Sometimes it is the Small Things


Sometimes all the shiny new bikes get all the attention around the office, pushing less flashy stuff into hidden corners of my desk. I pulled these two items out recently and think they deserve so attention, too.


Uncle Dick’s Bead Slip

Install enough tires and you’ll eventually run into a rim/tire combo the refuses to seat, be it a new school tubeless set up, or an old 27-inch Schwinn. That’s where Uncle Dick’s Bead Slip comes in. Packaged in a small tin, Bead Slip is brushed onto the bead to help the tire seat with less hassle. It should also help with getting the tire installed, getting that last few inches of bead slip onto the rim.

Twenty bucks gets you about 2.7 ounces of what I expected to be some concoction of semi-toxic petro-chemicals, but instead is a “proprietary organic blend of non toxic soaps, preservatives, solvents and water” according to Uncle Dick himself, also known as Rich Travis, a long time industry guy, now back in the trenches at a local bike shop. While this product is targeted at shops to prevent wasting a lot of labor, the well-equipped home mechanic would be well served to have some Bead Slip around. While it isn’t a huge amount in there, a little goes a long what, so it should be around for a long time.

And for the record, I am aware of the other methods for seating stubborn tires (soapy water, WD40, Vaseline, etc), but this stuff works well, is much less sloppy, and stays where you put it. Is that worth $20 to you? It is to me.


Tectorius: Vibra-Stop and Bit Biter

There are quite a few thread lockers on the market, but Vibra-Stop seems to be quite different, not only adhering to all kinds of metal, both ferrous and non-ferrous, but also claiming to allow for remove and reinstallation of the part multiple times with no loss in performance.

You can even coat parts with Vibra-stop and install them days, months or even years later. I used some to install a bottom bracket in a bike that sees a lot of wet weather use, we’ll see how it holds up over the next year or so. A 1oz bottle of regular brush grade is $18, Hi temp grade goes for $22, and a 4.5 can of aerosol grade is $25.

Bit-Biter is a friction multiplying compound that helps remove bolts with rounded off corners. I used some on a pair of old winter shoes that had the same pair of cleats installed for over two years of salty commuting. A bolt in each cleat started to round out, making me look for the drill bit, but instead grabbed this stuff, dripped some into the 4mm hole, some on the allen wrench, and pop!, right out. Impressive. Sold in a 1oz bottle for $15.

Product distribution is still being worked out, but if you’d want to purchase either Vibra-Stop or Bit-Biter, you’ll need to pick up the phone and call Tectorius directly at 586.232.3999.


Donkey Label Chamois Balm Premium

Your sensitive bits are well… sensitive. Don’t they deserve the very best? Donkey Label make a variety of cycling apparel and skin care products, and the premium chamois balm uses only organic ingredients and is produced by hand in small batches. It comes in a 3.4 oz. food-grade stainless steel tin that you can even have custom laser etched for special occasions.

While I found it’s Vaseline-like consistency perfect for maintaining some protection down there on long days in the saddle, not everyone might agree, so Donkey Label backs it with a 100 percent guarantee and will issue a full refund if you’re unsatisfied.

Get premium chamois balm for $35 at





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