The original and best mudguards? Well, Crud certainly started it all, and the bike fender competition have a lot to thank Crud for. We all have our favourites I suppose, but Pete’s offer was for me to test one of Crud’s latest products, the Crud XL Fender.
It’s a little like other mudguards in this fiercely fought market, being a moto-cross inspired front wheel fender that provides extended coverage – not unlike a front Mudhugger for example but the forward extension appears longer for a start.
What sets this apart is the ‘quick release’ nature of the product and the fact you can alter the height to greatly limit the chance of mud clogging; something that can be a problem round here when our famous Surrey clay goes through it’s drying phase for example.
It can get very sticky, so the chance to raise the fender for a little more clearance was interesting to me. If your mud is wetter, you can also bring the fender closer to your wheel.
To facilitate the adjustment, the fender is actually split around the fork brace, with a rubber lip to the forward part of the fender and a deformable rubber nose at the start of the rear section. This gives a greater range of adjustment and the theory is the rubbery flexion will dislodge more stubborn lumps of mud. Crud say ‘guaranteed no clogging’.
On the quick release side, the Crud XL Fender is attached with rubber o-rings around the fork stanchions and are the work of moments to remove or adjust – no tools required. This doesn’t make the mudguard a loose liability though as the bracing extends a decent distance down the fork legs and has thick neoprene foam padding to protect your fork. This provides enough friction in conjunction with the o-rings to mean the mudguard only moves when you want it to.
I’ve set the fender up on my Jeffsy 29er (which is running a Boosted 29″ Rock Shox Pike) and it really did take no more than a few minutes to fit. So far so good, the coverage looks quite generous front and rear, so let’s see how it goes.
No offence to Pete though, the trails have been dusty for a while now. Despite today’s rain, I’m hoping they’ll stay that way too! That said, the May weather hasn’t always been kind to us in recent years.
I will report back…