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145. Airtight

11/11/2014

It’s been a long, long struggle to get the tyres back on the wheels and full of air.

You may remember that we’d had a series of disasters a week or so ago when we’d burst no less than three inner tubes trying to get the second wheel back together; first I’d burst one, then Rick (who claimed to be an expert), then the local tyre firm ( who was certainly more experienced than either of us). Today, I bit the bullet and made a seven hour round trip in the car to go to Bawtry in South Yorkshire to Langstone Tyres, who specialise on vintage and veteran tyres. Bottom line – they dug out some altogether beefier inner tubes and showed me how to fit them so they don’t get trapped under the tyre. They also explained how important it was NOT to use lubricant to get the tyre over the rime, since if it slides on nice and easily, it can also slide off nice ‘n easy too.

It’s been a very tiring day, but I now have two wheels complete with tyres and full of air, so tomorrow it’s time to have another go at getting the covers sewn on, stretched and doped, so that we can finally get the aircraft mobile again and get it back under the Carcoon and out of the damp…

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2 Comments
  1. Enough air in the tube so you can only just get the tyre on is a lot of it I suspect…That and don’t use tyre levers. Its amazing how solid a tyre you can get on without levers with the knack and practice, Do they suggest to not even use water as a lubricant? I’ve no experience with beaded tyres, but no lube at all would be quite an adventure with modern motorcyle tyres. We used to use a bit of detergent in water in my shop days, but there was a school of thought that suggested that might promote corrosion.

    • They were very clear that one didn’t use any lubricants at all – not even water, in order to ensure as much friction as possible between the tyre and the rim. They used a couple of levers very lightly, but we could probably have managed without if we’d had a few more Weetabix. In fact, even with the inner tube partly inflated, there was a significant tendency for it to get trapped between the tyre and the rim that we had to watch. The beaded tyre is much softer than a modern tyre – there’s no steel in it at all.
      I’m hoping that the loads in our situation will generally be a good deal lighter than on a motorbike that’s ridden even moderately hard, and they’ll stay intact now…

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