And not just any old tyre levers, either. There can be a massive difference between a good quality set of levers and a poor quality set – the key being that one will snap far more easily than the other.
Similarly, though, the shape of the lever section will play a part in how easy it is to unseat the bead from the rim when you’re changing a tyre.
Material is another issue that has been argued about – should tyre levers be plastic or metal? Personally, I’d err on the side of plastic but not because of any concerns about damage to carbon rims, mostly because the lack of flexibility in metal levers I’ve had have made them far harder to use than their plastic counterparts. Of course, like everything, there’s always a middle ground and certain brands – most notably Park Tool and their TL-6 – offer plastic levers with a metal spine running through the body. That way you get as stiff a lever body as you could want with the compromise of having a slightly more flexible plastic lever section on the end.
Of course, the variables in tyre removal and installation (like tyre quality and size, tiny variations in rim size, bead stiffness and so on) will mean that not ever set of tyre levers can make each and ever job easy.
Personally, I like levers with a large, flat hook (or whatever you want to call it) at the end, because these are easy to get under the bead of most tyres, and easy to apply pressure to as well.