rughead tire irons, rim savers, air compressor... slime.
bought the the long tire irons with the funny curve in them.. they're curved even more now... the rim savers shattered.. the air compressor works great... the slime helps seat the bead on the rim.. p-lywood or rug on the floor if you don't have a tire change stand.
I just set myself up to do it, also. I picked 3 of the Motion Pro short tire irons. About 8 1/2" long, slight curve at one end. Rim protector, cut from a shampoo bottle as found in a link someone posted on here. Master Brand tire lube. Comes in a gallon jug. Good stuff. I used the rug on the patio. Tire stand from plywood will be ready for next time.
The short irons were plenty long enough to handle a 180/17 rear tire on a 5.5" rim. The shampoo bottle plastic really works to save the rims - cut it long enough to keep a hold on it so it doesn't fall into the tire, or tie a string on it. I used a pair of mini-vicegrips to clamp onto the rim (over a piece of the rim protector) to keep the bead from climbing back off the rim opposite where I was spooning it onto the rim with the irons.
Next time, I'll need a bead breaker. I plan to either get one of the clamp types, or make one from a large c-clamp out of the pile.
Ideally, if you ride with a group or know several folks that ride you can pool your $ and buy a real tire changer. Coats makes a nice manual changer that works well and comes with the basic tools, but you'll need to buy or favricate a couple tire irons, rim protector and slick-em of some sort. Search the web for Coats tire changers for the current pricing info. Then all you have to do is figure out at whose house it will be located.
Out of about half a dozen people that responded to one of my earlier queries about tire changing and balancing, at least two that had gotten tire changers weren't really happy with them. The major complaint seemed to be how easy it is to damage the rim's finish even when being careful.
Based on that input and looking at some decent home built rigs on links like the ones posted above, I'm going to build one the won't take up much storgage space, will be free (scrap materials on hand), and will be padded with carpet where it touches the rim. The main function is really to hold the wheel assembly at a comfortable work height while you spoon the tire on or off. Look for pictures maybe around Spring ;D
I got the Harbor Freight tire changer. It's SUPER EASY to scratch the rims - doesn't matter if you're going for the race-bike look, I guess, I don't really care but I know most of you do.
The other problem with using the changer to break the bead is that the rim is lying on the floor - supported by its rotor! :'( You have to try and use 2x4's or something to rest the rim on, and you have to be VERY careful about that. I don't mind scratches on my rims, but everybody should mind bent and warped rotors.
It's all about ingenuity, really. I've changed 3 tires so far, and I'm getting better at it. This is really only worthwile if you're riding a lot. I'd say if you change tires less than four or five times a year, don't bother. Just take it in.