After moving to a full-suspension bike, I spent some time researching mudguards for two main reasons. Firstly I’m not a big fan of the taste of mud thrown up by the front wheel and secondly I’d like to keep in the good-books of SWMBO by not producing too much muddy laundry from riding through British winters (and a lot of rainy summers).
I typically ride with front mudguard all year round and use a rear guard in autumn/winter which I then take off for Spring/Summer. On the hardtail I used the Crud Catcher Race set as I’d always used them, they are great guards.
Now I have a full-suspension bike a seat-post mounted guard wasn’t going to function as well as it will on a hardtail. The guard would need to be positioned so as to allow the rear tyre to move up under compression of the rear suspension, so it couldn’t be set too close. Add to that the use of a dropper post (which I should have upgraded to as I bought the bike knowing I would get one eventually) and the rear Crud Catcher wasn’t going to work well with that setup.
Created by brothers Bruce and Jamie Gardiner who hail from the West Midlands, the first (rear) Mudhugger was born out of wants and needs similar to mine and was first version launched in November 2012. The rear Mudhugger mounts to the swingarm keeping it close to the tyre, clear of the seatpost and out of the riders way when hovering off the back of the bike. The fixing kit includes zip ties and some frame protectors which help stop the guard rubbing against the paintwork (highly recommend using them).
Following the success of the rear guard the brothers then moved onto a front guard and versions to cover 29er’s.
I bought a standard front (there is a new longer front version that came out in recent months) and the 29er rear at the same time. There are optional extender pieces for both if you want/need(?) more coverage though I have found coverage to be excellent as is.
The guards come with extra zip ties and it’s useful to carry some of these in your pack with you when you go riding so you can replace any attachment zip ties if they break. I have only had one go in the rear so far.
Even after plenty of riding in rocky, bumpy terrain the guards have remained in place. Having recently removed the rear guard I am glad I used the protective frame tape otherwise vibration would have caused the guards to wear the paint on the swingarm.
Haven’t met anyone who has used these that has a bad thing to say about them and I highly recommend them.
You can buy them direct or ask at your LBS.