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About Mudguards

Even if it is not part of the new age aesthetics, there is no doubt that bike mudguards do serve one important function. There is no better way than to save your back and shoes from splashes of water and mud. Not needing to clean your bike as often is an added benefit.

Once the streets are wet after rain, a simple cycle ride can become miserable without a mudguard. But then why don’t your brand-new bikes don’t have fenders? There are two reasons why these days most bikes do not come with mudguards as a default option. The most important factor is that most people who use bikes are hobbyists. They can choose to sit inside during bad weather. But not if you are somebody who uses a bike for daily commutes. Another reason is that it is possible to install one after purchasing the bike. But it is important to know more about bike mudguards before shopping for one.  

A guide to bike mudguards 

The primary function of mudguards, as the name suggests, is to protect the rider from otherwise inevitable splashes of mud and dirt. If you ride on wet roads or trails without mudguards, it won’t take much longer to cover the bike in the mud. When this mud dries on the bike, they will ruin the paint as well. A mudguard is a simple and affordable fix to all these problems. Not all mudguards are the same, though. You should choose it depending on your bike model. In this article, you will find some awesome tips that you can follow while shopping for them online.

Mountain bike guards 

You will have to deal with the worst kind of mud on a mountain bike. Therefore, a mudguard for mountain bikes should be equipped to deal with them on a daily basis. Not only should they protect you, but they should also prevent the mud accumulating between the tyre and mudguard. They also need to be stronger. Not only do they have to deal with thick mud but, occasionally, rocks as well. Mudguards of mountain bikes tend to be beefier and less focused on the finish. No matter how sophisticated you make them, they will be covered in mud by the end of the day. You can mount the mudguard on the seat post unless you have a dropper seat post. In that case, you can mount them on the frame.  

Folding bike guards 

Most folding bikes do not come with a mudguard. As the idea of a folding bike is to make it as compact as possible, mudguards are among the first parts to be compromised. Sometimes this makes commuting on it a lot difficult during rainy weather. Rain does not mean you should not use folding bikes, though. You can stop splashing yourself with the stormwater by installing an aftermarket mudguard. But the mudguard should not make the bike any less foldable. So, you can clip on mudguard in this case. They are easy to install and take off with just one click. They won’t be strong enough to go on a mountain bike, but for street use, they are more than enough.   

Road bike guards 

It was the road bikes that first did away with the mudguards for the sake of style. You may find a few models that are optimised for sports having them, but most do not. And unfortunately, neither do many of them have the eyelet to install an aftermarket mudguard. In those models which have the option to add a bolt-on fender, you should do so. But if yours do not have that option, you can go for the clip-on type. Seat mudguards are a popular option these days. They do the job of saving you from splashes and mud to a decent extent. But if you want better, then look for full-length fenders that you can clip on to the bike. 

Urban bike guards 

Among all of the bikes, urban bikes are the least focused on looks. Most urban bikes do come with full-length fenders as their default. But in case if yours do not have a set of back or rear fenders, you can bolt them on and fix one permanently. Full-length mudguards make sure that you are protected from 90 per cent of the splashes. Generally, full-length mudguards that go on the front of the bike will be smaller than the rear one. It is better to choose a fender that is inconspicuous for urban bikes. Also, look for a colour that is similar to the bike as well.

Tips on buying a Bike Mudguard

Finding a mudguard is not that difficult. But to make sure that the one you are buying is right, you have to look for certain features in them. Following these tips will help you make a good purchase decision.

  • Ease of installation – This is especially true for the mudguards that go on the road bikes and foldable bikes. For removable mudguards, you need something that you can put on and take on with one click. You don’t want something that you have to fiddle with every time you have to ride the bike.
  • Style – Even if you are not installing a mudguard to make a style statement, it doesn’t hurt to get one that also adds to the overall look of the bike. Mudguards that sit close to the tyres will definitely look good. But for mountain bikes, you want more space between the tyre and the mudguard.
  • Coverage – Don’t forget the functional side of the mudguard when you look for the looks. There is only one rule to bike mudguards. The more it protects you from dirt and water, the better. But you will have to balance out the coverage of the mudguard with the portability and style.
  • Consider the fit – Mudguards should neither be too small nor too large as compared to the rest of the bike. Secondly, the mudguard should not rattle or come off even when you are riding through rough terrain. Finally, in the case of removable mudguards, they should be easy to carry inside your backpack.

Even if you haven’t gone for a bike ride in bad weather, it is a good idea to keep one for a rainy day. In case you are a competitive rider, look for an aerodynamic fender. They can nullify the effect of drag to a bare minimum. Here on our product search engine, we offer a huge collection of bike parts from over 500 brands and shops in the UAE. Amongst the ones you can consider include KKMOON, SKS, MTB, Zefal, and Dahon.

Question & Answer

Are mudguards necessary on bikes?

People start asking this question every year when it is raining. Many people prefer how their bikes look without those unsightly fenders. And for those who have spent money on a nice pair of tyres, it’s painful how a mudguard would block the view of that fine set of rubber. But apart from all these superfluous notions, people do agree on one thing — mudguards are useful. You don’t mind splashes of water or even mud if you are a trail biker who is all geared up. But for most commuters, that will be a pain in the neck. So, to answer the question, no, mudguards are not necessary. But they are quite useful.

Do bike mudguards slow you down?

Mudguards do cause a slight increase in the overall drag. While the front mudguards reduce the drag by streamlining the front tyre, the rear fender ads slightly more drag than what the front fender takes away. If the mudguards sit closer to the tire, the drag will be minimal. But you have to be moving really fast for this drag to be noticeable. Another thing to consider is weight. It is an undeniable fact that mudguards will add weight to the bike. Compared to a bike that has no mudguard, a bike with mudguard will be slower, that’s why race bikes do not come with them.

How do you install mudguards on a bike?

Method of installation of fenders varies between models. But most of them, if not all, use any of the three installation methods. First, the bolt-on type. To install this type of mudguard, there must be an eyelet on the rear of the bike. Usually, there will be a screw covering this eyelet. The second type is the clip-on type. These can either be clipped on to the rim of the wheel or to the frame of the cycle itself. They won’t be as sturdy as the bolt-on type though. The third type is the under-seat mudguards. You can stop them between the frames that hold the seat. These will be a bit flimsy and provide little coverage. But that’s better than nothing.