Who says Crud Roadracer mudguards aren’t suitable for tourists? Crud’s wholesale packaging says as much, but we’re guessing that it is tongue-in-cheek even if they are primarily intended for “roadracers”.
The Roadracer design is, of course, aimed directly at “racing” road bikes with insufficient clearance for regular rigid-stay SKS- or ETC-style ‘guards. Clearance under the rear brake bridge and fork crown is what is in question and since the Roadracers are designed both to sit closely to the tyre and to sneak in under a close-fitting bridge or crown, they ain’t exactly ideal for big touring-tyre clearances.
Not all touring bikes have tucker-box clearances, however. A “light” tourer such as my Roberts PBP might have just about enough room for 23c rubber and regular mudguards. In fact, that’s exactly what the Roberts does have. Which means it has what turns out to be exactly the right amount of clearance for Crud Roadracers, unlike my Omega’s fork.
So, time to fit. The Roberts has threaded bosses for mudguard stays. Obviously these aren’t needed and the little plastic lugs for the Crud stays must be attached. The “O”rings supplied, which wrap around the stays or fork blades, are long enough to work with the fat tubes on modern carbon or aluminium racing bikes, which means they are a little longer than ideal for slender steel tubes. After several goes I eventually found a way to wrap them with sufficient tension to hold the lugs firm.
This proved the only significant obstacle to attachment. The Mk 2 version has remodelled extensions for the rear wheel. Both are much longer than previously and the forward extension has a deep valance on the right-hand side to protect the chain and front mech from spray. This needed slight trimming to clear the chainstay bridge. A reuseable zip-tie holds it to the seat tube and one of the small self-adhesive pads supplied can be used to dampen any rattle between the tube and ‘guard.
The rearward rear wheel extension is impressively long and will surely protect following riders as intended. Since it looks a bit excessive and I don’t worry too much about soaking anyone sitting on my wheel, I stuck with the nice, trim original extension design, which Crud obligingly continue to supply as part of the Mk2 kit.
Precisely the right amount of bridge and crown clearance meant that the remainder of the installation was almost ludicrously easy. Except the bit where the self-adhesive pile strips are positioned inside the ‘guards in alignment with the rim braking surface. Even with the bike mounted on a workstand this is easily done badly…
Result, one steel touring/training bike with mudgards that weigh less, rattle less and catch less wind than “proper” rigid ones without, judging by my ride out to my club hill climb in steady heavy rain, compromising one bit on protection. Other reasons for fitting Roadracers to the bike include the decrepit state of the aged SKS ‘guards previously in place and a feeling that the protection offered by that deep-valanced front extension to the rear ‘guard might actually be something I want through the winter.
And, funnily enough, I reckon they suit the bike.
Crud Roadracer Mk2 £29.99.