10 Best Mountain Bike Fenders and Mudguards: Reviews 2018
Let’s face it…winter can be the most challenging time for cyclists!
With water, mud, and trail debris lying everywhere, it becomes quite impossible to avoid them. But that’s not the real issue…the problem comes when you get sprayed by these elements on your face.
Even worse, most of the mud and grime can end up all over your bike, including the moving parts.
However, equipping your bike with the best MTB fenders can save you all this hell.
The mudguards will protect you and your bike—giving you a stress-free biking experience.
As you set out to get a fender for your MTB, remember that the market has varieties of fenders with different designs, features, colors, costs, etc.—which can make you get confused about which one to buy.
You’ve nothing to fear though…we’ve dedicated this post to help you find the perfect fenders for your bike by showing you exactly what to look for when shopping.
We also have done some research and found the 10 top-rated mudguards that we’ll also share with you shortly.
Let’s dive into more details…
Mountain Bike Mud Guards Or Not?
Mountain bike mudguards, also known as fenders, are essential if you want to enjoy cycling while staying clean and safe. This is especially true if you’re riding on wet roads with water-filled puddles, debris, and overall wet conditions.
If you’ve never cycled through such conditions in winter with a “fender-less” bike, you don’t even want to try!
Installed on the front and rear parts your bike, fenders help fend off all the debris, mud, water, rocks, and sand from flying up at your face and back while cycling. The last thing you want to experience is a blob of dirt or mud hitting your glasses and affecting your concentration on the bike.
Besides protecting you, the mudguards will also protect your fellow riders (when cycling with your friends) from getting sprayed.
On top of it all, these fenders will block debris from getting into the moving parts of your bike and causing havoc while keeping your bike cleaner.
NOTE: Mudguards aren’t limited to winter conditions only…most mountain bikers also install a small front mudguard in the dry conditions as they help catch dust and small debris that can otherwise end up on their faces.
Let’s turn our heads to the 10 best mountain bike mudguards that you can install on your mountain bike today to help you stay clean and safe.
Our Best MTB Fender Picks:
1. FIFTY-FIFTY Mountain Bike Fender
Opening our list of the top-rated fenders for mountain bikes is the FIFTY-FIFTY Mountain Bike Fender. This mudguard is both front and rear compatible and fits bikes 26", 27.5", 29"….as well as the fat and plus size bike wheel sizes.
The simple but effective fender is loved by many bikers due to how excellently it executes its intended job. It’ll keep the spray off your face whenever you’re riding through streams of stagnant water or after rain. It’ll stop flying debris, front wheel spray—keeping you safe and your bike cleaner.
Constructed from Polypropylene material, this fender is not only sturdy but also incredibly lightweight (feels 1 oz light). You’ll install it and forget if it’s on your bike…but I wonder if it’ll go unnoticeable since it’ll be protecting you from all the dirt and debris.
For the installation part, you don’t need to take your bike to a professional to do it for you. The package comes with all the required installation hardware (up to 6 heavy-duty zip ties) and a set of easy to follow installation instructions.
2. RightOn Folding Front Mud Guard
If you’re looking for a good quality front mudguard with a budget-friendly cost, this RightOn Folding Front Mud Guard is an excellent choice. Despite the low price, this fender will also do an excellent job of keeping you safe and protected from the flying debris and dirt you’re likely to encounter along the trail in winter weather.
The mudguard is made from high-quality material which is incredibly flexible and lightweight. The flexibility of the material, in particular, makes the fender easy to install on your bike. Besides, a set of zip ties plus easy to follow instructions are included to make the installation hassle-free and faster.
Since the mudguard is adjustable, it’ll easily fit different types of mountain bike tires
Apart from keeping you clean and safe, it’ll also protect your bike bridges and front stanchions from getting caked—minimizing the need for regular cleaning and servicing.
3. SKS rear mudguard Xtra-Dry 26 inch
The SKS rear mudguard comes as an upgrade of the earlier model from the manufacturer. It’s characterized by long and straight design, with a curve at one end. The rear fender is designed for use by off-road cyclists.
