2. Automotive Tire Paste (generic)
Price/Value: free, maybe(?)/4.5
Ease of use: 4
Pros: Slick, long-lasting, and the price is right!
Cons: Awkward to use for dismounting, some scrubbing required for cleanup.
We heard that some automotive tire stores might give us their industrial tire paste if we simply went in with a small container and asked for some, and that’s exactly what happened. The pint we acquired should last longer than our ability to change tires by hand. We couldn’t get any identifying information about the specific product we were given, as it had been shipped from the store’s corporate headquarters in plain cans. It has an odd texture–moist, with a soft, almost fluffy quality, like wet scrambled eggs. It “melts” quickly when rubbed onto tire and wheel, creating a thin, slimy film that’s quite slippery and remains so longer than we can imagine anyone ever needing. However, it was harder to rinse off the mounted tire than any of the water-based liquids here, and left a faint white film until we’d scrubbed our sidewalls with a brush, in between hard sprays with water. This wasn’t a big deal, but did offset this product’s advantage as a paste over the liquids–no mess on the floor to worry about, but some additional time and effort required while cleaning the tire. At least it’s water-based, so clear water is sufficient for cleanup. And did we mention it was free? We can’t promise you’ll be able to score like we did, but then again, what you get from your local tire shop may be even better.