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One of the most contentious and highly subjective subjects commonly found on bicycling blogs are gear reviews. They are often nothing more than personal preferences based upon unique experiences using individual products. Well dear reader, I will offer you nothing more than my highly opinionated reports based upon my very limited and unprofessional experience with just the stuff I have.

New Mudguards & Brake Levers

In the fall 0f 2018 I upgraded my mudguards to Giles Berthoud stainless steel. I cannot say enough good things about them. And my buddies cannot stop commenting. I have to admit, they look great!

I had been using SKS mudguards for over twenty years and I have nothing bad to say about them. They are strong and durable. They fit well and are easy to maintain. However, they are NOT unbreakable.

So after my third set in six years broke; I made the jump to stainless steel. They are a tad more narrow, down to 40c wide from 42c, but they have a more pronounced sectional curve. That is they seem to wrap across the tyre better.

I was passing by the old Abertillery Cycle Track on a lovely morning, so I thought I stop for few quick snaps. All the ole-timers remember this place... some even raced here. (I've heard that they stopped using it in the 1960's? Supposedly, a man came off the banked curve at speed and was killed. If anyone knows more, drop me a line.)

It's a quarter mile around, nearly 3 metres wide and features banked curves. The surface is broken with grass coming through in many places now, but you can still ride around most of the track. However, a new covered stadium for football and rugby sits across the straight section on the far side.

Just look at the crowds who have come out to watch bicycle racing! The good 'ole days... and over 100 years ago! Amazing to think about really.

You need to take your time fitting the mudguards, for they require a bit of careful measurement and drilling. But, your efforts are well-rewarded in the end. I could not ask for a better fit.

Protection from water is exceptional. Despite being a tad more narrow; my theory is that the better sectional curve of the mudguard better captures the water. Also the mudflap keeps road spray from coming up onto my feet, bottom bracket and crankset. It's a pricey addition, but well worth the investment.

I get loads of compliments on them. (They are shiny!) Note too, that I've added the leather mudflap to the front mudguard and a Pacific Design Works rear tail-light to the back guard.

One last detail; I changed my brake levers. I had been using TRP RRL levers, which I loved... BUT, the rubber hoods wore out very quickly and I couldn't find reasonably priced replacements. In fact, I could replace the entire levers for the same cost of importing replacement hoods!

I found these Origin 8 levers at SJS Cycles and I couldn't be happier. They are made in England and replacements hoods are less than £20. They feel great, look great and continue the classic styling for my classic bike.

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