Review: SKS Raceblade Long fenders

Surely you know that we’re big fans of fenders around here…they keep you and your bike happy and dry and clean, even in the worst weather. And, most commuters see them as a “must-have” accessory for a commuter bike. We couldn’t agree more.

Mir’s recent article about her quest for fenders got me to thinking about more fenders for my own fleet. I happen to have a few road bikes I sometimes use for commuting, and on rainy, yucky days I do NOT like to bring them out of the garage. Cleaning my shiny, sparkly road bikes is a chore I do not like. What if I could find full-coverage fenders for one of these skinny-tired roadsters?

First problem: the bike I wanted to add fenders to does not have eyelets on the fork or rear dropouts. Second, there’s not a lot of clearance to work with. Third, some of the other fenders suited for these kinds of situations aren’t full-coverage, and can be fiddly to install/maintain/stay in place while riding. I wasn’t about to have to deal with that, so off I went to the Intertubes to search out a solution.

Enter the SKS Raceblade Long. Full-coverage, easily removeable if needed, good reputation from a company that knows a thing or two about fenders. I took a trip to my friendly neighborhood Performance Bike to spend some holiday gift card money, and they gladly ordered me a set to add to my bike. About $60 and a couple days later, I was ready to install them.


The SKS Raceblade Longs are made of chromoplastic, with stainless steel stays and hardware. They clip to small metal bridges that are mounted under the brake bolts and to metal tabs that are held in place by the wheels’ quick-release skewers. The concept is very similar to the legendary “River City Reacharound”, but there is no cutting of fenders required. Here are a couple shots of the clips and the way they mount to the brakes:



Each fender is in two pieces; a longer rear section and a shorter front section. Each fender is supported by a double, adjustable stay set in stainless steel. SKS thoughtfully supplied soft plastic mudguards to screw onto the ends of the fenders:


Installation is pretty simple: loosen the brake mounting bolts, slip the bridges in and tighten the bolts down. The bridges come in three lengths to fit most bikes. At the wheel, remove the conical springs from the QR skewers, and fit the mounting tabs underneath the skewers:


The fenders clip directly to those bridges and tabs, and feature quick release buttons to remove them rapidly if desired:


I installed the Raceblade Longs yesterday, and took them out for a test ride today. The ground is still damp from snowmelt and rain, so I could really see how clean they kept me and my bike. What’s the verdict? They work! No muddy stripe up my back or in my face, and my bottom bracket area is pretty clean.

The Raceblade Longs are not perfect, of course. Right at the brake bridge area, there’s a pretty sizeable gap in coverage (necessitated by the design and lack of clearance on modern road bikes). I found a lot of road spray and goop covering the brakes that will need to be hosed off periodically.


The rear fender stops short behind the seat tube (again because of the design), so the back side of the bottom bracket shell gets a layer of road “deposits” on it:


Also, the front stub of the front fender rattles like crazy on rough roads. It’s pretty annoying, and I will try to figure out some way to quiet it down, perhaps with a shim where the bridge enters the back of that stub.

Obligatory Mir.I.Am-style crappy cameraphone pic:

Dings notwithstanding, I think these are a pretty good solution for people who want to ride their roadies in all weather conditions. They cover enough that maintenance and cleaning are reduced, and mount solidly enough for year-round use.

Please click here to read our review disclaimer as required by the Federal Trade Commission.


  1. E A

    I’d been wondering about these fenders…. if they were worth the investment… I’d be happy if other roadies at least mounted rear fenders for group rides on wet roads so I don’t get their spray 😉

  2. Ghost Rider

    I like these so much better than the regular short Raceblades…and they’ve done a lot of good so far. Granted, I haven’t ridden my skinny tires too much recently due to the snow and ice, but on slightly warmer days, these XLs do the job.

  3. WillyC

    Long, but still short? This is my first winter full-time commuting, and my first winter in Portland. It has been an abnormally dry winter thus far, but I have had my share of hard-rain rides to and from work. The fenders I have look to go about that far down the front wheel, which is where my gripe starts. The water that comes off the wheel up until it hits the fender still projects back, and I have found that too much of that ends up hitting my frame, and causing a “spray” to both sides that ends up getting my shoes wet…no matter what. Granted, by back-side is covered, and anything above ankle height gets stopped by the fenders, but I could use about another 6-8″ at the bottom of my front fender. Back? Meh, I don’t group ride in the rain, and even if I did, I would be in the back! Long, but still short.

  4. Ghost Rider

    @WillyC — you need some mudflaps! Rubber stair tread, a cut-up waterbottle, or fancy leather ones extend the back of the front fender to keep stuff from splashing onto you and your bike. I made some from rubber stair tread and zipties that extend my fender coverage almost to the ground, and the bike stays absolutely clean and dry. Cost about $3 worth of materials, too.

  5. WillyC

    @ Ghost Rider – My fenders already have a small rubber flapper. And you are right, I just need to extend it. I was just hoping someone, some day, somewhere would make one that covers. Thanks for the rubber stair tread tip!

  6. Raiyn

    @ WillyC
    Ask and ye shall receive.

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