Crud Roadracer Mk2 Review

Disclosure: I didn’t have to pay for my review mudguards and I get a small commission on each pair sold, but these are my honest opinions of the product based on a few of years of constant use.

*THIS* is what I am recommending …

Condensed Review!

There is a detailed review further down the page, but here’s a quick summary for you time-starved cyclists:

  1. Like many cyclists, I can’t fit conventional guards on my bike, but I did manage to squeeze a pair of Crud Roadracers on.
  2. If you can fit a 5 mm Allen (Hex) key between your brakes and the tops of your front and rear tyres, and between the rear tyre and your seat tube, then the Road racers will fit your bike too. [PS I've since read that some people have struggled with the width of 28 mm tyres. I know that tyres up to 25 mm wide are definitely okay if your bike passed the clearance test]
  3. The Cruds need to be carefully set up to not rub on the tyres. I’m not a mechanical wizard and I managed it so you can too. Here’s a useful video I found for you (it features the Mk1 Roadracers but the same techniques apply to the Mk2s).
  4. You may hear some noise if grit gets picked up by wet tyres. Clean under the Cruds with a hose or garden spray after mucky rides to minimise this.
  5. I really like the Road racers so I am leaving the review pair on my bike. I highly recommend them!
  6. For Mk2 Crud Roadracers at a discounted price – *CLICK HERE*.

 

Crud Roadracer Mk2 Bicycle Mudguards (Bicycle Fenders) fitted to bike
Crud Roadracer mk2 Bicycle Mudguards (Bicycle Fenders) fitted to my bike

Introduction to Detailed Review

(For my American readers – what you call ‘fenders’, we in the UK call ‘mudguards’!)

I had been using Crud products on my mountain bike for several years (a Crudcatcher and a Crud Raceguard) so when the company announced last year that they were manufacturing a new type of mudguard for road bikes, I was interested to see if they would be suitable for my Basso racing bike.

The Crud Road racers are plastic mudguards designed to be fitted to road bikes which don’t have the fittings for conventional guards. They are lightweight, stylish, don’t require a lot of clearance and are inexpensive. Since my Basso doesn’t have eyelets for mudguards, is heavy enough already, is fairly stylish and I’d like to keep it that way, doesn’t have a lot of clearance and I’m pretty hard up, they sounded like just the thing for me!

And so I bought a pair of Roadracers. They passed my ‘pick them up and see if they feel heavy’ test – I did and they don’t! You really aren’t going to get lighter guards for your bike.

This was back in October 2009. After I installed my Roadracers, I was asked so many questions about them by my cycling pals that I decided to write a review here on my blog. In fact I was very impressed and my review was positive enough to inspire a lot of people to buy Road racers for themselves through my promotional links. (Thanks folks – I don’t make much for each sale, but it is appreciated!)

I kept them on my bike for a whole year. It hardly seemed worth taking them off again for an unreliable UK summer. They are light and unobtrusive, so why bother?

Crud Roadracers Mk2

Here we are a year on, and ‘Mister Crud’ has been listening to feedback from his customers. I’d mentioned in my original review that…

The rear guard doesn’t cover much of the front part of the rear wheel so some of the spray coming off the rear wheel did hit the back of the seat tube and run down over the bottom bracket area.

Also…

The rear guard does not provide complete protection for a rider immediately behind you. The guard doesn’t extend down far enough for that.

Well, lookee here, the Mk2 Road racers are now on the market. I managed to get a review pair direct from Mister Crud, fitted them to my bike and have taken them out on a couple of wet rides so I have updated this review. What do you notice?

Crud Roadracers mk2

Yep, those two criticisms have been addressed. The Mk2 Roadracers now give full coverage of the rear wheel. Both guards have also been beefed up to make them stronger where they needed to be, without compromising safety. (A super-strong guard is not what you want – your front wheel must not jam if it picks up some debris!)

[In a hurry? Jump to Conclusions]

Will they fit my bike?

If you can slide a 5 mm hex (allen) key between the tyres and the brake callipers, you’ll be okay. You may be okay with 4 mm of clearance. 3 mm or less isn’t enough. If you have large tyres and insufficient clearance, going down a tyre size may well help. There may be an issue with the width of large tyres. Up to 25 mm width is definitely okay if your bike passes the clearance test. I’ve heard people say that 28 mm (or wider) is too wide. I can’t even get tyres that big on my road bike, nor would most of you.

