Best Mountain Bike Mud Guards And Fenders
Spring has sprung for most the the United States and that means we will all start hitting the trails hard after the nasty winter. One of the biggest issues with Spring riding is the often wet conditions. While a lot of us try to stay off the trails when they’re really muddy, there can still be a lot of debris that can fly off our tires and small water crossings. Having a good front fender can cut down a lot on visibility issues and keep dry while riding. Fenders are a must for race events during in-climate conditions where hard charging race runs need complete focus without things flying in your face.
I’ve put together a great round up of the best mountain bike front fenders available. Check out my suggestions and where you can buy them for yourself.
Best Mountain Bike Fork Mounted Fenders & Mud Guards
The Neoguard is made out of neoprene material. It is available in several size to fit your fork travel. The guard is easy to install using velcro tabs. The Neoguard blocks a lot of mud from flipping off the tire really well. It also compresses with your fork as you ride. It’s also lightweight and easy to wash when it gets dirty. Another neoprene mud guard model is available from THE Industries in 4 sizes and RaceFace’s Mud Crutch.
The MuckyNutz Bender Fender is a thin piece of plastic that when bent into an arch makes a great little front fender. It attaches simply with some velcro to the fork legs and weighs very little (under 20g). The fender sits low to the tire so mud and water is caught really well and keeps down on the mess. The Bender Fender is available in two sizes. The regular size just barely has any front fender with a longer rear. The XL version has much more coverage in the front. Similar products like the Azonic Splatter Fender and the MarshGuard are also great options.
The Rockguardz front fender is made out of carbon fiber and mounts with zip ties to the fork legs. It weighs a bit more than some options (~150g to 100g depending on the model). The fender is available in 3 sizes to give you the coverage you desire. Fit is tight to the tire but still has room for mud and debris to pass through.
The Mudhugger front mud guard is a formed plastic fender that attaches with velcro ties to the fork legs. It sits low to the tire and has a bit more front fender coverage than the MuckyNutz Bender Fender regular size. The weight isn’t the greatest at almost 200g.
The POWA DFender is a molded plastic design that attaches to the fork arch of only FOX and RockShox forks. The fender is really large and blocks almost everything coming off the front tire. The weight is a bit heavy though. The look is quite stunning with this big fender.
DIY Innertube or Cut and Shaped Plastic
You can also make a mud guards similar to the Neoguard with an old innertube and some zip ties. Just cut a piece of innertube to fit between your fork arch and the crown. Poke some holes through the tube and then use zipties to attach. Mud guards like the other hard plastic ones can be created by cutting up some hard plastic sheeting then using zip ties to attach. Some photo examples are below.
THE Industries has been making front and rear fenders for mountain bikes for a long time. They have downhill and cross country specific models. The fenders are made out of hard plastic and have a lot of coverage to keep the muck at bay.
Downtube Mounted Mountain Bike Mud Guards
The Crudcatcher is sleek and stylish. It doesn’t have the widest coverage, so some mud and water will still splash up. The mounting system is dead simple though. Two simple rubber ties. There are a few other similar models like the Planet Bike Grunge Board or SKS X-board.
The Portland Design Works Origami Fender is a bit of a unique design. The fender has a mount that is attached with rubber straps and then the plastic folded fender is attached to the mount. This allows you to take off the fender easily when not needed and still have the mount ready to go for wet days. The system weighs about 60g.
The Pro Shroud from THE Industries mounts similar to the other downtube protectors but has a wider flare to the design. The molded plastic looks much cooler too in my opinion.