Mudguards are used for the front and rear tires to prevent the trail mud and sandy water, it is a safety measure for the rider and the bike because it prevents your face from the debris of the trail and avoids you from getting wet on the rainy days and the bike remains clean after riding through the muddy trails.
While mountain biking you are already exposed to a lot of dirt and mud especially on heat trails its imperative that you know that mountain bike tires are knobbily made for traction so they dig deep into the sand and mud
and once the tires start rolling all that mud and dirt comes with them and if mudguards are not there you could be the one getting all the mud and sand and if you were not wearing any goggles either it could get a hell of a lot tougher.
mudguards are also known as mud huggers. Many riders use the front mudguard only but rear mudguards are as important as well it could potentially save your clothes from getting dirty.
mudguards also give better look to the bike and also prevent your shoes and the lower surface of the headtube from getting dirty.
Most of the time riders use an extra mudguard in the bottom of their bike for extra safety, it is mostly used when you have a ride through the dry powdery and sandy trails which makes your ride much more comfortable and secure and prevents the frame from getting all that sand stuck under it also it saves the frame when you got to hit some rock. so mudguard has many advantages based on the trails.
Is mudguard necessary?
it is not necessary but it’s a protective barrier between you and the dust particles from your own wheel-tire but. if you own a new expensive bike and you don’t want to ruin it mudguard might be the way to go about it saves it from getting dirty and because of the dirt the lube or forks oil dries up pretty quickly which is the main concern as well so its better to have them on
Every year has different seasons dry, rainy, and snowy winter season which makes a big difference in having or without having mudguards on your bike.
Do mudguards make a difference?
Well, it seems to be a clear difference between having a mudguard vs no mudguard when you test practically, for this experience let’s imagine while riding in a rainy season. without having front and rear mudguards you do not even ride a single kilometer on the sloppy trails because the bike speed increase constantly and your face and your wearings affect too much worse and this will ruin all of your charming levels while riding and you cannot bear to ride farther more.
Without the rear mudguard, your friend which is following behind you on the trail needs a distance otherwise the mud water spray from the rear tire will ruin the following rider badly.
Often riders never attach the mudguard to the bike because they would think it increases the weight of the bike, it is light in weight it is made of plastic. the best decision would be that you can attach them while having a ride in the rainy, wet, or sandy trails and you can take them off if you are using your bike for commuting or traveling long distances on road with it.
What are mudguards’ purposes?
- The front mudguard gives protection to your face and your upper body (eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, glasses, chest) against the mud and the dirty water.
- It protects a camera attached to your head or on your bike while riding through the trails.
- It saves you from the flying stones which will reach nearly to your upper body and your feet in the fast racings. when the front wheel rotates small pieces of stones fly and sometimes these pieces hit the face and cause a little bit of injury.
- The rear mudguard protects the saddle of the bike from getting rust caused by the mud which is hitting the inner space of the saddle constantly when the bike is at high speed.
- The main purpose of mudguards is that they will keep you and parts of your bike protected against mud, sand, and stones
- These are easy to use, you can easily take them off and re-attach them.
- They vary differently in their size(short & long)
- these are cheap, you have easy access to buy a good brand of mudguard online and also from the nearby shops.
- MTB tires are fat so the average of sticking the mud is also high when you compare them with the road bike tires this is the reason mudguards are recommended for mountain bikes in the wet seasons.
How long should mudguards be?
The length of the front mudguard ranges from 30 to 38 inches and the rear mudguard ranges from 30 to 35.6 inches.
However, it is different for the different sized wheels of bikes depending on your bike size if the wheels are 29 then the length is the same but if wheels are 26 and 27.5 the short-sized mudguards are installed just below the steerer tube.
the distance between the front tire and the mudguard should be 3 to 8 inches so that the guards should not rub with the tire after hitting the bumps on the trails. the suspension of the forks is moving up and down on the trails that’s why the distance is necessary between the mudguard and the tire.
The most recommended front mudguards are
- Crud XL
- Mucky Nutz
- RRP Enduro
- Rock Shox cheap plastic
And the rear mudguards are
- PNW Origami
- Zefal detector FM30
- Mojo defender
- Mudhugger FRX
these are the best quality front and back mudguards.
How to install/Attach mudguards to a mountain bike?
while buying a Mountain bike with 27.5 and 29 wheels often mudguards should not be given with a bike or if you purchased an old bike that does not own mudguards so you have to buy them online or the nearby shops. Installation of mudguards is very easy which takes just 5 to 10 minutes of your time at home with the necessary tools
Rear Mudguard contains half an inch of nut bolts and clamps. fix the clamp with the rear mudguard by tightening the bolts with the help of a screwdriver. Remove the saddle from the bike and adjust the rear clamp in the saddle pipe and press it so that both of its ends would be close together and insert the nut bolt in the clamp holes and tighten the bolt with the help of a screwdriver.
You can check the clamp with your hand so that it is properly fitted with the saddle pipe. if the clamp is rotating and you notice that it is flexible you can tighten the bolt further. Now insert the saddle pipe in your bike and tighten the quick release of the saddle. you can give the proper position to the rear mudguard by tightening and losing the clamp nut bolt with a screwdriver.
The front mudguard contains two nut bolts tight them both with a screwdriver and place the mudguard below the fork in a parallel position. after giving the best position to the guard tight the bolt of the guard with the fork. in this way, the front mudguard is fitted properly.
Front mudguards come in different shapes, structures, designs, and sizes. there are different methods of installing different types of front mudguards, the method that I explained can be applied to any type of front mudguards. the things you need the most in installing front and rear mudguards are:
- Torque Wrench
- Phillips screwdriver
- 10mm box/Open end wrench.
While mudguards may not seem that big of a deal to you they do come in handy and they do have a lot of advantages to ignore taking them off just because of a little bit of weight reduction would not be a wise choice but still if you had like to take a go on that’s okay as well. you can always re-attach them or buy them.
even low-quality mudguards are okay as well as long as they serve the purpose and save you from all the hassle, you might need to change them sooner but for the sake of trying do try mudguards if you were not using them before they could potentially change your whole view about them, these little things are often ignored but these are the things that make a whole lot of difference.