The SKS X-Blade is a brilliant solution for a wet bum when you don't want to fit full mudguards.
Seatpost-mounted clip-on mudguards sweep me back to South London housing estates where sinewy young men dripping in bling would swoosh through on mountain bikes so cool, you knew they were hot. Mercifully, the SKS X blade rear dirtboard leaves me with much happier memories. Made from a curious dual compound composite material, it oozes a highly engineered, rugged refinement synonymous with the German brand.
Essentially, the SKS S blade is the road version of the German marque's Xtra dry, which although pitched at mountain bikers, quickly caught on among messengers and new-wave fixer audiences too. This sturdy polypropylene beaver tail is pretty much the same thing, albeit more flattering to road lines.
The San Marco Ass Saver is a simple and reasonably effective solution to keeping spray from soaking your bum when riding rain soaked roads. If you can't, or don't want to fit traditional full-length mudguards to your bike, and most racing bikes won't take them, this is better than nothing.
The Axiom Rainrunner Deluxe Reflex Mudguards have a seriously solid feel. Both guards have a rubber mudflap on the bottom and once fitted they look great and perform well.
I have always shunned the use of mudguards, preferring to allow the debris and grit to provide a nice brown line of sludge up my back. Maybe a legacy of my mountain biking days but it just didn't look cool or right!
The Tortec Reflector Guards are at first glance just what you'd expect from a mid-price set of mudguards. Well made, solid and do what they say on the tin. Over the winter you begin to notice how many people use them and I can see why.
A number of younger riders I talk to have resisted mudguards on the basis that they are for older riders. Well I used to hold that view but now wonder - why didn't I do this sooner?
The clock has well and truly struck mudguard o'clock now, and there's plenty to choose from out there. Vavert is a brand you may not of heard of; they're fairly new to the game and their product range revolves around accessories that you can colour code to your bike. As such, the Fixed mudguard comes in five colours. Whichever you pick, you can be assured it'll do a good job at a low price.
The venerable SKS Chromoplastic mudguard has been a staple for audaxers, tourers and commuters for decades, and the latest incarnation is everything you'd want: sturdy, well made and decent value.
The Chromoplastics are made by sandwiching Aluminium stips inside a plastic housing. The resulting profile is quite deep which makes it stiff and sturdy, and it carries the now-trademark pattern of black strips and see-through channels. Fixing kit is all steel, with a fixed bridge at the rear and a sliding one at the front for better adjustability.
The posterior is right up there when it comes to bits you want to keep dry. Yet here in London in particular there's a certain type of cyclist that doesn't want to burden their bike with a proper mudguard. Enter the Ass Saver. It's a tiny little bit of folding plastic that slots in underneath your saddle. When it's dry, it hides away underneath; when it's wet, it unfolds to provide a wedge-shaped bit of bum protection from spray arcing from the top of your back wheel.
There's still a bit of life in our wet and windy spring yet, so these Full Windsor Quickfix rear mudguards might be a life-saver.
Full Windsor is a London-based bicycle accessories design company, named after its founder, Mark Windsor. From the name, you might think they actually make ties, but in fact these are mudguards with a clear resemblance to a necktie. Made from durable plastic and available in a range of colours, they're easy to fix and work very well.
If you're looking for full mudguards that you can slip on and off at will then the SKS Raceblade Long is about as good an option as you've got right now. They're not perfect but they're certainly a class above most clip-on 'guards.