Right…let’s start with an apology.
I finished my ‘first look’ at the SKS Bluemels mudguard, with a challenge, foolhardy in hindsight, to “bring on the rain”. By doing so, I seem to have cursed our recent Christmas and New Year break and brought an incredibly wet end to a ridiculously wet year. Sorry about that.
The only consolation, to me at least, is that the RCUK Test Rig pictured has now clocked up a significant amount of wet miles and I am still a happy rider. The ‘guards have proved extremely protective, and have shielded me and the trusty steed from the copious amounts of road grit and spray thrown up as part of winter riding.
The Bluemels proved relatively easy to fit, and offered plenty of clearance for larger tyres, if that is your winter preference, without looking too ludicrous on a bike, thus ticking all the boxes on the short list headed, “Requirements of a Mudguard”.
Having assisted with the assembly of the RCUK Winter Bike, I can admit to a slight preference for the lovely sliding stays on the Portland Design Works full metal fenders, with their nifty telescopic adjusting action.
The stainless steel stays on the Bluemels (easily trimmed with a hacksaw) are, however, equally effective, if not quite as ‘designed’. You pays your money etc…
Aesthetically, the matt black plastic of the Bluemels will suit most machines, and they clean up well, requiring nothing more than hot soapy water and a sponge to bring them back to that ‘fresh from the box’ look.
I’ve been using Morgan Blue’s Mud Off after really grubby rides, and I have to say I am impressed with the product. Liberally applied to the Test Rig, it seems to add some protection to the finish after rinsing and re-riding. The road muck comes off slightly easier and a shiny clean machine removes one excuse for not riding, while improving the efficiency of the mechanical components.
The Bluemels ‘guards have done much the same, protecting components from the worst of the spray and keeping me cleaner as well. My only sorrow is that they are not compulsory for all riders in a winter pack.
This winter, and I’m sure it will only get worse, make sure you are fully protected. The SKS Blumels are a great place to start. They cost £25.99.