Intended as a fit-and-forget solution that won't affect the way a mountain biker rides, the design has now moved from prototype to production. There's also a new wrap-around front mudguard design.
The Mudhugger has undergone several refinements since we saw it last year but it's essentially the same design. Mounting to the seatstay of either a full-suspension or hardtail mountain bike, the Mudhugger is secured via six cable ties. To prevent frame damage it's secured over the top of a supplied section of HeliTape.
Once in place the 208g guard sits closely to the rear tyre, with typical vertical clearance being around 10mm. It sits so close in fact that the Mudhugger is essentially a self-clearing system, whilst the use of a round internal profile helps further resist mud build up. It's claimed that only deep snow conditions have ever fully plugged the guard, and that's after more than a year of testing.
Mudhugger recommend up to 2.35in tyres and either 26in or 650b wheels will work. A guard for 29ers has not yet been made, but it's not out of the question for the future.
The rear Mudhugger is compatible with 26in and 650b bikes
Manufactured from specially formulated polypropylene, the guard has been tuned to be stiff enough to withstand jumps and drops without buzzing the tyre. At the same time the it isn't brittle and has been designed to withstand a crash, the cable ties being a sacrificial component that prevent damage to the guard itself.
An original issue for the Gardiner brothers was getting the Mudhugger to work with the frame design of the ever-popular Orange Five trail bike. Now, a slightly modified Orange Five compatible version is available, although the 650b Orange Five has not been tested yet.
Rear Mudhuggers are available now for £23 in the UK but prices will vary internationally so if in doubt it's best to email Mudhugger directly.
We weren't expecting to see a front mudguard but were pleasantly surprised with what we were shown. Attaching to the brace and lowers of the front fork, the front Mudhugger sits very close to the front tyre via supplied velcro straps. Cable ties could also be used should a rider want a more permanent installation. Inveitable comparisons can be made between this design and similar ones such as the Bender Fender from Mucky Nutz.
Our first impression of this guard is that it is something that is build to last, being noticably more substantial and stiffer than the likes of the Bender Fender. Then again that's reflected in its 64g weight (excluding the straps).
The front guard was first thought up after off-cuts from the prototype rear guard were placed at the fork
Importantly, it's compatible with 26in, 650b and 29in wheels. There's even a special lip at the front of the guard included to prevent trail muck being launched at the rider during a manual. It's available now for £18.
Both Mudhugger mudguards are made in the UK from 100% recycled material with black the only colour option. Front and rear guards can be purchased together at a discounted price of £39. According to the weatherman, our dusty summer is soon to end here in the UK and these have given us a good reason to look forward to a bit of a washout.
Stay tuned to BikeRadar for a full review in the near future.
More information: www.mudhugger.co.uk.