Reviews / Mudguards
Mudguards have moved on a lot in the past few years, once the preserve of the 'sensible' mountain biker, they have found their cool, and some sort of front fender is now a common sight amongst those who ride in the wet. Being mid winter, test conditions are prime, and the Mudhugger was gratefully received.
They have been around for a while, and with an 'if it ain't broke...' mentality the design is pretty similar to the original, however, this version comes in seven different colourways to add a touch of continuity to your bike's colour scheme. The mounting system is the classic cable-tie attachment which is again is a tried and trusted system. Weight on my scales was 83g, so it's pretty light and certainly lighter than a bunch of mud stuck to your down tube.
Installation is quick and easy with the cable ties threading through the various holes in the guard to accommodate an assortment of different shaped forks. The top is almost perforated with holes giving the perfect fit and holding the guard precisely, being close, but not too close, to the tyre. The plastic is rigid enough to hold its shape firmly, yet is soft and bendable so it flexes if it takes a hit.
Once riding it's very discreet, and would go virtually unnoticed if not for the yellow racing lines down the back, which add a nice touch to an otherwise essentially utilitarian piece of kit. Mudhugger says the glue on the decals is good, but may not withstand serious jet washing - so far so good for this one, as they're staying stuck and looking fresh.
This version was tested on a 29er, and the spray reduction was definitely noticeable, as I went from running no mudguard to this, so finishing a ride with a relatively mud-free front, and glasses not fully plastered was great. It was a timely reminder that mudguards work, regardless of your opinion on their aesthetics. Having used a longer fender on 29 wheels, I did find more protection from the longer guard (as you would expect), and I felt this one could be a little longer for maximum muck gathering. This will always be a balance of fashion, and in this case its a great mix of style and function.
Even in the muddiest conditions I could find, there was minimal noise and rub from the inside of the guard, the smooth finish, clean lines and close fit to the tyre kept it all running smoothly.
Simple and effective, a great step up in quality from the cheap and cheerful bendy plastic guards we see so often. The length keeps more muck out of your face, the weight is low and the addition of the colourways will keep the style council happy. You can't go far wrong with a Mudhugger.
For more information visit Mudhugger.
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.
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