Thursday, 1 May 2014

SKS Raceblade Long

Guard unclipped
Ok. So generally speaking this is a blog about fellrunning and fellrunning bits and bobs. However, there is a fair amount of crossover into the cycling fraternity as well. I've been known to do a bit of biking around the Peak, and have recently got a bit bored and annoyed at getting a wet bum everytime I went out. This was even more of an important point over the winter, and made even MORE important in the past 5 weeks as I have been commuting on my bike into Stockport. A wet bum on the way in means that the ride home REALLY isn't particularly fun.

I have a Specialised Allez. It has little eyelets for mudguards at the back, but has carbon forks, and so your average, screw on, non-wobbly run of the mill guards don't actually fit onto it. I was determined to get a set
which didn't rattle too much, mainly because the roads around here are not exactly smooth dreamy tarmac such as you would find on a continental climb, but rather, pothole strewn mayhem magnets.
No eyelets on the forks? No problem

The choice basically narrowed itself down to 2 different guards, both clip on, one longer than the other, and also, one set more robust.
I went for the longer, robust ones.

My brake blocks are way too close to the tyre to fit the guards underneath them, so anything that I fit isn't
actually going to protect the brakes from undue dirt/clag/grit/wetness, I'm down with that. So the Long Blades, which have a bracket which neatly fits around the brakes was a good addition. It also means that the Blades clip in nicely, and have a sturdy fitting, so they don't rattle (too much).
How the bracket attaches to the brake bolt

All I really have to say is that they fitted on ridiculously easily. They keep my bum dry. They stop water being flicked up into my eyes, and also whoever is behind me, and they are ridiculously lightweight.

I have kept them on all winter, even when the sun comes out, mainly because when you ride around the Peak, there is always the chance of rain. Ok, I might not be the coolest looking rider out there, but I'm a dry one, and when I need to take the guards off, its a small matter of unclipping them, and hey presto, a bike with no guards on, in a matter of seconds.
Yes there is still the minor point of the bracket being attached around the brake blocks, but if you're that desperate to keep the sleek lines of your bike, you probably either ought to a) lighten up or b) buy another bike.
Flap on the rear guard- there is a flap on the front too. 

Would I buy them again, given the chance? Absolutely.

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