Mudguards for bikes

If you’ve cycled for long enough you’ll no doubt be aware of all the gunk on the road that you always tell yourself you should one day clean off your bike. Fortunately, a good set of mudguards goes a good way towards keeping this mud, petrol residue and water off you and your bike. Which is good, because they really don’t do sensitive components of your bike any good.

In this post I’ll be talking a little about the different types of mudguards for bikes and giving a couple of recommendations.

Mountain bike mudguards

mudguard

For much of my cycling career these are the mudguards I’ve relied upon. Whilst they are by no means the prettiest they generally do their job pretty well. They are also incredibly easy to fit.

You simply undo the Allen bolt on your seat post, slide on the rear mudguard and put everything back together again. The front mudguard is then positioned onto the down tube and attaches firmly in position. Once you’ve fitted mudguards once, the whole process takes less than 5 minutes.

A quick search on Wiggle will reveal plenty of great options with the Crud Urban Mudguard being a standard choice.

Road bike mudguards

sks mudguards

Road bike mudguards fit closely to the front and rear wheel and provide excellent protection from water being lifted from the road. There can be some complications with fitting this style of mudguard for bikes because you may not have the necessary attachments on your frame. A quick inspection should reveal the necessary holes.

The other complication is that perhaps there isn’t enough clearance with the frame and the wheel to fit certain mudguards. Again, this will need to be checked.

Whilst you should aim to position these mudguards close to your wheel you should still have enough clearance to allow for any leaves and so forth that may get caught up in the wheels rotation.

In this category of mudguard I thoroughly recommend the SKS Bluemels Mudguards.

Alternatively, if you are lacking the proper attachments then the Crud RoadRacer is a great alternative. The first setup is a little bit of a pain but once that is out the way, you’ll never notice they are there. You could also buy yourself some P-Clips if you wish to fit standard mudguards.

Folding mudguards

Fold N Fix Mudguard

An interesting alternative take on the mudguard concept is folding mudguards. The Full Windsor FoldnFix Rear Mudguards can be installed and removed from your bike rapidly.

See also: Setting up your bike for winter

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15 Responses to Mudguards for bikes

  1. Gaz 23/11/2011 at 12:19 pm #

    I use the SKS Bluemels on my SS. A very good mudguard. I even added a rear mudflap for better protection. http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6044/6227563157_38e8a74808_b.jpg

    I’ve used the Crud Raceblades, good if your bike doesn’t have the fittings and has narrow tyres, a little bit flexible for my liking.

    I wish more people would use mudguards, or at least fit the MTB ones properly, i see far too many that cover their rear lights, rendering them useless as nobody can see them.

  2. Howard 23/11/2011 at 12:35 pm #

    SKS raceblades also need a mention for roadies and those commuting on the wrong bike (TM). Easier to get on and off than Cruds, but the protection isn’t quite as good and the front derailleur isn’t covered.

  3. bostonbybike 23/11/2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Don’t forget the unique inflatable mudguard by Topeak: http://www.topeak.com/products/Fenders/AirFender_a1
    No idea how effective they are.

    MTB mudguards have this one big flaw that they don’t really protect well. The rear one is usually too short so water will still be splashing on your back. But again, a MTB is usually not designed to carry any mudguards at all.

  4. Corin 23/11/2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Can I also mention that a road bike-style rear mudguard is more considerate towards following cyclists as it means they don’t get sprayed quite so badly in wet conditions!

  5. ian... 23/11/2011 at 9:14 pm #

    Re: proper full mudguards.

    These can be made to fit some bikes not designed for them by attaching with P-Clips…as as far as any meaningful protection goes…anything less just doesn’t compare.

    I’ve had full guards on all my bikes since getting sick of wearing all the mucky wetness from the road 3 yrs ago. A big plus is that they also protect everything else that they keep the water off ;>)

    On the last few pairs of SKS guards fitted, I’ve repositioned the forkcrown bracket to drop the guard down further to keep feet dryer still.

    • Vladimir 25/11/2011 at 1:45 pm #

      yeah, they sure can! P-clips are really quite useful! It’s surprising that almost nobody knows about this!

      • Andreas 28/05/2012 at 2:55 pm #

        Thanks for heads up on the P-clips – must admit I’d never heard of this! Love when I get useful comments like this one :)

  6. Tim 25/11/2011 at 11:19 am #

    I am told that a good pair of full mudgaurds puts off cycle thieves as they are so unfashionable as are racks and panniers. Needless to say I have all three, and I am happy to say never had a bike pinched in forty years cycling!

  7. Goonz 25/11/2011 at 12:11 pm #

    I have mudguards for my MTB but have removed them as I prefer aesthetics of my bike than practicality.

    A little bit of splash is nothing if it means my bike looks slick!

  8. Shreds 25/11/2011 at 12:50 pm #

    SKS and their fore runner ESGE chromoplastics are simply the only road guards worth considering. Used them for over 25 years amd thousands of miles and cannot fault them.

    Wish I had the patent on them!

  9. Shades 25/11/2011 at 2:44 pm #

    I just replaced my front SKS mudguard after 11 years. The only thing is the instructions are hopeless. The trick is to assemble them on the bike without the black end caps on. Move them around till they fit right and tighten the nuts on the struts. Mark a point on the struts beyond the nuts, allowing enough space for the end caps, and disassemble, remembering which side of the wheel each of the struts go. Cut the excess off the struts (a Dremel with a cutting tool worked well) and refit onto the bike with the end caps attached. My old mudguards had push-on end caps so it disn’t matter how much strut stuck out, but the new caps integrate with the retaining nuts, hence you need to leave them off until you get the fit right.

  10. Daniel 25/11/2011 at 3:40 pm #

    I resisted mudguards for a while but have just fitted stainless steel Gilles Berthoud mudguards – very impressed, no rattles or shakes and keep the running gear so much cleaner. (http://danmitch.tumblr.com/post/13219158928/fitting-gilles-berthoud-mudguards) Surprisingly I think they look good too.

  11. Phil 01/12/2011 at 3:00 pm #

    I’ve just put full mudguards on my mtb-commuter conversion, only to find them a bit short for my liking. Fortunately, I have a piece of black Correx from which to fashion a pair of mudflaps.

  12. john k 22/04/2012 at 3:23 pm #

    You guys should stock “Ass Savers” folding mudguards. Much cheaper, smaller and visually appealing than the full windsors above, and when not in use, tuck inside your saddle.

    I want 10% of your profits from this sensational idea!

    • Andreas 28/05/2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Can’t believe I missed the Ass Saver mudguard the first time round – thanks for the heads up!

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