How I "fold" wire-bead bicycle tires:
How | Why
Credits:  Thanks to my daughter for "hand work".  I learned this method around 1979 in a Bike Warehouse catalog (Bike Warehouse has since become Bike Nashbar).


First, pinch the tire into two loops.  It's better if one loop is larger than the other (unlike the photo).

Next, fold over one of the loops as shown:

The idea is to get the three "loops" that are shown above to be about the same size.  Next, "merge" the two loops shown above on the right:

Finally, bring the left loop up:

...and over:

Slide around a little so the three loops are equal-sized, and adjust the bead so there aren't any kinks in the sidewalls.  Tie loosely to keep it from springing open.


(To take with you on a tour, for a spare, or to ship via UPS/USPS in a box)
Alternatives are to not fold at all, which is a bit unwieldy, or to fold in two.  I recommend against a two-loop fold, which can kink the bead as shown below: