Power Grips and CRUD Roadracer MK2
Every now and then, you buy a piece of bike gear and it just works. You don't feel the need to spend hours surfing the net reading product comparisons / reviews trying to convince yourself that it was money well-spent. I have just bought two of these products.
Frustrated by being left behind by fellow commuters who can seemingly accelerate at will in their clipless shoes up Blackfriars Bridge every morning, I want some kind of foot retention on my beater steel singlespeed. I am not a big fan of toeclips and straps as I never seem to be able get the adjustment right. Having come across the Power Grips pedal straps a while ago, I decided to buy a pair of second hand ones from eBay. Each Power Grips strap is essential a big fat piece of laminated strap that goes from one corner of your pedal to the opposite diagonal corner. (Ah yes you do need pedals with toeclip mounting holes on them in order to fit the Power Grips) The idea behind this diagonal setup is that as you straighten up your foot inside the strap, the strap will naturally tighten around it, giving you a firm attachment to the pedal, and they really do work! They are surprisingly easy to get into and out of, and the leverage you get from these things far exceeds that I get from toeclips. They accomodate even my chunky walking shoes (for those miserable rainy days)...
CRUD Roadracer MK2
Feeling much too impatient to wait until good weather to go riding on my new roadbike, I bought the CRUD Roadracer MK2 mudguards from Condor London the other day. I guess, most people, upon opening the box, would be surprised to find that the product looks more like a bit of plastic Airfix kit than a pair of mudguards, and yes installing the mudguards involves "building" them from bits, and it took almost half and hour, but for me that was actually quite a bit of fun! The Roadracer is designed to fit roadbikes with up to 25mm 700c tyres with minimal (as little as 5mm) tyre clearance. The mudguards do not require eyelets, and they are impossibly lightweight. Once installed, they feel pretty firm and do not rattle annoyingly like some metal mudguards do. The MK2 version provides complete coverage for the rear wheel. The rear blade drops all the way down to the seatstay "wishbone". (I had to chop a bit off the bottom with a knife as it was a bit too long for my frame) In additional, it is sculpted very cleverly to stop any water from spraying onto right hand side of the bottom bracket - the chainset area. The really cool bit about the Roadracer is that it comes with little brushes that keep the sides of the guards from touching the tyres, keeping them reasonably centred at all time. I cannot imagine a better set of mudguards than the Roadracer MK2 in terms of coverage on any roadbikes. Last but not least, they sit so snuggly around the wheels that I do not find them ruining the aesthetics of the bike at all. You almost don't notice they are there!
I have not had a chance to see whether it will keep the backside and the bike clean in a proper deluge, but so far I can say it is a piece of really well-designed kit.