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Verdict: 
Excellent, easy-fit and good-value mudguard option for road bikes with tight clearance
Weight: 
205g
Contact: 
www.madison.co.uk
Crud Roadracer Mk2 mudguards
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Crud Products used to be better-known in the off-road world, but in the last few years their Roadracer guards have become wildly popular on road bikes too. They're designed for road bikes that won't take conventional mudguards, either because of tight clearances between frame and wheel, or because there are no mudguard eyes on the frame - and usually both.

Call me old-fashioned, but I just don’t understand how anyone can ride a bike without mudguards through the British winter. With no mudguards, you get your legs and backside covered in grime, you liberally spray anyone riding behind, and you leave dirty patches on the seats in cafes that later put up ‘no cyclists’ signs.

Until recently, one of the arguments against mudguards was ‘they don’t fit on my racing bike’. Another was ‘mudguards spoil the looks of my bike’ (to which a response might be: that’ll be the bike covered in shite then.) But thanks to Crud Roadracers neither of these arguments stand up any more.

As long as you’ve got 4mm between the top of your tyre and the inside of your brake calliper, the Roadracers will slide in. And you don’t need mudguard eyes: Roadracers attach to the frame with re-usable cable ties and some natty little brackets held on with rubber bands.

Rubber bands?

Yes indeed. That’s all you need to fix the Roadracers because they’re incredibly light, around 150 to 205g the pair, depending on your choice of ‘tips and tails’. More on that later. The weight is saved because Roadracers don’t have the four stiff metal stays used on conventional mudguards to keep the guards from touching the wheel or tyre. Instead, the Roadracers have just two flexible plastic stays and are designed to ‘float’ above the tyre, with some little strips of soft brushing on the inside of the stay-clip to rub very gently on the rims and keep the guards central.

Once you’ve got your head round this concept, it’s a revelation. Yes, the brushes do touch your rims, but the friction is absolutely minimal (Crud say it’s too small to be measured), and with the bike in a stand in the road.cc test lab, the wheels spun in the frame with Roadracers attached just as freely as without.

The original Roadracers were launched a couple of years ago, and the Mk2s feature several improvements: they’re slightly stronger, and you get a wider choice of ‘tips’ and ‘tails’ to attach to each end of the main section of mudguard.

Options include a long or short tip for the front guard; you decide how far you want it to project beyond the front brake. At the rear you can fix a short or long tail; the latter as good as a full-length mud-flap on conventional guards.

Between the back wheel and the seat tube you can fit another long section, sculpted into a deep concave shape at the end to protect your chainwheels and front mech. On one of our our test bikes we couldn’t use this because of the cable line to the front mech, but it’s well worth taking the time to install it if you can because it really does help keep your front mech and chainrings cleaner.

If you want a really minimal look you don’t *have* to fit the tips and tails at all (and on frames with very tight clearance, you can’t), but we think they make a neater job of it.

Out in the puddles

Ok, so they look good, but do they work? Yes. for our first go-round with Roadracers we fitted them to a test bike that scooted around the wet and muddy Cotswold lanes on a February weekend on a 100km audax. Without doubt they were as good as conventional mudguards in keeping the rider (and those behind) as clean and dry as a set of conventional guards.

It has to be said, because of the close clearance, when ridden on really muddy roads, there’s a bit of scraping between the Roadracers and the tyre - until the mud falls off - so in that respect they’re more spray-guards than mud-guards, but so much better than nothing at all.

Since that ride, a couple of years ago now, various members of the road.cc crew have clocked up thousands of winter miles on Roadracer-equipped bikes. One of us keeps a set on a bike year-round and only rides without them if the forecast is for clear skies for the next couple of days.

I’ve been a fan of Crud stuff since the 1990s, and have used various versions on mountain bikes over the years - including an early version of a rear Crudguard (with two upright aluminium stays and flexible rubber mountings) that still occasionally sees the light of day on a heavy old hardtail. The Roadracers continue this legacy.

Fixings

Fixing the Roadracers can be a bit fiddly first time out, but straightforward if you read the instructions - and no worse than fitting a conventional set of mudguards. No tools are required; you just use little plastic nuts and bolts that need finger-tightening only. Here in the road.cc lab we fitted our test set of Roadracers on a bike in well under an hour. For more help, the Crud website features some handy advice on fixing and adjusting Roadracers, and includes a great ‘tips & tricks’ video.

They’re fairly easy to knock out of alignment, but if you do hear them rubbing as you ride along, it can usually be fixed by just pulling the frame attachment round the stay.

