Bicycle fender specialists – SKS Germany are recognised as one of the worlds leading makers of bike mudguards and accessories. The company continues to follow trends – developing new products for the ever-changing cycling market. I decided to give one of their new products a test, the SKS S-Board front mudguard – designed to accommodate wider tyres.
The SKS S-Board is a quick-fit, clip-on front mudguard. It is designed for road, gravel, cyclocross bikes – fitting tyre widths if up to 38mm. The mudguard is fixed with a rubber tension strap which wraps around the forks and hooks onto the bracket. This is the same feature that is used on the SKS Raceblade Pro mudguards we previously reviewed.
The S-Board brackets are double hinged, using four 2.5mm Allen bolts. This makes the mudguard adjustable to accommodate wider tyres. The inside of the brackets have rubber padding to protect you bike frame and paintwork.
There is the additional option of using the adhesive frame protector strips. These are supplied with the mudguard, along with a a 2.5mm Allen key.
Finding a decent set of mudguards for my gravel bike proved a little tricky. This was simply because of where the mounts are on the frame. So the SKS S-Board front mudguard looked to be a good option. My Vitus Substance runs 37mm tyres, which is the maximum recommended width.
The plastic mudguard is quite flexible, but they are well put together. Mounting them to the forks is a simple enough task. Or at least it should be. This will be determined by where your brake cables are routed. In particular – disc brake cables. With the forks on the Vitus, the front brake cable is mounted and cable-tied to the back of the fork. Unfortunately this is in the same place that the S-Board bracket sits. After some fiddling, I managed to get the bracket to slot over the mount. It’s not ideal but it’s an issue with the frame design, rather than the SKS S-board front mudguard.
Where I did find a slight design floor was in the shape of the brackets. The are clearly designed to fit a bike with bladed forks – rather than rounded. I couldn’t get the rubber pad inside the bracket to sit flush against the fork. The rubber tension straps do a good job of holding the bracket in place securely. The SKS instructions suggest that you cut of any excess but to be honest, there was so little to but that is didn’t seem worth it.
If you’ve tried fitting mudguards before, you’ll know that the most time-consuming part is getting their position correct. The SKS S-Board front mudguard isn’t any different. But having the hinge bracket made the process a little less timely. The hinge movement is limited and designed to fine tune the mudguard position. Once you have adjusted and tightened the hinge position, you shouldn’t need to do this again.
Out and about you quickly learn that the SKS S-Board front mudguard is to prevent mud and spray from splashing up on you or your bike. The short body of the mudguard does little to stop your feet or drivetrain from getting wet.
SKS S-Board Front Mudguard Review Conclusion
The SKS S-Board is lightweight front mudguard option for those looking for pretty basic protection. It has a very reasonable retail price of £17.99. Its easy to mount thanks to the rubber tension strap and hook fixings. These do a decent job of holding the hinged brackets securely over various terrain. Although, the brackets will sit on some forks better than others, which I can’t help feeling is a bit of a design floor. The initial set up is quicker than conventional mudguards. I like the fact SKS provide everything you need to fit the mudguards, including the 2.5mm Allen key and frame protectors. If you’re looking for a throw-on mudguard for your fatter-tyred gravel or CX bike – the SKS S-Board isn’t a bad option. If you are looking for a little more coverage for your road bike – I’d opt for the more expensive SKS Raceblade (Pro).