Alternative SKS Chromoplastic Mudguard fitting guide

On Sunday I successfully fitted a set of mudguards to my new bike, as while getting splashed on the commute was fine, it was less fun to get splashed on a weekend cycle in jeans.

I chose the SKS Chromoplastics from Wiggle as they were on offer and look nice in black. The only trouble is that fitting is fiddly and the instructions aren’t all that clear. So without further ado, here is my guide to fitting them. Sadly I didn’t take pictures, so this is not an illustrated guide.

I’ve also made a downloadable, printable pdf of these instructions, in case you’re working on your bike away from easy internet access.

Mudguard fitting instructions:

  1. The first instruction is to check that all the parts are there. This is pretty difficult as there is no part list, and they come supplied with a number of alternative fittings for different methods of attachment.
    At the least there should be:

    1. Front and rear guard
    2. 2 x front V-stays (these have the black clip on)
    3. 2 x rear V-stays (these end in a loop)
    4. 8 x black plastic end caps for the stays
    5. 8 x small bolt with a hole in for the stay to fit through
    6. 8 x nut to fit those bolts
    7. Sliding bracket for the rear mudguard
    8. 2 x Allen bolts to attached the front stays to the frame. These are slightly longer than the back ones in order to go through the plastic ‘SECU-clip’. If the frame is threaded then you won’t need a nut on the end, otherwise you’ll need nuts to fit these bolts.
    9. 2 x Allen bolts for the rear stays, with nuts if required.
    10. Method of attachment for rear mudguard to chainstay bridge. In my case, this was a medium bolt with washer, as the frame was threaded, but SKS also include a plate to go around the bridge if there is no hole in the frame.
  2. In addition, the tools that you will need are:
    1. Allen key and spanner to fit the provided bolts
    2. Allen key/spanner to fit/remove your brake calipers from the bridges
    3. Hacksaw to cut the stays to the correct length. Atkoj in the comments has suggested using bolt cutters, which seems much more sensible if you have them.
  3. Fitting the front mudguard
    1. Clip in the 4 black plastic caps into the fixed bridges on the mudguard.
    2. Remove the front wheel and front brake calipers.
    3. Attach front mudguard via the bracket using the front brake bolt and the re-attach the brakes. The bracket is designed to go at the rear of the fork, but the recessed nut for my brakes was too big to fit through the mudguard bracket, so I mounted it on the brake side.
    4. Replace the front wheel.
    5. Hold the V-stays against where they attach and measure if they need trimming. Mark with a felt tip and then trim the excess (hacksaw, bolt cutters or angle grinder). Do this for both sides.
    6. Thread the bolts with a hole in on to the stays, push the bolt through the hole in the mudguard bracket whilst pushing the stay into the black end cap. Do this for both ends of the stay.
    7. Bolt the stay on to the frame.
    8. Adjust the clearance of the mudguard against the wheel, then tighten the nuts to clamp the stay at the correct height.
    9. Repeat F, G & H on the other side.
  4. Fitting the rear mudguard
    1. Remove the rear wheel and rear brake.
    2. Fit the sliding bracket to the rear brake bolt and replace the brakes. As in 3.C, the bracket is designed for the opposite side to the brake caliper, but might not fit if you have a recessed nut on your brakes. I mounted mine on the brake side.
    3. Slide the mudguard through the bracket and down to the chainstay bridge. My frame has a drilled, threaded hole here, so I just used a medium length bolt and washer. Otherwise, a nut and bolt or the provided plate could be used.
    4. Re-attach the rear wheel.
    5. Follow steps 3.E-I, to trim the stays and attach them to the frame and mudguard.

Done! This took me the best part of a day, including a trip to the hardware shop for a junior hacksaw and some 5mm nuts that had been missed out of the enclosed fittings, but I hope this demystifies the process for you. Despite being fiddly, they do look really nice on, and work like a dream.

If I remember, I’ll try and add some pictures of the finished product and some of the components I’m talking about.

13 thoughts on “Alternative SKS Chromoplastic Mudguard fitting guide”

  1. Hello,

    What a faff these mudguards are! I felt compelled to write as I had a bit of a struggle and found your guide helpful in making sense of the overall fitting order.

    Many thanks.

    Jon

  2. Thanks for posting this. The instructions are, as you say, less than helpful, so it was very useful to have the process laid out in detail.

    The only suggestion I have is adding are a pair of pliers (for bending the rear bridge to fit) and some spare hacksaw blades to your list of tools. I also put some anti-sieze grease on the bolt threads. I found the most time-consuming part to be measuring and cutting the stays – I wore out half a pack of hacksaw blades in the process.

  3. Really useful instructions thanks. Stacks better than the instructions that come with them.I used a “dremel” kind of tool instead of the hacksaw – just find that a bit easier and they don’t seem to blunt too quickly.

    There’s a useful video from Evans that may help people too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhzECAgQx3c

    As everyone seems to be saying, a pain to get on but really good once fitted.

    1. Yeah, as Richard says above, the hacksawing is time-consuming and can eat blades! That Evans video is useful, thanks.

      For permanent mudguards, I think these are the best and that’s after over a year of use.

  4. Dear James,

    Just thought I’d leave a comment to thank you for the very clear help above. I’ve fitted these before and followed the instructions in the pack and, as you point out, it can take the best part of a day. However, this time, using the above – just under two hours!

    An old post, but still really useful. Thanks again.

    Luke

  5. Extremely thankful for these instructions. The hacksaw process was quite hard without a vice, but with slow and steady approach…got there in the end! Thanks again!

  6. Clever boy! I was struggling with the eyelet for the front mudguard being too small for the bolt. Of course! Fit it to the front of the caliper. You think quicker than me.

  7. Over two hours.
    Had to cut half the eyelet off the front bracket as would hit the headset when adjusting for height. Couldn’t use read bracket as tolerances poor on my bike and even when bent right in tyre was touching but seems to work without it – stays and bracket by crankset in place. Tougher than I thought, happy I stumbled across your instructions.

    PS. I cheated and used an angle grinder for all cutting.
    Thanks

    1. Yep, I can see that bolt cutters would take a lot less time, also like the angle grinder that Paul suggested above. I just don’t have a big enough toolkit!

      I’ll add those suggestions into the main post, for people who don’t read the comments. Thanks!

  8. Bolt cutters! Bolt Cutters! Bolt Cutters!

    Given that you can get a set for £10 on eBay they’ll save you hours of labour plus hacksaw blades. I bought a set of 18mm ones and they go through the stays like a knife through butter.

    I took a slightly different approach:

    First I fed the eye bolts on to the stays.

    Then I loosely fitted the stays to the mudguards with the nuts, and taking care that stays didn’t slide out of the eye bolts then connected the stay to the frame.

    This allows you to slide the stays backwards and forwards through the eye bolts until you’ve got the positioning right.

    Once right, you can tighten the eye bolts and one side is done.

    Now, take the stay and eye bolts for the other side and slide the stays through the guards. You can use the other stay as reference for how much you need to slide the stays through. Tighten the nuts on the eye bolts

    Then, finally, connect the stay to the frame.

    If you need to reposition the mudguard then slacken the eyebolt nuts slightly (no more than a quarter turn).

    Final step is to bolt crop the stays and fit the end caps although I think I prefer traditional black vinyl caps than the SKS ones.

    The idea of getting these lined up only to take them off to hacksaw them just seems crazy considering the price of a pair of croppers.

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