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Mudguards Vs No Mudguards | Do They Make A Difference When Riding An E-Bike?

Mudguards Vs No Mudguards | Do They Make A Difference When Riding An E-Bike?

– Mudguards, uncool and ugly? Or, an accessory that
gives you more vision, control, and speed? Now, many two-wheeled
disciplines have been using mudguards or fenders for decades, but roadies and mountain bikers? Nah, way too uncool. (electronic beeping) Mudguards come in a whole range of shapes, sizes, and materials. Mudhugger, Zefal, RRP, Crud, Defender, all do proper shaped guards
starting from around 15 pounds, whereas you can get basic flat part guards with zip ties for about a fiver. Front mudguards can be all types. They can be plastic, carbon,
short, medium, and long, basic or complex, bolt-on
or simply zip-tie, from a few quid to over a hundred pounds. Now, most forks are the
same size and shape, and pretty much one-size-fits-all, for the zip-tied versions at least. Although you can get
bolt-ons, such as Defender, which I mentioned earlier. Now, rear mudguards are very much the same as front mudguards. However, because of the
different suspension designs, becomes a bit more complex and requiring custom guards for each bike. So, a very simple question, “How much mud “do they actually guard you from?” Today’s three runs: one
with mudguard front to back, one with a mudguard front, and a final run with no
protection whatsoever. Now, the first run that
we’re going to be doing today is with a mudguard up
front and one on the back. Now, this is the first
time I have ever ridden a mountian bike with
a mudguard on the back so hopefully this will give
us the full protection. It just happens that Jay
and Bruce from Mudhugger, who make these rear mudguards
for the Leed which I’m riding, are going to fit it. Bruce, what’s all the fuss about? Why do we need a hairdryer
and loads of tape? – With the rear mudguards
we will supply heli-tape, helicopter tape, it’s like
very thick frame tape. You see, Jay will wrap it around the stays where the mudguard actually sits and that protects your
paint and your frame finish. So,– – Can I stop you there? It looks like this frame
could have done with a little bit of protection
before (laughing) – Yeah, it’s a bit lengthy, your frame but, you know, most
frames will be pristine. – So what happens there, guys? – Okay, so, to find out where
you’re going to put the mudguard just literally sit it on the tire, give it about 10 mm clearance. Any closer and it gets a bit noisy, certainly when it gets clogged up. And then, mark up on your frame where you want your tape to go. It’s longer than the footer
there so you’ve got overlap. And then we’re just going
to zip-tie it about there. – Can I ask you, why do
you need this tape here? Does it really wear the frame there? – Yes.
– Seriously?! – Yeah, we’ve had people use
like Invisiframe-type tape or electrical tape and they email saying it’s gone through the
tape and ruined the paint. – It goes right into the metal even alloy, it goes straight into alloy. – Now, obviously there’s
a lot of people out there who will say that rear
mudguards are very uncool. Why does it need to be so long? – Basically, the spray comes off the tire at every imaginable angle. So, you’ve got to draw an imaginary line from the back of your tire–
– OK, I get it. – passed the tip, if
there’s anything back here it’s going to go straight
into your rucksack. – Point in having one, right?
– Absolutely. – Well, the proof of the
pudding is in the eating, although, we’re not going to be eating the dirt hopefully today. So, let’s get this fitted
and out on the hill. (upbeat rock music) Okay, run one, mudguard on the
front, mudguard on the back. Clean body, let’s see what it looks like when we get to the bottom. (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) (brakes squeaking) I think time for a halfway check. How am I lookin’? (upbeat rock music) So, goggles off. I’m going to do the second half
of the run without goggles. (upbeat rock music)
(mud splashing) (laughing) (laughing) (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) So, not totally immune to
the odd bit of flying muck but then, unless you’ve got a bit sheet of purse backs in front of your bike, there’s no way you can stop everything. So there’s the evidence of run one. As you can see, front of
house there relatively clean. I think the most noticeable thing for me was the lack of mud flying in my face. And back, well, apart from
that little bit of a skirmish I had coming down the bank. Ignore that patch there, it’s pretty dry. And you can certainly feel that when you’re coming down the hill. Your bum is definitely warmer
than you would be riding with no mudguard on the back. Now, I mentioned earlier that
we’d be doing three runs. The first run with
mudguards front and back, then the second one with the
mudguard just on the front. However, what we decided to
do because of the fading light we’re now going to go for
mudguards off in the fading light and see how that pans out. Run two here we go! (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) (splashing) (upbeat rock music)
(brakes squeaking) Now, I do not know what I
look like from head to toe, but what I do know is
that only after one minute of that track I can hardly
see out of these goggles. So, I think for me the mudguard
is definitely a benefit. One of the other things I can feel compared to the first
one with the mudguard, I’ve actually got a
lot of grit in my mouth and that can’t be a very good thing because if you think about
all the oil and all the grit and all the bacteria
which is on those pedals that can’t be good for you. So Brandon, how am I
lookin’ from head to toe? Doesn’t look too dissimilar
to the first one, right, up front? – [Brandon] Yeah, it’s more muddy. – Okay, and what about the back? (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) Wow, I’ve just picked this suit
up and the weight difference from this to the first
run is absolutely massive. It actually casts my
mind back to when I rode Sam Blenkinsop’s Yeti
Downhill bike in Schladming about 10 years ago. We actually weighed the mud on the bike between the bike being
clean and it being dirty after one run. I think it was like two or three kilograms of mud on the bike. So remember, that a
mudguard will actually keep the mud off your bike
as well as protect you from the elements. I definitely think there’s
only one winner in this, right? (laughing) Do you know what? I feel like I’m working for
a washing powder advert. Well, mudguard versus no mudguard. It’s probably one of those videos where the results probably speak for themselves. But for me, I definitely
think when it comes to vision and control, that front
mudguard has a big effect on your speed down the hill. Remember this is just
one track on one day. The results on another day
could be completely different. I genuinely believe that
because it’s so wet today that it actually has made
the results actually probably more close than it might have been. I certainly think that
when the tracks dry out and they get really sloppy that’s when you must see the
difference really exacerbated between mudguard and no mudguard. So that’s about it, I think. Like I said, the results pretty
much speak for themselves. Let us know your thoughts on
mudguard versus no mudgaurd. Do you actually use a mudguard? Do you actually use a rear mudguard? For me, that was the big
eye-opener on this ride. You definitely feel a warmer bum when you’re going through those puddles. And like I said, a lot of
people actually ride in the dark so it doesn’t actually matter
what the bike looks like. It’s all about practicality,
not about fashion. Give a thumbs-up if you like the video. Don’t forget to hit the
globe to Subscribe to EMBN to see more e-mountain bike videos.

