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Home Repair And Restoration

Leaking Tyre Bead Temporary Fix

Temporary Fix Date 8-4-16

When Sharon and I were in Ledbury this Easter weekend I'd noticed the handling on the 125 was a little "looser" than normal. I initially put this down to wear and tear and the rear tyre getting towards the end of its life. During that weekend we also spent a lot of time down dirty gritty back lanes getting the bikes absolutely filthy. As we returned home I started to think something was really amiss and as we stopped for a brew break I checked the tyres. The front tyre was low, way low, like 5psi low.

Using the bicycle pump I keep handy I furiously re-inflated the the tyre as much as my puny arms would allow, about 22 out of the required 25psi. Any more than that and the cheap cycle pump kept on spitting out the adapter. Luckily this was enough to see us safely home. I properly inflated the tyre using Sharon's foot pump at her house. 

Upon inspection I could not find any signs of a puncture. Eventually I found the valve core to be loose so I nipped this up and presumed all would be well. The following evening upon return from the bike club I found myself almost completely flat. Dagnammit!! After much head scratching and application of soapy suds I noticed bubble forming around the bead, where the tyre meets the rim.

In all my years I've never experienced this. Here is my thinking. I guess the seal was fine until this weekend. At which point I rode the motorcycle with only low pressure in the front tyre. This allowed the bead to move a little which allowed the dirt to get between the tyre and the rim. While I solved the first issue, the leaking valve, the damage was done and the bead had started to leak where the dirt had got in.

Bubbles in soap causes by air escaping between the tyre and the rim
Bubbles in the soap...GRRRR!

So what to do? I do not have a tyre changer and experience tells me I make things worse not better when I try to remove and replace tyres with tyre levers. I have a most excellent friend who can "do" tyres safely but he'll not be available for a few days and I need the bike. I need to clean out the dirt. The video explains the rest quite visually.

Has it worked? Yes. I am still losing a little pressure but I am holding more than enough for a day's ride. I have arranged to visit my friend where we can properly remove the tyre and clean everything thoroughly. I am concerned there may be damage to the rim, we can inspect this and decide where to go from there. If there is damage I can either repaint the inner rim to neaten things up or purchase a second hand rim in better condition. This is what I like about the CBF 125, there are plenty of clean rims out there on Ebay for not too much money.

Reader's Comments

Ian Soady said :-
It might be worth trying one of the slime type products. Corrosion of alloy rims is a big problem for some (my wife's car has exactly this on the front wheels which hold pressure for ages then lose it) and I suppose I / she should get the rims cleaned up & coated.
9/4//2016 10:08:31 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Bear with me Ian, there will be a post shortly as with the help of my good friend we have engineered a full and proper solution.
9/4//2016 10:37:31 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Is it "Bear with me" or "Bare with me"? I suspect it's the latter.
9/4//2016 11:33:43 AM UTC

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