The Rimblades® Story – The worlds number 1 stick-on rim protector.
Our MD says:
“In 2009 I was running a business building custom air-cooled Volkswagens and in the September bought myself a brand new company car. As I like to modify my cars, the first thing I did was lower it and fit some large alloys, but that same week kerbed both nearside wheels on the same day.
I thought there must be a rim protection system out there in the world, but at that time couldn’t find anything suitable, so I decided to design my own. An artist friend did some drawings for me of my original concept and that’s as far as it got, until the following November when I was wandering around the SEMA show in Las Vegas looking for products and noticed no rim protectors. I saw an opening in the market and thought, the world needs this.
My design was for a simple stick on rim protector that used a 3M Very High Bond Tape to attach it to the wheel. I was aware that 3M VHB tapes are used extensively in Automotive manufacturing. In fact, you wouldn’t believe how much it is used. I wanted a rim protector that could be used to cover up existing damage, add a colour trim ring and offer lightweight protection from kerb impact. My idea was to make it a simple DIY product that anyone could fit themselves. I finalised the design and commissioned a CAD drawing and then 3D simulation to replicate the forces in real world use. I came up with the names Rimblades. The Rim bit is obvious, but the Blades is because during the 3D simulation, I realised the product shape was important, so as not to get lifted from the wheel at speed, so the original design was more pointed to cut through the air.
In December 2010, I formed Rimblades Limited. The tooling investment was made and initial sample batch excitedly received. I fitted the first set and once fully bonded tested them at speed and against kerbs. The product was great against the kerb, but failed at high speed as it was too heavy – back to the drawing board. A few other designs followed each getting lighter and the product improved until in 2012, I settled on the final curved profile. I actually came up with that design thanks to a Lay-Z-Spa hot tub. I needed to make the plastic soft enough to manipulate, so sat in the warm water for hours making plastic shapes until I got what I wanted.
Later in 2012, I returned to the SEMA show in Las Vegas, but with a Rimblades® trade stand where we won a prestigious Global Media Award for our rim protector. To ensure we had credibility in the marketplace, Rimblades were also industry tested at the Millbrook Test track in December 2012 (a copy of the test report is available on our home page).