Adding mudguards to your bike can change it from being a piece of sports equipment into something suitable for daily commuting use. Mudguards will not only keep you and your clothing clean, they’ll also keep your bike a lot cleaner too. There are a number of different types available suitable for a wide range of bikes. Let’s take a look.
Traditional full-length mudguards
Full length mudguards offer the best protection for you and your bike. SKS are renowned as the best available, made from a laminate of plastic and aluminium, featured stainless steel fittings and special quick release safety tabs to prevent twigs jamming the front wheel. They’re well designed and last well. The only downside is that they can be tricky to fit and can make transporting the bike in a car a pain.
Will my bike accept full length mudguards? Not all bikes have the necessary tyre/frame clearance for full length mudguards, or the fixing points to attach them. Separate ‘p-clips’ are available from good bike shops to attach ‘guards to bikes with no attachment points but if your bike doesn’t have enough clearance you’ll have to use one of the other mudguard types. If in doubt, check with your local bike shop.
'Crud Catcher' style guards
These are front and rear mudguards designed to fit onto bikes which don’t have the clearance or fitting for full length, traditional mudguards. The front guard usually attaches to the downtube with zip ties (some bikes have dedicated mounting bosses) and the rear attaches to the seat post. This type of guard affords some protection but cannot rival the effectiveness of a full length, close fitting mudguard. However, they are easy to fit, offer basic protection and are compatible with practically any bike, meaning if you want to put your mountain bike into commuting service, you can.
Clip-on 'Raceguard' type mudguards
German accessory manufacturer SKS began marketing short, clip-on, close-fitting guards for road bikes with minimal tyre clearance. Designed primarily for road racers adapting their bikes for winter training, they’re also eminently suitable for roping your road bike into commuting duty. They attach to the seatstays at the back and the fork at the front and are quickly removable if you want to go racing at the weekend. Since SKS brought out their ‘Raceguard’ design, a number of manufacturers have begun to produce their own variants.
For more types of mudguard to help commute-proof your bike, head over to the British Cycling Insight Zone
Want more advice like this? The British Cycling Insight Zone is full of comprehensive cycling advice and know-how from British Cycling’s experts, to help you improve your riding. The Insight Zone is available at britishcycling.org.uk/insightzone.
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