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MTB Mudguards – For Clean Trail Adventures

When it comes to mountain biking, things can quickly get very dirty. Forest trails are bound to have one muddy spot or another, and on rainy days it’s clear: your bike needs mudguards. But which MTB mudguards are the best protectors? And which mudguards fit on a mountain bike at all? On this page, we explain what types of mudguards are available. You can also find out what to look for when buying your MTB mudguards. Read more

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What Types of MTB Mudguards Are Out There?

When it comes to mudguards many people first think of the classic bike accessories, that shield the entire upper half of the tire diameter for maximum protection. And of course, those mudguards do exist for an MTB. They are generally made of sheet steel, aluminium or plastic and actually offer the best protection against dirt and splashes. While traditional bicycle mudguards are the best solution on classic bicycles, they have several disadvantages on mountain bikes and e-mountain bikes: because they are close to the tires mud quickly becomes stuck under them and in the worst case the tires can lock in most cases these traditional mudguards do not fit over the rear end if full-suspended bikes. Another problem is that classic mudguards have struts and eyelets that are fixed to the frame or forks. Because most mountain bikes don’t have the necessary threads. That's why such a "full format" mountain bike fenders are only a solution for year-round riders or touring cyclists who prefer to ride on forest and gravel paths.

For mountain bikes and e-mountain bikes, that you use off-road or on trails, short mudguards made of plastic have prevailed for this reason. They can be flexibly attached, usually with cable ties or hook and loop fasteners. On the front wheel it is quite simple to attach a plastic mtb front mudguard: it is usually attached to the crown of the fork. This way there is always enough distance to the tire and then attaching it to the stanchions of the fork is not complicated. It’s more difficult with the back wheel: Only on hardtails mtb rear mudguard can be easily attached to the two seat stays and the seat tube, with full-suspension bikes it depends on the rear end, whether and if at all which mudguard fits. That’s why mtb rear mudguards that are attached to the saddle post or the saddle are practical, as they work with any rear end.

Basically, mudguards for mountain bikes are mounted at a slightly greater distance from the tires, so that no dirt can get stuck there and possibly lock the tires. With such an MTB mudguard you are quite flexible, it can be mounted and taken off relatively easily. The drawback: the smaller and further away from the tires it is, the less effectively it actually protects. This means that the right mudguard in the optimum position straight on to the rear end can be quite a challenge.

Buying the Best MTB Mudguards – What Should I Look out for?

The most important criterion with mudguards on an MTB is that it fits. The common, most important measurement here is the width – it must match the width of the tires you have mounted on your bike. A mudguard specifically designed for a mountain bike is generally quite wide, and if it’s made of rather soft plastic, it should generally fit. At BIKE24 you’ll find information on the dimensions and suitability of the models in the respective product descriptions for mountain bike mudguards.

The second decisive criterion on whether a mudguard fits is how it is attached. Solutions that use hook and loop fasteners or cable ties are generally uncomplicated and flexible to attach. But you should take care that the openings on the mudguard through which the cable tie or hook and loop fastener is threaded are positioned in such a way that they fit on the fork or the respective point at the back (i.e. the chain stay, seat tube, saddle post or saddle). With plug-in mudguards, that sit behind the saddle and that are just clamped into the seat stays, you have to make sure that the clamping bit fits the saddle struts on your bike.

Also make sure that there is enough distance between the mudguard and the tire, even when the fork or rear end is fully compressed. On the fork it is not as complicated, if the mudguard is attached to the fork crown. If the mudguard is mounted too low on the rear end, there is often contact with the tires – to check this, mount the mudguard and let the air out of the suspension, the rear end is then fully deflected and you can see whether there is enough distance.

Sometimes the length of the mudguard is a problem. Basically, the following applies: The longer it is, the better it protects. But remember, if they are too long, the front mudguard can rub against the down tube of the frame, the back mudguard can get in the way when getting on and off, if it stands up a long way.

Mudguards for Your MTB: How They Fit Your Bike

  • Width: The mudguard must be wide enough to completely shield the width of the tires. However, it should only be wide enough so that there is room between the stanchions of the forks or between the seat struts.
  • Attaching: with cable ties or hook and loop fasteners is uncomplicated, but the fixing points must match the fixing points on the fork and, above all, the rear end.
  • Tire and suspension movement: it is essential with mountain bike mudguards that they offer enough freedom of movement for the tires – even when the fork or rear ends fully compressed.
  • Length: the longer the mudguard is, the better it protects. If it is too long, however, it can rub against the frame.

MTB Mudguards – What Else Do I Have to Consider?

When mounting your new mountain bike mudguards, make sure that there are no chafing marks on the paintwork of the fork or the frame. The best way to protect it is to stick a transparent, rubberised protective film at the point where the cable tie or hook and loop fasteners makes contact with the paintwork. With the front mudguard you should make sure that the rear end does not rub on the under-pipe of the frame – this also causes unsightly chafe marks over time.

MTB Mudguards – Summary

  • As a rule, mountain bike mudguards are made from plastic and are attached with cable ties or hook and loop fasteners.
  • Mtb fenders with a classic formate, that shield the tire completely, should generally be attached with screws, but this is not possible with a great many mountain bikes.
  • The front mudguard is generally mounted on the crown of the fork, this is a simple solution.
  • The rear mudguard is often difficult or impossible to attach to the rear end. Here, the most stress-free solution is mudguards that are attached to the saddle post or the saddle.
  • On a mountain bike the mudguard must be mounted with enough tire clearance – the greater the distance to the tire, however means less protection. The optimum position is, therefore, the best compromise between the distance to the tire needed, but not too much.