I’ve had Crud’s Roadracers on my winter bike since early December after getting thoroughly soaked and freezing on a descent and deciding that I definitely needed something to keep the water off me.
For bikes with small clearances and no eyelets these are the perfect option. I fitted them at home, with no tools and just a good read of the instructions. Saying that, there isn’t much to get wrong.
The front and rear are identical in shape and have attachable flaps to provide extra coverage. The mounts fasten to your frame with o-rings;simple and easy to do. You might want to cover the paint with masking tape beforehand to prevent scratching over time. Sliding the guard between the tyre and brake and fastening with a re-usable zip-tie is easy to do, on a Team PBK carbon bike there is just enough clearance. It then takes a bit of jiggery-pokery to get the position correct. They are adjustable at the frame mount and can be adjusted at the guard as well. Once you’ve got this sorted and there is no serious rubbing, you’re ready to go. The self-adhesive brushes are put where the brake tracks run to keep the guard clear and they should keep any debris off your brake tracks.
First impressions were brilliant. Having never ridden a bike with mudguards before the feeling of smashing through all puddles and patches of surface water without flinching was great. It also gives you almost dry feet (nothing is ever going to keep your feet 100% dry) a dry back and legs. One of the main problems I have is that once I get wet I then get cold, wind-chill on a descent is one of the worst feelings to have. By not getting wet in the first place nips this particular problem in the bud! Another nice benefit is that your bottle tops don’t get covered in as much muck, so drinking quickly and on the charge is easy. Secondly they make group riding a much more enjoyable experience. It prevents the rider behind you grabbing mouthfuls of dirty water and generally keeps them in a better mood and allows them to see clearly! If none of your group has them, it’s a great incentive to get to the front and lead the way.
A fair few hundred miles on and the weather is almost immaterial now, if its raining fine, if its just rained, you hardly notice. Apart from the lack of traction on wet roads you’re good to go…..watch out for those drain covers though!
If you’ve never had guards before, at £25 and around 180g they are well worth giving a go. Once set-up you won’t believe the difference, it really takes the brunt out of wet, cold winter roads.