Keep the crap out of your eyes
You probably don’t need much convincing about this one. Get a mudguard and you’ll have clearer vision, cleaner goggles, a better view of the trails and you’ll go faster. You’ll also stay drier, warmer and be able to ride for longer… Which is what we all want, right?
This bunch of mountain bike front mudguards is a round up of our favourites for the worst conditions and for racing.
There are plenty of light, compact mudguards out there but for really foul weather we’d recommend a big, long, full coverage version – which is what this list is made up of.
As always, let us know in the comments what you think!
Our pick of the best mountain bike mudguards for downhill, enduro and wild weather.
- Measures 450mm in length (Optional extender adds another 105mm)
- Weighs 80g
- Costs £25
The largest of Mudhugger’s front mudguards. The Mudhugger FRX front mudguard was designed with the help of Matt Simmonds to offer DH racers full coverage for really wet and wild races. The guard was originally called the ‘FR’ but was recently upgraded to the ‘FRX’ version to allow an optional extender to be fitted to increase the length by 105mm.
The Mudhugger FRX is 450mm long, weighs 80g and fits with 4 – 6 zip ties using pre-drilled holes on the top and sides. Interestingly, it’s 100% made in the UK near to Mudhugger’s HQ in the West Midlands, which you can read about here.
The FRX offers loads of protection from front-wheel spray and splashes from puddles whilst also looking pretty unobtrusive on the front of your bike. You can add optional graphics if you like or leave ’em off to keep it stealth. The design also offers protection to your fork seals, which can only be a good thing, right?
Fitting is easy and, in our experience, they fit almost every fork with a bit of persuasion. RockShox and Fox are no problem and any slight issues can be fixed by heating the ‘hugger up with a hair dryer, bending it and letting it cool.
Buy online: Mudhugger FR £24 at Tredz.
RapidRacerProducts ProGuard Max Protection
- Weighs 133g
- Measures 600mm in length
- Costs £24.99
The largest front mudguard of the bunch, the RapidRacerProducts ProGuard seems to invite loads of “mudguard big enough mate?” comments wherever we go.
The RRP ProGuard Max Protection version is, simply put, massive. It measures a colossal 600mm (21mm longer at the front and 68mm longer at the rear than the standard version) with a large added ‘tab’ at the sides to protect seals and help extend time between fork servicing. The Max version weighs 133g, not including zip ties. Like the Mudhugger, it’s a homegrown product, designed and manufactured in the UK.
Like most of the guards here, the RRP attaches with 4 – 6 zip ties and fitting is pretty straight forward. Simply pop out your front wheel, thread the zip ties through the holes and tighten up. RRP use a smart design where the zip-tie holes ‘snap’ open, meaning there are no unused holes for mud to spray through. We’ve tried the RRP on various forks so far with no problems.
Unobtrusive it’s not, but the RRP does what it claims and offers loads of coverage against the elements. It’ll keep crap off your glasses or your jacket and we were surprised to find it even keeps water off your shoe through all but the deepest puddles.Really impressive.
The RapidRacerProducts ProGuard MaxProtection is £24.99. You can find your local dealer here.
Buy online: RRP ProGuard Max £24.99 on Chain Reaction Cycles.
- Weighs 80g
- Measures 450mm in length
- Costs £23.50
Whilst there is a larger carbon version of the RockGuardz mud guard, we’ve picked the plastic Rockguardz PG450 version for this round up. It’s almost half the price, weighs nearly 100g less and still offers plenty of front wheel coverage.
The PG450 is, as you’d expect, 450mm long and is designed “with racers in mind”. The unique shape is designed to offer plenty of mud-clearance and avoid any clogging up at those really filthy races. At just 80g, the PG450 is the lightest of the bunch.
Much like the RRP and Mughugger it’s fitted with zip ties, with pre-drilled holes on the sides and top. There’s 6 holes up to to offer plenty of options to get the fit just right. RockGuardz say that the PG450 fits “Fox 32, Fox 34, Fox 36, Fox 40 and Rock Shox Boxxer’s, Pikes, Revelations and most other forks”.
With a design very similar to the Mudhugger and RRP, the RockGuardz PG450 does a great job of keeping crap off your goggles and keeping you focussed on beating your mates. It has coverage to the front and rear of your fork and, like most of the others, alongside your fork seals to keep them running smoothly.
The RockGuardz PG450 is £23.50 and available at rockguardz.com.
You can read our interview with the RockGuardz creators here.
- Weighs 160g
- Measures 480mm in length
- Costs £49
There was a time when you legally weren’t allowed to be a Welsh downhiller without a Powa Dfender front mudguard. They were the original South Wales ‘in the know’ accessory and saw many a young National Champ through a muddy winter.
The Powa Dfender is unique to this collection in that it attaches to the brace of your fork with it’s own clamp – meaning no zip ties required. It’s a bit of a dark art but once it’s on, it stays tight and rarely shifts.
There’s a few versions of the Dfender and instead of a ‘one size fits all’ you need to order the right Dfender for your fork. If you’re likely to swap the guard between RockShox and Fox equipped bikes… you might find this a faffy option. It’s also worth noting that the Dfender won’t fit 29″ RockShox forks at all.
Coverage for the Powa Dfender is on-par with the rest of the mudguards in this test. It’ll keep all but the very worst of crap off our goggles and your kit. It’s worth nothing though, that the Dfender isn’t designed with any coverage of your fork seals.
What sets it apart is the rigidity of the guard. It’s made of stiff, hard to bend plastic that won’t twist and deform in the boot of the car or on the chair lift.
You can buy the Powa Dfender online at Stif for £49 here.
Do you have a favourite mountain bike mud guard?
Let us know in the comments below!