Friday, June 19, 2009

Product Review: SKS Fenders

I picked up some SKS P45 fenders from Silver Cycles (LBS) for the LHT yesterday and I must say they are a pretty good solution. I researched several of the higher end, fancy pants fenders and figured I would try these first. They are cheap enough that I can always upgrade if I didn't like them. I also didn't want to mess around with drilling, measuring, and getting leather washers and the whole thing.

The biggest competition for the SKS are the Planet Bike fenders. I had these on the Cross Check and I liked them too. They are durable and the price is right but overall I am liking the SKS a lot more. The installation was easier than the Planet Bike fenders and took a lot less time.

I like the multi layer chromo plastic. The stripes gives some depth to the LHT. Time will tell if it can hold up to a beating.

I really like the Secu-Clips. The idea is that when a stick gets caught up in the fender the fender arms will pull out of the clip rather than the fender shattering or causing a wreck. Another use I found last night was that you can simply pull them out to put the bike on a fork mounted roof rack. When I put the LHT up on the rack the fender was hitting the tray blocking the fork frown lowering down to the fork mount. After popping out the arms from the clips there was no problem. Afterward I just popped them back into place and was ready to go.

During the installation of the front fender I realized that the black plastic tabs (guides) that hold the arm in place didn't allow for adjustment I took a knife and cut the plastic halfway up the arm. This kept the plastic on the ends of the arms keeping them safe from poking or snagging (and they look good). I know I could have just removed them but I'm lazy. I had no problem with the rear tabs, the fit was perfect.

The only other issue I had was that the directions provided were pretty vague and didn't specify which bolts went where. It's not rocket science though, I got through it.

Other than that that installation was very smooth. Over all the Planet Bike and the SKS fenders offer a great solution for an inexpensive easy to use fender. That said, having worked with both recently I would recommend the SKS.

This photo makes me very happy. An LHT in every kitchen!


Have a kick ass weekend.





18 comments:

Freewheel said...

Thanks for the review. I'm planning to pick these up soon.

m e l i g r o s a said...

between here and the rat trap press blog, that LHT gets better looking post after post... im liking ;D
afterall you can never have too many rides <3

Rachel said...

Great review! I've recently started biking to work (!!) and it's ok so far but I know I'm going to need fenders if I want to keep this up.

Cycle Jerk said...

Let's all give Rachel a golf clap starting to bike to work!

Good for you sister.

ondre said...

I just put the SKS P65s on my LHT. Thanks for the tip about cutting the plastic tips off the guides. I've since shortened the stays and glued the caps on.

The only issue I have is that there is a gap over the front wheel: http://i42.tinypic.com/1071leh.jpg

Did you mount to the front or the rear of the fork brake mount?

Cycle Jerk said...

Ondre,
I mounted mine on the back similar to the way you have yours set up but I didn't have that issue. Are you running 26 in wheels maybe? Not sure what else would cause that.

You might want to try posting here:

Surly Long Haul Trucker & Cross-Check Owners Group
http://groups.google.com/group/SurlyLHT?pli=1

ondre said...

Thanks, I already queried the LHT/CC group :)

Yes, they're the 26" but the P65 fenders are marketed for the Big Apple tire, I'm assuming that's why the arc is bigger than my skinny Silckasaurus.

RodC said...

Thanks for responding to my post on the LHT forum. Your idea of cutting the tips of the plastic are genius. Thanks for the helpful photos as well. The SKS instructions are kind of useless in that way.

Cycle Jerk said...

Thanks for the props RodC!

Joe said...

Awesome set up, did you do anything special to get the rack and the fenders mounted on the back? It seems like the rack would get in the way on my bike if I were to add a rear fender. Thanks!

Cycle Jerk said...

Joe - I didn't have to do anything special. The fender fit under the rack with just enough clearance. Removing the rack to install the rear fender might make things easier.

Aga said...

I just bought a pair of P45s today and although the rear fender went on with no problems, it seemed like the stays for the front fender was too long and it forced it to tilt at an angle that would cause it to rub against the tire.

I was about to use an angle grinder to chop the stays a bit, but it never struck me to just cut the plastic housings on the fender itself!

Thanks for the help!

Anonymous said...

My girlfriend ran into the same fit issue on the front wheel. Thank you SO MUCH for posting your solution and pics, it worked perfectly and alleviated a lot of frustration.

rusty505 said...

Echoing all the other comments on here, thanks for the tip of cutting the plastic tip...such an obviously simple solution!

Anonymous said...

I just got an LHT wiht 26" x 1" - would the P45s work for that? I don't want to get a huge oversize fender!

Cycle Jerk said...

The 45s should fit that tire fine. I should tell you that I wish my 45 fenders were 50s. I too wanted the thinnest most streamlined option but now I'm in the market for wider tires and I might have to get new fenders to fit them.

lee Kilpatrick said...

Here is a great video that shows details on installing a set of SKS fenders. Thanks goes out to Rivendell Bicycle Works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG_WZVS9SUY

lee Kilpatrick said...

Here is a great video that shows details on installing a set of SKS fenders. Thanks goes out to Rivendell Bicycle Works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG_WZVS9SUY