First Impressions: SKS Raceblade XL Fenders

It’s no secret that fenders make riding in the rain a hell of a lot more tolerable. But what if your bike doesn’t have the necessary mounting points, or clearance for traditional full-length fenders? Thanks to SKS-Germany’s Raceblade XL fenders, you can add wet-weather protection to nearly any bicycle.

SKS offers a staggering array of fenders (or mudguards, if you prefer). The company’s Raceblade line, originally intended for racing machines, has expanded to include the full-length Raceblade Long, and the model that we tested–the Raceblade XL. While the three models offer varying amounts of coverage and protection, they all feature mounting systems designed to accommodate hard-to-fit frames and forks.

GRAVELBIKE.com SKS Raceblade XL H+SON Archetype Kenda Kriterium Endurance Black Mountain Cycles CamelBak Shimano microSHIFT Speedplay Frog

No additional toe/wheel overlap, even with winter shoe covers.

The Raceblade and Raceblade XL share the same quick-release mounting system. Once configured, the fenders can quickly and easily removed or installed simply by unhooking the rubber fixing straps (no tools are required). If you don’t wish to remove the Raceblades, the included cable ties can be used for more permanent mounting. Even with the rubber fixing straps, the Raceblade XLs held securely over rough pavement and bumps. Whichever attachment method you choose, be sure to protect your frame and fork’s finish by using the included protective film.

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel grinder SKS Raceblade

A single rubber strap can be wrapped “candy cane” style for additional security.

How much protection do the Raceblade fenders provide? While they don’t offer the coverage of a full-length fenders, the Raceblade XLs are more than adequate for fending off light rain, road spray, or snow melt. In those conditions, your feet and backside will stay dry, but because the rear fender doesn’t extend past the brake, expect some slop to make its way onto your bike’s seat tube and bottom bracket area. Our XL test samples easily accommodated 28mm tires, and weighed 350 grams for the pair (including rubber spoilers and mounting straps).

GRAVELBIKE.com SKS Raceblade XL H+SON Archetype Kenda Kriterium Endurance Black Mountain Cycles CamelBak Shimano microSHIFT Speedplay Frog

Silver Raceblade XL shown with rubber spoiler (mudflap) for additional protection.

 

Disclosure: SKS-Germany provided product samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

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