Five of the best mountain bike mudguards

Catch the crud with our selection of the best mudguard

Mudguards, or fenders fall into three broad types - rear, front down tube-mounted and front fork crown-mounted.

Rear mudguards come with a bracket mount and there are almost as many fixings as there are guards, so get the one that holds firm on your bike and that works for you in terms of the faff factor - but (and this isn't a contradiction) also check that once the bracket is tightened, the guard itself has a range of play that allows it to 'give' rather than shatter if you crash.

The original Crud Catcher is a simple down tube-mounted curve that's hard to beat. Everything else of the same type is pretty much a version of this and they all work. It just depends on how much coverage you want (remember that extra-wide versions may keep you dryer but may also catch on things), and whether your preferred styling is Moto X-flavoured downhill or whippet racer.

That just leaves fork crown-mounted guards, and the idea here is pretty simple - you attach a bracket under your fork, where it stays all winter and you attach the guards as necessary. These give fuller front wheel coverage and are available in DH or XC profiles. We'll say it here for the first time... Confirm that your fork can take this sort of mount and then check the clearance, as even pros can get it wrong.

Crud Catcher ZX Mudguards | £6.95

 

If the Racepac is the slender supermodel cousin of the Crud Catcher, then the ZX is the attention-seeking slightly sexier younger sister.

With all the sculpted curves you'd expect from such a girl, this gives more coverage (and therefore protection) than the Racepac version, but a bit less than the Crud Catcher. But we're talking relatively small amounts of extra splash here.
Whichever one takes your fancy and you eventually take home will make you happy. Especially as like all the other Cruds (so to speak) this is recyclable and comes with the same secure, fast fix O ring attachment. Plus, for any bike that has bottle cage mounts on the underside of the down tube, the ZX is drilled to fit, so you can use those instead of the O rings. If you need any further convincing, this is Peaty's choice of mudguard, too...

Weight 51g

Verdict:

 

Crud Raceguard rear | £14.50

This was the second product to come out of the Crud stable and the same simple styling and attention to detail still makes it one of the easiest to set up and maintain.

Supplied with shims to fit any seat post, you do need to pay attention and make sure you attach it securely, but without over-tightening (or you'll split it). But once in place it stays firm, and the stainless steel fixings ensure that you'll still be able to remove it at the end of winter, even if you're the neglectful type who abandons a wet, muddy bike in the shed after each ride.

Weight: 186g

Verdict:

 

Crud Catcher ZX Mudguards | £6.95

If the Racepac is the slender supermodel cousin of the Crud Catcher, then the ZX is the attention-seeking slightly sexier younger sister.

With all the sculpted curves you'd expect from such a girl, this gives more coverage (and therefore protection) than the Racepac version, but a bit less than the Crud Catcher. But we're talking relatively small amounts of extra splash here.
Whichever one takes your fancy and you eventually take home will make you happy. Especially as like all the other Cruds (so to speak) this is recyclable and comes with the same secure, fast fix O ring attachment. Plus, for any bike that has bottle cage mounts on the underside of the down tube, the ZX is drilled to fit, so you can use those instead of the O rings. If you need any further convincing, this is Peaty's choice of mudguard, too...

Weight 51g

Verdict:

 

CycraGuard Dirt Dog rear MTB | £15

The Dirt Dog is the result of a collaboration between Madison and Motocross manufacturer CycraGuard, and you can see the moto heritage straight away.

Out of the bag we thought the clamp for the rear guard looked big, but once on the bike it looks sleek and rather gorgeous. Plus it holds firm, with just the perfect amount of give if you knock it. This is supplied by a very clever little cam, which will also help protect the guard if you crash. It's the firmest bolt-on product we tested - and oh, the joy of a quick release that worked! The composite material allows the guard to flex but not to deform, and as for protection, well we completed an 80km ride around Ben Nevis that entailed crossing oh, around 30 fords and still arrived home with a dry backside. Not such a dirty dog after all.

Weight 228g

Verdict:

 

THE Proline DH Fender | £25

Don't be fooled by the chunky look of the DH Fender as it's made from super-light Lexan, which feels a bit like something a kids' toy should be made from, but don't be fooled by that either because Lexan is one of those clever materials around and will return to its original form no matter what you throw at it.

And what we threw at it was MegaAvalanche. We destroyed bikes, wheels, saddles and four sets of forks but not this fender, which with its deep curving shape fought off mud, rocks and pretty much saved our tester's good looks. We tried the DH model (which by the way makes any bike appear gnarlier and faster, thereby imbuing the rider with the same powers), but there is a skinnier XC version available.
Also, because Lexan is expensive, they make a cheaper, plastic version that's the same in every other way, but to be honest, we'd go without beer for however long it took to save for this one. Oh, and did we mention we liked it?

Weight: 148g

Verdict:

 

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