… to try riding on a dirt road yesterday. It didn’t really feel like riding on dirt or gravel – it was more like riding on top of a giant freshly wet oil painting. The tires were sticking and sliding at the same time, with the slick and gritty mud slipping underneath as the tread attempted to grasp on. My new drivetrain sure didn’t appreciate that. It didn’t take long for the factory lube to strip right off the chain and leave behind a continuous crunching while I spun. It felt kind of like eating a really good sandwich on the beach. It tastes so delicious, even though sand is blowing into your food and with each chew you have to crunch through it just to enjoy the overall experience.
But it could have been worse, that is, without the P45 fenders by SKS. I installed these just for this type of situation and am completely impressed with them through and through. Here’s what I like.
Like all fenders, installation never goes as smoothly as you anticipate. So expect a good hour figuring it out, adjusting up and down, punching holes, and rigging zip ties to get everything set up just right. But with that said, installation went pretty smooth. This is what you’ll need on your frame to make it work optimally:
- Eyelets to mount the stays to the frame
- Mounts at the crown of the fork, bridge of the chain stays, and bridge of the seat stays to secure fenders to the frame
The P45’s use really cool rubber tips at the top of the stays that make up and down adjustment of the fenders easy and cover the tops of the stays to protect from potentially dangerous sharp edges. All hardware is included, but I had to make some adjustments. Zip ties were used to secure the front fender because the included bolt was too short for my fork crown, and had to melt a hole through the rear fender to secure it to the bridge at the seat stays – the mount on my frame was at the underside of the bridge, rather than through the rear which SKS provides for.
These fenders are SOLID. The stays are dependable yet flexible, making them hold the fender well but also take well to road vibration. The plastic fender is super stiff, so once its installed correctly you don’t get any chatter. And they added only a pound or so to the total weight of the bike. I won’t race with them, but hey at that weight I could if I wanted!
They do exactly what they need to! Keeps water and gunk off me and nearly all of the bike. It was my fault for riding on such a nasty road to get my chain all mudded up – even so, my frame and body was almost completely mud free. All in all it’s a light, sleek looking, wildly sturdy, and affordable fender set that will keep me riding through these wet months. The P45’s are meant to handle up to 35mm tires, so for roadies take a look at the P35, and for mountain bikes, the P65.