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1. (WO2007005892) TIRE MOUNTING AND DISMOUNTING METHOD AND APPARATUS
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WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A tire mounting and dismounting apparatus comprising a pressing assembly positionable relative to a fixed rim wherein the pressing assembly controls force distribution across selected portions of a tire causing a tire bead to be eased onto the rim.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the pressing assembly is rotatable about an axis of rotation perpendicular to the wheel rim axis and wherein the axis of rotation is positionable in a plane that includes the wheel rim axis.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the wheel rim is fixed to a base assembly.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, and further comprising a coupling that includes a first attachment point hingedly attached to the base assembly and a second attachment point defining an axis of rotation perpendicular to the wheel rim axis, wherein the pressing assembly is rotatably attached at the second attachment point.
5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the coupling includes first and second bars rotatably attached at a third attachment point.
6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the pressing assembly includes a first handle for rotating the pressing assembly about the axis of rotation and a second handle for positioning the axis of rotation in a plane that includes the wheel rim axis.
7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the first and second handles are configured to transmit forces to the pressing assembly.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, and further comprising a restraining base configured to mount the rim in a position offset from a reference plane, wherein the rim is positioned to optimize presentation of the tire for mounting and dismounting.
9. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the pressing assembly includes a pressing element shaped to control the force distribution.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein portions of the pressing element are curved.

11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the pressing element comprises a substantially circular hoop.
12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein a central axis of the pressing element is offset from the axis of rotation.

13. The apparatus of claim 8, and further comprising a bead breaking assembly for deflating an inflated tire.
14. A method for mounting a tire on a wheel rim comprising
fixing the wheel rim,
applying force to one or more portions of the tire, and
progressively and selectively:
adjusting the level of force applied to selected ones of the portions;
changing location of selected ones of the portions; and
changing area of selected ones of the portions;
until a bead of the tire is eased onto the wheel rim.
15. The method of claim 14, wherein the force is applied to portions of the sidewall and tread of the tire.
16. The method of claim 14, wherein the force is applied to portions of the sidewall of the tire.
17. The method of claim 14, wherein the force is applied to portions of the tread of the tire.
18. The method of claim 14, wherein the step of applying force includes
locating an axis of rotation in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the wheel rim,
rotating a pressing assembly about the angle of axis, and
applying a desired level of force to the pressing assembly,
wherein the pressing assembly includes a shaped member and the steps of locating and rotating operate to bring the shaped member into contact with the one or more portions of the tire.

19. A tire mounting apparatus comprising:
a base assembly including a restraining base for fixing a rim,
a pressing assembly, and
a coupling having a first attachment point hingedly attached to the base assembly and a second attachment point defining an axis of rotation perpendicular to the wheel rim axis, the pressing assembly being rotatably attached at the second attachment point,
wherein the coupling is operable to bring the pressing assembly into contact with selected portions of a tire, and
wherein the pressing assembly distributes a force to the selected portions and indirectly causes deformation of a bead of the tire.
20. The apparatus of Claim 19 wherein the coupling includes first and second bars rotatably attached at a third attachment point.