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How To Choose Mudguards For Your Road Bike | Fender Installation Tips

How To Choose Mudguards For Your Road Bike | Fender Installation Tips

– Mudguards or fenders? And for many cyclists out there, a really stable part of winter cycling. The thought of riding along and getting your precious bike covered in grime is a nightmare for plenty of us, warriors of the road. Not to mention the
thought of replacing parts sooner than they necessarily need to be thanks to salt water and corrosion. Let’s look at the choices out there for you then. (dramatic techno music) Now when it comes to mudguard choice you need to consider a couple of things. Firstly, how much coverage and protection you
require from the guards? From the simple ass saver to the total coverage, full mudguards. Secondly, the clearance
and fitting options that you have available on your bike. So, not all bikes will work with all mudguards. Many dedicated winter and gravel bikes have mounts for mudguards, so that they can be fitted as
an almost permanent fixture if you so wish. And those mudguards have metal stays and are pretty rigid in their structure. Whereas some bikes have
such close clearances that you can’t even fit a
25 millimeter tire in them without rubbing on the frame and forks. Though mudguards designed for really close clearance road race bikes without specific mounts, generally you have to
have a bit of a compromise when it comes to fitting around the break calipers, as this is a particularly troublesome area, as you’re trying to fit a mudguard between the tire, the break bridge and the caliper. So whilst something may say full mudguard, be aware that your break calipers may get a bit of grime on them. As the mudguards tend to attach on either side of the caliper. Disc break users, likely
to be pretty plain sailing unless your tires are
very close to your stays or the fork crown. So to recap, before
deciding on the mudguards, you need to consider the
clearances on your bike and then how much coverage you want. Love riding in the rain? Get as much coverage as possible. As your bike is going to get less mucky, as well as your kit. And you. (upbeat techno music) Now when it comes to fitting, depending on the guards you’ve gone for, that will depend on the
level of difficulty. Nothing is particularly
troublesome though. As long as you read the instructions, or look at things from
a logical point of view. What I would really recommend though is to use a work stand, as that way you can check that the tires are clearing the mudguards as well as any brackets of
the mudguards sufficiently. Those have been areas in the past which some people definitely
have struggled with. Now without a doubt, give the bike a very good clean before installing the mudguards, as you won’t have your usual access to be able to do so, once the mudguards are in place. But the good thing is, once those mudguards are on, depending on the type you’ve gone for, you won’t have to fully clean the bike anywhere near as often as before, which is a big result for
a lot of people out there. The final bit of advice though, that I’ve got to give here, having fitted plenty of sets of mudguards over the years is to make sure that you’ve got all the tools and all of the bits and pieces that you need before you start. There is nothing worse
than you having to stop part way through to pop out for something. It simply ruins your concentration as well as your zen perhaps. Now, there are so many different types of mudguards out there. I’m afraid there isn’t
a one for all process for fitting. For example, these Crud
Racer Mudguards here, they don’t require any tools, but they do require about
four millimeters of clearance and around 20 minutes to
30 minutes of your time, depending on the intricacies
of your bike obviously. And how patient you are
as well, when fitting. Whereas these clip on
ones here from Topeak they’ll fit on, well within seconds, but they’re not gonna give you quite as much coverage there either. So, it’s something worth considering. Now, providing that you’re patient and you follow the instructions, you will be ready to tackle the wet roads and laugh in the face of
other people you ride with. Particularly if you’re from a place where people don’t tend to use mudguards, watch how they all tend to swarm towards your back wheel when you’re riding to avoid getting a face full of muck that they would do from other riders. Of course, there is a down side to that. It means you’re going to be on the front an awful lot more. But, you’ll certainly get
fitter won’t you, let’s face it? There we are. Are you a mudguard lover or hater? I know definitely there
are people out there who really don’t like them. Whereas I absolutely love them and I totally recommend them if you can get them to fit on your bike. Which, well with options like this you definitely can. Either way, let me know
what you think of them down there in the comments section below. And don’t forget too to like and share this video with your friends. And also, don’t forget
to check out the GCN shop at We’ve got a whole heap of goodies for you to check out. And now, for another great video, how about clicking just down here.

