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, are for many cyclists out there a staple part of winter cycling. The thought of riding along and getting your precious bike covered in grime is a nightmare isn’t it. So let’s have a look at the choices out there for you and how to fit all types of mudguards to your road bike.

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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-on mudguards . Secondly, the clearance and fitting options that you have available on the bike. Not all bikes will work with all mudguards.

Depending on the guards you’ve gone for, will depend on the level of difficulty when it comes to fitting. Nothing is particularly troublesome really as long as you either read the instructions or look at things logically.
What I would recommend is using a workstand as that way you can check that the tyres are clearing the mudguards as well as any brackets sufficiently.

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Readers Comments (50)

  1. 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.

  2. I love fenders they make look goofy sometimes but I’ll take a funny looking bike over getting soaked any day

  3. 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!

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

  5. Get extra long mud guards if you can fit them. Especially for the front wheel.

  6. 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

  7. Hi,

    Anyone advise me on mudguards for an aero framed road bike?


  8. 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.

  9. Charles Fiddes Payne December 8, 2020 @ 9:17 pm "Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance" by Jon "Robert Pirsig" Cannings

  10. 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 !!

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. I learned to love them the hard way…

  15. What is a clearance and how do I measure it (both for the front and rear tyres)?

  16. a video about absolutely nothing …… say Mudguards oh yar oh yar

  17. Next video: Studded tyres for your road bike!

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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..

  21. SKS are the mudguards to have IMO.

  22. Leo_inter_Hyaenaem December 8, 2020 @ 9:28 pm

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

  23. Absolute mudguard lover..what’s to hate…it adds a fraction of weight? slightly less aero?..looks bad?.. ok..but how fast do you ride in the it also saves your costly components of the drive train..and your degreaser😅

  24. 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!

  25. 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?

  26. Not worrying about the bike getting the bike wet, more me getting covered!

  27. durgimstingetium December 8, 2020 @ 9:37 pm

    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.

  28. Anna Orzechowicz December 8, 2020 @ 9:39 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I ride in Chicago winters but I’m new to all of this stuff

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. Omaris Bhumiriady December 8, 2020 @ 9:45 pm

    Good video as always!
    Mudguards are an essential item for cyclists during winter and rainy days!

  33. Just fitted a pair. It was a nightmare. Always grease your bolts people.

  34. Maik Pauli [OnkelDoerte] December 8, 2020 @ 9:47 pm

    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 ^^

  35. I have a friend who has a bike shop and he has all the tools and he is meticulous. It took him 4 hours to install a set of mudguards. I was blown away that it took so long but when he showed me what he had to do I knew I would not have been able to do it as well. So I would recommend letting a shop ( a good one) do it. Now that they are on I’ll probably keep them on even in the summer.

  36. 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!)

  37. gulf city nicholas danca December 8, 2020 @ 9:51 pm

    I use clip on versions from the company known as beaver tails

  38. I live in Scotland #mudgardsrock

  39. Its all about the aero though, so no.

  40. John Broadmeadow December 8, 2020 @ 9:57 pm

    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 🙂 🙂

  41. Required for club rides

  42. Necessary evil constant squeezing and rattling ….and do they really keep you or the bike any cleaner and drier ?

  43. As my current road bike is steel, I tend to leave her indoors during the winter. Got my belt drive beauty for winter riding.

  44. Fenders are pretty useless in the snow Jon. They tend to ice up and the wheel stops turning.

  45. Leo_inter_Hyaenaem December 8, 2020 @ 10:05 pm

    The problem with My gravel bike is that clearance is a bit excessive – about 5cm with a 41mm wide mudguard attached. Why is it a problem? Because the leverage generated by the that long a bolt is so great on the rivnut that it will wiggle it out of the frame.

  46. Timotei of Bollow December 8, 2020 @ 10:05 pm

    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.

  47. 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!

  48. I love my mud guards on my cargo bike and beach cruiser! I have some strap on mudguards for my road bike, but never used them. i just use my other bikes on rainy days.

  49. I hate mudguards, only considering them because of winter riding.

  50. Anyone have any idea if I can fit full length mudguards (Kinesis fend off on my CAAD13) and still use my bike on a direct drive turbo trainer without removing them?(Elite zumo) can’t find any info!

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