Using the longest brackets, total added weight was just under 500 grams.

Using the longest brackets, total added weight was just under 500 grams (click to enlarge).​

Lowdown: SKS Raceblade Fenders

Colorado isn't exactly the bike fender capital of the world. Our mostly dry climate means unless you're a 5-day-a-week commuter, it's pretty easy to avoid riding in the rain. But then this past April happened. For the better part of a month, it felt like we'd all moved to Belgium, just with taller mountains. The upshot of this near-constant wet weather is that I had a good excuse to spend some time testing the SKS Raceblade Long fenders installed on my Parlee Z5 SL road bike. Find out how they fared in the ever-changing Colorado climate in the full review below.

Weight: 498 grams (using longest brackets) Wheel size compatibility: 700c
Max tire width: 25mmColors: Black or silver
Price: $60Rating:
4 Flamin' Chili Peppers
4 out of 5
Stat Box


Pluses

Minuses
  • Easy to install
  • Unsightly brackets
  • Keeps rider and bike clean
  • Some front fender rattle
  • Easy to remove
  • Spacing can be finicky
  • Coverage extends below hub axle
  • Adds 500 grams to bike weight
  • Ample adjustability
  • Not compatible with thru-axles
  • Compatible with disc brakes
  • Spray gap near brakes

Review: SKS Raceblade Fenders

Stereotypes aside, Germans are good at designing smart, functional products. The SKS Raceblade Long road bike fenders are a perfect example. Utilizing attachments at the brake caliper and hub, these mud deflectors do a superb job of encasing your bike's wheels, meaning less grit and grime on you and your frame.

There is a small fender gap around the brake area. But overall our bike and body stayed remarkably clean.

There is a small fender gap around the brake area. But overall our bike and body stayed remarkably clean (click to enlarge).​

With the aid of a video I found on-line, install took about 40 minutes. And now that I've done it once, that time could easily be cut in half. First timers need to decide which length mounting bracket to use, which is driven primarily by the girth of your fork. Mine are fairly wide, so I had to opt for the longest bracket, which pushed total weight of the set-up to just a shade under 500 grams.

The fenders extend below the hubs.

The fenders extend below the hubs (click to enlarge).​

That was a small price to pay for the elimination of brown stripes up my backside, not to mention all the grit and grime that had been accumulating on my frame. No longer did I feel the impulse to bust out the bike wash kit after every wet weather ride. The guards extend past the hubs, availing near total protection. Here's a look at the basics of the install process.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K6LAnkKn6s

One critical pointer during install that was learned the hard way is that you need to make sure to push the brackets upwards as far as possible before retightening the caliper fixing bolt. Otherwise you'll end up with the fender rubbing on the tire. We also had to ditch one of the brake caliper's washers to make everything fit together snugly. However, braking performance was not affected in any way.

Continue to page 2 for more of our SKS Raceblade Long fenders review »


The brackets are held in place by your wheel's QR. To remove the fender simply snap them off and leave the bracket in place.

The brackets are held in place by your wheel's QR. To remove the fender simply snap them off and leave the bracket in place (click to enlarge).​

Out on the road, the SKS Raceblade Long fenders worked flawlessly, save for a bit of rattle from the front wheel's forward fender. It's short and only secured at one end, and has a tendency to bounce around some. I needed to bend the bracket upwards a little so it wouldn't hit the tire every time I hit a crack or pothole. There's also a small fender gap around the brake calipers, so you still may end up with some grime accumulation there.

The front fender had a tendency to rattle until the bracket was sufficiently bent upwards.

The front fender had a tendency to rattle until the bracket was sufficiently bent upwards (click to enlarge).​

If you don't want to use the fenders on a particular ride, you can easily pop them off, but leave the brackets in place for next time. The brackets are a little unsightly, but I for one would rather save the time if I knew the fenders would be going back on soon.

SKS says that max tire size is 25mm, but my Parlee Z5 SL with 26mm Specialized Turbo tires fit no problem, and honestly, I think you might be able to push to a 28mm tire. Bottom line, for anyone who rides in the rain and wet, the SKS Raceblade Long fenders are a great protective solution that can easily be taken off when not needed. Mount up a pair and your bike, body - and riding buddies - will thank you.

For more info please visit https://www.sks-germany.com.