There seem to be a million and one mudguards on the market these days, ranging from simple stamped plastic cutouts to more sophisticated designs. The latest CRUD XL fender certainly falls into the latter group with a flexible rubber nose and a host of intelligent features.
A great mudguard has to do two things. It has to be quick and easy to fit and it has to protect you and your bike from tire spray. The new CRUD XL fender features tool free installation and claims compatibility with all suspension forks. It is certainly effortless to fit – you simply slide the guard over the tire and up into position under the fork brace. The arms of the fender are padded with neoprene where they contact the fork legs. To secure the guard, 6 heavy-duty rubber O-rings are stretched around the fork legs and looped onto moulded pegs. The whole process takes less than a minute. Once fitted, the CRUD XL Fender is totally secure. When it comes to protection, on muddy trails the long guard works flawlessly, cutting out nearly all upward spray from the front wheel.
During testing, the injection moulded ABS-TPU construction has proven very durable and has not cracked or deformed, even when accidentally squashed. The highlight of the design is the unique ‘soft nose’ sitting under the fork brace, which like a flexible trap-door allows mud to escape upward should the tire start to clog. All who have been forced to resort to a ‘pokey stick’ to clear mud from their guard will rejoice. Even when exposed to the thickest Scottish grime, we could not get the CRUD XL fender to clog up. Aesthetics are always polarising when it comes to mudguards, though the CRUD XL is one of the cleanest models on the market, following the shape of the wheel closely. This close proximity does however result in some noise and when you are riding hard you can hear occasional contact with the tire.
In terms of compatibility, the CRUD XL fender fitted most forks we tested with no issues at all. The only problem we experienced was with Fox 34s, where the fork’s brake hose clamp pushes the fender over to the right. We talked to CRUD, who recommended removing the clamp and instead secure the brake hose with the O-ring of the mudguard. This works fine, but does reduce flexibility as you cannot quickly remove the mudguard without reinstalling the clamp. We were also a little disappointed that the guard does not extend to cover the fork seals.
If you are in the market for a mud guard and prioritise function, clean aesthetics and fast installation, the CRUD XL Fender is the best guard on the market. Compatible with most forks, it’s an affordable and surprisingly high-tech solution for winter riding.
- flawless protection
- fast installation
- unique soft-nose clears mud
- FOX 34s require removal of cable clamp
- flexes and rubs when riding hard
Duration: 1 months
Price: € 34.95
Weight: 195 g
More info: crudproducts.com
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Words & Photos: Trev Worsey