Sunshine and showers

Sometimes you can hum and hah the day away, thinking “should I have a ride or shouldn’t I?”.

Today was just such a day. Blustery, dark and cloudy then bright and sunny by turns.

But I’m glad I did. 13 miles on the loop line in dappled sunshine. Bike ride scratch itched. Squirrel count: one (grey).

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The longboard and short of it – SKS P45 Longboard Beige. A review.

When I acquired my Raleigh Clubman it came with an affliction common to many sports tourers of its era, namely fenders that are too narrow for the tyre.

The delightful ESGE 35mm gold fenders that came stock with the bike in 1983 wore their 31 years well but with 27 x 1 1/4 tyres beneath (i.e. 32-630) they weren’t exactly roomy.

The problem was exacerbated when I swapped the stock Raleigh tyres for a set of Panaracer Paselas, which, aside from being wonderful, are the fattest 27 x 1 1/4 hoops in all of Christendom. So portly are they that they forced a period of fender abstinence.

Now this was fine during the hot, dry spell that has shocked and stunned the UK for the past week but, as any proud Stark would say, ‘winter is coming’ so a fender solution was sought.

So to cut to be chase I ordered a set of SKS Longboard fenders in the 45mm width in ‘beige’. Now don’t be put off by that word. Antique cream would be more accurate. They look fine against the metallic claret of the Clubman’s frame and pick out the decals nicely.

But the coverage… My oh my, I went out and wilfully sought out puddles in the country park and lo, my be-sandalled feet are clean and dry.

In short this is a hearty recommendation for the longboard. And a review of sorts.

As with all proper fenders, monkish levels of patience are required in order to fit them. There’s a knack too, which I’ve developed over a decade plus of fendering bicycles.

Rivendell have a great video on how to do it on YouTube. Seek it out. Me? I’m waiting for it to start raining so I can test them out some more.

I bought mine for £23 minus 10% plus £3.95 express delivery from ProBikeKit. They came well packed, on time and with a free bottle of Lipton ice tea, which my son quickly swigged. Very civilised.

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