This morning, BikeRadar were introduced to a fresh mudguard concept – a snug-fitting, seatstay-mounted design that's nearly ready for launch. It's called the Mudhugger.
The 'guard is the brainchild of brotherly business duo Bruce and Jamie Gardiner. The pair found that their modern trail/enduro bikes with dropper posts were no longer suitable for more traditional, crudcatcher-style guards, and that they were all-too often coming back from rides plastered in mud.
Bruce and Jamie thought they could find a solution, and set to work modifying an existing mudguard using sheet aluminium. It wasn't long before a seatstay-mounted prototype was being tested, and the brothers are now predicting an early May date for their first production model.
The 'guard we were presented with is actually a polyurethane prototype. It mounts using a flat edge that sits flush against the seatstay, and is secured with six cable ties. It aims to offer better protection than current products, so is placed very close to the rear wheel of the bike.
Due to the nature of attaching the product to the painted surface of a seatstay, it hasn't been easy for Mudhugger to mount the 'guard. The prototype uses a combination of HeliTape and butyl rubber to provide a stable and well-protected surface for the cable ties to grip.
The production Mudhugger will be manufactured from polypropylene and will be tuned to be stiff enough to withstand jumps and drops, but without being brittle. It's likely to need four narrow cable ties, chosen as they can snap in a crash scenario without damaging the 'guard.
The manufacturers have stated that weight for a 26in version is expected to be 135-140g excluding cable ties, whereas a 29er model should hit the 150g mark. Mudhugger plan on drilling the 'guards in a way that will make them suitable for many frame designs, although some single-pivot systems simply won't work with the style.
These are still early days for the company, but what we've seen looks promising. What's even more promising is the fact that production guards are set for a £20 price point.
We're looking forward to seeing production models and getting them on our test bikes straight away, so keep your eyes peeled for more soon.