I’ve had a revelation. And it involves my arse. By way of explanation, here is my review of the LifeLine Essential Clip-On Rear
As a result of being a bit more committed to riding when the weather is filthy (partly in order to find opportunities to test high performance outer wear), I’ve tended to return from rides with mud and ‘road juice’ sprayed up my back and my backside.
I think US readers may refer to this as the ‘buttside’, but I am not sure.
The gunk hasn’t only covered my person. It’s covered my bike.
Whilst I’ve been good (“good girl Daddy” as our youngest proclaims) at rinsing down the bike after each ride, it isn’t ideal having megatons of megacrud splatter-gunned all over the rear, whether it’s mine, or that of the bike.
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LifeLine Essential Clip-On Rear
Now, much as I’d love to draw out the suspenders further, the somewhat banal ‘revelation’ is that I’ve bought a new easy-to-install – and effective – rear
I’ve used mudguards (perhaps ‘fenders’ to US folk) before.
For my old bike (the trusty Dawes) I bought a set of SKS Raceblades, which I used for one winter season (or maybe a couple).
The Raceblades were straightforward to fit, using plastic mounts that, themselves, were attached to the bike with the same thick rubber bands used to fix Garmin handlebar mounts. They were effective as well, at least in terms of protecting me from spray.
The main issue with the Raceblades was the noise. Or rather the cause of the noise.
On a relatively frequent basis, the mudguards would rub against the wheels. I am sure this additional resistance resulted in a loss of wattage, or really a loss of speed for the same wattage, and I have neither an abundance of watts nor speed that I can risk losing.
Every so often I’d have to get off the bike in order to fiddle with the guards to stop them rubbing. Which. Was. Annoying.
Once I took the Raceblades off one summer, I never quite got round to attaching them again. Then I bought a replacement bike (my Trek Domane) in 2013, and I’ve ridden sans guards ever since.
The Moment Of Clarity
I was driving to work in mid-December. I had spent the entire journey ruminating on my dirty bottom problem. As one does.
I pulled up at some traffic lights in front of a gym in almost-central Birmingham. Someone had locked their road bike (which they presumably used for commuting) to the railings.
The bike had a rear
I’d barely parked my car (hush now, I live too far away to commute by bike) before I was a-Googling (or a-Wiggling) on the subject.
They (you know, they… manufacturers!) make a clip on rear
Given it was only a fiver (in English pounds – your currency may vary), reader I bought one.
And waited for my dirty bottom problem to be solved.
Of course, me being me, the box containing the
I finally got round to fitting it on a very cold day at the end of December.
***We interupt this broadcast to bring you this important anecdote ***
In fact it was so cold on ‘fitting the
I ended up setting up my (trusty) Dawes on the indoor trainer. Which I put on the patio. And thus completed my first outdoor indoor trainer ride for many years.
***Important anecdote over. Normal service resumes ***
Er, back to the show?
The LifeLine Essentials Clip-On Rear
So what do you get in the box … er, not-a-box?
It’s a pretty straightforward piece of plastic, attached to a bracket that you tighten around the bike seat post. There is a little hinged arm thingummy that allows some flexibility on how the
The bracket that attaches to your seat post is tightened with the aid of a Philips screwdriver. The two pivot points that you can use to position the
LifeLine (or Wiggle I suppose, as it’s their brand) supply a few different sized collars to allow the
I imagine this is obvious from the photos, but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t think the guard would attach successfully to seat posts that are not round in profile – for example, aero posts with more of a tear drop profile (#aero).
What Does It Look Like?
As we all know, aesthetics are clearly more important than functionality when selecting accoutrements for your bike. However, once you’ve made the decision to prioritise a dry Aris over a sleek velo, you have to accept some visual compromises.
I wouldn’t say the LifeLine rear
It’s sort of like a quizzical eyebrow, raised jauntily above the rear wheel. A flourish with a playwright’s quil. Hercule Poirot’s waxed mustache.
Of course, I already sully the clean lines of my Trek Domane with a cheeky saddlebag. You will be pleased to notice that the
So, Does It Work?
Ah, the £5 question.
As mentioned above, my first test ride with
(My ‘privacy zone’ on Strava makes the ride look even shorter…)
Any potential (and, let’s face it, hypothetical, given how far away the guard sits from the wheel) rubbing noise, was drowned out by my silent terror-screams as I realised quite how icy it was.
It was also dry.
I got the opportunity to test it properly a couple of days later, when the road conditions (or at least my drive conditions) looked a little like this:
I am pleased to report the following:
- When I cock my leg to mount the bike, sometimes my foot, or lower leg, catches the
mudguardas I go up and over. This isn’t really a problem. The mudguard(fender…) seems quite substantial (as far as plastic can) and I haven’t knocked it out of alignment with the rear wheel. It’s just a slight annoyance and totally avoidable if I remember to give it the full scissor-kick bike mount technique (what, you don’t know that one…?).
- There is no rubbing. Have you looked at the photos? There would have to be serious
mudguarddroop to get anywhere near the rear wheel.
- And most importantly…. the
Here is the ‘after’ from the aforementioned test ride:
You will note how cruddy the brakes, rear seat stays, the seat post and the wheel are. You might also note how clean the top of the
And this cleanliness extends to the ‘protection area’, which you will now please to enjoy:
The things I do for this blog…
I also got my wife to take a photo of the full back region. There’s a bit of spattering (from mud!) on the lower leg and a touch on the inner thigh […silence…]. But generally a good result. My gilet (the blue thing) barely needs hanging up. Pre-mudguard rides saw it receiving frequent goes through the washing machine.
Here ends my highly technical ‘review’ of the LifeLine clip-on rear
- Click here to buy the LifeLine rear mudguard
- Alternatively, click here to see an equivalent rear fender on Amazon, coincidentally made by SKS (the makers of the Raceblades above).
Right, who else is a
Let me know in the comments below.