The return of the original mass produced adhesive rim protector, the one that started a global trend...
THE ORIGINAL RIMBLADES STICK ON PROTECTOR IS BACK FOR 2023.
Our Original Rimblades Product
Many years ago when we first started the company this product was our first design, originally called Rimblades ®. This was a completely original design that was copied by many other businesses, but it was never equalled in terms of the alloy protection and affordability offered by our product. The design uses an offset curved rim protector that is truly universal, fitting any wheel rim with a continuous mounting surface.
There is a lot of rivalry between the competitors in the rim protector market, who had the idea first, who had the first patent, who had the best invention, and so on. We can say, with 100% certainty, that our original Rimblades product was the first bonded product to be sold globally. It was the first flexible stick on rim protector produced in the UK, also the first in Europe, the first in the USA and Canada, in fact it was the first in the Northern Hemisphere. It didn't take long for cheap mimics of our product to start popping up in Asia and other parts of the world.
Although this was our first mass produced product, we have had a love hate relationship with the manufacturing and profile. Due to the offset nature of the curve and the fact that the 3M
tape has to be inserted into the base of the curve, it is really tricky to produce and keep straight whilst doing so. Just look at the Chinese and Korean made copies of it, they are cheaply made and it shows.
The very first version had the tape supplied on a roll, the customer first applied the tape to the wheel then applied the rim protector to the tape. This version was made with a semi-rigid PVC and offered good adhesion and protection properties. The product worked extremely well but was a challenging to fit perfectly, customer feedback told us that the ideal product would have the tape pre-applied. We developed the product further and manufactured it using a TPV, by making the profile softer we were able to roll it flat to relocate the tape into the groove, but TPV is stretchier and has it's own unique production problems with shrinkage, so there was a lot of waste.
We wanted to focus on the development of new products, so we licensed the manufacturing to a third party company for 2 years, whilst we worked on some of the fan favourites of today, like Rimblades Ultra
. We still weren't 100% happy though, so in 2017 we developed a new version called Rimblades Flex.
This new version used a material that we developed, it was a mixture of PVC
and nitrile rubber
. PVC contains plasticisers that, when softened, can leach into the 3M tape, causing premature failure over time. The nitrile rubber in the new material overcame this issues, but gave the product a more textured finish. A few years later we decided to stop producing the original Rimblades, modern wheels at the time had become predominantly flat lipped or diamond cut with a squared off top edge, so our other products were greatly outselling the original.
The Original Rimblades Are Back!
Now in 2023, wheel designs have changed once again. Modern diamond cut alloys now tend to have a softer and more rounded edge, like they used to. This is typical on alloys found on BMW, VW, Mercedes, Audi, Tesla, etc.
Because of this, in the last year we decide to re-look into the design of the original Rimblades, partnering up with a UK company that makes the automotive trims for global companies like Aston Martin and Rolls Royce.
We initially tried to manufacture it using the semi rigid plastic that we use for Rimsavers, like the first version the tape was supplied on a roll. Again it was tricky to fit, but if done right it offered extremely effective protection. However this product was our original design so it has to be perfect, back to the drawing board. We have been experimenting with harder grades of Santoprene
in the last 12 months and have just re-tooled Rimblades Light
and Rimblades Ultra
for the harder grade with a wire core, we wanted the same for the Original.
We discovered Santoprene by Exxon Mobil
, a fantastic raw material with a luxurious rubber feel, it is very light for reduced rotational mass and is resistant to abrasion and chemicals, although it is quite expensive costing roughly triple that of a PVC.
So in 2023, Rimblades Original are being made from brand new tooling on one of the most advanced extrusion lines in the world. The in line primer application is controlled by a robot and the 3M tape application is laser guided, so it is 100% perfect every time. We have added a micro fine wire core that prevents any expansion or contraction during the manufacturing, or when it's exposed to extreme heat or cold once fitted to a wheel. And finally, we have made them as light as possible to reduce the rotational mass, but balancing this with a sufficient level of protection.