Wednesday, 12 November 2014

PDW FULL METAL JACKETS – Are these the most expensive road bike guards we have ever seen?

When I first saw these guards and saw the price tag I nearly had a heart attack, I thought wow these may be the most expensive guards I’ve ever seen.

One year later and I’ve managed to finally fit a set of these beautiful PDW Full metal jackets mud guards to my winter bike. PDW also known as Portland Design Works make these guards in house in Portland and have pretty much thought of just about everything when it comes to design.

Whether you have mud guard eyelets or not PDW full metal jackets will fit pretty much any top end road bike along as you are using 23c tyres. They do say that 25c tyres can be used on some bikes, But if your bike is a full on race bike with standard road callipers you will need 23c tyres to get them to work beautifully. Most high end road bikes don’t have the ability to fit full length guards due to not being designed with mud guards in mind and this has always caused problems in fitting to my trusty winter stead.

I can hear you say “well if you were riding a proper winter bike you would have mud guard eyelets and 57mm drop road callipers” This is true and you are not wrong. But myself and another team rider bought our Giant TCR aluminium winter training bikes for one simple reason to emulate our race bike position, so when spring finally shows it’s head we wouldn’t have to re-adjust to our racing bike position quite as much. Not only that the bike would handle and ride similar even though it was aluminium rather than carbon.

Fitting these guards was an absolute pleasure and that is saying something. If you have ever fitted mud guards on a weekly basis, you often find it drives you up the wall. The amount of times you have to re-adjust the guard or it rattles or consistently rubs or sometimes won’t fit due to the callipers or space as it passes through the frame/fork. Most of the time you just want it to be summer all year round, so don’t have to deal with the stress of fitting guards.

The weather has finally turned here in Yorkshire and in the last few weeks I’ve been able to test these guards in some pretty nasty conditions. If you have ever road in Yorkshire throughout the winter it can be pretty wet. These guards really do protect you from the elements. Not only that they don’t rattle like most plastic mud guards or rub even under hard pedalling. These guards really do inspire you to get out ride no matter whatever the weather.

Once fitted these guards are so stiff and even without the guides to hold them in place they hold their shape. Quality is written all over these guards from the build and finish to the design, everything has been thought about and no stone unturned. The bracket that passes over the rear brake to hold the guard in place is perfectly designed not to interfere with the brake even when using standard drop road callipers. These guards are very easy to adjust up and down with a 2mm Allen key. The guide arms are designed beautiful and fit with ease and hold the guard in place. The guards come with protective stickers that stop the mounts marking the guard itself.

I honestly cannot find a bad thing to say about them. The only grumble is they only come in one colour, a gun metal grey.
These guards are worth penny of the £75 price tag and will keep you dry and make your winter bike look and feel great.