Posts Tagged ‘Dirt Road’

I knew it would be a bad idea … (or – SKS P45 Fender Review)

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

… 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!

The Ride

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.

Cabin Fever

Monday, February 7th, 2011

The snow has been piling down in these parts over the past week – it came down so heavy that UPS couldn’t even ship any of our packages last Wednesday.  Don’t get me wrong, the CX skiing has been fantastic, but most of us here are itching for dirt and can’t wait to ride a bicycle in the woods.  Until then, studded tires it is.

We recently got a big batch of the new Maxxis Ikon 29er tires (and 26 inch here), and I can’t wait to try them out.  Low knobs on the center and sides for fast rolling, but widely spaced for superior grip that won’t get packed up. It’s a tease seeing these tires hanging on the wall when there is two feet of snow out there. 

The Ikons will be replacing my Kenda Small Block 8’s this spring when racing season comes around.  Expect a hefty review on them around then.  But until things warm up and dry up, studded tires it is.


We’re pumped about the Ragin’ Raisin Dirt Classic.  A brand new race for 2011, the Ragin’ Raisin is east Michigan’s premier dirt road race. Use any bike you want on this killer course that tours Manchester’s unique and occasionally treacherous dirt roads. 

For dates, rates, and info check out, and keep looking back at our blog for updates.


And last (and probably least), something from the youtube vault. This may be “old” news, but funny news never gets old.  Enjoy.

Book Review: Dirt Road Washtenaw

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

 Dirt Road Cycling With Rob Pulicpher
Here in Michigan, the temps are getting lower, the leaves are falling, and before we know it we’re going to start seeing some snow.  Most cyclists are either going to set up the trainer inside, hook up mountain bikes with studded tires, or stop riding altogether until the spring thaw.

Dirt Road WashtenawRob Pulcipher, Author of Dirt Road Washtenaw: Biking the Back Roads, challenges this attitude with his new book, an invaluable resource for local bicyclists. It full is of routes, riding techniques, and histories of the roads most of us have learned to avoid.  There are dozens of routes with detailed maps, photographs, and descriptions illustrating the beauty and varied terrain that the area has to offer.

Though his book is geared towards those in Washtenaw County, his advice and experience is applicable to cyclists throughout the country. I sat down with Rob for a couple minutes last week to discuss riding the dirt roads, and he informed and motivated me to get my knobby bike out on those roads I so often have neglected. (more…)