The San Marco Ass Saver is a simple and reasonably effective solution to keeping spray from soaking your bum when riding rain soaked roads. If you can't, or don't want to fit traditional full-length mudguards to your bike, and most racing bikes won't take them, this is better than nothing.
The San Marco branding pumps the price up though. We tested the original Ass Saver Smart Ass mudguard last year and that costs just €7.99 + €3.50 shipping (about £10). San Marco want £12 for their branded version, which smarts a little. Fine if you're a San Marco fan and it matches your saddle perhaps. They're both the same, they're made by a Swedish company who came up with the clever idea a couple of years ago. San Marco have recognised this and arranged to produce a liveried version wearing their logos.
What is is exactly? It's a shaped piece of polypropylene that that goes underneath the saddle and clips to the rails. It's a bit of a fiddle to fit it in place, some saddle/post combinations may require the length to be trimmed, but there are handy dotted guides for cutting. Two plastic hooks provide a very secure fixing to the rails. Since I've been testing it, not once has it shaken loose or needed any attention. It's light at just 15g.
I tried it on several saddles; San Marco's Regale, a Prologo Scratch and a Fizik Arione and each time it went on without any complication. If you have a Brooks saddle, you'll be interested to know they offer a specific version.
Naturally, it's not going to halt 100% of the spray and muck that gets chucked up by the rear wheel, but what it does do is stop a large majority of it. The weather recently has been horrid and has given me plenty of opportunity to test it. And every ride I've finished with a drier bum than riding without it. It's a good first defence against road spray and does go a long way to keeping you a bit drier.
Its simplicity of fitting, sleek design and low weight makes it a practical solution for everyone from racing cyclists who won't want to fit complicated and more costly mudguards to commuters who just want to arrive at the office with a dry bum. What's more, it can be quickly removed and folded in half when you don't need it.
Some of the Lotto-Belisol team, who are sponsored by San Marco, have been spotted using the Ass Saver in many of the rainy early season races, including Milan-San Remo. While it won't be the difference between winning or losing a race for those guys, it will bring a little slice of comfort to them. Marginal gain? Not quite, but what price a dry bum?
The original Ass Saver is available in a wide range of colours, and San Marco offer a section of hues as well.
Keep your bum drier with this cheap plastic mudguard that attaches to the saddle rails.
road.cc test report
Make and model: San Marco Ass Saver mudguard
Size tested: Black
An original emergency fender that's there when you need it, gone when you don't. Personalized for us by Ass Savers.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
An original emergency fender that's there when you need it, gone when you don't.
Personalized for us by Ass Savers.
It's a strip of shaped plastic but it feels indestructible and built to last.
It's not going to be as good as full-length mudguards, but it does stop a reasonable degree of rear wheel spray, enough that you're going to have a drier bum with it, rather than without
So far it's proving tough and very durable
At 15g you're not going to notice it at all.
It's a little more expensive than the original Ass Saver without the San Marco branding, and the Ass Saver company offer a wider choice of colours
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I was impressed with how much spray it kept off my bum. It's better when there's just a bit of water on the roads and it's not raining heavily, but the heavier and more prolonged the downpour the less effective it becomes
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's simple and works
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There's nothing to dislike really bar that you are paying extra for the San Marco branding a more limited choice of colours, it's a neat design and cleverly executed
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
It works, and it's not outrageously priced but unless you specifically want the San Marco branding I'm not sure why you'd buy one of these in preference to a standard issue Ass Saver.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.