REVIEW: SKS Raceblade Mudguards
SKS RACEBLADES (CLIP ON): 9/10
As summer draws to a close now’s the perfect time to look into getting some mudguards for your bike to protect your drivetrain and clothes from the wet roads and the grime that comes with regular rainfall.
SKS is one of the market leaders in mudguards and are known for their innovative Chromoplastic full-length mudguards, but the Raceblades have made a name for themselves amongst road cyclists for their quality and great value.
For this review we tested the clip on mudguards but they are also available with eyelet attachments for frames that have mudguard eyelets on them. The clip on detail is made from adjustable brackets that fit onto the vertical chainstays with a rubber insert for prevent any damage to the frame from the mudguard attachment. These brackets didn’t fit snugly on all frames that we tried them on, with or without the insert, which did mean there was a gap between the bracket and the frame which had to be compensated for when tightening the mudguards.
The Raceblades were extremely easy to fit and we had them attached and ready to go in minutes.
The most difficult part is adjusting the bracket arms to make sure the blades fit snugly just above the tyre but don’t rub along it when it rotates. The mudguards we tried fit tyre widths up to 25mm and we managed to find the sweet spot pretty quickly, tightening the bolt to firm up the bracket arms and hold them in position.
If you don’t want to keep adjusting and tweaking the mudguards once attached SKS provide some small screws which can be used to drill through the guard into the plastic holder to secure the mudguard’s position permanently.
Once you have found the correct position for the bracket arms and for the brackets on the frames themselves they’re really easy to attach, simply pull the rubber fastening strap around the frame and loop it over the correct hooks to ensure a tight fit. The rubber strap is a little flimsy and if pulled too hard could potentially break. This could also be an issue if you are constantly removing and reattaching the mudguards as the rubber could wear through.
Performance wise the Raceblades perform exceptionally well at keeping our feet and clothes dry on wet roads with not a splatter arc in sight up our backs after a wet ride. The Raceblades were proficient at keeping the splash away from our feet and drivetrain – essential for a comfortable ride and for making components last longer – and riders behind us commented that they didn’t get hit by any splatter either.
The mudguards themselves cover all ‘splash zones’ with a front length of 519mm and rear length of 680mm making sure that any water on the road doesn’t end up on you, your components or your ride mates.
We noticed that at speed on uneven roads there was some movement and wobble which over time caused a little rubbing on the tyre but this may be unavoidable with clipon mudguards where there will naturally be some movement over time, but it’s nothing some minor adjustments roadside couldn’t resolve.
The SKS Raceblades are compatible with all kinds of fork – including aero forks – and work well with disc brakes making them an extremely versatile piece of kit for the wet weather cyclist, whether you’re a regular commuter who doesn’t want the rain to stop your riding or a leisure cyclist who wants to ride in comfort.
Easy to fit Brackets don’t fit all frames snugly
Lightweight Some rub on uneven surfaces at speed
Extremely effective at preventing splatter Fastener strap is delicate