All-weather cyclists will have noticed that it has been raining hard recently. Those of us with standard SKS mudguards will also have noticed that, in such conditions, while they are great pieces of kit, they are not perfect.
The problem is simple: the lower of the stamped steel stay carriers gets in the way of the water flowing back down the inside of the mudguard, and sends some of it gushing out of the sides of the guard at just the right height to get blown back on to the top of the shoes.
The solution is equally simple: drill out the two soft aluminium rivets that hold it and the mudflap in place, and refit it to the outside of the ‘guard.
As ever, there’s a bit more to it than that. The shape of the carrier fits the curve of the inside of the ‘guard and won’t go around the outside. So, the carrier must be reshaped to fit, and it is surprisingly stiff. Work carefully and ensure you get both sides the same shape. If you are working on an older mudguard with stays cut to length, you will also need to ensure that the ‘wings’ that house the stay bolts reach the stay ends…
You will need a pop-rivetter and a couple of 10mmx4mm pop rivets. You can also take this opportunity to fit a new mudflap if the existing one either looks on its last legs or doesn’t offer enough protection.
The difference in water outflow is substantial. Your feet will still get wet, but they’ll stay dry longer and won’t get as cold.