Some folks have complained that Roadracers are a bit fragile, and there’s no denying they need gentler handling than chromoplastic guards with metal stays. They are intended to break if something gets stuck in your wheel, which means it’s not hard to break them by accident, for example by absent-mindedly popping your bike up on its rear wheel to wheel it through a gap. So don’t do that.

Crud Roadracers cost £29.99 in bike shops, and you can find them for a few quid less on the major on-line stores. That’s a similar price, or only a bit more, than a good set of conventional mudguards, and well worth the money for keeping diesel-and-manure-flavoured road-spray off your racing bike, off your cycling clothes, and off your poor old club-mates trying to sit on your wheel.

Verdict

Excellent, easy-fit and good-value option for road bikes with tight clearance. Fit a pair of these, and you'll keep the worse of the muck off all winter long.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Crud Roadracer Mk2 mudguards

Size tested: n/a

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 website says 'Traditional mudguard construction dictates a sturdy design, with bolted fixing at the brake bridges... This principle has remained unchanged for a century or more. The Crud Roadracer turns orthodox mudguard design on its head...'

And once you've got your own head round this concept, it's a revelation.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm  Weight: 11 stone / 70kg

I usually ride: an old Marin Alp   My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,

 

34 comments

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chatty31 [78 posts] 5 years ago
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 1 Just fitted some to my Boardman carbon road bike and just enough clearance. Done one 20 mile round trip and no problems as of yet....

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nellybuck@msn.com [168 posts] 5 years ago
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I had a set of the Mk1 Roadracers which got damaged in a crash last year. After speaking to Crud, I waited until the start of the winter and got the Mk2 as soon as they came out.

They've been on my commuter all winter and have been excellent. They look great, do a good job of keeping most of the spray off and the Mk2 seems much stronger and more resilient than the Mk1.

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therevokid [948 posts] 5 years ago
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had mk1's fitted to my son's bike, my winter bike and
now all the club mates who've seen them ... the extra's
in the mk2 box went straight on to the bikes in the
shed ... now we have clean cranks and front mechs  1

only the "large" tail for the rear needing any work - on
smaller frames it needed some trimming to fit between
the chain stays - bigger frames, 54 ish and up are fine.

huge thanks to Mr Crud for these things  4

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 5 years ago
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Tried these those winter and I'm impressed. Damn fiddley getting aligned when you have very tight clearances, but nothing a bit of swearing can't cure. I have tried several tweaks and I find that there is noticeable drag when you spin the wheel though. When all is said and done I still prefer SKS Race Blades. They also attach with elastic and are even faster off and on.

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Fishy [45 posts] 5 years ago
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I had a set of MK1s, really excellent coverage, couldn't fault them - except they didn't last! The design is great, but just too big to be held in the long term by elastic bands, bits kept snapping off, and they had to be retired after 4 months (luckily towards the tail-end of winter).

Used race-blades this year, yes a lot less coverage, but after surviving the winter they still look brand new!

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workhard [397 posts] 5 years ago
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Several 100km on Mk II's this winter including several off road NCN excursions and all good in my view.

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chatty31 [78 posts] 5 years ago
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Spoke too soon, snapped the tail off the front with my toe and the tail off the back when putting bike away, ooopppssss, both breakages snapped the lugs/bracket so will just have to see how they are without the extension pieces.  39

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baldyman [1 post] 5 years ago
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Used the mark1 last year on an old italian racing bike with very tight clearance. They looked good and gave excellant coverage, though I have to say that getting them alligned was a bit of a pain, I eventually got rid of the brushes as they made matters worse!

Taking them on and off was a fiddle due to the reusable tie raps which didn't always work and if you dont cover the fork and stays with either tape or old inner tube then the fixings scratch the paintwork. I also managed to snap the front guard with by toe and had to cut it down.

Hope the mark2 addresses some of these issues

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Celeste08 [38 posts] 5 years ago
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After using the Mk II for a whole winter season I feel it's fair to say these guards will suit the odd audax better than day to day commuting.

The Mk II are well designed & good at keeping most mud & spray off considering their weight & ability to fit bikes with tight clearance. Unfortunately I have found them to snap, crack & loose parts without much effort. I've also had to find alternatives for the plastic bolts which keep disappearing as you're not meant to tighten them too much. Pop rivets are a great permanent replacement. Don't worry about the metallic rivets spoiling the smooth look of the guards as the random cracks & other missing parts seem to have distracted any onlookers so far...

Perhaps these work better for occasional use but they need some improving should you consider buying a set for everyday commuting. I look forward to the Mk III.

