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Now retired but busy still living..

Sunday 17 June 2012


 Following on from my last post regarding the very mixed weather that we have been experiencing in the UK recently got me thinking about mudguards (Fenders). 
They never seem to be long enough. 

When I took delivery of both my touring bike and my training bike they were both fitted with SKS chromoplastic mudguards. 
In my opinion neither set came down low enough on the front wheel. 
They would stop most of the spray from finding it's way too far up the down tube but were too short to prevent spray, dirt and mud finding it's way onto the bottom bracket and the chainset...and in turn my feet and lower legs. 

At the time I searched online for a suitable mudflap as a means of lengthening the mudguard but couldn't find anything that did the job but also looked good when fitted to the bike... 
In the end I made a couple of flaps...fashioned from an old DVD cover. 
That was two years ago and my home made flaps have not only worked efficiently but have also stood the test of time without falling apart. Unfortunately the flap fitted to the Tifosi got damaged during transportation of the bike in the vehicle up to Scotland. It still did the job but was now looking decidedly tatty..! 

When I got home I went back on the internet to see if I could find a suitable replacement. 
If I couldn't find one I would have to make a replacement, but a nice looking purpose made flap was what I really wanted. 
Brooks make a leather one at the grand price of £14.99 and they probably look great when new, however to my mind leather doesn't seem the ideal material for a mudflap. 
One of the mudflaps that I found was the SKS Long Mudflap.
 The suppliers said in their blurb - 
"The best mudflaps we've seen to date. Slides over the end of the guard - you then drill a 5mm hole through the guard and insert one of the supplied push pin plastic rivets by hand - The flap is made of flexible rubber". 
They had two sizes...50-60mm & 42-45mm. 
I measured my guards and then ordered the 50-60mm. 

When they arrived I realized that I should have ordered the 42-45mm instead. 
The slightly larger ones fitted OK but I could see that the smaller ones would make a slightly trimmer fit. 
As 'image is everything' to quote Jeff at the Flat tire blog I decided to order again ...but this time the slightly narrower size. 
I never bothered to send the two wider ones back, as at the price of only £3.99 each, by the time postage was taken into the equation it just didn't seem worthwhile. 
The narrower ones arrived yesterday and they were really easy to fit - just as the supplier had described. 
When on the bike they look good too with a nice designed for purpose appearance. 
In practical terms they have lengthened the guards to just 12cm above the road and follow the curve of the wheel. 

Obviously manufacturers realized some time ago that they could make more money by selling mudguards and mudflaps separately, although on some rare occasions they can be supplied together. 
In most situations a mudguard on it's own fails to do the job fully due to it's length.....with these SKS mudflaps the mudguard is effectively lengthened enabling it to do the job properly. 

The only very slight alteration I had to do was to shorten the plastic rivet by about 5mm when fitting on the Tifosi mudguards in order to give sufficient clearance.
Everything on the Tifosi has very tight clearances as the bike is more sport orientated -  no similar problems on the tourer though with it's more generous clearances.

I still have the 50-60cm mudflaps and if anyone out there (worldwide) would like one for their front mudguard I would be only too happy to pop one in a jiffy bag and send it to you as a free gift from the purpletraveller blog. 

First come first served...just email me at pedalspinner@tiscali.co.uk with your name and address.


limom said...

I'd let the mudflaps drag on the ground if that would stop my shoes from filling up with water.
I don't mind getting wet, but I don't like the squish.

anniebikes said...

It's good to know about this option.

GreenComotion said...

Mudlflaps are a great idea, Trevor. I bet you toes appreciate them. The one you have picked is a nice black, that I bet complements the colors of your mudguard and bike nicely. Way to go!

I have a Gilles mudflap, which has worked great in the last 3+ years I have had it. It is a leather flap, but it has aged nicely.

Good decision, Trevor! I wouldn't expect anything less from a seasoned cyclist like you!!

Paz :)

TrevorW�� said...

Especially if the squish is freezing cold....

Always good to know what's available.

I did think about a leather one...(The Gilles was even more expensive than the Brooks)
but I was unsure how it would stand up to the filthy weather during our winters.
Obviously, judging by your experience, I need not have been too concerned.

Paul said...

Trevor, I too have SKS fenders and I could use a pair for my bike. I also have a small crack in my rear fender and these will slip over the crack perfectly. I'll order a pair of the narrow ones this week.Thanks for the info.

RANTWICK said...

I've had good success making mubflaps from rubber stair tread things... they even look OK!

If memory serves, planet bike Cascadia fenders come complete with mudflaps, but I don't know how low they go.

BicycleFriends said...

Nice, can we see them installed on the bike.

TrevorW�� said...

Hope it's been helpful Paul....

I've just checked out the Cascadia fenders...They look good and seem a reasonable length too judging by customers pictures on amazon.
If anything happens to the fenders I already have I could well consider these as an option....

*Bicycle Friends*
Yes...we have some more bad weather coming in in a couple of days, so I will be back out on the Tifosi...I will post a picture then...

BicycleFriends said...

Thanks, look forward to seeing it.

Six weeks off.

 The visit to see the Consultant went quite well really ...   My ' numbers' have started to creep up again so I am going to be given...