SKS P35 Chromoplastic mudguards  £33.99

9/10

An institution for a reason: they're sturdy, they're not expensive and they work

Weight 488g   Contact  www.madison.co.uk, www.raleigh.co.uk, www.chickencyclekit.com

by Dave Atkinson   August 27, 2012  

Jamis Quest Audax - SKS chromoplastic mudguards 4

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.

Beefy 3.4mm stays fix them in place; there's SKS's Secu-Clip at the front too which holds the stays securely but is designed to pop out in an emergency such as a stone caught under the guard. You can fit them to the rear too if you're running a fixed or hub gear, as it makes it a good deal easier to get the wheel out. There's a mud flap on the front guard and a reflector on the rear.

Fitting the guards is fairly straightforward but they're not the easiest; I found the plastic covers for the stay ends a bit bothersome and they're no better functionally than a simple rubber end cap. A decent set of bolt cutters makes chopping the stays to size a simple job. Once they're on, they're on; these aren't the kind of mudguards you throw on on a whim. You need half an hour to do a decent job of it and get everything nice and tight.

The P35 version that I tested is rated for a 20-28mm tyre (they're available for up to 60mm tyres) but a 28mm would be a real squeeze as the 25mm Zaffiros on my bike were pretty snug. Pretty snug meant barely any spray though; the profile of the Chromoplastics does a super job of keeping you dry and they're a sensible length too.

If the road surface is really wet you'll still get water splashed at your feet but you won't get spray from the tyre, and your riding buddies sat on your tail will be happy bunnies too. If you want to be really nice to them, fit a long flap at the rear. The front was a bit rattly at first but a bit of judicious plierage locked the brake bridge in place and kept them quiet, and they've been perfectly behaved ever since.

All mudguards rub from time to time but these SKS units are better than most thanks to the sturdy construction. The tight fit around the tyre meant the odd bit of sidewall rub on the climbs, but that's more down to flex in the wheel than any issue with the mudguard itself.

Normally the benchmark of a particular product is one of the most expensive available, but you can spend a lot more than the £34 you'll pay for these and get guards nowhere near as good.

Verdict

An institution for a reason: they're sturdy, they're not expensive and they work.

road.cc test report

Make and model: SKS P35 Chromoplastic mudguards

Size tested: 20-28mm

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

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

Very well indeed.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Solidity of the guards, classic look.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

end caps are overly fiddly.

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: 40  Height: 190cm  Weight: 102kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

My heart sank everytime a customer wanted SKS mudguards fitted, the bloody things always had a curve to them that no amount of adjusting could correct.

That and you needed a flak jacket and helmet when trying to cut the stays.

They were pretty sturdy though!

Weasel is as weasel does

posted by axisofweasel [23 posts]
27th August 2012 - 16:07

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I've only ever used SKS and ESGE (which are one and the same). Whilst a bugger to fit at times, they're well worth the effort and pay dividends in terms of longevity.

Don't even consider anything else. These really *are* the best. Wink

michophull's picture

posted by michophull [90 posts]
27th August 2012 - 18:21

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I have similar Tortec chromotec 26" units on my old rigid MTB and find them very effective in all weathers.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1778 posts]
27th August 2012 - 21:52

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Those plastic end caps - snap off the part that you're supposed to fit around the stay bolt, so that you're left with the domed cyclinder, and you can use them like the old rubber end caps, ime. Far less faff.

My only complaint is that the larger sizes have a rigid plastic mudflap up front that's not as good as the flexible one on my P35s. Keep meaning to change it for a bit of damp proof membrane, or something.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [413 posts]
28th August 2012 - 12:30

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"a fixed bridge at the rear and a sliding one at the front for better adjustability."

Shouldn't that be the other way round? i.e. sliding at rear, fixed at front?

I agree the other comment - they are never totally true and have a twist you can never totally get rid of.

One moan, why do they still use aluminium rivets. After a few seasons in the winter, the salt corrodes them and they fall out. Most of mine now have st. stl nuts and bolts or ty-wraps holding the stay bridges in place.

Binky

posted by davebinks [114 posts]
29th August 2012 - 19:18

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I've got these on my Boardman CX, running Marathon plus in a 28 with no clearance problems at all. Rear guard went on no problem without any cutting needed but front needed a bit of fettling not least to miss the disc brake calliper. Got to say I was quite pleased with the result. Agree with cutting off the plastic sheaths - I just super-glued them on. This is the second set I've fitted and never managed to do it in less than two hours, but then I do faff around quite a lot.

posted by Arthur Scrimshaw [44 posts]
29th August 2012 - 21:35

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Replaced the front bridge with a new rear bridge so I can have the front guard sit lower to the ground. Party

posted by vbvb [166 posts]
11th January 2014 - 19:22

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