MXA TEAM TESTED: MOTION PRO RIM SHIELD
WHAT IS IT? Motion Pro rim shields are designed to protect your expensive rims from the gashes of tire irons when mounting new sneakers.
WHAT’S IT COST? $9.99 (pair).
CONTACT? www.motionpro.com or your local dealer.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Motion Pro’s rim shield
(1) Necessity. Tire irons are forged steel, and they can really do a number on the softer material of aluminum rims?especially black anodized rims. Motion Pro rim shields are hard plastic covers that wrap completely around the edge of the rim to protect the outer and inner rim walls. Rim shields also cover part of the spokes, giving the spokes a bit of insurance if a tire iron slips. Since they aren’t pliable, Motion Pro had to be spot-on with the fit, and they succeeded. Our rim shields tucked right up against our DID and Excel test wheels, hugging the rim wall and spokes.
(2) Mobility. To work properly, the Motion Pro rim shields need to easily move around the rim as the tire is mounted and be easily inserted/removed from between the tire and rim. In our test, the long apron and finger holes made it easy to grab hold of the rim shield, while the hard plastic slid easily across the aluminum. When beginning or finishing one side of a tire change, we inserted and removed the rim shields without a fuss.
(3) Tire changing. Good tire changers have good habits. They make sure the opposite bead is down in the rim’s drop center. They position the rim lock so it won’t hinder any slack. They even warm the tire in the sun and lubricate the edge of the tire. They do this because every millimeter counts when you are swapping out tires. At 2.9mm, the rim shields are thin to the touch, but that 2.9mm makes a big difference when trying to pry the bead over the edge of the rim. Rim shields are a catch-22, because if you are good enough to change a tire with them, then you are good enough to change a tire without gouging the rims.
(4) Durability. After three-quarters of a tire change, our rim shields looked like they had gone through a war. While prying on the tire, we damaged the shields in three places. One cracked on the inside lip, making a sharp edge that we were nervous to stick back in with the inner tube.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Two complaints: (1) The extra thickness of the plastic makes the job significantly more difficult. (2) We cracked the hard plastic.
In a world populated with expensive black anodized rims, it is an idea whose time has come. Unfortunately, the execution of the idea needs more thought. The rim shields just didn’t work for us.