62 comments on “How To Choose Mudguards For Your Road Bike | Fender Installation Tips

  1. Please don't lough on the face of those who do not have fenders, you might find their wet fist comming straight to you face..

  2. Should I buy an indoor trainer or a head unit with heart rate monitor,cadence sensor and speed sensor? What would be more beneficial for training?(the indoor trainers has all those sensors and monitors too).

  3. Went for the longest with most coverage (SKS Longboard, sadly 700g 😥) – real peace of mind when compared to getting me wet, dirty, grime onto the chainrings, BB, headlights ect.
    When bikepacking, I can strap stuff into the rear triangle behind the seatpost and wheel.
    I just try not to think about the aero drag of the front guard – wonder when there will be more "mud fairings" like on the Ceepo Shadow R…

  4. the SKS race fenders are brilliant, they just take 10 minutes to setup so that it fits your wheel nicely, and then you can take them on or off within minutes with no need to adjust anything. They simply use a rubber strap to hold them on from the seat stays and forks.

  5. I like mudguards/fenders on my bicycle during wet seasons. I ignore to looks of disapproval from fellow cyclist. That said, I tried Crud mudguards as displayed by John in the video. No matter how much clearance (either close or distanced) I adjust, the guard rattles loudly when I am travelling above 38kmh. It's unsettling and worrisome that the mudguard might cause accident as it becomes loose and jam my wheels. It hasn't happened yet but I have since taken Cruds off. Probably looking at using "Ass Savers" for now. My 2 cents.

  6. the back guard on that orbea was wobbling about all over the place on the video… If you have the fittings, then SKS chromoplastics are hard to beat.

  7. My aluminum Velo Orange mudguards are fantastic for the wet and winter riding. My only gripe is that they can cause a bit of rattling, going over bumps and cracks on the roads.

  8. Full mudguards are rarely full – they may protect your back side, but they do little or nothing to protect the face of the rider behind you. Even mudguards marked as LONG need some extensions to keep the drafters dry. It is a long tradition in Estonia, that every new rider with "full" mudguards in a winter (meaning from autumn to spring) groupride gets his honest and straight feedback during the first ride to properly tune their proudly installed stock mudguards. Typically a piece cut out of plastic canister (or a soda bottle or an old broken mudguard) or an ass-saver attached to the tip of the mudguard will do the trick.

  9. Here in dry Colorado, I never leave them on…save them for melt-out gravel routes. Easy on/off is critical so here it’s either not using them or just the plastic ones that attach to the seat and save your backside. That doesn’t help people behind you though. Honestly, the bigger pain, at least for those of us to may transport a bike on any regular basis, is the complexity of mounting bikes to a vehicle rack. So many modern car racks attach primarily by squeezing down on the front tire at the fork. Can’t do that with a mudguard with removal. PAIN!

  10. Full-set mudguards do have a bit of an image problem. I always associate them with people who spend more of their cycling-time in a blazer than in lycra. That said, Jon has convinced me to ditch my arse-saver & give them a go. The trusty commuter/winter-road/Gravel bike now fully suited & booted. First test ride tomorrow morning.

  11. Wait… Are you saying that I don't have to clean my bike after every ride if I use mudguards? Guess I can't use them then. I can't have them then. I must clean my bike ALL the time! Clean Machine..

  12. Those crud road racer mark 3s are absolute garbage, waste of time and money. The mark 2s were genius and I still love mine, but the mark 3s are an abomination.

  13. I use PDW Full Metal Fenders – 650 Beast on my 650b gravelbike
    never again mud on my ass 🙂 I love it even my feets stay dry with bit of mud spots.
    Did a 7,5hr ride yday on it 185km (75km offroad/single tracks) in snowing conditions … only thing now is my tires get a lot of mud 😛 still have to clean that.
    uploaded a few pics on the gcntechupload site. gona make some nice pictures this summer and upload it for the bikevault stil costumising my bike a bit

  14. I loved them until training hard up and down hills last winter when I wore 2 new rims out. I'm sure the mudguards kept the road sludge on my rims more (I did clean the rims every ride). So now I go without as it's cheaper to clean the bike than it is to replace rims.

  15. Love mine. At first i considered them a necessary evil, ready to take them off as soon as rain season ended. Even though they don't look racy at all, they do look classy. Enough so that i decided to get another (mud guard less) bike for the next season.