80 comments on “Mudguards Vs No Mudguards | Do They Make A Difference When Riding An E-Bike?

  1. when it's wet and sloppy (like it is at the minute) yes, I use both front and back. As well as protecting you it keeps some of the crud off the suspension pivots at the rear and also off the dropper post which suffers massively if it's left cruddy and used a lot.

  2. At the moment I only use a rear mudguard on my mondraker e factor, but it's only there to protect the rear shock which is positioned right in the line of fire for anything flinging out of the rear wheel. I could do with a front guard to prevent riding blind though.

  3. Im using those flat mud guards and they work like a charm. I dont wear glasses/goggles when riding in trails, without them i might crash lol

  4. I don't shred thru wintertime, respecting the animals recreation time. So I mounted fix aluminium front/rear fenders and Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires. Since most riders give a $hit about fauna&flora, I think a front Mudguard will do.

  5. Yes I use a mudhugger frx cut down slightly on the back of my levo and an enduro on the front. The mudguards also help to protect the bike…dropper, pivots, shock and fork.

  6. If you are married then mudguards are an Absolute must in the winter, if you ever want to be allowed back in the house or fancy washing your own filthy gear.

  7. Just fitted a pair of the new even longer mud hugger rears same as young Steve has in this video
    Yes they are butt ugly
    Yes they are uncool
    Yes they work – this will be fitted until April

    Steve NO !!!!! to twerking!!

  8. After looking a bit like you in that last shot Steve, we all invested in some mudguards, dont look cool but they do the job.

  9. Never liked mud guards till one wet week in the alps. People were using inner tubes strung across the crowns brace it was ugly and not the neatest but i caved and did the same. Holy smokes like night and day my googles stayed relatively clear the whole way down. I use one of those cheapo plastic card ones now stays on all year its not 100% effective but good enough.

  10. Great video showing why to use mudguards,I have been thinking about using mudguards and now you made me think,I will be buying a set…soon as.

  11. Been running defenders on a beater bike for good 3 years only using thwmnfor fast tarmac use for the spray mainly but a turd on your wheel is no fun when it flings up in your face.

  12. I use the front "face fender". It does help with less stuff flying into my face.

    However, it also protects your stanchions. There is zero muck on my fork seals, they keep working in the biggest mess just fine with no buildup.

    I don't care for the rear. My backpack takes the flak.

  13. I use front and rear mudguards on my MTB, they make it look like an actual dirt bike or scrambler and I love this look.

  14. As my MTB also serves as a commuter bike, I have Mudhuggers on permanently. No problems except the slightly uncool look, and a bit of weight. Worth it!

  15. I don't have an ebike at the moment. I do however use both front and rear mudguards. The mudguards I use are the Mudhugger FR and the 29er rear. I even leave the on all year as I am too bone idle to take the off.

  16. Mudhugger front and rear. I added extra protection over the heli tape with an old cut up inner tube. Never got around to taking them off this summer and found another benefit. They stop your bum getting buzzed if you get too low over the back wheel on a descent. I suspect that is not very good for the mudguard, but rather it than me!

