Mudguard Policy

by Shades   March 24, 2014  

What are people's mudguard policy? I completed the 60 mile Lionheart Sportive yesterday, which was great fun, but conditions varied from sun, rain, dry roads, wet roads, cold wind, mud, gravel, hail..the lot! I had my Crud Roadracers on (majority of riders hadn't bothered with mudguards) and, whilst I stayed pretty clean apart from my feet, the bike looked more Cyclocross at the end necessitating, as I refer to it as, an 'on the stand, wheels off clean'. I took the mudguards off to make sure I cleaned around all the corners and, whilst normally being pretty upbeat about Roadracers, I was cursing the fiddly cable ties and thinking it was time to shed them (my wife's Trek has minimal clearance and they're a real pain to set up). They aren't 'proper mudguards', like the SKS ones I have on a hybrid which really keep the muck off, but then I like the fact that road bikes don't have all that extra gear on them. I spent last summer furiously putting the Roadracers on and off, depending on the conditions, but yesterday I really wasn't in the mood to put them back on. I wouldn't ordinarily head out in filthy conditions, unless I had to, but figured a 'simple solution' (ie an ass saver' and/or something else) might be a better option and just use the time fiddling with the mudguards to give the bike a quick clean if it gets dirty. I shouldn't really worry about clothes getting dirty; people invented washing machines and fast drying fabrics to cope with that!

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SKS Raceblade Long. Will fit to anything, even a bike designed for 23c with no clearance or mounts.

On or off in seconds, bombproof, if you break them SKS will send replacement bits free.

Nothing else comes close.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [588 posts]
24th March 2014 - 9:51

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I've been running with the Crud Roadracers through the winter. I took them off a couple of weeks ago for a 100k ride in the sunshine and have left them off since, although the most I have had to contend with in the meantime is a few showers. I haven't quite abandoned them for the summer just yet though.
They are a little fiddly to be taking off and putting back on on a regular basis, unless you have an ample stock of suitable cable ties and are happy to just cut them off each time!
I think the problem, particularly at this time of year, is that you can be riding on a dry day but still have to contend with residual water on the roads, especially running off fields on country lanes.
Whilst you can, as you say, wash your bike and clothes after the ride, if you are riding in groups, I think you have to consider whether the guy behind you really wants a face full of your spray.
Like most things, it comes down to personal choice mixed with consideration for others.

posted by numbercruncher [28 posts]
24th March 2014 - 10:04

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Why don't you just leave the mudguards on your bike? No reason to take them off and put them on repeatedly as the weather changes, they hardly weigh anything at all and once set up properly don't make any noise or rub

Proper full-length mudguards will keep much more of the crap off your bike than the Roadracers, but there aren't many road race bikes that come with eyelets for them. Clip-on 'guards are more about keep your drier than you would be without any mudguards at all

You'll find the majority of cyclists don't bother with mudguards, whether you fit them or not is as personal a decision as wearing a helmet or covering your legs up when it's below 15 degrees

David Arthur's picture

posted by David Arthur [1678 posts]
24th March 2014 - 13:48

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David Arthur wrote:
Why don't you just leave the mudguards on your bike? No reason to take them off and put them on repeatedly as the weather changes, they hardly weigh anything at all and once set up properly don't make any noise or rub

My beloved Raceblade Longs are 461g. They don't rattle and are strong enough to pick the bike up with, wheels and all, and come off in seconds.

Somehow going out for a ride on a day where it's been dry for a while, is sunny with nothing forecast, seems 'wrong'. Maybe seems pessimistic? Belligerent?

I can understand people who have to remove wheels and wield Allen keys not wanting to be on-off-on-off more than twice a year - if for no other reason than threads have a finite life. And those god-awful Crud ones that constantly rub and snap as soon as you look at them - I can understand you'd not want to touch them at all (OK Crud fans, YMMV - just scraping my own club anecdotes together)

Not to get all Velomiati on yo' asses, but a nicely-packaged 'dry' bike is lovely and gives a certain mental boost - light as possible, etc etc. As is a typhoon-proof winter one keeping you dry, clean and happy. It's the half/half that seems not to be 'right'.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [588 posts]
24th March 2014 - 14:16

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From my point of view my SKS raceblades are more about keeping the people behind me in the club ride from getting a face full of mucky water (and other lovely substances that Norn Iron farmers have a habit of leaving on the roads). So perhaps the decision could be based around what kind of riding you are going to do if it is a bit wet? If on your own and you don't mind the brown streak up your back then keep them off but if you are riding in a group then on they go.

Otis Bragg's picture

posted by Otis Bragg [129 posts]
24th March 2014 - 14:21

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Probably an unpopular opinion, but most people ride the wrong bikes for UK conditions.

I really wish manufacturers would get it into their heads that you should be able to fit proper mudguards as standard. People go on about being 'pro', but pros get bikes built up that match their standard race bike position but take full permanent mudguards for winter riding. And lets face it, the UK has 4 seasons. Cold winter, wet winter, summer, and slippery leaves winter.

posted by thereandbackagain [155 posts]
24th March 2014 - 17:59

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I live in the West of Scotland.

My commuter bike has mudguards permanently affixed. They only ever come off to be replaced after breaking.

The mudguards come off my road/audax bike if I take it abroad on holiday.

My refurbished steel Bianchi (born 1988) is too beautiful to wear mudguards and never leaves the house unless it has been dry for a full week. She has been on the road 5 times in the last three years.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

Jack Osbourne snr's picture

posted by Jack Osbourne snr [305 posts]
24th March 2014 - 21:08

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thereandbackagain wrote:
Probably an unpopular opinion, but most people ride the wrong bikes for UK conditions.

I really wish manufacturers would get it into their heads that you should be able to fit proper mudguards as standard. People go on about being 'pro', but pros get bikes built up that match their standard race bike position but take full permanent mudguards for winter riding. And lets face it, the UK has 4 seasons. Cold winter, wet winter, summer, and slippery leaves winter.

4 seasons, 4 bikes. I like the way you are thinking there... Now should I get the cold winter or the slippery leaves winter bike next Confused

posted by paulrbarnard [140 posts]
24th March 2014 - 21:34

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