Added for mk2 review: You also need clearance for the extended rear mudguard, between the tyre and the seat tube. I’d suggest 5 mm there too. If you have a very small bike, the rear guard may need to be shortened to fit the bottom bracket area (use a hacksaw!). My Basso is a 58 cm frame and there is room to spare on that.

Something you ought to be aware of – the geometry of many racing bikes is such that you may well experience ‘toeclip overlap’ after fitting guards to your bike (any guards, not just the Road racers). It means that the front of your feet may contact the rear of the guards when making slow turns. At normal speeds, you won’t be turning the front wheel enough for it to be a problem. It happens on my Basso but it doesn’t bother me – the guards just deflect a little when they contact the tips of my shoes. I’ve only had it happen when zig-zagging up steep hills, and now I just turn a little less sharply.

Easy fixing system: No tools needed

Front and rear stays are attached to the bike by small plastic lugs held on with rubber o-rings. It’s a simple but effective solution. However, before fitting the Roadracers, protect your frame and forks with plastic tape where those lugs are to be fitted, and where the bottom of the rear guard is to be fixed to the seat tube. That should prevent any damage to your bike’s paintwork.

It’s says it right there on the packaging – No tools needed – so why did I reach for my screwdriver? I only went and overtightened one of the screws and snapped the head off it! :oops: Do as the instructions say and “tighten all thumbnuts as hard as you can by hand”. They do say that you can use pliers on the nuts if you don’t have a strong grip, but from my experience I’d say be careful not to overtighten them. Fortunately I had a spare screw in my junk box so I was able to complete the installation.

Fitting is really straightforward and the instructions are pretty clear – if you bother to read them (see above!). Take special note of the warning not to overtighten the cable ties (zip ties) which hold the guards below the brake callipers. If those ties are overtightened they distort the shape of the guards. Also – the ties are reusable so don’t cut the ends off unless you are going to leave the guards on permanently.

I took my time fitting the guards and I was finished in under 30 minutes. I think you could do it in about 15 minutes if you read the instructions beforehand and didn’t mess about snapping screws! I’ve now added a YouTube video giving fitting tips for you further up the page. It would be a good idea to watch that before beginning the installation of your shiny new Roadracers.

So, how well do they work?

I’ve done a lot of rides in the rain since fitting the Road racers mk2 to my bike and had a year of previous experience with the mk1 version. They are 100% effective at keeping the spray from the rear wheel off my back. They keep as much spray off my feet and the bike as any mudguards on any other bike that I’ve ridden.

The guards are supplied with little adhesive pilestrips which you must stick to the insides of the guards, located so that they contact the rims of the wheels should the guards move from side to side while you are riding. This is a very simple but effective way of eliminating rattling sounds. The mk2s seem to have a little more clearance than the old version. I did a 45 mph descent on a rough road the other day – my bottle rattled in its cage, and my shifter levers rattled, but the Roadracers didn’t – rattle test passed!

Safety

The Roadracer guards are designed so that the stays will break away and/or shatter should any debris from the road get caught by your wheels. I obviously haven’t put that to the test, but the manufacturers have. Spares are available from them should they be required. My mk2s came with spare pieces for the tails of the front and rear guards. These are the parts you are most likely to break (I managed to snap one off the mk1s through being clumsy.)

Conclusions

Obviously the Cruds must fit your bike, and they definitely won’t fit some bikes, so make sure you do the hex key test mentioned above before purchasing!

Mister Crud has almost worked a miracle to produce a set of mudguards which fit many road racing bikes even though they are not designed for them, but there is one thing that is inescapable – clearances will be tight, so you need to adjust the guards carefully to avoid rubbing noises.

Even if the Roadracers are perfectly set up, it doesn’t take much debris under them to cause rubbing sounds. I managed to clog the rear guard with mud on a bad weather ride when I rode down a farm track for a pee stop! Mister Crud warns you on the box – not for off-road use! I now use a hose to rinse under the guards whenever I clean my bike. TIP: ride through shallow puddles to clear them out mid-ride. (NB AVOID HIDDEN POTHOLES! :wink: )

Buy yer luverly Mk2 Crud Roadracers ‘ere!

For discounted Mk2 Crud Roadracers *CLICK HERE*.

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