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Mountain biking can be an extreme sport where riders can experience an array of riding conditions on any given day. Depending on geographic location and time of the year, rain (or snow melt) can produce sloppy conditions that can add an additional element of adventure to the ride. Selecting the right mud guard, or fenders,  for your bike can reduce the amount of mud that you (and your bike) will be wearing at the end of the day. And unlike the more permanent style of fenders that your childhood bikes might have possessed, most of the newer versions can be added and removed as conditions dictate. As with any bike component, there are an array of options and finding the right one for your bike or riding conditions can be slightly overwhelming.

Don’t let the mud drag you down! Here at The Adventure Junkies, we pride ourselves in helping you choose the best gear for your next muddy experience. In this guide, we’ll help you pick the best mountain bike mud guard so you can stay relatively clean and mud free on your next foray onto the trails.

For more of our top mountain biking gear recommendations, check out the Best Mountain Bike Tires.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Mountain Biking Mudguards

  1. Portland Design Works Origami Rear
  2. Portland Design Works Origami Front
  3. SKS Flap Guard Front/Rear
  4. SKS Fatboard Set
  5. Portland Design Works Mud Shovel Front
  6. Portland Design Works Mud Shovel Rear
  7. SKS S-Guard Rear
  8. Mucky Nutz Face Fender XL
  9. SKS Shockboard XL Front
  10. SKS Beavertail Fenders

 

Comparison Table - Best Mountain Biking Mudguards

PictureNameFender TypeMaterialPriceRating
Portland Design Works Origami RearPortland Design Works Origami RearRearPolypropylene$$$4.7
Portland Design Works Origami FrontPortland Design Works Origami FrontFrontPolypropylene$$4.7
SKS Flap Guard Front/RearSKS Flap Guard Front/RearFront or BackComposite$4.5
SKS Fatboard SetSKS Fatboard SetFront and BackPlastic$$$$4.8
Portland Design Works Mud Shovel FrontPortland Design Works Mud Shovel FrontFrontPolypropylene$$4.7
Portland Design Works Mud Shovel RearPortland Design Works Mud Shovel RearRearPolypropylene$$$4.6
SKS S-Guard RearSKS S-Guard RearRearComposite$4.5
Mucky Nutz Face Fender XLMucky Nutz Face Fender XLFront or BackPlastic$4.8
SKS Shockboard XL FrontSKS Shockboard XL FrontFrontPlastic$$$4.8
SKS Beavertail FendersFront and BackPlastic$$4.5
PictureNameFender TypeMaterialPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Mudguards for Mountain Biking

Portland Design Works Origami Rear

Specs
  • Weight: 5.6oz
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Fender Type: Rear
  • Dimensions (Inches): 22 x 9 x 3
Features
  • Non-Slip Rubberized Mounting Bracket
  • Easy On/Off
  • Super Light
Portland Design Works Origami Rear

BEST FOR: QUICK DEPLOYMENT

For over a decade, Portland Design Works (PDW) has been designing products for the everyday cyclist. And just like the art of folding paper into different forms, the Origami mud guards are deployed by removing from packaging and with a quick fold and snap, they mount easily and when no longer needed can be packed down and easily stored. Paired with the front version below, the set create a unique approach to keeping your backside dry for those sloppy days on the trail. The rear fender mounts with a non-slip rubberized bracket so it’s super easy to install and is sure to stay in place. Whether deployed on your bike or stashed in your pack, the lightweight design won’t weigh you down.

Portland Design Works Origami Front

Specs
  • Weight: 2.1oz
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Fender Type: Front
  • Dimensions (Inches): 8.5 x 7.6 x 3.2
Features
  • Installs With Two Oversized Rubber Straps
  • Mounts Quickly
  • Super Light
Portland Design Works Origami Front

BEST FOR: ADDING TO BIKE AS NEEDED

PDW, or Portland Design Works, is based in Oregon and since 2008 has been making quality products for everyday cyclists. The Origami models deploy quickly and with a few quick folds, are easily mounted onto your bike for use on muddy trails. The benefit of these super lightweight models are that they can easily be stored in your pack and mounted as needed when trails call for their use. Use with the rear model reviewed above for a complete set to provide ample protection for front and back to protect your bike and yourself from trail grime and grit. The front model easily installs with two rubber straps.

