For those with road or gravel bikes that don’t always ride in wet conditions, clip-on fenders are an excellent option. Not only can fenders keep your backside dry, but they can also protect your bike for dirt and grime. The SKS Raceblade Pro XL fenders are SKS’s ultimate clip-on fenders that are highly adjustable and provide lightweight protection. With a retail price of $74.99 the Raceblade Pro XL fenders are designed for 700C wheelsets with 25-32mm sized tires. The fenders use quick release rubber mounts to allow the fenders to be quickly installed or removed from nearly any style bike including disc or rim brake setups. Note, SKS also offers a Raceblade Pro Black Matte variation of the fenders that have a matte finish instead of glossy black.
The SKS Raceblade Pro XL is a lightweight and highly adjustable fender set designed to clip onto nearly any style bike.
|Rating||8.7 / 10|
|Measured Weight (in g)||188 (front) / 222 (rear)|
|Likes||+ Quick-release straps allow the fenders to be quickly installed or removed|
+ Highly adjustable double hinged design
+ Protects you from water spray and dirt
|Dislikes||– Cumbersome initial setup|
– Rear fender mount is better suited for narrow seat stays
– Short rear fender doesn’t prevent spray on cyclists behind you
|Where to Buy (US)||SKS US|
The SKS Raceblade Pro XL fenders come in a large SKS branded cardboard box with a center cutout that allows you to feel and interact with the fenders. Inside the box you’ll find:
- Raceblade Pro XL fenders
- Allen key
- Clear frame protector stickers
- Screws for locking fender placement
- Zip ties for more permanent installs
Note, SKS includes both zip ties and screws for those looking for a more permanent fender installation. The screws can be run through the inside of the fender strut attachment points to prevent them from sliding around when being removed/stored.
What sets the Raceblade Pro XL apart from standard fenders on the market is the clever double hinged mounting design. Each of the fenders uses flexible rubber mounts with rubber straps to secure them to the frame. The front fenders wrap around the fork while the rear fenders use the seat stays. Two struts on each side connect the mount to the fenders and have two screws on each strut. One set of the screws can be loosened to extend/contract the strut inside a plastic mount while the others can be loosened to allow the strut to pivot. On top of that, the struts can slide along the fender which provides nearly an infinite amount of fender positions and angles.
Not surprisingly, the first time you set up the fenders it can be a bit cumbersome as you have to mirror the adjustments on each side of the fender until you’re happy with the placement. Once you have the fender position set you can simply tighten the screws and not worry about adjustments as everything stays in place. Our main complaint with the setup is that the rubber mount has an elliptical cutout that works best with narrow seat stays. Although it still works with round seat stays the mounts don’t fit as flush as we’d like. Also if you plan on keeping the fenders on the bike for long periods of time it would be advisable to use the provided frame protectors to prevent the mounts from scratching the frame over time.
FIT & FINISH
SKS has chosen a two-piece fender design to allow the Raceblade Pro XL to be compatible with a variety of road or cyclocross frames. With these XL versions, the fenders were widened to work with modern 25-32mm tire widths found on road bikes. Thanks to the highly flexible mounting setup the fenders can work with disc or rim brake bike setups as you can slide the fender forward or backwards to avoid the calipers. As you can see from the side profile the fenders are fairly short with a 565mm front fender length and 730mm rear length. While that is more than enough to protect you, riders behind you will still experience part of rear tire spray. At the end of each fender are extra long mud flaps that help redirect water or dirt away from the bike.
The fenders are constructed from an impact resistance plastic and have a glossy black finish. It’s a surprisingly thick material that feels durable enough to hold its shape but is lightweight and flexible. Each of the fenders have two struts that slide along the top of the fender and stay in place using fiction fit. The fenders don’t require any specific frame eyelets or mounting hardware which makes them easy to use with a variety of bikes. Compared to slide-in saddle fenders like the Topeak D-Flash S, the Raceblade Pro XL offers substantially more protection for yourself and your bike. The fenders offer an excellent alternative from traditional full metal fenders and quick-release style seat post or fender style fenders.
ON THE ROAD
One of the main advantages of the Raceblade Pro XL is the flexible mounting and lightweight design. That means fair weather cyclists like ourselves can easily install or remove the fenders as needed. We installed the fenders on our Priority Ace of Spade commuter bike for the rare California rainy days. Aside from the initial adjustments, the fenders are easy to quickly install and remove from the bike. With the wider profile of these XL versions, there was plenty of protection from spray off the 700×28 tires. The flexible mounts allow the fenders to flex but are secure enough to stay even over potholes or gravel trails. While the rear fender doesn’t full cover the back wheel it has more than enough coverage to keep your backside dry and the bike clean.
Overall we found the SKS Raceblade Pro XL fenders to be well designed and highly flexible clip on fenders. The quick release rubber mounts allow the fenders to quickly be attached and removed from the bike. We liked the double hinged mounts which allow for nearly limitless adjustments and can most frame geometries without the need for specific mounting eyelets. Despite being made of plastic, the fenders have a premium look and feel that looks good on road, commuter or any bike in between. The main downsides of the fenders is that the initial setup can be a bit cumbersome and the fact that the rear fender doesn’t full cover the rear wheel. That said, if you’re looking for a high-quality clip on fender then the SKS Raceblade Pro XLs are a great option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by SKS US. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.