Innertube Troubles With The Beast

As you can see here, The Beast is taken apart.  The front tube already had a slow leak in it, but I had been holding-off on repairing it because of what a pain it can be to remove a wheel from an old Raleigh.  Today, the issue was forced upon me because the rim cut the valve stem.  We were going to ride up to Ace Hardware, and when I went to top-up the front tyre, air blew out the valve stem.

Valve stem cuts are not an uncommon occurence with old bicycles.  My first Raleigh DL 1 cut so many valve stems, I gave-up and had neoprene inserts installed in place of the innertubes.  Despite careful filing of the valve stem hole and placing that stem dead center in the hole, I end up with cuts occasionally. 

I had an old presta valve tube lying around, replaced because of a couple pinholes, so I decided to patch it and put it into use.  I am not a great fan of presta valves, mainly because I always have trouble keeping up with with the adaptors.  However, I do appreciate the metal valve stem, and the nut to hold it in place. 

Here is the tube installed in the tyre.  One thing I have learned with these old bikes is to fill the bathtub with a few inches of water and check for bubbles after installation.  Some might be horrified at the thought of getting an old steel rim wet, but it dries-up easily enough, and saves alot of aggravation of installing a wheel only to find the tyre flat a couple hours later. 

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