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Wheel Bands

My Model S is the largest car I have driven. After a year of driving pleasureI have just started to feel comfortable with parking. Unfortunately, after some nicks on both passenger side wheels. Can anyone post their experiences with the product Wheel Bands? Do they protect, ease of application, pros, cons. Are there similar products that are superior?
Thanks, Jacob

A lot here have used Alloy Gators. Use http://volkerize.com/ to search threads.

@thecherubs - just got a "Happy Valentine's Day - Don't Kiss the Curb" notice about this as Wheel Bands just launched for sale here (at a lower price than from manufacturer) - link below:
http://www.teslaccessories.com/pages/specs-wheel-bands

Emailed to get a competitive breakdown vs. others like Alloy Gators, etc... here is what the differences are per the correspondence:

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What is the difference between Wheel Bands and other similar products on the market? Wheel Bands is the only made-in-the-USA option of the rim protection products (listed here). Another key difference: Alloy Gators and Rim Bands require tire deflation and press fit insertion of product near tire bead - a warranty and liability concern for OEM’s and dealerships. For a more detailed breakdown of the differences, see analysis below on why we Wheel Bands is the optimal solution for Model S owners:

Alloy Gators - 1/2" wide hard plastic molded and adjustable to match radius up to 21" wheels. To mount, deflate tires and pound metal fastening clips in just short of tire bead. Lots of meat on the hard plastic to grind down before hitting alloy rim. Need to shave remaining plastic down to "near like new" condition or remove and replace entire unit to maintain appearance.

Rim Blades - 1/2" wide soft extruded rubber. Profile has foot to bend around and follow outer lip of wheel radius. Tapes on. Softer material offers some defense against curbing but not near as much as the Alloy Gator. Unlike Wheel Bands, the Rimblades product requires customer to wipe wheel surface with primer prior to application.

Wheel Bands - 1/4" wide hard plastic with formed in arc that flexes enough to match radius on wheels from 13" to 22". Mounting track tapes on. Second removable color insert piece snaps into mounting track. Because the product mounts only to the front face of rim (and does not wrap around the rim lip toward the tire bead area) there is not as much defense against curb rash as Alloy Gators. However, the snap-in color inserts are reversible or replaceable after curbing without having to remount entire device. The interlocking track and inserts also mean that repairs can be spliced in. No need to deflate tire and replace entire device if just one section is damaged.

My question would be what happens when it is time for new tires? Looks like the placement of these bands would guarantee their destruction when the old tire is removed.

My Tesla service advisor said that Wheel Bands (I didn't ask about other brands) interfere with their ability to attach a sensor to the tires used in annual wheel balancing, so I didn't buy them. Anyone else had an issue with this?

Wheel Bands last through tire changes on soft touch and no-touch tire change equipment that would normally be used on a $1,000 rim. Wheel Bands will be damaged if a metal pry bar is used to change the tire manually -- but still help avoid scuffs to the rim when using low grade equipment. (Note: with or without Wheel Bands, if a an emergency tire change needs to be done on low grade equipment at least check if the technician can do a "reverse mount." This may save your rim from being scuffed.)

The wheel balancing sensor concern is a first. Needs to be clarified. There is no known difference between how a Wheel Band or Alloy Gator would perform during wheel balancing. What Service Center was the service advisor located?

Jim Capo
Wheel Bands - VP Engineering

I put on Alloy Gagors. They are inconspicuous and provide excellent wheel protection.

I like the black+black look of Wheel Bands, see it a few places, blends nicely into the wheels...

http://www.teslaccessories.com/pages/specs-wheel-bands

https://twitter.com/consciousasylum/status/344205053030187009

WBZ wrote:

>The wheel balancing sensor concern is a first. Needs to be clarified. There is no known difference between how a Wheel Band or Alloy Gator would perform during wheel balancing. What Service Center was the service advisor located?

My reply:

It is the Los Angeles service center. My service rep sent me the following link, which was written by one of his other clients:

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/27115-Alloy-Gators-and-ali...

If you look at the other comments, not everyone had the same problem, but my service advisor said no one at the LA service center could figure out how to do an accurate alignment with the rim protectors on.

Rockville SC also told me not to install wheel bands

Thanks WSE51. Very helpful!

The problem described for Alloy Gator is wheel alignment not wheel balancing. A quick recap of the two service items:

Wheel Balancing:

Installing Wheel Bands does not affect wheel balancing. Along with our own tests, this has been verified on the precision balancing equipment in the 3M Automotive Center in Detroit. In the case of Alloy Gators, there is extra weight from using metal fasteners and a design that wraps around towards the tire bead area. Still, we have not heard of cases where Alloy Gators throw off wheel balancing.

Wheel Alignment:

The alignment problem described for the Alloy Gators highlights a major difference between Wheel Bands and Alloy Gators:
http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/27115-Alloy-Gators-and-ali...

Wheel Bands are a tape-on/mount to the face of the wheel product. They do not wrap around towards the tire bead area such that they would interfere with wheel alignment equipment that needs to get into that same tight space.

Possibly some (or all) Tesla alignment equipment might mount something like this:
http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/1493/img4890j.jpg

If so, you can see how it would be very difficult to properly seat the alignment tool around Alloy Gators.

Other alignment equipment designs mount across the face of the rim. This equipment mounts right over Wheel Bands with no issue. Same might hold true for Alloy Gators and this might be why in some cases there is no issue in performing an alignment with Alloy Gators installed.

In any case, it looks like we need to increase our outreach to more of the Service Centers to let them know Wheel Bands are a very different product from Alloy Gators. Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention.

Jim Capo
Wheel Bands - VP Engineering

NOTE: Since Wheel Bands mount to the face of the wheel only, they do not offer protection on the side surface between the face of the wheel and the tire bead. This is not usually where curb rash damage occurs during parallel parking and drive thru windows events. However, in cases like dropping a wheel into a pot hole, Alloy Gators can offer some protection where the Wheel Bands simply cannot.

I am looking for someone to install the wheel bands on my Model S with 21 inch wheels. I have the material now. I only need a technician with time and skill.

The individual needs to be in the San Francisco area.

Anyone with a recommendation?

Thanks,

Bob

I scratched my original 19" rims twice (same rim). When I switched to Gun Metal Grey Rials I just started being EXTRA careful not to curb them. About 1 year in and so far so good!


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