What sets this mudguard from the rest is its simple clip-on design. It installs on your seat post with a quick-release strap which securely grabs your seat post or tube. This means the installation is tool-free and the fender will take you less than 10 seconds to latch on. Adjusting the angle of the fender is as easy as pivoting behind the quick release.
The long and narrow design of this fender isn’t a design flaw…it’s a well thought out design that will help keep the rooster trails from soaking your back with water and mud. Plus, this design prevents your chamois from becoming too soggy.
Keep in mind that this fender is made high-performance, lightweight, and impact-resistance plastic, whose rigidity enable it to stay in place and do its job perfectly well. Because this fender is attached to the seat post, it’s ideal for all types and sizes and mountain bikes.
4. Topeak DeFender M1 Mountain Bike Fender
If still looking for a quality front fender, this Topeak DeFender M1 is also a great choice. Though the package states that this fender fits 26-inch MTBs only, we’ve confirmed that it will work for even bigger wheels. This is simply because it’s mounted on the seat post and can be adjusted to accommodate larger cylindrical tubes.
The fender will easily fit most of the bike forms, including the reverse crown forks. The quick release mechanism makes the mudguard easy to attach to your seat post or tube.
Like all the other fenders mentioned in this post, this model also keeps water and debris at bay surprisingly well, keeping you clean and safe throughout your cycling journey. While it might not offer full coverage to your tires like other models that sit close to the tires, being high up goes a long way in preventing jamming possibilities.
Regarding the construction, this fender is designed using sturdy nylon material with rubberized edges as a way of making it feel gentle to you in case you contact them in in a crash.
We love the fact that you can easily remove the fender by simply unclipping it to allow for easy transport in your car or when the weather is dry, and there’s no mud and water to worry about.
5. Planet Bike Hardcore bike fenders
Sometimes you’d want to install both the front and rear mudguards on your bike to enjoy maximum protection from all kinds of debris and wetness. And in that case, you’d want to consider this set of Planet Bike Hardcore bike fenders as your go-to choice.
Constructed from durable polycarbonate material, these fenders are ideal for use in all weathers. They’ll easily fit all bikes with 26-inch tires. And unlike most of the fenders out there, these models come with 40mm mud flaps which help provide you with extra coverage—for even better protection from water and debris. The front fender, in particular, features release tabs which promote extra safety.
Installing the mudguards on your bike is hassle-free. They come with pre-installed stainless steel stays as well as coated steel hardware which will make the installation job easier and faster.
Though these fenders come at a slightly higher cost that most of the other fenders on this list, you’ll agree with me that they’re well worth it considering all the unique features they provide you with.
6. BlueSunshine Adjustable Mountain Bike Mud Guards
For the style-conscious bikers, you’d probably want to install the best mtb mudguards that come with streamlined, eye-appealing design (with a wide array of colors to pick from). And those fenders are the BlueSunshine Adjustable Mountain Bike Mud Guards.
Like the previous product, these fenders are also sold as a set, one for the front and the other for the rear tire. The fenders are made using high-strength synthetic fiber plastic which makes them durable enough to stand up to all kinds of weather.
The easy to install guards attach to the seat post with a diameter of no bigger than 34mm…they’re meant for installation not only on mountain bikes but also other off-road bikes. Once installed, the guards offer a perfect coverage of the wheel that will ensure no debris reaches your face or back. Besides, these fenders will also keep your bike cleaner and dryer.
Thanks to the short design of the front fender, it’ll not block your view of the front wheel while cycling, unlike other fenders out there.
Note that it’s possible and easy to adjust the angle between the bike tire and mudguard, with no tools required. Likewise, you can easily remove the guards for easy transport or when the weather is good.
7. SKS Grand MOM Rear Mountain Bicycle Fender
If you want to enjoy maximum rear protection, the SKS Grand MOM Rear Mountain Bicycle Fender will not disappoint.
This fender will fit all bikes with a 26-inch tire. Unlike most of its rivals, it features a wider design which translates to wider coverage of the wheels of any mountain bike. The wider the coverage, the greater the performance of the mudguard in keeping you and your clean and dry.
The fender also boasts of super-sturdy hardware on the dual pivot points. This is simply the hardware you use to adjust the fender to angle, and its rigid design ensures perfect positioning while preventing it from tremoring.
