Thursday, October 4, 2007 10.30am
By Michael Stenning
Clip on race guards have made something of a comeback in recent seasons, possibly coinciding with the renewed interest in road bikes. These manage to be quite smart looking and reasonably effective if you're running tyres between 20 and 23mm wide.
The black chromo-plastic is reassuringly solid and should last a few seasons before any evidence of warping or cracking sets in.
Fitment is simple and reasonably secure, although I would advise a drop of Loctite on fixing bolts to prevent them vibrating loose in the first few miles. The supple plastic securing mounts attach to the front fork and seat stays and thoughtfully include rubber shims, which should minimise any paint damage. SJS also recommend fitting electrical tape just below the securing mounts on the front fork to stop the guard slipping down and binding on the front tyre.
Out on the road the guards proved surprisingly good at minimising road spray and debris, keeping the worst from rider and intricate parts of machine, although the test models vibrated a little annoyingly over some surfaces which might put some off and I have reservations over the durability of the plating on the stays. However, these might be a solution for those who do not like the hassle of fitting full length guards, or those pressing an older unlugged racing frame into winter/commuting service.
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