Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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Mucky Nutz Bender Fender review

Posted by Matt | November 23, 2009 | 13 comments so far

Mucky Nutz Bender Fender from front
The mountain bike world is one of niches upon niches. But who’d have thought that the mudguard arena could be as competitve and as vibrant as it is now. It’s a polarising place with many riders having strong opinions about the mudguards they favour.

Did I really just write that? Indeed I did.

No mudguard has generated so much attention recently as the Crud Fast Fender, a motocross style guard that fits to the handlebars over and in front of the front wheel. I think it’s an excellent and surprisingly unobtrusive product but many disagree. For those looking for a mudguard that is fundamentally more ‘stealth’, look no further than the Mucky Nutz Bender Fender.

Shane from Mucky Nutz recently contacted me and after an exchange of emails was good enough to send me a Bender Fender for review. I was really curious to see how it worked as rather than try and stop muck coming at you from the front it is designed to catch debris before it gets there. It sits across the fork brace and bends around and over the front wheel, pointing backward.

Mucky Nutz Bender Fender from rear

First impressions were a bit confused to be honest. It came with minimal packaging—I suppose you could claim an eco angle there—so sparse that there were no fitting instructions. It consisted of a kind of underpants-silhouette-shaped piece of flexy plastic and a strip of hook and eye fabric with the idea being you cut the fabric to length to suit your bike.

Maybe I’m a bit slow on the uptake but I found the installation to be a bit tricky. I had to go to Mucky Nutz’s website and look at pictures of the Bender Fender to work out how it should fix to the bike but after a bit of fiddling I had the thing successfully on the bike. One thing I immediately noticed is that the nature of the design automatically shielded the fork stanchions from dirt which I thought was a very good start.

The bike I chose to put it on was my Orange Five which is running 150mm Revelation forks. I don’t think there’d be any issue with other forks, it’s really a universal-type product although rigid forks with no cross brace might present a problem. Anyway, Friday was my ride to work day and as ‘luck’ would have it, weather conditions were of the monsoon variety so the Bender Fender was going to get a proper test. I ran it in conjunction with a front Crud guard on the downtube, not knowing initially how it would perform.

In use, I have to say the Bender Fender was a real success. Running in the dark I had a round trip of 29 miles off-road in some of the worst conditions I’ve experienced really for a couple of years. Lots of deep puddles, flood debris and loose dirt meant the Bender Fender was plenty busy. With my Exposure MaXx-D on the handlebars I was able to see the extent to which it managed to cut out the dirt that would normally be thrown up.

In fact, it doesn’t stop everything – I could see a fair amount of stuff and spray still being thrown forward but crucially it stopped most of the clag that normally comes up high enough to get in the face and eyes. I found I could ride without the need for protective glasses thanks to this, quite a benefit when the rain is coming at you in all directions.

At journey’s end I had a look and could see the Bender Fender had earned it’s keep. The Crud on the downtube and the Bender Fender both had a good deal of dirt on them and the fork stanchions were clean so it’s a combination I’ll definitely keep for the winter. By way of comparison I’ll keep the Crud Fast Fender on the singlespeed which if I’m honest probably does a marginally better job.

In summary, the Bender Fender works, no question and has some key advantages – keeping forks clean, minimal weight (just 14g I think I’ve read), a very stealth look and tiny price should keep everyone happy. Quite honestly I’d suggest whatever mudguard you currently run could be usefully augmented with one of these.

Thanks very much to Shane for coming up with the sample for review, I notice Mucky Nutz are now selling both the black version and a new opaque version from their website.

Mucky Nutz are a group of UK-based riders with an engineering background who are taking their first steps in the world of mountain bike component manufacturing and design and have some other interesting offerings, so I wish them all the best. Their bar-end caps and lightweight disc rotors both look worthy of further investigation if you’re looking for some talking points on your bike.

Matt

About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years he's now running a YT Industries Jeffsy 29er with a hardtail waiting to be built up.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2011 Specialized Secteur and a Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 13 comments on ‘Mucky Nutz Bender Fender review’

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  1. Shane says:

    Thanks for the review Matt. Just a couple of things to add: –

    1) The fitting instructions are on the back of the packaging. I’m guessing we just threw a fender and velcro in an envelope and sent it on?! Tut tut.

