Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Mudhugger rear mudguard review

Posted by Matt | January 8, 2019 | 6 comments so far

Mudhugger 29er rear mudguard
Is there anyone out there who wants a mudguard on their bike? As opposed to most of us needing one?

No, I didn’t think so. Let’s face it, mudguards are not the most desirable item you could adorn your bike with. I know people who swear off them completely for the road (you really don’t want to ride behind them on a wet road) and I know people who would much prefer not to have anything on their MTB either. Spoils the look daaaahling!

In part, this is why we have a trend for waterproof shorts and trousers. It’s a second level solution to keeping dry and sort of clean. But avoiding mudguards purely for aesthetic reasons is not the full picture. With modern long travel full suspension bikes and dropper posts, it’s not easy to fit a conventional mudguard anyway.

Now, I have run other mudguards in the past on my Jeffsy because even if waterproof trousers keep you dry, you still get mud and cack on you. That muck tends to ruin your saddle, shorten the lifespan of the trousers and is a mess during cafe stops.

The trouble is, with a conventional mudguard on a full sus machine you have trouble mounting it round the dropper post base if there’s not much sticking out of the frame and you have trouble mounting the thing high enough to clear the rear wheel if you reach full travel (or even sometimes just halfway into the travel). That rear wheel buzz is just annoying! And the bike tends to look odd with a big scoop sticking up out of the back.

Mudhugger 29er rear mudguard on YT Jeffsy

What about the Mudhugger then?

Funnily enough, this is where the Mudhugger rear mudguard comes in. Unlike a conventional mudguard, it suits both hardtail and full sus machinery rather well. It mounts to the seatstays and shields the rear wheel quite closely, although not so closely that the mud builds up (unless you are unlucky enough to find some Bastard Glue Mud™ such that Surrey can provide – in that case, you’re stuffed anyhow!).

The Mudhugger rear mudguard is made from tough and structurally solid plastic and comes in a couple of sizes – you’ll want the 29er version for anything over old skool 26″ wheels according to Mudhugger. You might also want the separate 100mm extension if your seatstays happen to be low slung, as the low angle effectively shortens the coverage of the mudguard.

How is the Mudhugger rear mudguard mounted?

It turns out to be pretty easy to fit the mudguard. The hardest part I found was getting a day warm enough for me to potter in the garage.

First you put protective helitape (supplied by Mudhugger) on your seatstays, which can be a bit faff-y but is worth it to protect your paintwork and is almost invisible once applied. I radiused the corners of the tape to help it resist lifting over time.

After that, the Mudhugger is attached using strong cable ties (also supplied) – get it roughly aligned, then cinch them all as tight as you can. Once tightened down, the mudguard is not going to move anywhere!

Mudhugger rear mudguard attachment detail

What is the Mudhugger like in use?

First of all, the Mudhugger really doesn’t move, as ChrisP noted on our Christmas ride. No flapping, no wobbling and thus no noise or rattles either. I’ve pushed the bike down a very rattly Yoghurt Pots and Telegraph Road and the mudguard just stays in place – it hasn’t moved an inch.

It also clears my seat-tube – I got full travel on the Jeffsy and there was no problem and no annoying wheel buzz, so I am very pleased with it so far. It’s also worth noting that I initially though the Mudhugger would look a bit bulky but in practice it doesn’t really draw much attention to itself.

My only issue is related to the Jeffsy as much as anything – the seatstays are low and while the mudguard cuts out 90% of mud, there’s still a small amount that gets to my backside and the bottom of my Camelbak. JR has the same mudguard on his hardtail fat bike and on the same ride he had absolutely no mud on him at all, so I can tell it’s the low seatstays that are the culprits.

Tyre clearance with Mudhugger rear mudguard on YT Jeffsy

That might not bother you as the performance is pretty good anyway but I plan to purchase the extension to cut out the last 10% of mud. I’d like Mudhugger to produce a longer version straight out of the box that would track the larger wheel size better and this one fit 26 and 27.5″ wheels. Then you could do without the need for an extension under most circumstances.

I also wish I’d bought some lime green stickers to funk it up a little and pick up the lime of my pedals, but I was being stingy!

Overall, a definite thumbs up from me.

Filed under Accessories, Reviews in January 2019


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 then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

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 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive 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 6 comments on ‘Mudhugger rear mudguard review’

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  1. SSJ says:

    On my fat bike I’ve been really impressed with the rear mudhugger.

    I fitted it about the same time as you and after a few rides I have found it to be effective at keeping my backside clean. And it avoids the problems I had with the Dave’s Shovel rear mudguard had with flapping onto the tyre on the faster rougher downhills and periodically loosening its grip on the seatpost, usually choosing to bang into my leg when I’m committed to a particularly tricky steep descent.

    The slight downside is that you have to buy a 29″ mudhugger and follow their website video instructions on using a hot air blower/hairdryer to bend it out a bit further. But after about 45mins of faffage you do have a very good rear mudguard fitted – my best so far for a fat bike.

  2. James says:

    I’ve also been really pleased with the mudhugger, very prompt delivery and easy to fit. I have the front guard as well which provides a lot more protection than my usual RRP sheet of plastic.

    You definitely need to use the protective tape given the plastic is slightly tougher and easily marks the frame, but all in all it’s the best set of guards I’ve used.

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  5. Simmovic says:

    I think it is a great product but this is my warning. if you want one of these DO NOT buy directly from Mudhuggers. They have an appalling returns policy and zero customer service. you will need to forensically examine each part for blemishes and video your self doing this as you open the box for evidence. They do not accept returns for anything marked and accept any fault on their part. By all means, a great product just make sure you buy through Wiggle so that you have consumer protection

  6. Matt says:

    As an update to this, I did buy the extension piece. Er, don’t! It’s total rubbish, really bendy and is held on with plastic rivets that gave way very quickly. Just… don’t.

    But Mudhugger HAVE brought out a longer version of the mudguard for 29ers and I have this on the Jeffsy now. It works very well with the same caveat as before – the low seatstays affect performance.

    What is really needed is a wedge to alter the angle of the mudguard (I’ve been thinking of bodging things with plywood. Drill holes on both edges and zip tie to the guard, then zip tie wedge and guard to the bike. I reckon a wedge that rises to 30mm would be sufficient.

    If Mudhugger offered one that would be cool or, you know, just make it like that anyway. There’s tons of clearance, so even on bikes that didn’t need the extra wedge the performance would be enhanced.

    I’ve put my original Mudhugger on my 27.5 wheeled hardtail, where it works well.

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