A bike is by and large a fairly straight forward machine, most components are simple to service or change so why do chromoplastic mudguards appear to be the work of Satan. They seem to need constant adjustment and in my limited experience of them they seem to be, well not very robust.
I had written an earlier post about my SKS commuter mudguards, or at least the problem I had with them SKS Commuter Mud Guards
I was impressed with the level of customer service and the replacement mudguards from SKS have worked reasonably well on my Van Nicholas, or should I say they had until last week when I was cleaning the bike after a CTC midweek ride and I noticed a crack in the rear guard at exactly the same point as the previous set failed. It would seem that me and chromoplastic mud guards were not really compatible.
The offending rear guard was secured behind the bottom bracket and at the brake calliper, the rest of the guard was flexing with the single stay, hence the break at the centre of the span. I decide to cut my losses and look for a set of aluminium guards as I felt that the chromoplastic was not really up to the job. Given the nature of the problem I decided to report the failure to SKS as previously they had been very helpful and asked for feedback.
As with my previous dealing with SKS the impressive customer service department, namely Nadine had replied within an hour and asked if I could supply photographs of the problem. I was not looking for redress but a few days after sending the photographs I was amazed to receive an e-mail saying SKS would like to send me a set of Bluemels mudguards with v-stays free of charge instead of the problematic commuter guards and they were delivered from Germany two days later.
While the e-mail exchange with SKS was going on the cracked guard eventually gave up completely and I was forced to repair it with, yes, gaffer tape, if it’s good enough for a repair on a Formula One car I reckon it should do a temporary job on my mudguard. That evening while trawling the web I found a very nice set of classic flat aluminium guards from Brick Lane Bikes which after reading a few reviews I ordered, they have now been delivered and fitted and as well as appearing to be well engineered they add a pleasing look to the Van Nicholas
Hopefully the more substantial aluminium guards will see the end of my mudguard woe but if I do have further problems I have a set of Bluemells to fall back on, I am just sorry SKS do not make metal guards, as a company they are top notch to deal with.