An extended version of SKS’s popular Raceblades, these 475g full-coverage chromoplastic guards have rigid steel stays with ingenious clips that let you tweak their position once they’re fixed to the bike.
They come with Ikea-style instructions and are easy to fit, though not as simple as the short version. They clip into steel brackets that attach to your wheel quick-release skewers and brake callipers. The brackets keep tyre clearance requirement to a minimum – you’ve got a good chance of getting 25mm rubber in.
The Raceblade Longs keep your bum and feet dry, and the extra rear extension will make you popular on group rides. Taking them off for a sunny ride or bike cleaning is easy as they just unclip from their brackets.
The left-behind brackets in the quick releases look a bit odd though, and unlike regular Raceblades, fixing a puncture is a bit fiddly as you have to locate the brackets in your quick-release when you replace the wheel.
The Raceblades’ design means they don’t keep spray out of your brakes. We’d also worry about the edges of the steel brackets digging into carbon forks – a bit of bending or lining with rubber might be a good idea.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.
SKS have responded to our review by revising the Raceblade Longs’ steel brackets – they’re now angled rather than straight to avoid frame/fork clashes.
SKS have changed the Raceblade Longs’ steel brackets for 2012; these are the new ones