Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Uncle Dick's Bead Slip Review

Last Fall I was sent several tubs of Uncle Dick's Bead Slip to try out. It's an organic blend of non-toxic ingredients that you apply with a brush to a tire's beads and it is supposed to make things go easier. I shared the tubs with a couple of the mechanics at the shop where I work and I also took one home to use on some of my home shop projects. Now four months down the line, I have some impressions on this unique product to share.

My personal experiences have been all pretty positive. The application part of the product is a bit tedious, but if it works, (and it does that very well), it saves you a lot of wrangling with the tire, fussing with over-airing up a tire, or whatever other post-tire mounting gymnastics you may have to employ to get the beads to seat where they should on a rim. The thing is you have to remember to use it! There were a few times I just went about my business only to recall that I had this stuff to use on stubborn tire/rim combinations. You see, you don't need to use the Bead Slip all the time.

We have used it mostly on "stubborn" set ups that include cheap nylon casing tires, (see image), steel rims, and some tubeless set ups. All of us at the shop have said we'd get more Bead Slip once we run out to do repairs with. It does save us time in the end with the difficult set ups mentioned. At my home shop, I mostly just use it for the tubeless set ups and it has made getting tires to mount, seal and set up correctly easier. I would definitely make it part of the home mechanic's tool box. Plus, when the tin is empty you can use it to store small parts! (Or maybe make a trick bikepacking stove. I haven't tried that yet!)

Note: Uncle Dick's sent over the Bead Slip product for us to try at no charge and we were not paid, nor bribed or this review. I strive to present honest thoughts and opinions throughout any review.


Josh Lederman said...

GT- I tried this product also. After an initial tubeless setup I had some leakage around the bead that I thought went on longer than usual. Do you believe the Uncle Dick's material's slipperyness inhibits the tire sealant's ability to seal the bead? Otherwise it sure does make things slip on easier. Thanks.

Guitar Ted said...

@Josh Lederman: I think that if a light film of it is used, I do not see how that would interfere with sealing. I slathered it on my fat bike tire when I mounted my tires to Duallys to no ill effect though.

I would think, since the material used in Uncle Dick's isn't very thick and seeing how it tends to act more like a liquid, I would be suspicious of any claims that it inhibits sealing of tubeless tires.

My thought would be that there was an issue with the bead that prevented sealing as easily as maybe some other tires. Especially if the tire in question is not designed as a tubeless tire. Typically those will be more difficult to seal up around the beads anyway due to irregularities in the bead surface.

Josh Lederman said...

I hadn't thought about irregularities in the bead itself! Glad to have your thoughts as I really liked the ease of mounting with the Uncle Dick's material.