This is my second play with SKS Raceblade mudguards, a set of Raceblade Long fenders this time around. I was hopping the Long variant of the mudguards (fenders for our American cousins) works out better than my first use with them and so far they have worked well.
I purchased this set of SKS Raceblade Long mudguards from Chain Reaction Cycles in April 2013 for a cost of $50.00 and fitted them to my Kinesis Racelight Granfondo Ltd in the same month in preparation for our southern winter.
With my earlier use of SKS Raceblade mudguards on my Kinesis Racelight Granfondo Ltd I was disappointed with them. I had issues getting them to fit nicely and then a stick got caught in the front mudguard ripping the stay away from the guard itself.
After that I went over to Crud Roadracer Mk2 mudguards but these were also fiddly to get right on this bike. Maybe it has something to do with this frame? Anyway I ended up “burning” a couple Continental GP4000s after about 600 km on each of them as I found out (twice because I was slow working out the issue) that the little brush had fallen off one of the stays meaning the guard was rubbing against the tyre; enough it seems to take out the sidewall. I also went to 25 mm tyres and found that I was pushing my luck getting a nice fit with them and the Roadracer so the Roadracer mudguards went into the bin.
I also found the Crud Roadracer Mk2 a bit on the brittle side as I managed to break the lower part of the rear mudguard when I was adjusting it. On the positive side Crud carry lots of spare parts for the mudguards at a reasonable price and they ship quickly.
Standard versus SKS Raceblade Long Mudguards
As my Crud Roadracer Mk2 didn’t work for me so here I am back with a set of SKS Raceblade Long mudguards. These are a different design from the first set that I tried as you can see from the photo. Not only is this new set longer (on the rear aspect), they are mounted quite differently both at the front and at the rear as well. The other distinct feature of the SKS Raceblade Long is the quick disconnect connection method.
Features of the SKS Raceblade Long Mudguards
The SKS Raceblade Long mudguards are different as I have mentioned to my early set, a pair of standard length SKS Raceblades. I believe these new Raceblade Long fenders come out in 2012 going by this MTBR video taken at Interbike 2012.
The key differences or features of the SKS Raceblade Long mudguards as highlighted in the video are:
- The length of the guards themselves. Both the front and rear guards extend further down the tyre to a point below the axle hub and the rear one is much shorter forward of the brake caliper;
- The standard or short SKS Raceblade mudguard mounts directly to the front fork in the case of the front mudguard and to the seat stays at the rear. In my experience this meant a bit of fiddling to get them even and clearing the tyre nicely. The SKS Raceblade Long mount via the mudguard stays to the quick release skewers on the bike. There is still some ability to adjust the mudguard position by sliding the stay in or out. Furthermore the Raceblade Long mudguards are secured at a second point, at the fork crown on the front and the brake stay at the rear. This is different from the standard Raceblades which lack this additional connection point.
- The other feature of the SKS Raceblades Long is their ability to be quickly disconnected from the bike. The fork crown and brake stay mounts are left in place but the guard itself is easily and quickly removed;
- The mudguard stays are attached to the bike via quick-release connectors which mean that if a stick or the like is caught between the mudguard and the wheel the mudguard will release from the bike and hopefully no damage is done. With my standard or short length SKS Raceblade there is no quick release feature and when I caught a stick the mudguard stay was ripped from the guard itself.
Fitting the SKS Raceblade Long Mudguards
This video from Performance Bikes gives a good illustration of how to install the SKS Raceblade Long Mudguards. SKS Germany do not provide instructions separately but they are on the back of the box for the SKS Raceblade Long. You can get instructions for the SKS Raceblade XL mudguards which are helpful.
The two key points to note in installing the SKS Raceblade Long mudguards are that quick release skewer spring is not used with the mudguards. The second point is that going by the SKS Raceblade XL instructions clearance between the tyre and the mudguard should be 1.5 cm.
Mounting of the SKS Raceblade Long turned out to be a breeze and I found the instructions pretty easy to follow. I did initially try to fit the rear one with my existing 25 mm tyres but I just couldn’t get the clearance right to switched to Schwalbe Durano 23 mm tyres and all was sweet. The set of mudguards I have is for 18 to 23 mm tyres so I was pushing the design specs in trying 25 mm.
Other than setting up the brake caliper it was a simple task as was getting the skewer mounts in place.
I found with the back I did have to fiddle a little with the stays to get good clearance but the front went out without a millimetre of adjustment … that was nice!
Some photos from my mounting of the SKS Raceblade Longs …
Performance & Durability of the SKS Raceblade Long Mudguards
The only issue I can see with these mudguards so far is the way they are mounted to the skewer. This means when you drop a wheel, you have to fiddle with not only get the wheel correctly aligned and playing with the chain, you know have a couple of mudguard tabs to line up. Not a huge issue but something else to fiddle with. Not something you want on a race bike for sure 🙂
SKS Raceblade Long Mudguard – Likes and Dislikes
- Nice looking mudguards in my view;
- Easy to mount and get aligned.
- Dropping a wheel and re-mounting will be a little more fiddly with the SKS Mudguard Longs in place due to the skewer connection tabs.
- Nothing ugly about these mudguards.
SKS Raceblade Long Mudguards Resources
- SKS Germany – Manufacturer