  16. Used SKS race blade clip on mudguards last winter in my summer bike and while they protected me they didn't save my summer bike. This year I got a full set of mudguards on my new winter bike and they are so much better. Only issue is forgetting to clean the inside of the mudguards for a few weeks and wondering why my wheels didn't turn.

  17. SKS Raceblades are excellent,don't cut the rubber fixing straps too short and you can use the same pair on all your bikes!!

  18. A must for winter in the UK. Many of our club members have 'extended' their guards by having a flexible flap or tail on the back bottom edge of the guard to prevent even more spray getting on their bike, themselves and other riders in our group.

  19. This video definitly needs an edit, whenever Jon says "mudgard" it should be followed by a clip of Ollie saying "fender" with his excellent american accent

  20. Hi John. Tips on how to cut and bend the stays would have been really useful. The forums have full of tips and I have my own methods after much trial and error, however advice from a pro would be most welcome as I've never been lucky enough to find ones that just fit (yes I do know about the Bontrager ones!)

  21. I only use the stik on ass savers. Butt stays dry, that's enough for me. Bike can be cleaned easily, just don't let the dirt get dry ^^

  22. I Highly recommend the
    Flinger Race Pro Clip Mudguards for rim-brake bikes without mounts, they are the best I've found and I've tried alot of them!

  23. Bontrager NCS mudguards didn't fit easily on my 2013 Trek Domane 2.0 with Tiagra 4600 caliper brakes. I had to swap back to my original wheels and put on smaller 23mm tires to get them to spin, but there's still some tire rub. Looking for better options.

  24. I see someone in the video running guards on a Terra with no brake bridge. I tried this with a pair of SKS Edge aluminium guards and scratched my Terra's paint. 😩 Did the rider in the video need to do anything special to keep the rear mudguard from bouncing into the seat stays?

  25. Big fan of my Muckracer III's – BUT – they needed some tweaking. The glue that holds the velcro pads to your bike doesn't work well on all finishes. I found a couple of very small zip ties for each pad holds them in place really well. Also, be careful how you store them in the summer if you don't want to use them in good weather. If stored carelessly, the plastic will bend over time and is nearly impossible to bend back. If they get tossed in a closet or wherever, and get pressed out of round, you'll probably have to replace them. I'd hang them on a hook or put them carefully in a sturdy box.

  26. Having ridden in an absolute deluge on Sunday night whilst on my commute …I was glad to have them on, wet feet and hands …but my main core and body …warm and dry !! I hate the look of them but I wouldn't be without them for an English winter ride !!

  27. I begrudgingly fitted some full length mud guards to my old 80s winter road bike the other week. I say begrudgingly because I've never liked to look of mud guards on a road bike and resisted having them for ages, but I was getting fed up of the constant battle of keeping the bike clean and tidy. I must admit though the Flinger mud guards look surprisingly good and have been really affective at keeping me and the bike clean . I only wish I would of bought some years ago now 🙂 🙂

  28. Hi jon. Greeting from Bekasi, Indonesia
    I just put Tiagra GS to my old bike. it's using 11-34 with long cage RD. Since I'm using it for B2W only, I think 34 is overkill, can I change my sprocket into 12-28 (deore) without changing my long cage RD?
    Thanks in advance.

  29. Got a 10 year old Trek Madone alpha and found it very difficult to find mud guards that fit correctly. Gone through a couple of the crud racer mk2 plastic mud guards but found these fall apart and rattle around. Got a set fitted at Hargroves in Fareham, i think they are called SDL …. Brilliant 👍only £50

  30. I fit mud guards to all my bikes all year round. In fact I think a bike isn't complete until they are on it. Got a 'proper' road bike that I don't like because of lack of clearance, even cruds mk 3 are a tight fit, race blades just don't fit.

  31. For (the cycling) gods' sake, you're the "Tech Guy" – stop saying "forks". It's A FORK, not plural. Think of a tuning fork with a handle and two tines. The steering tube is the handle, the blades of the fork are the tines. It's ONE THING – a fork!

  32. My I enquire what the full-length mudguards with parallel fixing rods is?
    Thank you. 🙂

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