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The commuter guards are among my favourite designs: simple, high quality PET construction and stainless fittings are just what you need from day to day mudguards. The 38-45mm hybrid width might seem a little broad for close clearance training frames but they were just slender enough to accommodate short reach callipers.
Mudguards should be function over form in my opinion. It’s fine for the stays to wear some salt and over-spray but there shouldn’t be a layering on top this to me means they're not doing their job and it's all too common on very minimalist models. I'm happy to report I had no such problems here.
Attaching to bikes with recessed brake fittings demanded judicious filing of the mudguard bridge bolts but once completed the three millimetre thick pre-assembled twin parallel stays make very secure mounting points and the secu-clip system means the stays gently break away should a twig lodge itself between guard and front tyre. As a precaution, I lightly greased the mounting bolts, adding a shoulder of loctite to prevent them vibrating loose but I’m pleased to report there’s been no infuriating rattling.
As you’d expect, being a budget guard there are some omissions- you get no reflector or rear dynamo fitting, although there’s ample room for applying reflective decals or even mounting an LED. Similarly, the plastic construction takes most everyday abuse in its stride, but lacks the outright indestructibility of chromo plastic and although not immediately obvious, our black test pair seems prone to collecting scratches.
Minor niggles aside the commuter guards make an excellent cost conscious option for anyone seeking a solid set of guards but happy to forgo some of the finer, cosmetic detailing.
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Make and model: SKS Commuter Hybrid Mudguard
Size tested: 45mm
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 Commuter are good quality budget mudguards aimed at commuters, available in a choice two colours and with pre-assembled stays for easy fitting. I would largely agree with this, although sells the guards a little short-they make great companions for winter trainers and others wanting the protection of a full guard that is much quicker to fit.
Tell us some more about the techincal aspects of the product?
PET guards offer good compliance, 3mm stainless steel pre-fitted stays with secu-clips will resist the ravages of daily riding and are a great safety feature- releasing effortlessly in the event of obstruction.
Good, comprehensive fitting kit including a pop-up stay bridge safely accomodates framesets without traditional mudguard attachments.
Finish on test pair marked easier than I expected.
Might not suit those whose priority is keeping weight to a minimum but 456g(Pair) isn't outlandish.
Despite enjoying a slightly shorter profile, offer comparable protection to more traditional designs
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Offer excellent weather protection for both rider and machine-especially in the wider profiles.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Speed of fitment and quality of materials used.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Rear mudguard bridge was a little chunky, making attachment a litle tricky.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 35 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)