I've been riding an early 90's Italian steel timetrialer (D'accordi TT0.9) for a few months, front tire has a slow leak that needs to be replaced.

The problem is that I can't get the bead totally over the rim.

It's the front wheel, a Campi (it says Lambda Strada on it somewhere), the tire is a 700x23c DSI I have no idea how old it is, though it doesn't seem to have a massive amount of wear. I'm a bit of a noob on the bike maintenance front (trying to correct this), so while I think I understand how to get a tire off a wheel, perhaps I'm going about it incorrectly.

Basically I've used used a couple tire levers and gotten about 6 inches of tire over the rim, I'd post photos but I'm new so...), but cannot for the life of me get the lever to pick up the bead anywhere else on the wheel. While I know from reading other things that other tires on these rims may well be easier to work with in the future, I'm currently faced with the more immediate problem. Does anyone have any advice for getting the rest of this tire off the wheel?

Update: Adding that, I can see the rubber tearing away around the bead a bit I try in vain to get the lever under the bead. Do know if this is relevant to my problem, but it is a bit worrying ...

  • If you've got 6" off, and you have plastic (non-scratching) tire levers, do this. Dip a tire lever end in liquid dish detergent or (probably better) liquid hand soap, drizzle a little more soap right in the area you'll be working, and then insert the lever under the lip you have off and simply push. Hard! Simultaneously, squeeze the tire beads together on the opposite side of the wheel so they can slide into the low spot at the middle of the rim. (It's not unusual for a little of the loose rubber at the mold seam to tear away as you push the lever along.) Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 14:00
  • Might seem obvious... but you have let air out of the inner tube? If you can manage to upload a picture we might be able to give better advice. Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 15:18
  • 1
    You're not doing it wrong, some tire/rim combinations (especially skinny road tires) are just really difficult to get off. Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 18:54
  • Thanks for all the advice everyone. I did manage to get it off in the end, with a touch of soap. I bought a new tire (as per @scott-langham's advice below, plus this tire is actually a bit worn) and this one is a bit less work with this rim to get on and off.
    – alsothings
    Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


How about grabbing the tyre where it's started to come off with some pliers. Then put a foot on the wheel, and pull hard.

Good luck! I know this can be really frustrating, because I had a tyre that was tightly stuck before. If it really won't come off, buy a new tyre that looks more forgiving, and chop the old one off with some wire cutters or a knife.

I decided to replace my too tight tyre even though I eventually did manage to get it off and back on because I considered that if I ever had a flat away from home and all my tools, there would be no way I could repair it, and I didn't want to risk being stranded a long way from home.

  • +1 for replace the tire just because it's unserviseable outdoors.
    – Alexander
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 11:51

I feel your pain! Some tire and rim combos are really, really tough.

First off, make sure that you're working your way around the tire. Starting at one end of the tire and then trying to pry at another point on the tire will never work.

You want to get one tire lever under the bead and then insert the other one right next to it, and slide them around the tire til it pops off. A third tire lever may help.

Make sure that as you work the lever under the bead, you pry it as far over towards the other side of the wheel as you can and for the 2nd/3rd levers, try to slide the lever forward under the bead before hooking it on a spoke (assuming your tire levers have a spoke hook).

You want the tire lever to start to point through the spokes when you're prying at the bead, if possible, for tough tires. As long as you've got plastic tire levers you can go at this as hard as you cant without any real worry of hurting the rim of the wheel - the lever will break first.

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