Winter is setting in and now's the time to get your bike prepared for another onslaught of wet weather. As much as we love riding in mud, there are times when it's just not convenient to end up totally plastered.
A decent mudguard will make your post ride clean-up less of a mission and will probably give your washing machine a bit of a break too. Here are five of the best options that are currently on the market.
For those looking for something discreet…
Mucky Nutz Face Fender
Credit where credit's due, the Face Fender (previously the Bender Fender) from Mucky Nutz is a well established winner when it comes to fork-mounted front mudguards. You could buy any number of options that do the same thing, but this affordable British-made guard has been serving us well since 2009.
Don't expect complete protection, but do expect it to keep the majority of muck away from your face. The Face Fender weighs naff all too, and won't ruin the lines of your pride and joy.
For those looking for a more permanent solution…
Mudhugger Front mudguard
Firstly, don't panic about that close fit – yes, the Mudhugger front guard sits very close to the front tyre, but we didn't experience any issues with it getting clogged up, even when conditions got gloopy, and it provides good protection from trail muck and puddles.
It's built to last, and when you consider its long life-expectancy, the retail price is easier to swallow.
For those who want versatility…
RRP's Enduroguard has a trick up its skinny plastic sleeve – it's actually two mudguards in one. You can either strap the Enduroguard into place at your bike's fork, or snap off the pre-punched holes in the centre to make it into a seatstay-hugging shock/linkage guard.
Two sizes are available – one for shorter-travel and one for longer-travel bikes. You can choose from some pretty wild colours too.
For the most complete protection…
Mudhugger Rear mudguard
The Mudhugger rear guard is quite simply the most complete solution to mud defense. There are versions available for all three wheel sizes and, because it mounts to your bike’s seatstays instead of the seatpost, there’s no issue with running a dropper post.
Once fitted, the Mudhugger’s close-fitting wraparound design does a brilliant job of keeping your rear end dry and muck-free. It's not pretty, but neither is a wet and muddy arse. Combine it with Mudhugger's front guard and you're guaranteed to be the cleanest mud-plugger around. Buy them together and you get a slight discount too.
For the old school among you…
Cycraguard Rear mudguard
If straight-forward protection is what you are after and you aren't running a dropper post, then you can't go too far wrong with this bolt-on offering from CycraGuard.
Once it's in place it's super stable and that curved shape means it doesn't get in your way, even when you've got your rear end right above the rear axle.
Looking for more kit advice? Get tips from fellow riders on what works for them in our forum right now.