I have a wheel with a puncture. It seems to be a pinch flat (the air is shooting out in the direction of the rim) but I can't get the tyre off to investigate.

This is an ex-tubeless tyre that I put a tube in once. Guess I should have cleaned up the sealant first. Now I can't even move the tyre, let alone remove it.

The rim is aluminium. Is there a powerful solvent that is safe to use, that would weaken the old Stan's + muck glue?

I could take it to the bike shop, but something tells me this isn't the last time something like this will happen. I'd like a solution for next time. I need a solvent that won't attack the aluminium. Ideally I'd like to save the tyre/tube, but that's a bonus.

Edit: whoever suggested a vice, that worked. It unstuck the tyre and I could remove it normally with tyre levers.

  • 3
    Have you tried putting the wheel on the ground and stepping on the tire in various places?
    – Batman
    Apr 24, 2017 at 16:30
  • If you stick to normal solvents (the sort that burn) the aluminium will be fine. The rubber may not. Avoid acidic and alkaline cleaning products to protect the metal. It may take some time for any solvent to soak in enough to soften the sealant, and some solvents evaporate quite quickly so there's a tradeoff.
    – Chris H
    Apr 24, 2017 at 17:03
  • 1
    If stepping on it does not work try a vise.
    – paparazzo
    Apr 24, 2017 at 18:10
  • 1
    Have you tried soaking in water? This works for many brands of sealant.
    – Rider_X
    Apr 24, 2017 at 18:40
  • 1
    If you don't have a vice, pliers to break the bead might help. Vice grips (lock jaw pliers) where you can adjust the gap between the vice jaws would be my first choice.
    – mattnz
    Apr 25, 2017 at 0:47

5 Answers 5


Try a vice. I am the comment that suggested that.


Before looking for a product to solve the problem, try this. Many tubeless rims grip the tire very tightly when one is just trying to push the tire very inwards to unseat it. The trick is often to push the bead section more straight down in the direction of the rim well, with a slight scooping motion inward.

Sealant isn't glue and doesn't have all that much tensile strength. It's usually the case that you're more up against the mechanics of how the bead locks in place.


The standing on it or using a 2×4 length of wood-with rim on its side-should work with even the most stubborn tyre. Leaves it fit for use again too. I would try this before any destructive measures.


As I remember charcoal lighter fluid should be safe for the aluminum and should un-gunk it pretty quickly... I don't think it's safe for the tire. But if you're ok with possibly having to change the tire, it should work. Also, works great as a degreaser in those chain cleaning tools with the brushes. Just don't smoke while doing it.


Use a small piece of metal to slide into groove, and a hammer, to chisel your way in.

Mine came loose almost immediately after struggling with the exact same problem.

  • 1
    Is this safe for the rim? Does it damage the tyre?
    – DavidW
    Jun 27, 2021 at 2:02

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