Mudguard season is here – the weekend of the Tour of Lombardy marks the official start for Crest CC, so from 12th October until mid-April all riders are asked to use mudguards on all club rides (especially the Saturday training ride as this is a tight through and off formation).
Mudguards are an essential piece of winter kit, they not only protect your bike and yourself from road spray, but if fitted properly and with a proper flap, they will protect the rider behind you.
Fitting mudguards means we can still ride as a group through the winter; no one wants to be covered in road dirt from the rider in front. Mudguards will also keep your kit clean and your shoes dry.
The preference is a purpose-built winter bike with mudguard eyelets – you’d run the bike with full guards, generally more durable (and cheaper) components and tyres that can handle bad roads. However, if you only have a ‘race’ bike, that doesn’t have fixing eyelets, an option is something like the SKS Raceblades which give fairly good cover.
Mudflaps can make a huge difference to winter group cycle rides. Most mudguards finish half way down the back wheel, which means you stay dry but spray still hits the rider behind. Crest are fans of the very long mudflap and have been known to debate the merits of the extended flap…
Adding a mudflap catches that spray and everyone gets home (relatively) clean. All that expensive winter kit doesn’t need washing each time, therefore extending its life. More importantly, you don’t have a face covered in road dirt, which can only be a good thing.
Flaps can be made from something as simple as a plastic bottle, but we recommend the Raw Mudflap. Club branded ones are available to order from the Raw website.
Mudguards are your way of being courteous to your fellow cyclist (plus you don’t get home soaked, covered in road dirt and with a silly stripe up your back). They also look good – a nicely presented winter bike can look as good as a high-end lightweight summer bike!