    2) The fender can also be used as a rear shock guard on most full sus bikes.

    Cheers.

  2. James says:

    Nice review, there seems to be so many guards, I opted for the NeoGuard which does the trick but as you lot pointed out all the trail Sh*t goes on the stanchions which I guess is not great but I guess they can cope with it!

    I did look at one of these and a few people have cable tied them in place, but as there were so few reviews opted for the neo/crud guard combo.

  3. Matt says:

    Shane, yes my sample had no packaging as such so as you say probably was just thrown in an envelope and posted off. But I am slow on the uptake anyway ;o)

    Good point about using as a rear shock guard, I’ve always gone for bikes with the shock ‘protected’ inside the front triangle like my Orange Five but there’s a lot of bikes out there that have the shock in a vulnerable position.

  4. Andy C says:

    I think you’ve sold it to me, Matt.

    Having been shamed by several Moles into something a little less ‘home grown’ for my blinged up Pace than the inner tube section zip-tied between the fork brace and the crown, I have been considering the options.

    My On-One has the combination of a Crud Guard on the down tube and the aforementioned inner tube section. This has proved an excellent combination, and as you found, in conditions where glasses have been steaming up and restricting visibility I have been able to ride without collecting a load of mud in the eyes.

    My alternatives were for a Neo-Guard (would prefer my home grown ‘stealth black’ option with no logos); Crud’s Fast Fender (too intrusive a design and yet something else stuck to the bars along with the light fitting, computer mount, remote seat adjuster, etc.); or the Mucky Nutz.

    On your recommendation, I think I will be giving the Mucky Nutz Bender Fender a go. At that price it’s not the end of the world if I find it’s not as good as my trusty piece of inner tube and some zip ties!

  5. Muddymoles says:

    Ride report: Wednesday 25 November – slippy slidey catchey er, bovine?!

    The Moles head over Ranmore and return via Abinger Roughs and the Drover’s Road to bookham via West Horsley

  6. Muddymoles says:

    Mucky Nutz Bar End plugs review

    Mucky Nutz Bar End tabs (or plugs) are a simple idea that gives you the chance to drink beer and express your individuality(!) at the same time.

  7. Muddymoles says:

    Ride report: Wednesday 20 October – First Frosts

    An autumnal night ride across Headley to Brockham finds the first winter frosts and six shivering riders

  8. Ian says:

    I’ve been running a Mucky Nutz Bender Fender 2.0 all through this winter. It’s being an absolute work horse! The best front mounted guard you can get, in my opinion.

    It works perfectly in conjunction with a regular Crud Catcher on the downtube, which keeps mud and spay off the inside of your kegs and riding shorts. Between the 2 of them you’re pretty much sorted on the front end.

    My only issue has been a short grinding sound on big impacts at speed (think Afan). Something on the Bender Fender sounds like it’s coming into contact with the wheel when the fork compresses rapidly. I can’t work out what it is but the guard has developed a small crack across the top and I can see wear marks on the top of the guard, which is really confusing.

    Then again, for eight bucks I’ll just get a new one for next winter (and some bar ends).

    In action:
    http://vimeo.com/20929391
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUkpX70m28s&feature=feedu

    Happy riding guys. Hopefully we’ll cross paths in the Surrey Hill soon.

  9. Dandy says:

    Nice vids, Ian. Thought the Afan ‘You Tube’ told a nice little story 😉

    Agree with the Fender Bender & Crud Catcher combo, with a rear Crud Catcher too I can finish a ride relatively mud-free (with emphasis on the the ‘relatively’)

  10. Pingback: Mucky Nutz Bender Fender 2.1 review | Muddymoles

  11. Pingback: Mucky Nutz Butt Fender review | Muddymoles

  12. Pingback: Ride report: Wednesday 25 November - slippy slidey catchey er, bovine?! | Rides | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  13. Pingback: Mucky Nutz Bar End plugs review | Reviews, Accessories | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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