Uncle Dicks bead slip tire soap wax (2)

There comes a time in every rider’s life when the combination of a tight tire, and a tight rim can make the installation of said tire quite the chore. Over the years many mechanics have devised their own solutions to the problem with soapy water, Simple Green, and other tire bead lubricants, but Rich Travis thought there was a better way. Inspired by the compounds used in the auto industry to change tires, Rich came up with his Uncle Dick’s Bead Slip – a brush on paste designed to aid in tire installation.

We’ve had a few tins for a while now, is it worth the price? Find out next…

Uncle Dicks bead slip tire soap wax (1)

As we quickly found out, in spite of seeming like a straight forward product, it is very important to read the directions. Bead Slip comes packed into a metal tin and if you simply use the application brush to dab the container and brush it on the tire, you will have poor results.

The key to using it properly is to use the brush to whip up the mixture until it becomes soft and fluffy. This makes it much easier to spread on the the bead without over or under applying it. After the technique change, things started looking up for Uncle Dick.

Uncle Dicks bead slip tire soap wax (4)

So why use Bead Slip over other options? Since it is a paste instead of a spray, it stays more or less right where you put it. The brushes help to coat the bead, and while a little time consuming, it guarantees the bead is properly coated. In our experience, Bead Slip has been most beneficial on especially tight tire/rim combos, or on tires that don’t like to cleanly seat in the rim. A particular fat bike tire comes to mind that no matter how many times I tried to seat and reseat the tire, it was never perfectly round. A quick application of Bead Slip fixed it right up. Not bad.

Overall, on tires that had proven difficult to install in the past Bead Slip made installation noticeably easier. Addressing the concerns of tires slipping once installed, or tubeless tires not properly sealing, those aren’t things that we have seen after use. Though if you over apply it, it may be possible. This is where the proper application comes into play.

Uncle Dicks bead slip tire soap wax (3)

According to the label, Bead Slip is a proprietary blend of soap, solvent, and water meaning that once applied eventually the water and solvent should evaporate leaving just a soapy residue.

So does it work? Yes, absolutely. At $19.99 for a 2.7 oz tin (includes 1 application brush), Uncle Dick’s Bead Slip might be seen as a bit of overkill and on the expensive side. But for any shops or racers changing tough tires on a regular basis, Bead Slip could be a worth while investment.



  1. Obvious on

    Call me uptight, but products with names like this are why we can’t attract more women to the bicycle industry. Ever wonder why the local group rides are always a sausage-fest? Read above. It’s time to grow up people. Or continue to isolate half of the living population then piss and moan that there is no money to be made in the bicycle industry. Enjoy your frat party Uncle Dicks. I’m not climbing into that hot tub any time soon.

  2. Dr. Sartorious on


    I’m with you on this. The mountain bike community has this kumbaya feel about it that seems in opposition to the respect they try to muster with trail users, land managers, etc.

    “Biking keeps you fit!” as they pound 10 Pliny’s after a 2-mile ride.

    “We need more trails!” as they shuttle their 350-pound 10-year-olds to the top of the residential area to bomb some walking trails.

    “$10,000 for an S-Works?!” as they pay cash for a new Audi R8 with their just-sold Apple stock.

    “Not enough women in the sport!” as they shop employees continue to snicker when they tell customers to “Your shock is dry, as you need to put more lube on your shaft.”

  3. dakine on

    @obvious you’re uptight. I know plenty of women that find this funny. From what you’re saying; women must all dislike dirty jokes. and men must like all dirty jokes. But you ride bikes, and dislike dirty jokes. WHAT THE FUDGE IS GOING ON IN THIS WORLD.

    And for reference, we carry this product at the shop i work at. Ive literally looked at it with a female riding buddy of mine and joked about it as if our names were beavis and butthead for like 15min. This isn’t a guy-girl thing. Its a you-just-dont-have-a-sense-of-humor thing.

    @Dr.sar: None of my friends have audi R8’s or children, so obviously you’re not talking about a whole community of people….

    We will find people in a every sport or activity with some contradictory opinions, but don’t get all butthurt over some bead slip! its funny!

  4. Dude on

    The culture (particularly mtb) can be pretty douche-bro-y, but this type of thing is just catering to that and not causing it. Supply tends to follow demand, instead of generating it. On the other hand, I know more women in the mtb scene than the road scene and they’re changing the behavior of shops & suppliers to cater to them and lose some of the douche-bro-ness along the way.

  5. Obvious on

    I’m not saying NO women will find this funny. I know some that will find it funny and some that won’t and will simply choose to steer clear from handing over their dollar. So why not name a product that is neutral for all? Where is the harm in that? Smart companies do. This industry is riddled with companies and products that come and go. A company that follows a naming/marketing convention and direction like these guys have will fall by the wayside in time. Industry history shows this. It’s pretty simple. Uncle Dicks has isolated themselves.

  6. ste on

    Arrrgh go to your local automotive tyre fitter and bung them a couple of quid/dollars for a scoop of tyre lube its the same stuff! No way is a small tin worth nearly 20 dollars!

  7. Sheriff on

    FYI, Uncle Dick’s actual name is Richard. Come down from your high horses and give the product a try. It works.

  8. Mac on

    Seriously, you yanks are great, but you need to stop worrying about being sooooo politically correct all the time. Learn to laugh at yourself occasionally. Or better still, move to Aus. and learn from us!

  9. goridebikes on


    In other news, this seems a bit pricey, but perhaps it’s worth it… less mess than soapy water spray bottles.

  10. Thumbs on

    On the subject of the product being reviewed: seems like an awful lot of trouble and $$$ to go through just to get a tire on. HTFU and push it with your damn thumbs. Wussification of America right here.

  11. leverfingers on

    Misleading picture. This is for seating the bead, not putting the tire over the rim, right? Putting it on the tire before it’s on the rim would just make it slippery and much harder to get on.

  12. mark on

    lol at obvious and doc they must be hipsters to think a product they most likely will never see or use will put them of bikes and over looked the possibility of over priced bikes with expensive servicing as clearly women are inapt at doing man things like fixing and servicing bikes.

  13. sam on

    nothing new here, just tyre soap that the automotive industry (and some bike stores) has been using for decades

  14. nat on

    I use Nu-Calgon gas leak detector. We call it bubble soap. It can be sourced at any HVAC supply store for a few bucks. The small 8oz bottle has a dauber (similar to a little cotton ball on a stiff wire) inside the cap that works perfectly for running the soap around the bead. I have had no issues using this and it takes about 10 seconds to apply.

  15. Mick on

    Couldn’t give a rat’s a$$ about the name…but $20 for 3oz…geez I can get a pail of the same stuff at autozone for $10…and the flux brushes they sell for $7 for a 10pk… A person can get the exact same bag’o brushes for under $2 at any welding supply store.
    I suspect they just buy bulk and repackage…and from the pricing probably at retail.

  16. Jesse on

    There is definitely a need for a product like this for mounting intense tyre/rim combinations, especially with puncture resistant tyres like Marathon Pluses. But you could just use cheap silicone grease and save yourself a bucket of money instead of some over-marketed tub of fancy grease.


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