SKS Flap Guard Front/Rear

Specs
  • Weight: 1.6oz
  • Material: Composite
  • Fender Type: Front or Back
  • Dimensions (Inches): 15 x 11 x 0.125
Features
  • Super Durable Design
  • Mounts Easily And Securely Using Zip Ties
  • Interchangeable
SKS Flap Guard Front/Rear

BEST FOR: INTERCHANGEABLE USE

For almost a century, SKS has been engineering products for mountain bikers. The company began in 1921 and over a decade later, acquired a bicycle pump company and today, the company makes an array of products for cyclists ranging from pumps to mud guards (which they began making in 1983). One of the more budget conscious mud guards in this guide, the Flap Guard works for either the front or rear tire to protect you and your bike from debris on the trail. This interchangeable fender is flexible and mounts with zip ties to fit any size bike frame. According to the manufacturer’s specs, this guard only weighs 45 grams (which is just under 2 ounces).

SKS Fatboard Set

Specs
  • Weight: 16oz
  • Material: Plastic
  • Fender Type: Front and Back
  • Dimensions (Inches): 23 x 6 x 3.5
Features
  • Fits Tires Up To 5” Wide
  • Rear Fender Mounts To Seatpost With Proprietary Clamping System
  • Front Fender Mounts With Straps
SKS Fatboard Set

BEST FOR: FAT BIKES

Featuring German engineering, the brand has been making mud guards since 1983 and has been around as a company since 1921. The SKS Fatboard Fender Set is the ultimate mud guard set for your fat-tire bike. This set accommodates tires up to five inches wide. For winter rides or sloppy spring rides, it’s essential to protect your bike and yourself from the cold and wet mud and snow that gets kicked up by the tires as you careen down the trail. The rear fender easily mounts with a proprietary clamping system that attaches to the seat post while the front fender mounts with straps to the bike’s downtube.

Portland Design Works Mud Shovel Front

Specs
  • Weight: 6oz
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Fender Type: Front
  • Dimensions (Inches): 19 x 6.5 x 1.5
Features
  • Bracket Keeps Fender Stable On The Bike For Maximum Protection From Mud
  • Lightweight
  • Wide Design Provides More Protection
Portland Design Works Mud Shovel Front

BEST FOR: EXTRA PROTECTION ON THE FRONT TIRE

Since 2008, Portland Design Works has been creating products for the everyday cyclist. These products range from bottle cages to bike lights to fenders that are featured in this guide. And like the Origami products above, the Mud Shovel 6.5 is available in both front and rear options. However, this product pairing is designed for fat bikes. The front fender features a long and wide design to protect you and your bike from the debris that is inevitable when riding wet and muddy trails. A bracket keeps the guard stable and makes for an easy installation while its lightweight design won’t bog you down.

Portland Design Works Mud Shovel Rear

Specs
  • Weight: 8.5oz
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Fender Type: Rear
  • Dimensions (Inches): 22.5 x 6.5 x 4
Features
  • Extra Long And Wide
  • Quick Release Bracket
  • Lightweight
Portland Design Works Mud Shovel Rear

BEST FOR: EXTRA REAR PROTECTION FOR FAT BIKES

For over a decade, PDW (Portland Design Works) has been creating a multitude of products for the everyday rider. And while they make other essential products to keep you in the saddle, this guide is focused on the mud guards to keep you drier and more protected when riding in adverse conditions. The Mud Shovel 6.5 rear model features an extra-long and wide design for protecting you and your fat bike from grime and trail grit. The quick-release bracket is easy to install and keeps the fender super stable. It weighs just slightly more than the front model but clocks in under a pound for a lightweight and durable solution for your mud guard needs.

SKS S-Guard Rear

Specs
  • Weight: 8.4oz
  • Material: Composite
  • Fender Type: Rear
  • Dimensions (Inches): 27 x 5 x 5
Features
  • Dual Compound Plastic For Increased Durability
  • Dual Adjustability
  • Straps Attach To Seatpost
SKS S-Guard Rear

BEST FOR: BUDGET CONSCIOUS RIDERS

While the brand has been in business for almost a century, SKS has been making mud guards and fenders since 1983. Featuring German engineering, the S-Guard rear fender utilizes a seat post mount that is secured with a strap that quickly attaches to 26- and 27-inch bikes. Regular riders know that the rear tire kicks up mud and grime that can coat the components (including the chain) as well as soaking your back along with anyone riding directly behind you. This is an excellent budget conscious option for protecting yourself and your fellow riders from the mud and muck that also has two points of adjustability for finding the perfect angle to create the most protection.

