Gotta tire that is really tough to get on the rim? I mean, really tough. Blood, sweat, tears, and cursing, tough. Well, the VAR tire lever can come to your rescue.
The VAR tire lever (aka: bead jack) is one of those tools that isn't truly necessary, but it can help make life a bit easier. The VAR lever helps you pry that last stubborn bit of tire on while reducing the likelihood that you'll pinch the tube. It works by placing the forked end of the lever on the rim opposite of the remaining bit of tire that you need to pry on, then the hooked end of the lever under the stubborn edge of the tire. Pull the lever back to lift the bead up onto the rim -- that's all there is to it. It's the easiest way to mount a stubborn tire. It's also small and light enough (about 60g) to be easily carried on the road in your tool kit.
So how do you get one? Um. Yeah, it's getting a bit tough to find the VAR tire lever these days. The only shop I'm aware of that keeps them in stock is North Road Bicycle in Yanceyville, NC. Give 'em a call at (800) 321-5511
Bike Tools Etc. also lists the VAR tool(Item #VR-425C) in their catalog, and it looks like they have them back in stock.