SKS Race Blades have spawned a host of arguably competent imitators but few can match the superior materials, precision fit and legendary build quality backed by a five year warranty. Sure, they’re not comparable with the full- length type in terms of weather protection (for the bike at least) but they weigh a good deal less and will certainly win brownie points with the chain gang.
Available in a choice of white, silver or carbon effect, the guards themselves are made from near unbreakable, UV resistant chromoplastic which should retain its looks through many seasons’ hard service. Intended for the customary 18-23mm tyre sections, sizing is just generous enough to give sufficient clearance for wider 24 and 25mm sections without compromising aesthetics or protection from spray- helped in no small part by the soft spoiler rubberised flaps. However, the front mech, headset and seat tube remain firmly in the firing line of dirt and water.
Hailing from the era where race framesets were given mudguard eyes, a cheaper groupset and branded as winter trainers, the Teenage Dream was the ideal guinea pig. Breezing aboard the bike in two minutes flat (Including trimming and minor adjustment) the rubberised mounting hardware is as secure as you’ll ever need and particularly kind to paint. SKS also include clear adhesive strips to protect thin finishes-particularly flamboyant enamels or DIY acrylic efforts.
Another nice touch is the aero fork blade adaptor, cradling most carbon blades like the proverbial glove. We tested the white ones which might sound bland but they look really crisp and will pretty much go with anything thanks to black detailing, they really stand out in the dark and can be jazzed up using Scotchlite sticker sets and some LEDs also fit securely.
Super solid clip-on guards for bikes with limited clearances.
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Make and model: SKS Raceblade
Size tested: White
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?
"The world´s first quick-release fender for racing bikes:
- fits tires 700x18-23
- extremely light and aerodynamic
- optimal spray protection
- tool-free mounting within seconds
- incl. adapter for aeorofork".
A very factual, honest description and I would go as far as to say the remain the best of the genre.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Chrome plastic UV resistant guard, stainless steel stays, rubberised fixings, aero-fork blade adaptor, rubberised spoiler spray flaps.
Reassuringly good and a delight to fit.
The quality will be remembered long after the price has been forgotten.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The race blades do exactly what they say on the tin, are a delight to install thanks to vastly superior fixings and do an excellent job of protecting the rider and to a lesser extent, machine from inclament weathers.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Solid construction, ease of fitting, durability and attention to detail.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Without hesitation
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)