The Mk3s are the latest iteration of Crud's well received Roadracer clip-on mudguards. With a new, simpler design and a much quicker fit and removal setup they are hard to knock, although I found they weren't completely rub-free.
If you haven't seen the likes of the Roadracer before, here's a little recap: they are designed to be used on bikes that don't have the clearances or fixing mounts for a traditional set of fixed mudguards – most road bikes then, basically.
Not all of us want or have the luxury of a separate winter training bike, so the Roadracers give you that option of running a single bike through the wettest days for the comfort of yourself and those around you, while also reducing wear and tear on some of your bike's components.
The front mudguard comes in two parts: the main body and a small clip-on 'nose-piece'. This is held in place with adhesive which, held for 20 or 30 seconds, sticks fast.
Coverage is good, extending 175mm from the fork crown at the front and wrapping around the tyre to finish about 130mm above the ground. This keeps your feet dry even when the roads are soaking, though one thing to bear in mind is that you will probably suffer a bit of toe overlap on frames not designed to accept mudguards.
The rear is another two-piece design, with the main body passing under the brake bridge before being joined to the seat tube section by way of a small plastic nut and bolt. This section can be left off if you don't have at least 4mm of clearance between tyre and frame.
If you use the whole guard, then depending on your frame size, it fits right down to the chainstays, and the drive side of the seat tube section wraps around the wheel to keep the spray off the chainset.
Coverage at the rear isn't so great, though – well, it is for the rider, but those who are following your wheel still get a bit of a shower. I'd like to see it wrap around the tyre a little more, to at least hub height.
Fitment is where the Roadracers come into their own, with a start-to-finish setup of about 15 minutes. The key to this is the use of Duotech 'Interloc' strips, which are a bit like industrial strength Velcro. You get four strips in the box to fit to the frame, with the opposing pads already attached to the mudguard. You literally offer up the guard to the frame or fork and stick the pads on – job done. In fact Crud has its own video demonstration here, so I won't go into too much detail other than to say it really is as easy as it looks.
I decided to test the Roadracers on my fixed wheel, for two reasons. The clearances are very tight, especially at the rear where there's just 6mm between the tyre and brake bridge, plus the majority of other clip-on mudguard sets use the quick release skewer, which isn't a lot of good when you're running 15mm axles.
As far as the limited distance between tyre and guard goes, the strong hold of the Duotech strips means up and down movement is virtually eliminated. Side to side movement is quite noticeable, though, because of how close together the stays are, meaning the tail end of each guard flaps around a fair bit and can be noisy. The included furry pile strips help keep things centred (as shown on the video), but if vibration and noise are a worry you might want to look elsewhere.
Crud sells replacement fixing kits so you could set various bikes up and swap the guards between the two. Even though the Crud website states these will fit tyres up to 35mm, its video shows them on a 38mm tyre. Ideal for turning a cyclo-cross bike into a weekly commuter, say.
Against the competition the Roadracers stack up well on weight, price and fitting. The most direct comparison is with SKS's Raceblades. Both the Pro/Pro XL and the Longs have scored highly in our tests, especially for sturdiness when in position, but to my mind the Roadracer Mk3s offer better coverage and looks. The SKS models are £10-15 more, too.
A quick and simple solution to turn your race bike into a year-round machine
road.cc test report
Make and model: Crud Roadracer Mk3
Size tested: Fits up to 38mm tyres ('officially' 35mm)
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 Crud Roadracer Mk3 mudguards are designed for bikes that don't have frame eyelets for traditional guards. The Cruds are a neat and simple solution for the majority of road bikes.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Fits up to 38mm tyre width
* 4mm minimum clearance required
* Works with disc and rim brakes
They feel much sturdier than previous versions.
Simple to fit and offer great coverage.
With no rubber band fixings to perish and the near-single-piece design, they should last.
Lighter than a lot of the competition.
About the same as a decent pair of full fixed mudguards and cheaper than the likes of SKS Raceblade setups.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Easy to fit and keep you dry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The look; it's the best looking clip-on solution out there, to my mind.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Side to side rubbing will irritate some.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
For what they are, the Crud Roadracer Mk3s are the best incarnation yet and offer some of the best coverage in the 'clip-on' market. The only downsides are the slight side to side rubbing and the aesthetics of leaving the fixing strips on your best bike.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.