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Shades [294 posts] 2 years ago
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These are really good. Took my time with fitting them and put some clear protective tape (from Maplins) on the frame where the brackets go. They are so low profile that you hardly know they're there (I have black rims) so your bike doesn't look too much like a tourer. Once you're practiced you can have them on in about 5-10mins (I don't trim the tie wraps so you can get them off and reuse them) and off in no time at all. Means you are only stuck with them when the weather's bad.

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Roberj4 [218 posts] 2 years ago
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Total frustration with my Mk2 after trashing Mk1 in an accident. I've been using both models for 3-4 years. Why they use rubber bands instead of zip ties around the frame stays I do not know. Before each ride your checking to ensure there's no guard 'chatter' then having to adjust during each ride, never lean you bike up against a wall with the guards! Constantly keep breaking sections of the rear guard and yes you can get spares but overall these are expensive. Time Mr Crud moved on using aluminium instead of plastic. Only positive spin is the front mech protection against mud and water. Current set will be binned and I'll move on to another brand before next winter. 4 out of 10 not worth £29.99. Does the Crud website still show the installation video with the installer cuts his finger trimming the guard with a hacksaw (what a joke)!

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 2 years ago
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Mine have yet to break at all, >1yr on, have protected the bike better than any other road bike mudguards I've seen, and the rubber bands have stayed rock solid since i fitted them. Maybe they suit some forks / stays more than others?

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 2 years ago
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PITA to fit the first time though, I quite agree. Have done 3 sets now, and have got much better at it!

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monkeytrousers [106 posts] 2 years ago
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An hour to fit them in the luxury of Road.cc towers?  21

Did you do it blind folded and one handed?

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egb [43 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a set of these on my winter bike and they're pretty good once you get them aligned correctly so they don't rub. Not much of a faff on a Trek at least.

One thing I'd strongly recommend though is that you take a spare zip-tie and/or a rubber band when riding as twice now the one securing the rear guard has broken mid-ride. Sods law this will happen at the furthest point from home to, as it did to me (thankfully I had aforementioned elastic band and zip-tie)!

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dreamlx10 [156 posts] 2 years ago
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I do like them but I find that the cable tie has a tendency to "saw" through the hole that it fits through. Is it just me ?

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Stratman [81 posts] 2 years ago
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I've left mine on all year round on my Defy Advanced - shite appears on wet roads in Derbyshire in all 4 seasons. Lost one little nut and bolt, and improvised with a bit of twig, which lasted for a few weeks until I got around to getting some new ones. Otherwise no trouble at all.

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Metjas [362 posts] 2 years ago
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have been using MkI and then Mkii now for two years or so, but finally given up as they do cause a lot of drag during the ride, even when all is fine before starting. Small amounts of mud tend to accumulate where the plastic bits slide into one another during the course of a ride; I've had occasions where I've had to remove the wheel mid ride to clean up the guards.
The other thing I don't like about them is that every time I take one hand of the bars, the front Crud starts rattling. They are just not rigidly enough attached (plastic arms versus alloy for Race Blades).

I've gone back to Race Blades now and can't quite understand why I ever moved to Cruds...

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5th [47 posts] 2 years ago
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I've used mine for two-and-a-bit years and the pros (for me) out weigh the cons. The coverage is excellent, they fit on my bike with on-the-limit clearance twixt rear tyre and seatstay yoke, they're light and look relatively unobtrusive.

They are used daily for commuting, training rides, everything short of racing really and I've not had any issues with durability other than through my own ham-fistedness. I reckon I've racked up at least 5,000km with them fitted, probably more like 8,000km given the weather we've had in the last few years. I've gone through a number of centre sections on the rear due to a) trying to wheel the bike on its back wheel (old bike shop habits die hard) and b) treading on one whilst removed from the bike. Fortunately spares are a lot cheaper than a whole new set and arrive quickly.

Fit / rub prevention is finicky; I've got the knack of adjusting zip tie tension / stay alignment to keep them for rubbing, although I have invested in a roll of the sticky fluff strip (about a fiver from B&Q - other DIY stores are available) to replace it when it wears out or falls off. I have had the rear clag up once with just the right combination of Yorkshire grot and moisture, but with the clearance on my bike, I'm surprised it hasn't happened more.

All in all I'm happy with them, and they certainly offer better spray prevention than the Raceblade XLs some mates use when riding in a group. I'm certainly sticking with the for now, I just need to remember to keep my bike on two wheels when I'm putting it away.

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tom_w [204 posts] 2 years ago
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If you ever catch your front wheel with your toe, or are very close to doing so before fitting mudguards then I'd advise against these; I snapped my front one off on its first outing.

Also, for the price, it would be really good if crud included some spare parts.

