The plates sit between your dropouts and quick release lever/nut and have a protrusion that has a 4mm threaded hole that you can attach bolt-on mudguards to. This protrusion kicks outwards a little, so should clear all but the most pronounced of lawyers lips.
They’re super light at 3g each and bring a level of year-round practicality that so many bikes miss out on — I despair at how few bikes come with provisions to fit mudguards, particularly when they can be so cleanly integrated into the overall design of a bike.
The nifty nubbins are quite unintrusiveJack Luke / Immediate Media
Trek in particular gets a big fat thumbs up from me here for its little removable ‘banjo-bolt’ thingies used to fit mudguards to the Domane. These are completely unobtrusive when removed, but hold mudguards in place just as well as any integrated eyelet. But I digress…
The Axle Runners will only work on bikes with quick release skewers or ‘bolt on’ hubs like those used on the Surly hubs pictured. Discs shouldn’t present a problem, though you’ll no doubt have to faff about with a stack of washers to make mudguard stays clear calipers.
Toe overlap will invariably be an issue if you run mudguards on a bike with a short front centreJack Luke / Immediate Media
There is a high likelihood that you’ll have issues with toe overlap if you’re using these on a bike with a short front centre (i.e., most bikes that aren’t designed around mudguards), but as long as you’re careful when riding, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Before anyone pipes up in the comments, yes, I am aware that clip-on mudguards are a thing, but they don’t work nearly as well or look as good as proper bolt-on mudguards.
Sure, P-clips work fine, but they look half as good as theseJack Luke / Immediate Media
Similarly, I know that P-clips are thing, and while they work fine, they could hardly be described as elegant compared to these.
And lastly, before anyone even things of suggesting it, no, you cannot use these to mount a pannier rack.
If you really must portage on a bike that is deprived in the eyelet department, you will be better served with something along the lines of a Blackburn Outpost series rack that can attach via a quick release skewer.
Jack has been riding and fettling bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of his tandem, Cecil, cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.