Who cares about fenders, right? While not exactly the most exciting accessory, they're "one of those things that lets people ride more often", according to Mark Bergener of SKS, whose range of made-in-Germany mudguards expands and evolves for 2013.
More protection, more convenient
A common theme for several of SKS' revised fender models is increased length, to provide better protection against road spray – for both you and your riding partners.
Roadies looking for thorough coverage with quick-release convenience might be interested in the US$55/£45 RaceBlade Long. The 35mm-wide, plastic coated, aluminum core fender sections and metal stays attach via semi-permanent tabs mounted to the quick-release skewers and brake calipers. After the initial setup, installation and removal is a simple click-on/click-off affair, so you easily get some protection when you need it but ditch the excess baggage when it's dry.
The RaceBlade Long – the clue's in the name
Priced around US$22/£20 per set, the lower-priced Velo plastic fenders combine clip-on convenience with optional add-on metal stays for extra stability. SKS will offer widths from 42 to 65mm.
More basic coverage is offered by the new US$19/£13 S-Blade clip-on rear guard, which is based on SKS' popular X-Tra Dry but with a narrower 52mm width for road racing bikes. An adjustable, rubberized nylon strap attaches to your seatpost via a handy quick-release lever and the S-Blade can also be adjusted for angle.
Trail riders get the new US$27/£20 X-Blade rear fender and US$24/£18 Shockblade II front fender, both with dual-density plastic construction for good rigidity at the core but soft, flexible edges for impact durability.
The X-Blade II features the same quick-release rubberized nylon strap as the S-Blade, while the Shockblade II is available with a wide range of steerer tube inserts to fit nearly any fork – including Cannondale Headshoks.
SKS has fat bikes covered, too. The US$30/£20 Grand M.O.M. rear and US$35/£25 Grand D.A.D. front clip-on fenders have the same dual-density construction and attachment methods as the X-Blade II and Shockblade II, but in more generous widths to provide more adequate coverage.
SKS now has your fat bike tires covered
New bags and pumps
SKS' collection of bags grows for 2013, too. New models include the US$23/£13 Bento box-style Energy Bag, with Velcro attachments and a Velcro-secured lid, the slick US$23/£15 Tool Wrap that packages your tools in a handy roll and attaches to your top tube (or stashes in your car), and two US$30/£15 front triangle bags for riders who prefer to stash goods on the frame.
The new Tool Wrap – big enough for a few essentials
The company's impressively diverse range of floor pumps carries on unchanged, but the US$35-40/£30-35 Spaero Sport mini pump is new for this year, boasting a tidy hidden hose inside the aluminum or plastic body and a secure, Presta-only, screw-on head. Aimed at roadies – with particularly strong arms, we suspect – the slim body will supposedly crank out up to 115psi.
For more information see www.sks-germany.com.