The compound plastic used to make this guard is not only durable and lightweight but also extremely flexible to enable you to take it exactly where you need it.
Fitting the fender on your bike is pretty straightforward with the included easy-to-set-up fabric strap. You don’t need any tools to secure it to your bike…plus the strap works with all types of seat posts (from the skinny ones to the carbon ones).
8. FIFTY-FIFTY Adjustable Mountain Bike Fender
Another FIFTY-FIFTY mudguard shows up on our list of the most popular mountain bike fenders. Like its cousin that we discussed at the beginning of this list, this model is also moderately priced.
This fender is also compatible with both the front and rear tire and will prevent your bike bridge and fork stanchion from getting caked—eliminating the need for regular cleaning and servicing.
With an adjustable design, you can easily cut easily cut it along the dash design (highly visible) in the mudguard backside to adjust its length to your preferences.
As it’s the case with the other FIFTY-FIFTY, this guard is also four-point fixed to prevent sliding. The plate is exceptionally durable and lightweight…while remaining flexible enough to make it easily fit your bike.
Above all, this mudguard is easy to install on your bike. It comes with 6 heavy-duty zip-ties for hassle-free installation plus an easy instructions set on how to fit it to your bike.
9. Gobike Bicycle Fender Adjustable Mudguard Fenders
The Gobike Bicycle Fender is also a great choice for the bikers looking for a set of fenders—one for the rear and one for the front— at a moderate cost.
The two fenders boast of top-quality polycarbonate construction. This is a lightweight, robust, and sturdy fender that you can freely twist during installation. This material has anti-aging properties and will not easily break down under normal conditions.
With the front fender featuring a two-piece mounting, it feels robust and can stand up to foreign objects along the trail which can cause damages. As for the rear fender, it features a widened tail and scientific arc, enabling it to adequately cover the mud and dirt splash while reducing resistance and possible jamming.
Even better, the rear fender has intimate taillight design for safer rides at night. This means that the fenders will protect you from the rainy weather during the day and keep you safe at night.
10. FETESNICE Mountain Bike Fender Set
Our list of the best mountain bike fenders comes to a close with the FETESNICE Mountain Bike Fender Set. This is another perfect definition of sturdy and durable fender that will fit most mountain bikes.
Constructed from Polypropylene material, the fenders are resistant to high temperatures, making them deformation-free. Besides, they’re super-lightweight to ensure they don’t add unnecessary weight to your bike.
When it comes to performance, these fenders will do their job perfectly well. They effectively keep mud splash from reaching your face when riding through streams of stagnant water or after rain.
The fenders come designed to fit as close as possible to your bike’s knobby bits for exceptional ‘much’ catching—minimizing clearing and servicing of your bike. The four-point fixed design helps prevent sliding.
What To Look For Before Buying?
The biggest reason why most cyclists end up spending their money in the wrong mudguards is that they don’t know how to choose the right one for their bikes.
There are some KEY aspects that we associate with the best mountain bike fenders. And if you can focus on these features during your purchase, you’ll end up with just the perfect fenders for your mountain bike.
These features include:
Type of Fenders
The FIRST thing you should look for in a fender is what type of bike is made for.
Many cyclists make the mistake of thinking that all fenders can be fitted on just any bike. But the real truth is that mountain bikes come with their specific mudguards which are characterized by more robust construction to enable them to hold up to the harsh terrains, debris, sticks, rocks, etc., which can easily damage it.
Once you’ve confirmed that the fenders you plan to buy are mtb-specific, you can then go ahead and check other crucial features below…
Front or Rear Fender?
Would you like to install both the front and rear fenders or just the rear fenders only?
Most bikers prefer installing mud guards to the rear only. Whether to install both rear or just the rear one is a personal preference.
If you decide to go for both fenders, we recommend you to look for fenders sold as a set to ensure uniformity on your bike (buying a set is also cost-effective in most cases). You should also ensure that the front fender isn’t long enough to block your view of the front wheel.
As for the rear fender, we recommend you to go for models meant for fitting on the bike seat post. Such fenders offer you sufficient clearance for limited resistance and to prevent jamming.
Besides, the seat post fenders are easy to install and can fit bikes with different seat post/tube diameters (though it’s always important to check the manufacturer specifications on seat post fitting).
