New & Improved!
The fenders continue to be made from the same tough but light and flexible plastic as before, and still look good in the never-goes-outta-style black. The big improvements are in the coverage provided at the rear. Last year I discussed my desire for a longer extension in the back, and it seems Crud Products owner Pete Tomkins has heeded my call – as alas – the Roadracer 2’s rear fender extends almost twice as far as before – both in front and the back, and is wider at the tail as well – both improvements to water blockage – especially if you’re on the bike behind.
But perhaps even better – the improvement I really liked, was the extended coverage of the front part of the rear fender, which now reaches right down to the chainstays/ bb junction, and wraps around the drive side of the wheel – providing downright excellent protection to the front derailleur.
Outta the box
Everything you need comes in the box – except maybe some tape to protect your frame where you attach the fender mounts – which I think is always a good idea as winter road crud does find its way in to eventually scratch an unprotected frame.
The whole kit-n-kaboodle (…there’s a word I never thought I’d actually write…) weighs in at just under 211 grams – and can add even less weight to your bike if you don’t use the front fender front extender.
Onto the Bike
They’re designed to be mounted quickly and in pieces – which actually make life easier since you need not remove the wheels to do it. If you take more than 30 minutes (and I’m being generous here) to get these babies on, then you’ve either done something terribly wrong, or are in fact completely inept at mechanical tasks. (Note: I sincerely apologize if I haven’t shattered anyone’s illusions of one day wrenching for a Pro Tour team…but really, it’s for the better.)
The fenders attach to the frame via anchors on each fork leg and seat stay, which are easy to mount with the heavy duty rubber bands supplied. As I said – be sure you lay down some tape to protect the frame first.
The support legs then easily attach to the mounts with plastic screws, which can be secured by hand. In fact I suggest not using a screw driver or pliers here, because it’s easy to over-tighten and possibly strip the screw threads. This likely won’t render the fenders useless, but may lead to a screw/ fender malfunction. In any case, a dab of locktight is probably a good thing to apply – although I have not done so myself.
The top of the fender attaches to the front and rear brake mount with a zip tie. These have been improved as well – now being fatter than before, and with an even easier to use finger release that allows for easy removal / adjustment of the Cruds. A nice touch – and especially appreciated by anyone else who’s sliced a finger trying to use a jackknife blade to open a zip tie. (Yes – I know what I’m talking about here.)
Unlike a lot of fenders on the market, these are designed to continuously wrap around the tire (ie: no break at the fork crown or rear seatstay). The challenge is that a lot of bikes don’t have much clearance between the tire and those points on the frame – as in not enough to fit a fender through. But the Cruds are only about 2mm thick, and actually narrow at these junctions, to solve this dilemma. Depending on what type of brakes you’re running – you’ll notice more – or less clearance. They may not fit on all bikes – but I’ve had no probs fitting them to a couple bikes with both SRAM Force and TRP R960 brakes.
The limited space really shows up if you want to mount the front fender extender – I’ve found it rubs the front tire on both my bikes, so I leave it off. It’s no biggie really, since none of my other brands of fenders ever extended in front of the forks either.
Since there’s no greater annoyance with fenders than the squeak of poor alignment, or a bit of extra spray because the tire is not quite centered underneath – this area is critical to overall performance. Good for Crud – the alignment adjustment is easy too – again using the finger-twist screws and siding the support arms slightly at the slots of the fender mounts. It took me all of about 30 seconds to have things settled and centered.
One issue with a lighter fender, is that they are more prone to flex, flap and flop than heavier and more rigid designs. Crud has ingeniously solved any unwanted wheel/ tire slap by including four tiny ‘brush’ pads that can be simply stuck to the inside of the fender where it passes the wheel rim. The brushes quietly help center the fender, and reduce road noise.
The Roadracer 2’s take noise reduction one step further with the addition of tiny adhesive rubber pads that can be used wherever the fender has close contact with the frame. I used two where the rear fender extends next to the down tube to eliminate a rattle, and you can also use ‘em at the top mounts to the brakes.
Like I said last year – these work well – only now they work even better thanks to the improved coverage of the rear fender. The back extends considerably longer than before, but like I said up top – my favorite part is the added coverage at the front of the rear wheel.
You can easily see how much the fender wraps around the wheel to shield the derailleur, chain, chainrings and your leg from muck, and it really works – check my ‘after’ photo below.
The red circle shows spray and dirt on the wheel after a wet ride, while the green circle shows the clean part of the drivetrain. Nice. That photo is real and untouched.
I’ve had these on for a good month and about 10 rides now, and they’ve performed as I expected after last year’s winter long display = I stay protected and dry from road-originating water and grit.
Durability is good – but I have to be careful when walk-wheeling my bike through the garage as the rear fender will catch on stuff – and the extender flap can snap off. It’s designed to give at the screw, so the fender itself will receive minimal damage. If you really want to go all Mr. Fix-it you can break out the drill and extra zip ties to solve this issue. Perhaps Mr. Tomkins can include a few replacement screws in future versions?
Overall – a stylish and effective way to stay dryer this winter, and through any wet rides.
• BUY ‘EM – Crud is sold through dealers only, BUT you can buy ’em online right now from their UK dealers, many of whom will ship for free just, Google ‘Crud Roadracer’. I found prices as low as Ј22.00 ($36.00).
• See the website at CrudProducts.com
• US distributors… Seattle Bike Supply
• Canadian distributors…Norco.
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