It is easy to get caught up in the moment and buy new things when the weather is good. However, there are always new trends to follow this year, especially when winter is finally ending and it is time to cool down and prepare for summer.
A car is a huge investment, which means you have to choose carefully when buying one. After all, you don’t want to end up with a bad car; you want to get a car that will last you many years. Every year, I go through the process of buying a new car and I find that some of the most important factors that influence the decision:
If you don’t have any mudguards or fenders, or if you want to buy some more, you don’t know where to start. So you’re asking yourself, what you should buy?
The BikeRadar crew has evaluated the finest mudguards (or fenders, for those outside the UK) for road cycles and commuter bikes.
Mudguards are a must-have for any cyclist who plans to ride all year.
Mudguards help keep your bike clean, decreasing the amount of maintenance you have to perform and extending the life of your components significantly. In our opinion, this is a win-win situation.
The psychological benefit of staying dry and comfortable on your bike on lengthy journeys is enormous. As a kindness to other riders in a group, a few audax events and randonneuring organizations (and certain clubs) even require your bike to be equipped with mudguards.
Choosing the proper mudguards or fenders for you and your bike isn’t always easy, as it is with almost anything in the cycling industry.
To begin, decide if your bike has the eyelets needed for complete mudguards or whether you’ll need a clip-on pair (racing bikes are less likely to have mudguard eyelets). You should also consider tyre width and clearance.
But don’t worry: our top mudguards, as evaluated by our test team, are listed below, and our complete buyer’s guide at the bottom will help you decipher the world of keeping dry on a bike.
Our professional testers have chosen the best mudguards for riding in 2024.
- £44.99 / $47.99 SKS P35
- £44.99 (€54) / $59.99 (£44.99) Bontrager NCS
- £53 / £39.99 / €47.49 Crud Roadracer MK3
- Honjo Koken costs £89 (about $125).
- £59.99/€44.99/$59.99 SKS Raceblade long
- £41.99 / €32.99 / $42.99 / €32.99 / $42.99 / €32.99 / €32.99 SKS Stingray
- Dry-Tech Specialized: £55 ($60)
- £65 / $76 for Velo Orange aluminum mudguards/fenders
Mudguards SKS P35
The SKS P35 has been around for a very long time. BikeRadar
- £44.99 / €N/A / $47.99 / £44.99 / €N/A / £44.99 / €N/
- Chromoplastic construction that has been tried and true
- Almost every bike store has it.
Our evaluation of the SKS P35 was written in 2008, and not much has changed since then.
The P35 — and its extended family, which includes the P45, P55, P65, and others — has been a staple of the SKS lineup for over a decade, and for good reason. The mudguards provide functionality and affordability at an inexpensive price.
When you factor in the fact that virtually every bike store in the country has replacement parts, you’ve got yourself a winner.
Mudguards Bontrager NCS
A Trek Checkpoint AL5 is equipped with Bontrager’s NCS mudguards in a natty shade of fluro. Immediate Media / David Caudery
- £44.99 / $59.99 / €54
- It’s very simple to put together and flexible.
- Rear light integration is a nice touch.
NCS mudguards from Bontrager are an easy-to-install and inexpensive solution that wrap around tyres from 25mm to 45mm wide.
The mudguards include a clever set of clamps on each stay that enable you to change the length without cutting the stay.
This makes them very simple to install, even for the most mechanically challenged home mechanic. It also makes the mudguards adaptable if you want to change the tyres on your bike. The corrosion-resistant, high-quality stainless steel hardware that comes with the kit is abundant.
The mudguards feature a unique circular shape, with no flattened portion at the curve’s apex. This looks fantastic when installed, however it has caused clearance problems around the fork crown on certain bikes in our experience.
Unlike SKS’s chromoplastic mudguards, which have an alloy layer sandwiched between two layers of plastic, the Bontrager NCS mudguards are entirely made of polycarbonate.
Though this will provide years of service if properly installed, we’ve observed that if improperly installed and allowed to wobble, they are more prone to breaking than other alternatives.
It’s great to note that newer versions of the mudguards include an integrated Blendr attachment for mounting Bontrager rear lights.
