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The SKS Race Blade Pro XL Stealth Series Mudguard Set has adjustability that is quick and easy to dial, and is impressively effective at keeping you dry both front and rear. They're not long enough if you ride with others, though.
With an exhaustive capability for adjustment, these mudguards work well across a range of road and cyclocross bikes – even those with disc brakes and aero forks. This versatility is what makes them a must-have.
The Pro XL Stealth Series (which is matt black instead of gloss) does a great job keeping spray and grit off your own kit and bike, but less so for anyone following, such as my partner who was hugging my wheel and complaining. I couldn't really ignore his moans when greeted with his mud-splattered face at the end of a ride...
I'd warn against using these on club rides – especially those with a mandatory mudguard rule (which is most I have come across).
But for solo dashes, for riders who own a range of bikes that may not have integrated mudguard mounts, these clip-on mud defenders are ideal. I found these a particularly useful addition to my race bike on mucky days.
Despite the temporary fitting, they're sturdy and don't rattle. That said, I did see some scuffs on the rear brake caliper on my rim brake bike and on the chain stays of my disc brake bike, so they obviously do move.
I would very much suggest adding helicopter tape, not only where the guards are mounted, but where the edge of the guard can hit the frame.
Suitable for tyre widths between 25mm and 32mm, the Pro XL is 565mm long at the front and 730mm at the rear. They don't stretch lower because the guards need to remain stable even with the non-permanent mounting system.
The initial set up, with four bolts on each side, is slightly fiddly to perfect. Two bolts adjust the angle while the other two adjust the length of the struts. It works well; you just need to set time aside to do it properly when first fitting to a bike.
(Top tip: instead of doing all the bolts on one side and then the other, I found it easier to get the guards symmetrical by doing the lower bolts on both sides, and then the upper ones.)
Once the hinges are set up, the quick release rubber straps allow the guards to be quickly removed and mounted. One pull on the rubber straps and they are off. There's no need to readjust when you remount them.
Price wise, the Crud Roadracer MK3 guards are considerably cheaper at £39.99 and are even quicker to put on, plus they take up to 38mm tyres across a wider range of widths. On the downside, they aren't as stable.
If you want fuller coverage, the SKS Raceblade Long set is available for the same £54.99 price as these (and not £45, as they were when we reviewed them in 2016).
The SKS Raceblade Pro XL Mudguard Set is very effective for solo riding, is very easy to mount/remove, and proves sturdy enough. The extensive adjustability means it is possible to set these up on a wide variety of bikes, too – just make sure to add some protective tape first.
Excellent, easy-to-use guards for solo riding, but not enough coverage for club runs
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road.cc test report
Make and model: SKS Race Blade Pro XL Stealth Series Mudguard Set
Size tested: 25-32 mm
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?
These are for riders who can't fit standard mudguards or don't want to.
SKS says: "The ulimate clip-on mudguard set for road and cyclocross bikes for tyre width between 25 and 32mm. Its smart, double hinged quick release fitting system also fits aero forks and is also compatible with disc brakes, direct mount brakes and thru axles. Mudguards can be perfectly adapted to the radius of the wheel by adjusting the length of the stays. Its superlight extra long mud flaps give additional spray protection. In addition to using the quick release rubber straps it can also be fixed in place with zip ties. Includes adhesive protection kit to avoid damaging the paintwork. * Disc brake compatible: Please be mindful of the brake wire."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Weight: 365 g
Wheel size: 27,5" (650b)", 28 "
Tyre width: 25-32 mm
Length front fender: 565 mm
Length rear fender: 730 mm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent protection for you, but not for anyone following. Quick and easy to put on, too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The easy fitting and broad compatibility.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Complaints from other riders about the spray and the slow initial setup.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's up at the higher end, alongside similar guards and some quality full-length ones.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but only for solo riding
Use this box to explain your overall score
For clip-on temporary mudguards these provide excellent protection and, although they aren't the absolute quickest to set up, mounting is easy and is fast after the initial adjustments. They're sturdy and don't rub, either – so long as you're riding alone, they're excellent.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike 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, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.