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SKS Velo 42 Urban mudguard



Interesting hybrid design for short haul commuting but fixings would benefit from refinement

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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SKS Urban Velo 42 Urban mudguard won't make you irresistible to the opposite sex when powering through town on your fixer, cut your personal best by ten seconds or offer unparalleled protection through a monsoon. They might keep you dryer and cleaner though, being a slightly different take on the humble-clip on guard for cost-conscious short-haul commuters wanting to arrive at the office without the unbecoming tell-tale racoon stripe. However, mounting hardware isn't to the brands' traditionally high standards and careful bike prep is a must to avoid scratching pretty paintwork.

The guards are fashioned from tried and tested polypropylene which is a popular industrial choice well suited to mudguards thanks to low weight, impact and weather resistance. Reassuringly solid, their monocoque design is contemporary and chic (if you can have say such a thing about a mudguard... I can) and even features integral mud flaps. Flipping them over betrays a curious latticework that according to the blurb is central to structural integrity, permitting the use of lighter materials without compromising rigidity.

While there's some foundation to this, I'm inclined to suggest it's a convenient rationale' for reducing production costs since the design also incorporates stays. Fitting them to the bike takes around 20 minutes and is pretty intuitive; although the use of 8mm hex bolts rather than Allen fittings caught me by surprise. Binding a bit of electrical tape around the fork crown and seat-stay bridge prevents unsightly scratches since the fittings aren't overly gentle, although I went one stage further, fashioning a shim made from old inner-tube between guard clip and seat tube to rule out potentially annoying vibration. From here everything snaps securely in place and the stays can be added or left off at will.

I started testing without the stays and took a 10-mile saunter taking in town centre and less challenging rural roads. Initial impressions were favourable with nominal flex. However, as the rain intensified their limitations became apparent- even with middling 32mm rubber. Common to this type, the bike's front mech and cranks get a blasting from spray thrown up by the rear wheel and for this reason, I'd be inclined to pop-rivet some aftermarket mud flaps aboard if regularly commuting in smart shoes. To their credit, attaching the stays genuinely improves rigidity, counteracting minor shimmy over erratic road surfaces and even gentle towpath.


Interesting hybrid design for short haul commuting but fixings would benefit from refinement

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Make and model: SKS Velo 42 Urban mudguard

Size tested: 42mm

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?

No matter where you are, in the city, the woods or the field, the SKS Velo 42 Urban is the ideal companion to keep you dirt-free and dry.

The 28" snap-on mudguard set can be mounted to frame tubes of 25 to 35 mm diameter.

For an extra secure mounting of the rear mudguard we also offer a ? 3,4 mm stainless steel U-stay

Essentially an urban commuter guard with light tow-path potential.

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

The 28" snap-on mudguard set can be mounted to frame tubes of 25 to 35 mm diameter.

For an extra secure mounting of the rear mudguard we also offer a ? 3,4 mm stainless steel U-stay

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Generally good but the slightly bargain basement fitting kit costs them a mark.

Rate the product for performance:

Reasonable by clip-on standards.

Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

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

For budget conscious commuters who don't fancy commiting to a full-length model, these will keep the worst water and spray at bay but the bike's intricate parts still get a pasting and the stays, though optional, genuinely improve rigidity.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Nice mudguard sections which should remain stoical with neglect and changing seasons.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Fitting hardware feels low rent in comparison with others in the SKS range.

Did you enjoy using the product? Not particularly

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly, for those short haul urban riders/ commuters who cannot abide/accomodate ful-length types

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 37  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)

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