By Jared Eborn
Spring riding in Utah is always a guessing game. One day the weather can be sunny and warm, the next it’s a wintery mix of rain, sleet and snow. Some days it’s all of the above with a few other weather patterns mixed in.
With that in mind, we took a relatively new product to the April 26 Tour of the Depot to test out. The product: The Ass Saver.
The Tour of the Depot was prime testing territory with a downpour with rain and sleet hitting the racers as they traveled along the roads of Tooele County.
Seen in the professional peloton during the wet spring classic races, the Ass Saver is a flexible, easily attached and removed recyclable plastic mudguard. Made in Sweden, the Ass Saver has a simple design and function – just slide the 13-inch flexible fender beneath your saddle, snap it into place on the rails and ride away without a steady stream of road wash from your rear wheel spraying your back and backside.
We brought three to the race and had no shortage of racers asking if we had more.
Our test riders had these reviews after the cold, wet and unpleasant day of racing.
“So Saturday's race was a miserable one to say the least. I've never been so cold, tired and wet in my life,” FFKR-Contender’s James Lechtenburg – a Cat 4 racer, said. “Of all the things that received a constant downpour of water from above and below, I don't really remember or recall a constant stream of water flipping off my back tire along my backside to add to my dismay.”
Cat 2 women’s racer Cahterine Fagen-Kim was another product tester. She suffered in the cold and rain with her husband, Alex, riding along in his warm and comfortable wheel car.
“Alex asked me how I liked it I responded with, “oh it was good, I'm not giving it back,” Fagen-Kim said.
“Tour of the depot – notorious for Spring Classics weather didn't disappoint again this year with rain, snow and frigid temps but this year my butt was only wet from the rain coming from above and splash-free of mud & gravel,” Fagen-Kim said. “The Ass Saver saved me from that discomfort during my race. Another racer did tell me how jealous she was of it. Not that it made me any faster, I had that going for me.”
Lechtenburg also said though soaked, his cycling kit was left clean. “There wasn't a black streak across the back of my jersey from all the water, so apparently this product while improvised did a great job of keeping a part of me somewhat dry in an awful situation to be riding in.”
Another bonus? Lechtenburg said the size and simplicity were welcome.
“It was nice having it be improvised and compact and not something I need to have any hardware attach the bike,” he said.
The Ass Saver is available for purchase online at ass-savers.com and comes in a variety of colors.
Though not as effective as a full-sized fender, the Ass Saver isn’t intended to be.
“It's important to understand that an Ass Saver will never do the same job as a standard mudguard for obvious reasons. It is an emergency mudguard similar to the spare tire of a car but slightly more stylish,” says the company website. “It will get you there fairly dry by eliminating the spray where it is most annoying and most concentrated, namely your derriere.”
The flexible plastic guard can be bent to tuck the fender completely under the saddle if not needed. At just 13 inches long and fitting easily into just about any bike bag or backpack, the Ass Saver is an ideal accessory for the bike commuter who may want to remove the product when not in use.
The plastic product folds and creases in the middle to slide between the saddle rails and form a drainage system of sorts that keeps water and road grime from coating your pants, shirt or bicycle kit.