SKS Chromoplastic Bicycle Fender Set
|Price:||$61.99 - $126.74|
- Traditional full fender protection
- Stainless steel hardware and assembly kit
- Secu-clip design
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The SKS Chromoplastic mudguard set is a classic in dirt/spray protection. The Chromoplastics feature stainless steel stays and hardware. The Chromoplastic uses a front fork crown fitting and secu-clip to lock it in.
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I have installed six sets of fenders over the past fifteen years or so--some were plastic, some were stainless steel. This was my first set of SKS fenders, which are built (except for their low-end models, I believe) out of an aluminum and plastic sandwich. The sandwich makes the fenders easy to reshape if they get a little bent in shipping (Kudos to Amazon, they were shipped so well they needed no fixing). They come with almost all the hardware you need. And of all the fenders I've mounted, these are the easiest.
Here's the deal on hardware and installation: Ideally, your bike should have rack/fender eyelets at the wheel mounts (dropouts) if you want to use these. The struts for the fenders bolt on there (with the very nice included hardware). The bike I was fendering, an 1985 Trek 560, lacked eyelets, so a trip to Home Despot yielded two 1/2" padded steel cable clamps, which went around the fork legs and provided a mounting point, and two 1/4" clamps, which went around the bottom of the seatstays and did the same in back. Total cost for the clamps was $3--if I had a nearby bike shop, I probably could have had them for free. Anyway, the struts mount there, and the front fender also mounts on the caliper brake bolt. If you're using cantilever or V-brakes, you may need to improvise a mount at the fork crown. The rear fender mounts at the rear brake bridge (same story for non-caliper users) and at chainstay bridge, either with a bolt (if the bridge is set up for one) or with a clip. The struts attach with an odd kind of barrel nut assembly, but once you see them you'll understand how they work, and any extra strut that projects above the fenders can be covered with a plastic tip (or you can use a Dremel tool with a cut-off wheel, as I did, to remove the extra above the nut). It'll take maybe an hour or so without help, maybe a little less with, to install a set.
PROS: Very lightweight--they will not make your bike feel heavy. Very quiet--properly installed, they will not clank or rattle. Nice-looking, if you can see them at all (mine fit so close, it doesn't look like the bike is even wearing fenders unless you look closely). Well-shaped--this takes a little explaining: Some fenders, like those from Planet Bike, are curved in cross-section to follow the curve of the tire. SKS fenders are not--they're flat across most of the width, with edges that project down to shield the sides of the tire. For my money, they fit better under brakes this way, and should do a better job of containing water that gets thrown off by the tire.
CONS: The front fender could be a little bit longer--ideally, you want the front fender to throw spray that remains on the top of the tire down onto the road, so you'd want the fender about 3" longer in front. But these work fine unless you're in really heavy rain. The instructions could be clearer--they may be hard for a first-time fender installer to follow. And that's about it.
NOTES: These (SKS P35) are rated for 700c tires up to 28mm in width. Personally, I wouldn't want to use them for tires wider than 25mm. Fortunately, SKS makes fenders just like these in all sorts of widths, so you can find just the right ones for your bike.
Also, I noted in an earlier review of the Axiom Streamliner rack that I didn't know if fenders would be able to fit under such a narrow rack. The P35s do fit, so you can have a lightweight bike with rack AND fenders.
I'd also add that the area I've used my original bike with these fenders in on the Gulf Coast of USA - a very harsh, salty environment. I washed this bike a few days ago and the SKS Chromoplastic fenders still look like new. Amazing. I would also add that I tried to save a few bucks and ordered a different brand of fenders for my wife's bike. Her front fender is cracked across where it mounts behind the front brake. And her "stainless" hardware and fittings are corroded - obviously not the same quality of stainless used by SKS. That's what I get for trying to be thrifty. Lesson learned!
Installation. As with all of the SKS fenders I've installed, adding them was pretty simple. I would describe it as a "DIY Plus" job - anyone moderately familiar with bicycle assembly should have no problem installing. If you've never held a socket wrench or replaced a brake pad, you should still be able to accomplish the task - it'll just take you a bit longer. Go grab a beer and chill out, work slowly and things will work out fine. My one peave: the rear fender stays were almost too short.
Functionality. Fenders, in general, are an absolute "must" for me if a bike is to be used on a regular basis. They keep the muck off of the rider and the bike and anyone else riding alongside or behind. Well, they do of they are decent fenders with good coverage. These particular models have "decent coverage," in my opinion. If you want excellent coverage, go with the SKS Longboards instead.
Here they are installed: [...]
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I had to essentially "install" everything twice.Read more