Mudguards for the Crud Roadracer MK3
When it comes to clip-on mudguards, the Crud Roadracer is the way to go. Immediate Media / Felix Smith
- £39.99 / €47.49 / $53
- It’s perfect for bikes that don’t have eyelets.
For road bikes with no eyelets or narrow clearances, the Crud Roadracer is the best choice.
They’re a little tricky to install and don’t provide as much coverage as full-cover mudguards, but they’re one of the finest clip-on options available.
The mudguards of the MK2 Roadracer were attached with O-rings, but the MK3 version utilizes “super Velcro” for a cleaner, fuss-free finish.
Are you preparing your bike and gear for the next winter season? Take a look at these resources.
Mudguards Honjo Koken
Honjo produces some of the most well-known mudguards on the market. BikeRadar
- £125 / £89 / €TBC
- The quality and workmanship are exceptional.
- Various sizes are available.
Honjo, a Japanese company, produces some of the best mudguards on the market, with quality that is second to none.
Naturally, such high quality comes at a cost, and a set of these unique mudguards starts at £90 / $125.
A variety of foreign wholesalers, like Rene Herse (previously Compass) in the United States, which also delivers worldwide, provide a broad range of sizes.
Mudguards SKS Raceblade Long
SKS’ Raceblade mudguards are another example of clip-on mudguards. Branston, Joseph
- £54.99 / €44.99 / $59.99
- Clip-on mudguards provide an extremely secure fit.
SKS’ Raceblade mudguards use an innovative pair of clips that slip below your quick-release skewer to connect to bikes without eyelets.
These are considerably more secure than traditional clip-on options, and they’re also simpler to remove.
Mudguards SKS Stingray
The Stingray mudguards from SKS add some funk to the otherwise drab realm of keeping dry. BikeRadar
- £41.99 / €32.99 / $42.99
- Exceptional fitment
- It’s feasible to match your bike’s colors in a subtle and elegant way.
The Stingrays from SKS are based on the contemporary P35 profile, but with a playful, colored layer sandwiched in utilizing the brand’s chromoplastic technology. This allows you to match the guards to the color of your bike in a subtle and elegant manner – neato!
The mudguards provide enough coverage, but they might benefit from mud flaps, and they can frequently be obtained for a low price.
Dry-Tech mudguards with a specialized design
These mudguards are reasonably heavyweight and robust, with a broad body that guarantees good stiffness. BikeRadar
- £55 / $60
- With thick tyres, super-wide coverage is ideal.
- Certain Specialized bikes have plug-and-play compatibility.
If you wish to utilize wide tyres or take advantage of the brand’s “plug and play” compatibility on specific models, Specialized’s aluminum Dry-Tech mudguards are a fantastic choice.
The installation is simple, and the price is reasonable when compared to comparable alloy mudguards.
Mudguards in Velo Orange metal
Velo Orange’s alloy mudguards/fenders provide long-lasting functionality at an affordable price. Immediate Media / Jack Luke
- $76 / £65 / €TBC
- Super long-lasting
- There are several sizes and styles to choose from.
Velo Orange’s alloy mudguards are a strong favourite among BikeRadar staff, with a wide selection of sizes and designs to suit the great majority of bikes.
Fitting them may be a pain, but if you take your time and do it well, you’ll be rewarded with a dry bottom for years to come.
Buyer’s Guide to Mudguards and Fenders
Do you have a good eye for it?
The first step is to figure out what type of mudguards your bike can use.
You should be able to run full-length mudguards if your bike has eyelets (also known as braze-ons).
Although they are a more permanent solution, they are unquestionably the best option since they provide the most coverage, are less prone to wobbling, and last longer than clip-on alternatives.
If your bike lacks eyelets, you may be able to use p-clips as a temporary workaround, although carbon frames should be avoided. Axiom’s axle runners, for example, are another adapter worth looking into.
Don’t be shocked if you need to ‘urge’ your mudguard stays to function with disc brakes.
Although the situation has considerably improved, the location of eyelets on certain bikes may be lacking (especially on cycles with disc brakes), thus some jiggery-pokery, such as bending stays, may be needed.
