A nice pair

A pair of bicycle wheels propped against a balcony railing

A trio of typhoons capping off the finale of the Olympics has given us a rainy weekend and no chance to cycle. (At least for those of us not members of a national sprint team.) But it did give me a couple of free days to follow up on the leaky valve issue. In the month-and-a-half since that post, I’ve only been out once on Kuroko (mostly thanks to the heat), and I used the spare wheels I set up back in May. Meanwhile, I verified that the valve has continued to leak, and I realized that I needed to replace the rim tape.

It’s not a complicated job. I have to remove the tire (and clean up all the sealant) and then the valve, and then I can pull off the old rim tape. I did this a couple of weeks ago, and the tape all came off without too much of a fight. As soon as I’d removed it, though, I realized the sealant had worked itself in between the inner and outer sections of the rim, so I left the rim sitting upright on the balcony for a few days to drain out all the unused sealant.

I picked up the job again yesterday. The wheel truing stand is ideal for applying new rim tape, so I set that up. (It can be a bit wobbly when I’m pulling hard on the tape to make it straight, but if I brace the stand with my foot it’s all good.)

(It actually took me a couple of tries. The tape didn’t go down smoothly on my first try.)

Bicycle rim in truing stand
One taped rim

With the tape on and smooth, I made a small cut for the valve and inserted it. I had a bit of a fight getting it to seat fully against the rim — that’s the problem I’d set out to fix.

Mounting the tire went quickly after that. The new Stan’s sealant has little marbles of latex that clog the syringe, so I poured the sealant into the tire before it was fully mounted to the rim (instead of adding it through the valve stem after the tire is mounted).

Once I verified the tire was mounted all the way around the rim, I pumped up the charging cylinder, set the pump head on the valve stand and let it rip. A whole lotta whoosh, and no pop. I gave it three or four tries yesterday afternoon before giving up with sore elbows and sweat running off my body.

Final sprint

This afternoon, with typhoons to the left of me and typhoons to the right, I stuck my head out the balcony door. A bit of wind, some rain — no big deal. Significantly, it was cooler than it had been yesterday afternoon.

I spent a couple of minutes making sure the valve stem was fully seated in the rim, and then pumped up the cylinder and gave it a go. Whoosh. I checked the tire bead near the valve, making sure it was up on the shoulder of the rim and not down in the center. Pumped up the cylinder again. Checked that the pump head was secured on the valve.

Finally when I released the air, the tire bulged — first at the valve and then all around the circumference. At last, a tentative pop, and then several more final-sounding pops as the tire seated on the rim fully.

From there it’s all routine: Screw in the valve core and reinflate the tire. Swirl the sealant around to coat the entire inside of the tire. Check the tire bead all the way around, both sides once again. Bounce the wheel a few times soundly on the floor in case there’s a bit I’ve overlooked that’s not quite seated.

A pair of bicycle wheels propped against a balcony railing
A nice pair

These are ready to roll. Ideally I should get out on the bike right away to get the sealant well worked around the tire. The forecast for tomorrow is hot and windy, with a middling chance of rain, so we’ll see what it’s like in the morning. Apart from that, we have a ride planned for mid-September, so I hope to get in some miles before that.

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