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
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.
Road bike 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.
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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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.