Mucky Nutz Face Fender XL

Specs
  • Weight: 1.1oz
  • Material: Plastic
  • Fender Type: Front or Back
  • Dimensions (Inches): 12.2 x 9.8 x 0.4
Features
  • Brand Claims It’s The Lightest Mountain Bike Mud Guard
  • Compatible With All Wheel Sizes
  • Easy To Attach
Mucky Nutz Face Fender XL

BEST FOR: RIDERS LOOKING TO SHED WEIGHT AT A BARGAIN PRICE

Just as its name implies, this fender protects your bike and body from the trail muck that will inevitably find its way upward. Formerly known as Bender Fender, this product was born out of a necessity to create a less bulky alternatives to existing fenders. And if saying the name itself doesn’t entice you want one for both the front and back of your bike, we’re not sure what will. At just over an ounce, the Mucky Nutz Face Fender XL provides extended coverage while mounting even closer to the tires to provide a more aggressive approach to blocking grime and grit before it has a chance to propel far from the tire.

SKS Shockboard XL Front

Specs
  • Weight: 3.4oz
  • Material: Plastic
  • Fender Type: Front
  • Dimensions (Inches): 26 x 3.2
Features
  • Fits Most Bikes
  • Attaches With Compression Mounting System
  • Once Hardware Is Installed, Fender Can Be Removed In Seconds
SKS Shockboard XL Front

BEST FOR: RIDING ON BOTH ROAD AND TRAIL

SKS is a German brand that has been in business for almost a century and has been in the bike industry for nearly as long. As bikes have evolved, so has the offerings by SKS. The brand features classic models of several styles and in this case, the XL is designed for larger wheel diameters (27.5 – 29”). While built specifically for mountain bikes, the front fender is designed to shed the splash from both trail and road grime. The fender is mounted using a compression mounting system. Once mounted, the fender can be removed in a matter of seconds.

SKS Beavertail Fenders

Specs
  • Weight: 12.7oz
  • Material: Plastic
  • Fender Type: Front and Back
  • Dimensions (Inches): 2.24” Wide (Length Varies From Front To Back)
Features
  • Fits 26-28” Tires
  • Lightweight
  • Very Stable

BEST FOR: RIDERS SEEKING SET ON A BUDGET

This set from SKS is the perfect compliment for a rider on a budget seeking a performance fender. SKS knows a thing or two about fenders as they’ve been making them for almost four decades. These lightweight mud guards are designed for all but the largest wheel diameters. They feature a stable mounting sheet that snaps on to provide superb protection from everything literally being thrown at you and your bike from the trail. The unique design covers a large area providing more protection for you and your bike. As a bonus, this set is less than some single products in this guide.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING MUD GUARDS

Unlike road riding, mountain biking takes the rider off-road where they are bombarded by an assortment of substrates. Certain geographic regions are more prone to muddier conditions and riding in these conditions can spray the bike (and rider) with mud, water, and loose pebbles. Over time, this grime can take its toll on your bike and the components. And while it’s important to clean your bike after each ride, preventing some of the material from reaching your bike is part of the battle.

Additionally, utilizing mud guards can have an additional benefit of protecting those riding with you from the spray that you’ll kick up if you’re the lead rider. 

 

COST

Cost is not a primary concern as most mud guards in this guide are inexpensive. Even the most expensive model included here is a set (includes front and rear). The true benefit may come from protecting the other parts of your bike from the grime that can wear out other more costly components, thus reducing the lifespan of more costly items.

 

SIZE

All of the mud guards in this guide are designed for mountain bikes and are relatively low profile due to conditions that will be encountered when riding on trails. 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

POLYPROPYLENE

Polypropylene is one of the most commonly used plastics in the industry. 

COMPOSITE

Made from two or more different materials to create a material possessing the properties of all of the included materials.

FENDER

Another name for mud guard.

READ MORE

For more of our top mountain biking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles:

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