It’s that time of year when we need to ruin the lovely clean look of our bikes and clutter them with mudguards in order to keep ourselves looking slightly more human and much less bog monster! Thankfully, mudguards these days are far superior to what has gone before and some even look kinda cool on the right bike. Whether you rule the road or rip the trails, mudguards will help keep you dry and stop you ruining your fancy winter clothing. Here’s out top picks for road bikes, commuters and mountain bikers.
Road & commuting mudguards
The big downside to riding on the road, whether that be for fun, training or commuting is spray from the road. Mud is not much too much of an issue, unless you ride rural country roads for example, but for most water spray from wet road surfaces can get you drenched in no time. And if you ride in a group, you’ll drenching whichever poor soul is behind you too! Getting a quality set of mudguards then can make a world of difference to your riding.
Firstly, you want to check if your bike is prepared to fit mudguards. This means checking your bike has the required mounts and if there is enough clearance for mudguards. A proper aero race bike is unlikely to have either for example, while a more relaxed sportif or audax style bike will likely have the mounts and bigger clearances to go.
You can then go and choose either a proper bolt on set of guards or clip on style if your bike doesn’t have mounts. SKS make some of the best mudguards around regardless with the Bluemels and Chromoplastics being long time staff favourites; quick and easy to fit, they also offer great coverage and are built to last. If you require clip on style guards, SKS again have you covered with the Raceblade series, while another legendary brand, Crud, make the excellent RoadRacer MK3. If your bike is more of a hybrid than a traditional road bike, you should checkout SKS’s S-Board and S-Blade set as well as Crud’s Urban Racepac which work with a huge range of hybrid bikes whether they have rigid or suspension forks.
Mountain Bike mudguards
Mudguards for mountain bikes are a little easier to find their road-going counterparts, even if your bike is a full suspension one. A good front guard is key to keeping mud, spray and much worse out of your eyes and face, while a rear guard can help keep your backside dry and protect your bike. Keeping your vision clear is the main goal here; you really don’t want to be heading into a technical descent with your glasses, goggles or eyes covered in mud!
For the ultimate in protection, nothing beats Crud’s XL Fender which gives huge coverage and easily secures to your forks in seconds. You can even team it up with the versatile Urban Racepac to give extra coverage under the downtube and rear of the bike. Similar packages from RRP, with their ProGuard Front and ProGuard Rear, and Mucky Nutz’ MudGuard and Butt Fender.
They all offer excellent coverage to stop the worst of filth getting through, helping protect you and your bike. The ProGuard Rear is particular good at protecting some rear suspension designs, saving the bearings and rear shock from taking a pounding. The front guards also have additional protection for fork seals, helping keep mud and water at bay, extending the time required between services, or much worse. We’ve seen too many fork stanchions ruined that could have been prevented with a little extra protection and TLC.