Topeak Defender M1 front mudguard review£18.00

Moto style front mudguard that's not so hot when it comes to proper mud

BikeRadar score2.5/5

The Topeak DeFender M1 is very much out of the old-skool moto inspired mould, with a large fender that mounts via an expanding plug into your steerer tube.

It’ll cope with all sizes of steerer and this means it’ll also work with a Cannondale Lefty or any other upside down fork that has an exposed lower steerer tube.

Despite the flex and distance from the wheel, it does do a surprisingly good job of keeping water spray off you at all speeds

It’s made from hard plastic with a softer rubberised edge that’ll prove more gentle to rider and frame should you contact it in a crash, though being mounted high up means it’s much more exposed to damage than a guard that follows the contour of the wheel

The DeFender also flaps about rather alarmingly in use and because it’s so high up it also obscures your view of the front wheel, which is really rather unnerving when you’re trying to place it accurately on technical terrain. Some of the play in the fender is down to the fact that either blade can be removed via a small clip to allow you to transport it with your wheels out without damaging the guard.

Despite the flex and distance from the wheel, it does do a surprisingly good job of keeping water spray off you at all speeds, though claggy mud tends to get thrown about a bit more and also adds to the flapping about issue once the guard is weighted down. It's also nowhere near as good as the full coverage guides that sit close to the tyre, but being high up means there’s no way it’ll get jammed.

At 202g it’s no lightweight either, though the price isn’t extortionate.

Jon Woodhouse

Technical Editor, UK
Jon's been working with bikes for as long as he can remember, from spanner monkey to product tester. He's always looking out for new kit that'll give an edge when the going gets rough and is happiest experimenting with geometry, rubber and suspension.
  • Age: 32
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 62kg / 137lbs
  • Waist: 79cm / 31in
  • Chest: 92cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: If it involves dirt and bikes, Jon is there, whether big days out in the mountains or steep and technical plummets in the woods. It's all good.
  • Current Bikes: Mondraker Foxy Carbon, BTR Fabrications Custom hardtail, Scott Spark 700 Plus Tuned
  • Dream Bike: Nicolai Ion 16 Longest, made from carbon
  • Beer of Choice: Franziskaner Weissbier
  • Location: Monmouth, South Wales, UK

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