got the hang of the Rabaconda and was sold on how efficient it was.
(3) The best tire changer. You might think that we are going to say that the Rabaconda is the best tire-changing tool we have ever used, but that isn’t so. MXA has used a Kauritmoto TMT tire changer since 2017. It can break the beads, push an old tire off the rim from below with a foot pedal and has a gear-driven bead pusher. All these features are great, but the catch is that the Kauritmoto TMT costs $300 more than the Rabaconda (and the Rabaconda isn’t cheap).
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The Rabaconda’s retail price means that you need to change a lot of tires for it to be worth it. It is better suited to race shops, race teams or riders who change tires every other race.