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Verdict: 
Super solid clip-on guards for bikes with limited clearances
Weight: 
307g
Contact: 
www.chickencyclekit.co.uk
SKS Race Blade mudguards
8 10

SKS Race Blades have spawned a host of arguably competent imitators but few can match the superior materials, precision fit and legendary build quality backed by a five year warranty. Sure, they’re not comparable with the full- length type in terms of weather protection (for the bike at least) but they weigh a good deal less and will certainly win brownie points with the chain gang.

Available in a choice of white, silver or carbon effect, the guards themselves are made from near unbreakable, UV resistant chromoplastic which should retain its looks through many seasons’ hard service. Intended for the customary 18-23mm tyre sections, sizing is just generous enough to give sufficient clearance for wider 24 and 25mm sections without compromising aesthetics or protection from spray- helped in no small part by the soft spoiler rubberised flaps. However, the front mech, headset and seat tube remain firmly in the firing line of dirt and water.

Hailing from the era where race framesets were given mudguard eyes, a cheaper groupset and branded as winter trainers, the Teenage Dream was the ideal guinea pig. Breezing aboard the bike in two minutes flat (Including trimming and minor adjustment) the rubberised mounting hardware is as secure as you’ll ever need and particularly kind to paint. SKS also include clear adhesive strips to protect thin finishes-particularly flamboyant enamels or DIY acrylic efforts.

Another nice touch is the aero fork blade adaptor, cradling most carbon blades like the proverbial glove. We tested the white ones which might sound bland but they look really crisp and will pretty much go with anything thanks to black detailing, they really stand out in the dark and can be jazzed up using Scotchlite sticker sets and some LEDs also fit securely.

Verdict

Super solid clip-on guards for bikes with limited clearances.

road.cc test report

Make and model: SKS Raceblade

Size tested: White

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

"The world´s first quick-release fender for racing bikes:

- fits tires 700x18-23

- extremely light and aerodynamic

- optimal spray protection

- tool-free mounting within seconds

- incl. adapter for aeorofork".

A very factual, honest description and I would go as far as to say the remain the best of the genre.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Chrome plastic UV resistant guard, stainless steel stays, rubberised fixings, aero-fork blade adaptor, rubberised spoiler spray flaps.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Reassuringly good and a delight to fit.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

307g pair.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

The quality will be remembered long after the price has been forgotten.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The race blades do exactly what they say on the tin, are a delight to install thanks to vastly superior fixings and do an excellent job of protecting the rider and to a lesser extent, machine from inclament weathers.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Solid construction, ease of fitting, durability and attention to detail.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Without hesitation

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

9 comments

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handlebarcam [564 posts] 6 years ago
0 likes

A great product if you want to communicate to anyone you ride with that you don't give a damn about them. Unless you rig up an extension about half as long again as the rear guard itself, you'll be spraying the people behind you on any wet day. Not even much good for commuting on your own, because half the point of mudguards is to keep the road gunk off your brakes, which this won't do. I believe the snob calls them "filth prophylactics".

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jezzzer [329 posts] 6 years ago
0 likes

i ride without any guards at all, which i think is an even better way to get the message across  1

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ris [1 post] 6 years ago
0 likes

i've used raceblades a lot on my commute road bike and i think i left them on the bike most of the winter. i appreciate that this isn't how they are intended to be used, though!

the versions i have are a couple of years old and didn't come with clear patches. the rubber clips and mounts have taken fair chunks of paint off the forks. the rear stays have been affected to lesser degree. i would guess this effectively an over-use issue.

they keep the worst of the road off the bike and rider but the front mech and rear brake still take a fair caning. the rear caliper in particular gets badly manked up with salt and grit.

they aren't bad and do something for the worst excesses of the weather, but if i can fit a full guard on the back for next winter i will. they make a great emergency fix but i couldn't recommend them for long-term use.

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BuiltForComfort [29 posts] 6 years ago
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I used to use these then switched the the Crud Raceguards which offer greater coverage, component protection & spray suppresion (IMO)

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robbieC [60 posts] 4 years ago
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what is it makes the set "specially adjusted" for the Airnimal Joey, nearly £15 more expensive. realize the wheels are smaller but what is the special adjustment?

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koko56 [330 posts] 2 years ago
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Just to make sure, would a 23 version fit a 25mm tire or should I go for the bigger 25-32?

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Shades [292 posts] 2 years ago
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I've just fitted these to my wife's Trek as the Crud Road Racers just didn't fit properly (25mm tyres and not a lot of clearance). Decided against the long version due to the clearance problem. I have Crud Roadracers on my Genesis but, to be honest, none of these 'half way' options are as good as a set of proper mudguards. Even with the Cruds my road bike was starting to look pretty filthy when winter set in last year, whilst my hybrid/commuter was looking pristine with its set of fitted SKS mudguards. I like the way you can take the Raceblades off quickly if the weathers good, or for bike cleaning.

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DaveQB [6 posts] 1 year ago
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Hi Koko56,

Did you get an answer to this question?

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DaveQB [6 posts] 1 year ago
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Shades wrote:

I've just fitted these to my wife's Trek as the Crud Road Racers just didn't fit properly (25mm tyres and not a lot of clearance). Decided against the long version due to the clearance problem. I have Crud Roadracers on my Genesis but, to be honest, none of these 'half way' options are as good as a set of proper mudguards. Even with the Cruds my road bike was starting to look pretty filthy when winter set in last year, whilst my hybrid/commuter was looking pristine with its set of fitted SKS mudguards. I like the way you can take the Raceblades off quickly if the weathers good, or for bike cleaning.

You went the 18-23mm version on 25mm tyres?