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Monday, February 13, 2012

Fender Update - SKS Raceblade Long

[Look here for our newest post on fenders]  


Last week in my Fender post, I mentioned that I had some of the new SKS Raceblade long fenders on order. (I have updated that post now with this information).

They arrived over the weekend,  and I eagerly opened the box and tried to mount them on the bike that currently sports the original raceblades.  But I found several limitations, the primary one being a max tire width of 23mm. I had missed this detail before I ordered them. 

Not the longs!

I'd missed another detail as well. The mounting hardware attaches at the brake and the QR skewer.  I should have looked more closely, but had assumed they were similar to the mounting of the race blades I have. The bike I bought them for has bolt on hubs - it's an inexpensive fixie, pictured above.

On initial inspection it would seem that the fender should be more stable with this manner of mounting, but I was never able to prove the point...

As I discovered after the fact, and due to my own lack of research, they absolutely will not work with my 28mm tires. The fender is too narrow and the stays are simply too short for this size tire.  The length of the stays can be adjusted at the QR plastic piece, but there is not enough range to handle more than a 23mm tire. The only bike I have with a 23mm tire is my uphill race bike - and it's the one bike that will never see fenders!

The mounting hardware at the brake goes under the brake, so if you don't have enough clearance at the brake for the Crud fenders, these won't work either. Back to that 23mm tire limitation.

I also tried to use what appeared to be fender eyelets on this frame, but the fender/stay design seems to be such that the stays must mount at the axle/center of wheel. There wasn't enough adjustment between the two stays to mount away from the center of the wheel - these eyelets were close to the center, but still far enough away to not work.

I then tried to mount them on a different bike that does have QR skewers, and found the mounting hardware at the hub axle/QR skewer is incredibly fiddly, and highly dependent on dropout design - the dropout must be flat, and the next frame I tried had a rear dropout with a raised lip.

The pictogram instructions and this video from SKS show removing the springs in the QR skewers.  I wasn't very happy with that idea.

Now here's a gotcha, you might not discover until you try it. The fender must be removed if you remove the front wheel for roof rack mounting, since the stays attach at the hub. It only takes a second to pop the QR at the brake, but when reinstalling, you have to get the stays back in at the hub and I found that part a bit fiddly. There is a very slick plastic QR that attaches to the metal piece that goes on the skewer, but since this metal piece is open to go over the skewer and needs to come off with wheel removal, it seems completely unnecessary to have this part also be QR. This piece also functions as the way to adjust the length of the stays, but the QR part really seemed superfluous.

The same plastic QR is used at the brake mounting points. It works well there, and makes popping the fender off super easy. 

So if you use a tire no bigger than 23mm, have QR wheels, and flat dropouts and don't mind removing and replacing the fender when removing the wheel, these should provide a bit more coverage/protection than the basic race blades.

[Look here for our newest post on fenders] 

2 comments:

  1. I got them to work with 700x28 Schwalbe Marathons on a Gunnar roadie. The metal parts that stay on the bike had 2 90 degree bends to keep them from rubbing on the frame. I pounded them flat with a hammer and that made them long enough to clear my tires.

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    1. Dear Anon: any chance you can elaborate, or share a picture, at my post here (http://blog.huffmanbicycleclub.org/2013/04/fenders.html)? I'm struggling to find a good solution for riding long on a Roadie with 28c tires. Many thanks to all in advance.

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