Granfondo.com has conducted a finely calibrated scientific test of the Ass Saver Extended and the results are conclusive.
With the Ass Saver Extended attached: Ass dry.
Without the Ass Saver Extended attached: Ass wet.
End of review .....
The rest is just detail. The Ass Saver does what it claims and will be part of this reviewer's kit from now on.
The test day dawned a lot wetter than forecast and the normal dithering required a dose of Rule 5 to force me out of the door. The plan was to do an out and back ride with the Ass Saver Extended in place for the outward leg and then removed for the return.
I had never used one before and attaching the guard to the saddle rails took all of about a minute of fiddling -- no cutting or bodging required. With a satisfying snap of the nose I was set.
The test route was a fraction over 15 miles from Scarsdale to the turnaround in Chappaqua and is my default route to reach less busy roads and escape suburban sprawl.
Conditions were not identical with a little bit more rain on the way back, but not that different.
The results, however, were hugely different.
I felt dry at the halfway point and my jacket was showing none of the road muck that normally accumulates on wet roads. (Cream shows everything I know, but I had my safety hat on when choosing it over a darker version.)
As soon as I hit the first downhill on the way back Ass-Saver-less there it was. That unmistakable sensation of water drops hitting the ass as the spray spatters upwards and soaks through the lycra. Ten minutes in and my ass was wet. Then increasingly cold.
Back home the results were confirmed.
Of course, proper mudguards will keep you drier. The Ass Saver's not capable nor intended to replace mudguards, but gives you an easy-to-attach option to stay less wet and throw up less spray if you are riding with people than when you do not have mudguards.
The Ass Saver Extended is the fourth in the range from Gothenburg-based Ass Savers, joining the Original, the Wide and the Brookshield. It is not too hard to work out how they differ from the names. The company says it developed the Extended, which is 1.2 inches longer than the Original, for road riders who benefit from even less spray being generated at high speed. The Wide is for mountain bikers and the Brookshield is for those with a thing for leather saddles.
Unlike the Original, the Extended does not fold to store under the saddle.
If you decide your purchasing decisions on eco-friendliness then you'll be delighted by the green credentials of Ass Savers. The rest of us can focus on a well-designed product that does its job simply and well.
The company's website ( www.ass-savers.com ) offers a range of limited editions with eye-catching graphics and worldwide delivery free if you buy three.
The Original and Extended are €7.99 (around $10) with the Wide and Brookshield €1 (79 cents) more.