Best Bicycle Mudguards or Fenders to Buy in 2023

Best Bicycle Mudguards or Fenders to Buy in 2023

Mudguards, or fenders, commonly known on the other side of the world, are an absolute necessity for bikers. More so if you frequently go out during the rainy season or on mountain trails.

At just $25 – $75, you can protect your back (or the rider behind you) from a splash of mud. Additionally, you save your bike’s parts from getting dirty, which might make them susceptible to rust.

The ideal mudguard for your road or mountain bike will depend on

  • the width of your tire,
  • the type of bike,
  • and the intensity of mud in the area you’re going to ride.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the list of best mudguards / bike fenders I personally created.

Best Bike Mudguards to Buy in the US in 2023

1. Premium Choice: Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders

Where To Buy

Full Metal Fenders by Portland Design Works are the best mudguards you can buy in the market. They’re far better than similar options in almost every category. Nonetheless, you’ll be paying for acquiring that edge as they’re priced at a whopping $158.

The price of this fender kit can be a turn-off for most bikers, understandably, I might add. But if you can look past that, the features speak for themselves. They’re made from aluminum, simultaneously rigid, durable, and lightweight.

They come with breakaway clips on both mudguards for extra safety and will not rub against your tires under most circumstances.

Buy Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders on Amazon:

2. Best for No Eyelet Installation: Crud RoadRacer MK3

Where To Buy

Crud RoadRacer MK3 is the best fender kit for bikes with no eyelets or extremely right clearances. They’re sleek in design to fit into smaller openings and are installed through velcros or adhesive strips.

At $67, the product is definitely not cheap, but it’s well-made, lightweight and almost a full-length mudguard. It gives enough coverage for road and mountain trails, but I wouldn’t recommend gravel biking or off-roading.

Honestly, it doesn’t look all that cool because of the visible velcro. Still, it’s the best option if your bike has no eyelets.

Buy Crud RoadRacer MK3 on:

3. SKS P35/P45 Chromoplastic Bicycle Fenderset

Where To Buy

The Chromoplastic P35 and P45 by SKS are two of the best full-length bike mudguard / rear fender sets you can buy in the United States. It’s an excellent product with considerable coverage, good material quality, and an apt price ($55).

The numbers in the name indicate the width. You can get the P35 for road and mountain bikes or the P45 for fat tire / gravel bikes.

SKS has included break-away security clips for additional safety and edge protectors to increase the practical coverage. The product comes with 3.5mm stainless steel V-stays to keep the mudguards in their intended position.

Buy SKS Chromoplastic Fenderset on:

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4. Best for Gravel Bikes: SKS Speedrocker

Where To Buy

SKS Speedrocker is the best bike fender set if you go off-roading frequently. It’s specifically made for cyclocross and gravel biking to offer maximum coverage against a wide tire. It’s compatible with a tire size upto 42mm, which should cover most fat-tire bikes and under.

The product isn’t exactly a clip-on, but it’s easy to install and remove whenever needed. Additionally, it comes with a set of telescoping stays so you can align it perfectly with the tires.

That said, I have two major grievances. The Speedrocker mudguard set is durable, but we should’ve gotten better materials than synthetic plastic for a price tag of $89. Second, it’s not universally compatible, so check before you purchase.

5. Best for Fat Tires: Portland Design Works Mud Shovel 6.5

Where To Buy

Mud Shovel 6.5 Read Fenders by Portland Design Works are huge. They’re the perfect mudguard / rear fenders beginners can buy for a fat tire bike in the United States. The $25 price tag seems extremely cheap, but the price-to-performance ratio is only adequate at best.

While I wasn’t expecting much from a $25 product, they feel wobbly sometimes. But that’s probably because they’re made of plastic.

Regardless, the build quality by PDS is absolutely unimpeachable, as it has saved me from a muddy back almost 100% of the time. And we all know how big those splashes can be with a fat tire.

Buy Mud Shovel 6.5 Rear Fender on:

6. Best on Budget: BlueSunshine Adjustable Rear Mudguard

Where To Buy

BlueSunshine’s adjustable rear mudguards / fenders are the best options if you’re on a strict budget. Additionally, they’re well-made and quite versatile for beginners who have just started their “riding” journey. You can get them in 11 different colors for under $9 on Amazon.

They’re made of synthetic fiber plastic – so they’re lightweight if it makes any difference to you. More importantly, these mudguards can be used on any bike tire – road bike or mountain – under 35mm in thickness. This should cover most entry-level bikes only, excluding the fat tire models.

Note: While their adjustability is convenient, this model requires mounting holes for installation.

How do I choose a bike mudguard?

1. Budget

First off, make a reasonable budget and stick to it. You can buy a good quality mudguard for between $25 and $75, which is a huge difference.

For older bikes, you might have to go with the plastic ones, while the newer ones designed for gravel will be able to support metallic fenders.

2. Fitting

Fitting is technically the most influential factor in the choice of your mudguard. Most professional bikes, especially winter and gravel bikes, will have specific mounts and eyelets for mudguard installation.

These mounts make for a rigid and almost permanent setup. And you can use metal fenders. 

3. Coverage

Again, it mostly depends on the size of your tire and fitting options in your bike. With coverage, you have two options – the smaller ones (ass-savers) or a full-length mudguard.

bike mudguard

4. Clearance

Finally, you’ll have to decide just how much clearance you need. Unless you have a bike with proper mounts, you’ll probably have to compromise on this clearance issue.

If your bike doesn’t have the proper mounts, your mudguard will likely be placed between the brake bridge and tires – close to the brake calipers. In that case, you must take extra care and frequently clean the grime and mud off the calipers.

Read More: 10 Best Cross-Country Mountain Bikes in 2022-23

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is a fender the same as a mudguard?

Bike fenders and mudguards are the same things. It’s a plastic unit attached at the back of the rear tire to block-off mud from splashing above.

2. Can mudguards / fenders be added to any bike?

Generally speaking, mudguards can be installed on all road / mountain bikes. The clip-on detachable ones are compatible with all bike types. In comparison, bolt-on bike mudguards or full-length fenders require specific mountain points and enough space for installation.

3. How do you fix a tire rub on a fender?

In most cases, the front fender starts rubbing against the bike’s tire if it’s bent or made poorly. Regardless of the front or rear, the solution is to bend the mudguard into the desired position so it doesn’t rub against the tire.

  • If you have a plastic mudguard, you can simply insert a metal punch into the space between the tire and the fender. Use a hot gun and bend the plastic to the desired shape.
  • You’ll have to bend the metal with sheer force if you have a metal mudguard. You can bend it against the tire to ensure proper form / curve.

4. How do you fit bike fenders?

Bike fenders or mudguards are easy to install. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions provided that the mudguards you bought are compatible with the model of your bike. You just need to set up the support rods for ideal clearance and then screw some bolts.

You might be in a pickle if you’re using an old bike. How do you mount bike mudguards without eyelets?

You can use p-clips that attach to the bike rods for installing mudguards if your bike doesn’t have eyelets. Additionally, people just go with cable ties after ensuring ideal clearance. The second method is cheaper but unsafe, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

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