Crud Catchers are an essential in the mud, but they have a weak spot – they can’t catch the spray that the front wheel throws out in front of the bike and back in your face. That’s where the Neoguard comes in.
It’s basically a commercial version of the old ‘inner tube zip tied to your fork crowns’ trick that downhill racers have been using for years.
This simple Neoprene panel mounts to the crown and arch of your forks (the lower crown in the case of triple clamps) with five Velcro straps – one either side of the head tube and three across the arch.
This ensures it’s pulled taut when your forks are fully extended and still blocks the muck as your suspension compresses. Then – and here’s the clever bit – as your fork re-extends, the mud is flicked off.
As you’d expect, it works brilliantly on downhill bikes, where the sheer amount of travel makes life difficult for a down tube-mounted mudguard.
It’s also surprisingly effective on short travel forks, and even for commuting use – on wet days you no longer have to put up with a constant stream of surface water being flicked into your face by your front wheel.
So what are the downsides? We can’t see many roadies fitting them, for aerodynamic reasons (and maybe aesthetic ones).
We also noticed that grit and mud caught by the Neoguard has a tendency to dribble down the fork arch onto the seals, so it’s important to clean this off on a regular basis.
Yes, you could make your own mudguard the old-fashioned way, but they wouldn’t look as good, wouldn’t last as long and can’t be machine washed.
The Neoguard is available in four sizes to suit forks from 80mm (3.15in) to 210mm (8.27in) – there’s a handy sizing guide on RRP’s website – and for £5 extra you can have a logo printed on the front. It weighs 18-25g depending on the size.