Another essential thing to consider when looking for a mountain bike fender is whether it will work your specific bike size.
Remember that MTBs come in varying sizes. The manufacturers usually indicate the bike sizes to go with their products. Whether your bike is 26”, 27.5", 29", or comes with fat and plus size bike wheel sizes, make sure you get corresponding fenders.
Be sure to check the length of the fenders as well—the longer the fenders, the more effective they are at keeping water and debris from reaching your face and back.
We’ve already stated that mountain bike mudguards generally come with durable construction…but it’s always advisable to confirm the durability of the guards you want to buy.
Most of the top-rated fenders are made using durable plastic materials like polypropylene, polycarbonate, etc., whose sturdiness and toughness enable them to retain their shape and form ride after ride.
Despite the toughness, the mudguards should remain lightweight to ensure they don’t add unnecessary weight to your bike which can directly affect your cycling experience.
The material should also be flexible so that you can freely turn it into any shape and for easy installation.
Ease of Installation
Lastly, make sure you buy mudguards that are easy to install. You should be able to fit the fenders on your bike without hiring a professional.
Most of the MTB fenders on the market today come with a clip-on design which makes them extremely easy to install, without the need for any tools. The manufacturer should also include zip-ties and instructions set to make them easy to install.
An additional advantage of clip-on fenders is that you can easily remove them from your bike when transporting your bike or when the weather is fine.
If you go with the bolt-on fenders, make sure you have pre-drilled holes on your bike for hassle-free installation. In most cases, the bolt-on guards are not easy to remove and are regarded as permanent.
Can You Make Your Own Custom Mudguard?
You can make your own custom mountain bike mudguard using cheap and readily available materials.
Whether you want to save a few bucks or you’re a DIYer looking for a fun project to work on, we’ll show you how you can make a fully functional fender (customized according to your preferences) from scratch.
What You will need:
Cutting the metal
Cutting the metal should be easy since the metal piece comes with the right width. You’ll only need to cut the length. Create a paper stock that matches the length of the fender you wish to make and lay it over the metal to mark where you should cut to get the correct length.
If you’ve got a 20-inch wheel, you’ll need to cut a 30”long rear fender; the remaining piece will be ideal for making the front fender.
Drilling the metal stock
After obtaining the right length, the next thing you’ll need to do involves drilling the metal piece to obtain the bolts and wire brace holes that’ll help you secure the mudguard to your bike frame.
Again, using a paper template will help you easily mark where to drill the holes; you can use a marker or masking tape to mark where the holes will be drilled.
When you’ve drilled all the holes, add mounts by measuring approx. 3-inch up from the bottom and then make a line perpendicular to each side. Measure about ¼-inch from outside edge on the two sides of the line. Repeat this until you create marks for the 5 holes.
Filing and bending into shape
As you’ve already noted, the aluminum stock comes with sharp edges which you’ll need to file to ensure your own safety. Sanding the rough edges will also enhance the fenders’ smoothness. Then, you can bend the metal into place using your own hands (nothing hard here).
Now thread the wire braces through the two holes you created earlier on the inside of the aluminum piece and then wrap them around fender’s top edge. Bend the wires at the bottom into loops and secure them to your bike frame, and secure the fender with a ¼-inch screw. A simple curve on the aluminum will work.
The process might take up to an hour, but you’ll surely love the results and the amount of bucks it’ll save you.
Check the video below on how to come up with something similar to what we’ve just discussed above.
Alternatively, you can make a fender out of a simple 2-liter plastic bottle. This is a cheaper and easier one as explained in the video below:
Don’t let the rain or the winter weather stop you from enjoying cycling your mountain bike.
With a great mudguard installed on your MTB bike, you can prevent yourself from getting sprayed by mud, water, stones, sand, rocks, and other debris which can otherwise spray into your face and compromise and leave you unclean.
Besides, the mudguards will also stop the same elements from splashing onto your friends' faces if you’re group-cycling in the wet weather.
From our list of the 10 best mountain bike fenders we’ve outlined in this post, you’ll easily get a mudguard that matches your specific mountain bike. All the ten fenders are made of quality and exceptional functionality. And installing them is super-easy.