Mudguards may even enhance the appearance of a road bike if they are well-integrated. Immediate Media / Jack Luke
Though some may lament the fact that full-length mudguards are permanent, they may look great when ‘integrated’ with the bike and are quite easy to remove once installed.
Full-coverage clip-on mudguards and fenders
If your bike lacks eyelets, clip-ons are another alternative.
While clip-on mudguards provide enough covering, they fall short of full-length mudguards. If your bike lacks eyelets and you can’t utilize one of the workarounds listed above, clip-on mudguards are your next best option.
In place of eyelets, mudguards like the SKS Raceblade Pro and Crud Roadracer utilize o-rings or Velcro wrapped around the frame to give a reasonably solid attachment while giving coverage that is similar to, but not quite as comprehensive as, full-length mudguards.
Although their low weight and sleek appearance may appeal, be aware that this type of guard is more difficult to put up and wobbles more than full cover ‘guards.
Crud Road Racers are a wonderful choice for bikes that don’t have eyelets, but they’re a pain to install.
These are the finest choices available if your bike has very narrow clearances or lacks eyelets.
Mudguards and fenders that clip on
Mudguards aren’t only for the road; they may make a huge impact off it.
Clip-on mudguards, which connect to your seatpost, are your last choice and provide the least amount of coverage of all the mudguard types.
They’ll help stop the dreaded brown stripe of mud from running up your back, but they won’t protect your bike or legs from the weather.
They are, however, the only choice for mountain bikers or people who can’t bear the thought of full-coverage mudguards.
To hold the mudguard in position, some mudguards, like these from Topeak, utilize a cammed strap clasp.
Clamp-on mudguards, such as the legendary Topeak Defender, and folding mudguards, such as the famous Ass Saver, are two types of clip-on mudguards.
These are most suited to mountain bikes and are usually placed beneath the saddle, fork crown, or down tube. They will shield you from the harshest spray.
Which fenders and full-cover mudguards should I get?
First and foremost, think on the materials you want your mudguards to be composed of.
A good pair of alloy, full cover mudguards, starting at the upper end, is a highly valuable investment that will last much longer than a set of ordinary, plastic ‘guards.
Velo Orange’s metal ‘guards aren’t much more expensive than a plastic pair.
Not only do they look good, but a set like the Velo Orange mudguards suggested above is just little more expensive than a set of standard, plastic mudguards.
The well-loved Portland Design Works Full Metal fenders are another popular choice for people looking for something a bit less showy.
PDW Full Metal Fenders are now on sale.
A pair of well-worn SKS Chromoplastic mudguards with an appropriately obnoxious custom mudflap. Immediate Media / Jack Luke
SKS fills the need with their chromoplastic ‘guards, which include a thin layer of alloy sandwiched between two layers of plastic, resulting in a tough and affordable pair of ‘guards.
Chromoplastic ‘guards, which come in almost every size conceivable, are the standard go-to choice for bike shops, with SKS offering a multitude of replacement parts.
Plain plastic ‘guards, such as those from Bontrager’s NCS line, are a lighter alternative, both in terms of weight and cost. They will, however, not survive as long as other alternatives, in our experience.
What mudguard or fender width should I get?
Consider the width of mudguard that will best fit your tyres.
As a general rule, it’s better to err on the side of caution and equip your bike with the broadest pair of mudguards possible.
This not only makes your mudguards more future-proof, but it also improves the space between your mudguards and your tyre, lowering the chances of anything becoming trapped.
On that point, SKS’s mudguards come with breakaway clips, which are intended to separate the mudguard’s stays from the bike in the event that anything becomes caught between the tyre and the guards, preventing you from flying over the bars.
Be careful that the profile of certain mudguards won’t fit on bikes with tight clearances, especially around the fork crown, so do some research online or go to your local bike store and have them equip you with a pair that they know will suit your bike model.
SKS breakaway clips are now on sale.
So you’ve decided you’re in the market for best mudguards and fenders for your car, and you’re considering buying a set. Great! But, which ones are the best? And what features need to be included in a set of mudguards and fenders? And how much do you actually need to spend? These are all questions you need to consider before you go out and buy a set.. Read more about mudguards for gravel bikes with disc brakes and let us know what you think.
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