Ha! This is starting to piss me off! I'm sick of wire beads! So I've broken two of my tire levers(not the cheap kind) trying to get my tire off the rim, I've tried soapy water, with (obviously) no success. I'm not gonna go to the shop and pay $10 to change my freakin tire... never had such difficulty removing a tire...
I'm trying to remove a specialized enduro tire on an 08' rockhopper
There are some tires that are very tight and can be a big pain to remove/install. Note that folding tires (kevlar bead) are often tighter than wire bead, so I wouldn't switch just because of that. But other tires may be easier to get on and off.
There are some tricks to this that make it much easier, but it is tough to describe verbally. I will say that when you have the lever under the bead, try to keep the bead as close to the lip of the rim as possible as you put pressure on the lever. This will give you more leverage to push the tire up while decreasing the stress on the lever that is breaking it.
Take it to the shop and ask them to walk you through it. Most mechanics are happy to show you some tricks. And don't be embarrassed if he gets the tire off easy! There really are little subtle ways of doing this that make it much easier and are hard to know unless you do it all the time.
Looks like you are going to be buying a couple more tire levers to replace the broken ones. Suggest you buy the metal kind, not the plastic ones. I too have broken enough plastic ones whereas the metal ones will last a lifetime and might provide enough force to get that tire off of your bike.
I know what you mean. One of my friends bought a pair of Michelen DH 3s (giant mud/spike tyres for downhill). He broke a couple of metal tyre levers putting it on! He eventually found using a hairdryer on the tyre helped get it on, but it still took a lot of effort.
A little trick I find that gives extra leverage with proper tyre levers (Park tool) is that behind the scoopy bit on the long side (the opposite face to the one with "Park tool" written on it) there's a little shelf-thing. If you dig hard enough into the tyre this rests on the rim, and gives you something to push off and prevent the tyre lever slipping (it's the only way I get my Continental Verticals off).
I suspect it's your technique that's causing you the problem, because I've always found Continental are harder to take off than Specialized, and I use plastic Park Tool tyre levers.