Last month we came across a sleek, simple and innovative new product called Plume – The recoiling bicycle mudguard. And luckily, after getting in touch with the team, we managed to get our hands on one for a test drive. At this time of year a mudguard is more often than not an essential component to the set up of your bike, especially here in the UK. One thing that’s always annoying though is attaching it before a ride, and removing it when its dry, before reattaching it again the next day when the rain (inevitably) decides to return! The Plume mudguard solves this problem entirely. Connected to your seat post by its silicone rubber mount it can instantly recoil away under your seat when not in use, and pop out in an instant when you need it – no need to continuously attach and remove it.
The mount itself is formed of Silicone rubber, and designed to fit standard seat post sizes between 27.2mm and 31.8mm. This is handy as there’s no need for any extra tools or screws. It’s also designed to absorb shock and you can tell. When going over bumps you’d expect the Plume to bounce and recoil, however we found it to be incredibly sturdy so the shock absorption seems to work.
The Guard is made of Sprung stainless steel, and is very tough. Plume claim that after the testing they’ve carried out, it would take a serious bump to manage to bend the guard out of shape and we can see why. The guard suspends over the rear wheel by simply rolling out and can be recoiled in a blink of an eye by pinching the end for it to pop back into place under your seat. Resistance to rust and corrosion is an added bonus too.
The Wing is made of flexible silicone rubber and black in colour to match the mount, and it sits around the edges of the stainless steel guard. This gives protection from the sharper edges underneath, and extends the width of the mudguard by a cm or two to increase its mud shielding capacity.
The Reflector is located on the back of the guard and is visible upon recoiling the Plume. It’s nothing to shout home about, but it’s a nice and simple addition which adds something else to the mudguard and looks kinda cool from behind.
As you may have gathered, it’s an incredibly easy component to attach and use – we managed to put it on in under a minute without rushing. Whilst riding we found it easy enough to reach behind and elongate the Plume, as well as recoil when required. The smaller rider however might find it easier and safer to stop, although 5 seconds later you’ll be back on the move! You can check out Plume’s promotional video below for a demonstration of how easy it is to fit and use.
Considering the ease at which it can be recoiled by hand, we wondered how well it would stand up to riding along a road with the usual bumps and uneven road surface. We were pleasantly surprised. It didn’t recoil once during the time we spent using it. The only small reservation we would have is whether over time, it would consistently stay elongated off the road and on bumpy surfaces such as cobbles. But for the benefits you get from its recoiling design and ease at which it can be re-elongated, this shouldn’t really be a major concern.
In 2013 Plume was successfully launched via a Kickstarter campaign, which saw 1,446 backers pledging over $56,000 to bring the project to life. The Plume is available now for £28 and can be found on Plume’s website here.