  17. RRP bolt on is MINT, as is the Shimano seatpost protector, made from neoprene which means it collapses and extends with your post, keeps the post immaculately clean.

  18. Been shopping around for an eMTB for a while now and it shocks me how few have mudguards. All that talk about cleaning and maintaining a bike, faffing around with high end carbon belts, internal gearing and people pick style over something basic like a mudguard. Since when did fashionistas go mountain biking?

    Personally I'd have gone larger than those fitted here if it was available. Why not? Less cleaning and less muck flying about. Kinda obvious.

  19. I couldn't give a shit about being "cool". Id rather be dry and not shit up to the eyeballs thanks. Americans would probably shit their pants seeing people riding bikes in mud, oh the horror 😱🙄 Big girls blouses.

  20. I've been running front and back muddhuggers for years..if your riding year round in Ireland Scotland Wales or England I would definitely recommend them, clean dry arse and less maintenance 😉 tiz a no brainer.

  21. Mudguards every time.
    However getting a Mudguard to fit a full suspension bike particularly over the rear wheel is trickier than it looks. Ideally it needs to be fitted to the seatpost but if you are adjusting your seat up and down it can’t get in the way. The best solution I have found is to cut it down and jam it in the rear portion of the seat.

  22. As an experienced cyclist, I always use full length mudguards and a front mud-flap, they keep dirt and shit (actual shit) off the bike, my lights, my luggage, off my shoes and off my clothes. FYI, I cycle for transport. I wear the same clothes on the bike that I expect to wear at my destination. I cycle on the road and on designated cycle tracks.
    Yes, mudguards do slow the bike down by causing extra drag.
    I use Gilles Berthoud Stainless Steel Mudguards

  23. I use mudguards, but they are kinda uncool and not big enough. I need the build the mudguards I see in my head. The rear will be so cool.

  24. Get down and dirty or less agg from the missus? Mudguards all the way! 😉 not to mention her not wanting to kiss you later with the lovely taste of cow shi* breath 😉

  25. If you could post pix here I could show you the ugliest mudguards ever. I have found that a 3" wide strip running the full length of the dt is really effective and use a cheap modified, extended as per the one in here, seat post mount one but I don't use a dropper on this bike because the ti post has galled to the steel seat tube… isn't about how it looks as much as how it works.

  26. I like that Steve is riding in wellies…I've been riding in wellies with cheap leggings over the top of them for twenty years+ and still don't understand why more people don't do it????????? Cheapest and best winter foot wear ever….And mudguards ftw every time

  27. Mudhugger front and rear! Now waiting for the new rear large one to be available in Germany. I never understood why most mtb'ers love to get sprayed by dirt…

  28. The number one benefit of a front mudguard is to keep mud/muck off the fork stanchions. I don't care about getting muddy myself!

  29. I'm in southern california. This vid is VERY TIMELY! I recently went for a ride on my e-MTB a couple days after recent heavy rains. I have the small flexy type zip tied guard on the front and the slim jim guard that zip ties to the back of the seat. Well, let me tell you it was one big FAIL. The mud here is so thick you need a troll the scrap it off. I had so much mud caked under the front mud guard the front wheel won't rotate. It was literally stuck and won't move. I had to remove the wheel and scrape the mud out from underneath the mudguard. After scraping mud off everything and me. I tried again only to experience caked on mud in the front again. The solution this time was to remove the front mudguard altogether and make my way back to the Jeep and go home. Some how british mud doesn't appear to be as thick and cakes like we have here. So for me no bike riding after a rain.

  30. Mud hugger front and back all year round. Not bothered about how the bike looks. I think being caked in mud is way more uncool. 😎😎

  31. Biked to work today, in the Slush. Honestly felt like i sat in a puddle until lunch. >_< Got wet though jeans, knickers and underwear, had to put paper towels in my pants, the jacket got kinda saved by my backpack >_< Living in Northern Sweden, had snow, that was kinda fine to ride on, wish i had winter tires tho, then it started to taw… I hope it's drier tomorrow.
    Just use Mudguards, any puddle will ruin your day otherwise. I leared that the hard way.

  32. I use a little front one to keep the crap out of my eyes but tbh the big kid in me really enjoys getting filthy on a muddy ride! I know it's childish but it's just good fun imo, I can't be the only one!

  33. Worth buying the front extender for the front mudhugger mudguard, the extra 10 cm makes a big difference, same with the rear too actually if you have an older mudhugger. Friend of mine puts an old school crud catcher on too but much lower down than u normally would, it helps protect your water bottle getting covered and give abit of protection below the knees.

  34. I run a Crud XL on the front, its great. Done three wet rides and not one bit of mud on the goggles. Crud XL on the back is great too, suspends from the seat post so no worries about mud build up.

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