Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

review

SKS Chromoplastics Mudguard Set 65mm 28

9
£44.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Tough, high-quality and offer great protection, with a five-year guarantee and widely available spares adding to the package
Great quality and well thought out
Super-wide size provides excellent protection
Fitting takes care and time
I'd have liked more reflective details
Weight: 
200g

At road.cc 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.

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The German company SKS has long been the master of the chromoplastic mudguard. My first road bike came with similar SKS guards and they survived over a decade of heavy use. Once fitted on the bike, this new super-wide pair – the catchily named SKS Chromoplastics Mudguard Set 65mm 28 – performed faultlessly, significantly reducing the amount of muck and road spatter that would otherwise end up on both you and your bike.

These SKS Chromoplastics are about as well thought out as any mudguards around. They're available in a wide range of sizes: 35mm, 45mm, 50mm, 55mm and the 65mm-wide set tested, which measure an accurate 65-66mm. Most are available in silver as well as black, though not the 65s.

> Find your nearest dealer here

The front mudguard comes with SKS's Secu-Clip 'break-away' fittings, a safety feature designed to release the mudguard if something gets jammed between it and the tyre, potentially throwing you over the front wheel. This is a genuinely crucial feature – years ago I met a cyclist to whom this happened, resulting in a very unwelcome meeting of face on tarmac.

2021 SKS Chromoplastics front mudguard secu-clip.JPG

A feature I hadn't come across before is the new SKS end cap. The older ones were plain rubber caps that simply slotted on the end of the stay and were all-too-easily dislodged, resulting in frequent scratching of shins by the sharp end of the stays. The new rubber end cap fits not just over the end of the stays but also loops around the nut that secures the stay to the mudguard, keeping them secure and your shins cut-free.

2021 SKS Chromoplastics mudguard end cap.JPG

This does mean that the mudguards take a little time to set up as you will almost certainly need to take a hacksaw to the 3.4mm-thick steel stays. I had to trim about 4cm to fit my bike with its 35mm tyres.

2021 SKS Chromoplastics mudguard tools.jpg

I'm not always the most dextrous when it comes to wielding a hacksaw but I managed this without drawing blood. After more than an hour reading the instructions, sorting out the myriad little parts, measuring (remember the mantra, 'measure twice, cut once') and, finally, cutting, I had the guards on the bike.

2021 SKS Chromoplastics front guard brake.JPG

Once fitted, they were pretty much faultless. The front mudguard has a rear flap for even greater protection…

2021 SKS Chromoplastics front mudguard flap.JPG

…while the rear is shaped to keep it away from your chain – or in the case of my bike, the chainguard.

2021 SKS Chromoplastics rear mudguard cutaway2.JPG
2021 SKS Chromoplastics rear mudguard cutaway.JPG

The rear mudguard has a reflector, too, though I'd have appreciated more reflective details overall.

2021 SKS Chromoplastics rear guard reflector2.jpg

In addition to working very well, the mudguards stayed secure and silent over some very poor surfaces, of which there is no shortage at present. The final positives for the mudguards are that they come with a five-year guarantee and every single SKS nut, bolt, widget, end cap, Secu-Clip and stay is available as a spare part, so I'd hope to get another decade's worth of use out of this pair.

> Buyer’s Guide: 17 of the best mudguards

Cost-wise these SKS mudguards are on a par with Kinesis' Fend Off mudguards and more expensive than Tortec's Reflector Mudguards that we rated highly back in 2015, though these don't seem to be widely available now.

> 9 top survival tips for cycling in the rain

Other than a lack of reflective details – apart from the rear reflector – I found very little to fault with these SKS mudguards. Having to cut the stays to length takes a little time and care, but once the guards are fitted they're pretty much a fit-and-forget item that should last for years, with spares and a guarantee to back up the initial high-quality product.

Verdict

Tough, high-quality and offer great protection, with a five-year guarantee and widely available spares adding to the package

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: SKS Chromoplastics Mudguard Set 65mm 28

Size tested: 65mm wide, 28in wheel

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?

SKS describes its Chromoplastic mudguards as a 'classic, and still the best full coverage mudguard'. They come in a wide range of sizes from 35mm to the 65mm wide mudguards that we tested. The rear has a reflector while the front has a 'spoiler' – a plastic flap at the rear. They are designed for bikes with mudguard fittings and sufficient clearance.

I'd say that SKS has the right to call these a classic, as my first road bike came with a similar – albeit much narrower – pair back in the 1980s. They lasted for 11 years of year-round use and abuse if I remember correctly.

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

SKS's patented 'Chromoplastic' combines a thin layer of aluminium within a plastic sandwich. This is designed to achieve toughness, rigidity and to resist corrosion. The guards are attached to the bike using 3.4mm thick stainless steel stays. You could use a pair of bolt-cutters to trim these to length but I used a hacksaw, as recommended by SKS. The front mudguard features SKS's Secu-Clip fittings that prevent the front wheel jamming if a foreign body gets trapped between the tyre and the mudguard.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

I found the construction quality hard to fault. Each individual piece is well designed with no obvious design weaknesses.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

These offered a very good amount of protection from the elements and road-borne crud.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

My experience of similar SKS Chromoplastic mudguards suggests durability will be good. I'd expect years of use.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

At 631g (with stays and front Secu-Clips) these are heavier than the 500g Tortec Reflector mudguards, but at a whopping 65mm these are the widest in the SKS range.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

They're on a par with similar mudguards from other companies, but you do get a full range of spares and a five-year guarantee, which ups the value. In my experience, they last well, too.

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

Worked exactly as you'd hope and expect – greatly reducing the amount of muck and water that you and your bike get covered in after a wet or mucky ride.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

These feel like they're made by a company that knows what it's doing, and that they should last for years. A great feel of quality, they do their job very well and feel stable and secure on the bike.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Slightly awkward to set up, but it's really just a case of taking care as there's not that much that can really go wrong. Once in situ I found very little to fault.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

They're less expensive than Kinesis's £55 Fend Off mudguards and a bit more expensive than Tortec's £39.99 Reflector Mudguards that we rated highly back in 2015, though these don't seem to be widely available now.

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 overall score

Other than a lack of reflective details – apart from the rear reflector – I found very little to fault with these SKS mudguards. Having to cut the stays to length takes a little time and care, but once the guards are fitted they're pretty much a fit-and-forget item that should last for years, with spares and a guarantee to back up the initial high-quality product.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 57  Height:   Weight:

I usually ride: 2018 Giant TCR Advanced 2 with Halo Carbaura disc wheels  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding,

Simon has been riding since he was a nipper and more seriously since his university days way back when. He has been a cycling journalist for more than two decades and reckons he has upwards of 200,000 miles in his legs. In his time he has competed (in the loosest sense of the word) in time trials, triathlons, duathlons and a lone cyclo-cross; he has been a long-distance commuter for decades – on road and canal towpath. He has also toured extensively in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and has ridden 4,000km from Cairns to Melbourne in Australia, and the 700km from Picton to Dunedin in New Zealand. If his legs carry on working, he'd like to ride from Perth to Sydney...

Latest Comments