Review: Mucky Nutz Fender Bender 2.0
August 22nd, 2012
By Olly Forster
Mudguards or Fenders as they are more commonly known across the water are a necessity for those of us who live in temperate climates and regularly have to get out and ride when mother nature is doing her best to persuade us do anything but. To date, we’ve had all manor of aftermarket ‘bolt-on’ fenders to keep the crap out of faces and yet the search continues for something that doesn’t look awful and actually works. The ‘This is Sheffield’ boys had mentioned Mucky Nutz’s fenders in passing and that they were something we had to check out. With a trip to the Alps looming and not really being too keen on another week of cutting up inner tubes, I hit the web and ordered one up. Any good? Read on…
Words & Photos: Olly Forster
When the package arrived, I removed the contents to find a a flat piece of flexible yet reassuring tough plastic and a length of odd looking double sided velcro. The first thing you need to do is cut (recommend scissors) the length of velcro into 5 parts: 2 for the fork legs and 3 for the crown. I’d recommend measuring it, dividing it by 5 to get them all equal or, if you’ve got some fat forks, measure the legs first and go from there as you might need those bits to be a bit longer. You could always use zip-ties, but that’s not the point.
Installation from new takes a few minutes and re-installation with everything cut and ready to go, less than a minute.
Rock Shox conveniently have their guide in the same place where the Fender Bender’s velcro wants to go, so you have to go the long way around and underneath, using it as a lever to keep a nice and tight to the fork and keeping the level of clearance between your tyres and the bottom of the fender as big as possible.
Clearance issues are of course going to be an issue depending on the size of tyres (or brand) you are using. On our Nukeproof Mega we’ve been testing 2.3″ WTB’s (pictured) which were no bother, but 2.35 Schwalbe’s were literally on the limit. Mountain biking is surely in need of a more precise measuring standard for tyres… You can see from this photo why you have to go under the hose guide and use it to keep the plastic as close to the crown as possible. I have seen people (mostly on DH bikes) running the fender on top of the fork crown. This isn’t ideal, mostly for aesthetics in my opinion, but it still works.
To start things off, this was under £10 posted and I had it in a few days direct from Mucky Nutz, so straight away I’m getting great service and a great product on the bike quickly. Initially it spent over a week on the DH bike in the Alps and although it didn’t rain, it had been non-stop for a week prior to our trip so as soon as we were under any tree cover, it was pretty slick and muddy to say the least. Since then and firmly back in the UK, it’s been a bit a wet to say the least – where’s our Summer damn it?
The Fender Bender has since been on the trail bike pretty much the whole time and if like me you don’t wear eye protection for trail riding (can’t use tear offs can you and Jawbone lens’ are too expensive to scratch) you need something to eliminate the threat from mud impairing your ability to see. The last few weeks have shown that the Fender Bender is an excellent and cost effective solution to the problem and certainly looks a shed load better than the alternatives, which in all honesty are a bit of a waste of time sometimes.
Downside? Clearance was the only thing for me and my awesome Hans Dampf’s, which are massive for 2.35′s and they just don’t fit too well, but it is something you can get around through proper installation and ensuring that the velcro straps are done up correctly. With regards to the amount of mud they prevent going in your face, I’d say they do as good a job as your ever going to get. There is no solution out there to remove the problem completely, but a lot of it is in your preparation and riding technique. If your in the thick of it, it’s coming at you from everywhere, it’s just a case of keeping the most of it from where you really don’t want it: in your eyes and that’s exactly what this ingenious bit of plastic is for.
An awesome product, which is super light weight (16g), looks pretty good on the bike and is backed with a great service from the manufacturer, which I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet is in the UK. Makes sense though doesn’t it? Fit, forget and shred. For more info and where to purchase one of these little gems, go to MuckyNutz.com and get one ordered up!
These guys make more than just front fenders, hit the logo below and check their site out!