Monday, July 9, 2018

Velo Orange mudguards review

I dithered for a fair while before coughing up for these Velo Orange mudguards. Why? Well, they are not cheap (though not exactly hugely expensive at around £60 either) and I generally like to use second hand parts on my bicycle projects.

However these 'guards were exactly the right style I was looking for for my Bob Jackson 'Randonneur' / 'Porteur' build so after deciding that nothing else would do I reluctantly put my hand in my pocket.

Bob Jackson Super Tourist with a hint of French glamour...

First thing to say is that I am delighted with the visual result of these mudguards, I was worried that they would be slightly too showy but in fact they set off the rest of the cycle perfectly. They very much are the icing on the cake and yet stand out in their own right too. I have never before had so many compliments about the attractive mudguards on my bicycle! Even to the extend of pedalling past a couple of middle aged ladies and overhearing one exclaim to the other, 'ooh what lovely mudguards', yes really, it did happen!

The honeycomb mottling of the aluminium is pure 1950s French.

So, we've established that they look good, now on to the fitting. The 'guards' are available in two different widths. I went for the wider as I'm running 35mm tyres on the Bob J. Partly my fault as the frame is really made for 32mm or less but the clearances on the guards were absolutely minimal. It took a lot of careful setting up to get the lines right and no rubbing on the tyres.

The fitting kit is of good quality but a couple of grumbles here. The instructions state that quality cycles have a threaded hole underneath the fork crown to mount mudguards. I'll call BS on that one, hardly any do. A clip is provided to mount on to the brake hole on the fork crown but there's some bending to do to get it to sit right. Furthermore, and I know I am being petty here, but, the clip should always mount behind the fork crown and the bracket be hidden underneath. The Velo Orange clip is designed to go forward of the crown and looks just a little less neat than it should as a result.

As for the rear mounting...why is there no mudguard bridge provided? Luckily I had one spare but really it should come with the kit..

Otherwise all was good, they are a slightly trickier than usual mudguard to mount and take some time but the end result is well worth it.

Bracketry is fiddly but of good quality.

Tight tight clearance on a 35mm tyre.

Eek noooo! The clip must be behind the fork crown!

At the same time I swapped from down tube shifter to stem
shifts. Way better comfort and control. Not sure why they never
really caught on.

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