At A Glance
For 2017, British brand Mucky Nutz have launched their biggest front mudguard to date, the Full Face Fender. It’s light, adaptable and costs less than a guidebook. I took advantage of the wet winter season to put it through it’s paces on the muddiest, rainiest, grittiest trails of the IMB home in the Lake District.Buy Mudguards on
It can be used on all wheel sizes, and it contours to your tire, fitting any fork easily with a choice of zip ties or Velcro strapping. Weighing in at a paltry 45g, it probably works out lighter than leaving it at home and plastering your bike with kilos of mud on a wet ride.
It’s hard to get excited about such a utilitarian piece of kit as a mudguard, but despite their obvious usefulness, there’s no denying mountain bikers are fickle when it comes to fitting them. Vanity perhaps? Trends change though, and in the last few years a selection of widely used designs has become available and popularity for small front fenders in particular has really risen.
On The Trail
The Full Face Fender arrives flat, making for very easy cleaning if you remove it from the bike. It takes a matter of minutes, without any wheel removal to get it fitted. I chose to use zip ties but Velcro strapping is also provided that you can cut to length. Either way it’s easy to reposition the fender once it’s on, and it comes pre-creased so that it folds into a 3D tyre-hugging shape on the rearward section. A couple of spins of the wheel and a few tweaks gets it snug, secure and ready to ride. Being black and close-fitting, it’s actually pretty stealthy on the bike, but a white one is available too for those who like it less discreet.
On the trail, the long tail-end copes great with everything thrown at it, and the front portion seems to reduce the water thrown up ahead of me (to ride through). Gravel, water, thick clay mud and all the gloopy textures in between fail to clog it, move it or inflict any damage. Despite the bigger size and additional leverage this gives on attachment points, it hasn’t budged over multiple rides, and my initial concern about paint rub has been unfounded. The light weight of the Full Face Fender will also contribute to this, giving an advantage over blingier carbon rivals. Personally, it’s the preservation of suspension that’s sold me on the idea of front fenders, they seems to add a lot the life span of my stanchions and seals. This can only be a good thing, and the Full Face Fender does a sterling job of keeping it spotless up front.
Overall it’s hard to fault the effectiveness of the Full Face Fender in comparison to similar guards, although like them all, it fails to keep ground water off your face above a certain speed. How much more effective the forward projecting section is than other smaller fenders is hard to tell, though I'm certain it plays a part in the whole design, and it's still pretty discreet. The extended rear end definitely keeps my frame cleaner and protects my forks so it's doing a sterling job of the important requirements.
At less than half the price of competitors dedicated MTB guards, it offers excellent value. Based on the performance of one of Mucky Nutz smaller fenders that I’ve been using for several years, I fully expect this to last a lifetime, including being squashed in car boots and bike racks. The fact that it’s easily removable, washable and transferable between wheel sizes means it’s always going to be appreciated, as long as there’s rain...
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.