“Reflex is no Mercedes. It’s no BMW. Reflex is the BENTLEY of bed liners. I’m not just saying this to make an illustration. Reflex is really in a league of its own.” John Russo
Bed liner manufacturers like Rhino and Linex are almost household brands nowadays, and there are heated debates on the Net about who’s better. It’s similar to the never-ending debates of Mercedes vs. BMW, where client preference actually sways the argument one way or the other. Nobody in their right mind would call either of these cars “bad”, and the same goes for Rhino and Linex.
However, there are other brands of vehicles (eg. Bentley) and bed liner manufacturers (eg. Reflex). So, after some deliberation here at the Palm Beach Customs Web Marketing Office, the verdict was passed: We won’t make yet another sales pitch text and try to convince you to go with Reflex. It’s not the Bentley style. Instead, we decided to steal mr. John Russo, a bed lining veteran doing bedlining since 1980, and do an interview about these three big brands of bedliner.
PBC Web Team: So, John, lets start with some short info about who you are in the bed lining world, when you started, and how you ended up here in Ft. Myers Florida?
I now have no hair and tons of experience. Our shop has completed over 500 classic and muscle car restorations since I started my shop in the early 1980es.
John Russo: We offered lettering and logo design, as well as custom paint jobs and custom graphics. About a year later started a bed lining segment of my biz up in Charlestown RI. Some time after, I also started a gas station, which was unheard of, but I went Way Out of my way to meet all government regulations for safety and hazardous materials handling, and the Charlestown Planning Board decided it’s totally safe and OK for me to run the gas station. Back then I had tons of hair, and very little experience in doing auto body repairs and bed lining. This is why from early on I made it my business to keep up with the latest industry training programs for autobody and refinishing.
Then, in 2010, it hit me: I now have no hair and tons of experience. I had over 500 classic and muscle car restorations under my belt, and countless bedlining jobs so yeah, we now have a lot of experience in the bedlining business, and we also worked on numerous brands models, doing collision repair . Folks say it’s my age that pushed me to leave the cold up north and move here, to Ft Myers, FL. No comment on that one, lol. All I can say is that I love the sun, and I love my new shop here on Palm Beach Blvd.
PBC Web Team: You moved here and brought tons of bedlining experience. What can you tell us about bed liner products from Rhino and Linex?
John Russo: They’re the Mercedes and BMW in the bed lining industry. Both of them have a philosophy of what a bedliner is, so their products differ. Through the years, I noticed that Rhino is very rugged, but it’s not so good when it comes to color consistency. I had many cases where the bed lining was deep black and great to see only for a year. Once the bed saw its fair share of sunshine, it changed color. By the way, this is why they offer a Rhino Restore Package, a DIY repair kit you can use to restore the dull looking liner and bring back the shine for at least a while.
On the other hand, Linex has two lines of products, one is more elastic and easy to work with, and the other is quite rough and is targeting the heavy-hauler folks. The rough material is good, but it easily cracks under heavy loads. The more elastic material is thinner and therefore not tough enough, but has a nice texture and look. I’ve seen many clients that are quite satisfied with their bedliner.
PBC Web Team: From your perspective, the Rhino vs Linex is an easy verdict. You’d go with Linex.
John Russo: Yes. If I had to pick between the two, I’d go with Linex. As I said, Linex has to be applied as a thin coat, so I had many cases where clients came back in with cracks and dents on the Linex lining that needed repair, which is not a pleasant thing to do. There is a lot of prepping work on these bedliner repair jobs. They do recommend using mek and stell wire brush to prepare the surface, but since we’re talking about a polyurethane mas, the patch will never become one with the rest.
PBC Web Team: So, you are OK with Linex, but use Reflex Bedlining in your shop. Why is this?
John Russo: I’m content with Linex, as were many of my clients… but I wasn’t HAPPY with it. I’m using Reflex bedlining for many years now. It has the mechanical durability of Rhino, flexibility of the Linex thin liner, and there are several added benefits I never thought possible. Now, I’m actually HAPPY with Reflex, and when I tell my clients “The Reflex bedliner is a permanent solution for noise, rust, dusts/dents and chemical spills” I really mean it, and have many happy clients to prove it.
PBC Web Team: You mentioned added benefits of using Reflex bedliners. Can you name a few? You seem quite enthusiastic about Reflex in comparison to Rhino and Linex, would you share a few of the reasons for this?
John Russo: Reflex is durable. Brashly durable, to be precise. Compared to Linex, it’s not a full time job to keep a Reflex bed liner clean and sparkly. Thanks to their precision tools I can apply a thick layer of lining and keep it even throughout the bed of the truck. Actually, I found Reflex sprayon tools to be the best in the industry. Reflex over delivers, every time. I’ve sprayed on a thickness of 1/4 of an inch, and never saw any damage do the bedliner. That is simply impossible with Linex or Rhino.
Also, the Reflex pigmentation process is unique, so I can get exactly the needed color shade that the client wants. Most of the times, people love the deep black finish of a properly installed Reflex bed liner, but there are also plenty of people who want the same color of their bed lining to match with their truck’s paint. Thanks to Reflex, I can claim a 100% guarantee of color matching of the Reflex bedliner to the truck. I wouldn’t make that statement if I was using Linex or Rhino.
PBC Web Team: OK, let’s wrap things up. If there was a client asking for bed lining, what things you’d mention to convince them to think “outside of the box” and instead of following the Rhino vs Linex route, they should go with Reflex?
John Russo: That’s a great question. Reflex is no Mercedes. It’s no BMW. Reflex is the BENTLEY of bed liners. Hands down Reflex is the best bedliner available. I’m not just saying this to make an illustration. Reflex is really in a league of its own:
- thanks to the Wire-Trim technique Reflex invented, you get a clean, clear and elegant look of the bed liner
- It is thick and even, making it highly resistant to cracks and dents,
- it can be perfectly matched to the color of your truck
- UV-resistant color consistency, lasts years
- it’s immune to oil spills
The list goes on and on, but in a nutshell, these are the most important differences that set Reflex way ahead of competitor brands like Linex and Rhino. For the Florida climate, with plenty of sun, Reflex offers the best bang for the buck with it’s mechanical toughness, flexibility, strong gripping effect for the cargo, UV and spills resistance.