4 Nov 2013

4th November 2013 Crud RR2 Mudguards:


Monday 4th 43F, 6C, heavy overcast, gentle breeze. Noticeably cooler today. I could feel it on my hands when I was walking. Showers forecast followed by rain. Only a 45 minute walk mostly on the flat. My hip was hurting this morning after yesterday's longer walk over much rougher ground. So I must have overdone it. I hope to go shopping on the Higgins after coffee to see if it is fully roadworthy again. No point in relying on it as backup to the Trykit if it isn't fit for instant, normal use. I'm trying to avoid the easy option of going in the car.

A view of the latest front gear changer cable clamping arrangement. Ultegra changer with Campag Ergo 11sp levers. The cable is forced to go around the tab which increases the leverage. Which also means a reduction in lateral movement per lever click.

I rode the Higgins in the rain. All seems okay apart from friction in the gear cables. I'm using the original, braze-on, down tube stops with Campag cables. These are longitudinally reinforced and really need ferrules to stop them splaying at the stops. Only 7 miles.

My Crud Roadracer Mk2 mudguards have arrived. Excellent service from CyleGear/GLS yet again. I'm hoping I don't need to change to a 23mm front tyre just to have some clearance. These mudguards are metal free, are very light and offer a range of extension options in the pack. I shall only be needing the front mudguard but may be able to use the rear extension options to good effect. The mud flap on the front 'guard is very narrow without much curvature. I'm not sure how useful this is going to be in practice but they must have thought about it. I made my own mud flap from a plant pot for the 'normal' front mudguard on the Higgins. This has worked very well. The crud offers a chainset protector which could be cut down and fitted as a mud flap. I'll post some images when I've made some progress. It's raining almost continuously now and I much prefer to work outside where the light is better.

As you can see from the image it stopped raining and I was successful. The O'rings holding the stays to the fork blades were very awkward to fit. Crud suggest duplicating these bands but I can't see how this is remotely possible. [BUT: The video shows the bands being fitted to the naked fork clamps without the stays in place so bear this in mind if you find yourself struggling on this step] This trick works a treat! What instructions? ;-)

The closest the mudguard gets to the tyre is behind the fork just above the stays. You may be able to see the self-adhesive brushes which gently guide the mudguard blades via the brake tracks. They don't actually rub continuously in practice. I have used a large yellow tie-wrap/zip-tie over the brake bolt in place of the single black one supplied. The lower head race got in the way and made using the black one all but impossible without microsurgery. I thought I'd save the original until I was sure the Crud front mudguard was going to work without compromise.

The Crud "mud flap" section was even narrower than I had imagined. Though its great length may solve this problem. It was already dark when I had finished playing endlessly (again) with the front gear changer. So Crud testing will have to wait until tomorrow's promised rain. The supposed variety of front extension pieces was another flight of fancy. They were both identical. Still a very neat mudguard solution, I think, for tight frame clearances. I would prefer a better design of the band clamps for greater security.

Crud Roadracer Mk2 fitting video on YouTube.
[Back click to return to the blog]

I also cleaned the Trykit of all the <cough> crud which had built up from front wheel spray. The crap thrown onto the roads by the recent storm is still lying there wet and composting. Except for all the muck I have collected on the trike frame, of course.

Crud O-rings crossed for greater security and a little more tension. Temporarily removing the stays allows easy access to the fork clamps for threading the "rubber bands." 

Tuesday 5th 44F, 7C, a promising start but rather cloudy. Rain or showers forecast all day again. I'm going to twist the rubber bands on the Crud mudguard fork clamps. I just don't trust them as they are now. More on this later after a test ride. It may even be bright enough for more photographs by then. I spent an hour fiddling and cleaning in anticipation of a cleaner trike with the Crud front mudguard fitted. I am usually very lazy about cleaning my trike. Which is why I chose stainless steel for the frame. Riding every day on filthy roads accumulates dirt so quickly it hardly seems worth cleaning to a routine. I often just use a watering can to rinse off the worst of the loose debris.

Rode to Assens to look for a 103mm axle bottom bracket set. No luck but it was a pleasant, sunny morning with a rather cool breeze. Came back with the wind being chased by a large dark cloud and a huge bag of shopping. The roads were mostly just damp or completely dry. I never did get to test the new mudguard's water stopping ability.

My Campag cable outers are a bit long and untidy. Easily fixed if I ever get around to it. The (tiny) Tektro R725 brake cable clamp O-rings are proving short lived. Not function critical but irritating since they hold the two halves of the smart cable clamps in place while fitting the cable. I think old fashioned valve rubber is too big for making spares but I should give it a try. 

First impressions of the Crud front mudguard are very good. No lost nuts or screws.(so far) Nothing fell apart and it was totally silent in use over the roughest of country lanes. It might as well not have been there with regards to how the trike felt on the road. No sense of air brakes or heavier steering  in use. Nor any real desire to take it straight off again if the weather improved. As I normally would with a standard mudguard on the front of the Higgins. Well done to Crud! Some clever deign features. I had to laugh: A gentleman approached me in a supermarket and congratulated me on being one of those rare cyclists who actually indicate when they turn. He was obviously impressed. I'll try not to let it go to my head. :-) 23 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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