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markwill [21 posts] 2 years ago
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been using these for most of the winter i have put some electrical tape around where it connects to the frame and fork which prevent rubbing marks on the bike.

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bike_food [170 posts] 2 years ago
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The day I bought a Genesis Croix de Fer with full length SKS mudguards & ditched these cruds on my old Spesh which couldn't take 'proper' guards was one of the best days of my life. I have a very boring life.

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monty dog [457 posts] 2 years ago
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Rear guard not long enough - anyone riding behind still gets a face-full. Gave up on a set after 1 winter - cheap, brittle plastic and stupid little screws. Given the relative cost of plastic mouldings, then are plenty of polymers more suited to the job.

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matthewn5 [776 posts] 2 years ago
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Perfectly happy with mine after around 2,500km of commuting and winter bike use. Yes you lose the little screws sometimes, but you can easily get a packet of them from Mr Crud. Have a long tail for terrible weather and short ones for the normal rain.

They are a fiddle to get right first time, after that it's second nature. Once set up you can take them on and off in a minute or too should you need to. I mostly leave them on as they weight less than breakfast or about 3 energy bars.

Have noticed no perceptible drag. With these so light an unobtrusive it's hard to see why anyone wouldn't have them except on their 'sunny day' bike anyway.

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Kim Chee [33 posts] 2 years ago
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Yes, they work wonderfully and are super light BUT mine were shipped without one of the tiny bolts and nuts to affix the tails. I used a substitute bolt and nut as i heard the guy was super rude on the phone ( note he sells packages of replacement bolts and nuts? Hmmmm makes one wonder). Anyway, the tail flew off about the first 10k of riding. If the packers were more careful and include all parts...maybe even one extra bolt and nut. So, great product, profoundly poor packing and service.

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fret [37 posts] 2 years ago
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I have reviewed these before. My views are still the same.
Mudguards are the BEST thing you can fit in the winter or to your commuter.
They are brilliant. The MK2 reduce all the spray to your feet and important front mech, whilst doing their job of keeping spray of you. They take about 30 mins to fit and set up so they don't rub. I had the back one break after 3 years when a large twig found it's way into it. I have lost one front "tail" They bend like a Russian gymnast and only snap when they are really cold or old. Like all plastic will. Mine are now 5 years old and still going strong with around 20000 miles on them.
They don't rub or rattle, don't look intrusive and you forget they are there. It seems some reviewers are still harking on about the MK1 with the short tail
Downsides?
They don't fit all bikes, especially if you have 25mm tyres and won't fit bikes with a large fork clearance, such as a tourer or cyclocross bike without some spacers.
Mine are upgraded MK1 with the long front extension on the rear guard, but not the rear tail, so I can't comment on that.
You used to be able to "buy" spare nuts, bolts, rubbers etc but now if you lose the front "tail" you have to buy a packet of bits, so I now have many spare nuts, rubber pads & cable ties
.

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rcdavies [31 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a set of these, having refused to to make a set of conventional SKS guards fit by resorting to a hacksaw.

However, the rear guard is too short and insufficiently supported. If you are riding in a group, the lateral movement of the end of the gurard means that the guy behind gets a face-full.

I don't think that there is a rider in my club who hasn't extended there guards with a bit of plastic bottle or similar so the problem of length isn't isolated to the Crud guards. The problem with the Crud guard is the rear stay only supports at about the 2 o'clock position and more support is required lower down. I have solved this with a straightend-out clothes hanger and I have seen similar solutions adopted by other riders. Crud - you need a bit of a re-design.

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KiwiMike [1200 posts] 2 years ago
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SKS Raceblade Longs. Fit to any bike with a brake bridge (disc or not), take 28c tyres, rock solid, removable in seconds.

If you ask SKS nicely they'll send you an extra set of mounts to use on an extra bike or three. So one set of guards, for winter trainer, commuter, fancybike if it's goin gto tip it.

There really are no drawbacks.

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Quiddle [9 posts] 2 years ago
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Have ridden my MkIIs over 5k miles through 2 winters and the only problem has been a tail snapping after I picked up a twig. The spares are reasonably priced and quickly dispatched - I've never lost a nut or bolt. Never used Race Blades and see no reason to change.

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mikeprytherch [223 posts] 2 years ago
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They can be a bugger to fit, but is that their fault or the bike, after all I'm trying to fit mudguards on something that was not designed to carry mudguards.

Overall I've found them great for me as the rider, however they are not as good are "normal" mudguards for people following as the tail unit moves side to side, riders behind get splashed a lot more than SKS which are more stable, for me mudguards are more about not covering my fellow riders in crap than just saving my arse from getting wet and I'm afraid they are just not as good as other brands at doing that.

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