Mudguards Vs No Mudguards | Do They Make A Difference When Riding An E-Bike?

– Mudguards, uncool and ugly? Or, an accessory that
gives you more vision, control, and speed? Now, many two-wheeled
disciplines have been using mudguards or fenders for decades, but roadies and mountain bikers? Nah, way too uncool. (electronic beeping) Mudguards come in a whole range of shapes, sizes, and materials. Mudhugger, Zefal, RRP, Crud, Defender, all do proper shaped guards
starting from around 15 pounds, whereas you can get basic flat part guards with zip ties for about a fiver. Front mudguards can be all types. They can be plastic, carbon,
short, medium, and long, basic or complex, bolt-on
or simply zip-tie, from a few quid to over a hundred pounds. Now, most forks are the
same size and shape, and pretty much one-size-fits-all, for the zip-tied versions at least. Although you can get
bolt-ons, such as Defender, which I mentioned earlier. Now, rear mudguards are very much the same as front mudguards. However, because of the
different suspension designs, becomes a bit more complex and requiring custom guards for each bike. So, a very simple question, “How much mud “do they actually guard you from?” Today’s three runs: one
with mudguard front to back, one with a mudguard front, and a final run with no
protection whatsoever. Now, the first run that
we’re going to be doing today is with a mudguard up
front and one on the back. Now, this is the first
time I have ever ridden a mountian bike with
a mudguard on the back so hopefully this will give
us the full protection. It just happens that Jay
and Bruce from Mudhugger, who make these rear mudguards
for the Leed which I’m riding, are going to fit it. Bruce, what’s all the fuss about? Why do we need a hairdryer
and loads of tape? – With the rear mudguards
we will supply heli-tape, helicopter tape, it’s like
very thick frame tape. You see, Jay will wrap it around the stays where the mudguard actually sits and that protects your
paint and your frame finish. So,– – Can I stop you there? It looks like this frame
could have done with a little bit of protection
before (laughing) – Yeah, it’s a bit lengthy, your frame but, you know, most
frames will be pristine. – So what happens there, guys? – Okay, so, to find out where
you’re going to put the mudguard just literally sit it on the tire, give it about 10 mm clearance. Any closer and it gets a bit noisy, certainly when it gets clogged up. And then, mark up on your frame where you want your tape to go. It’s longer than the footer
there so you’ve got overlap. And then we’re just going
to zip-tie it about there. – Can I ask you, why do
you need this tape here? Does it really wear the frame there? – Yes.
– Seriously?! – Yeah, we’ve had people use
like Invisiframe-type tape or electrical tape and they email saying it’s gone through the
tape and ruined the paint. – It goes right into the metal even alloy, it goes straight into alloy. – Now, obviously there’s
a lot of people out there who will say that rear
mudguards are very uncool. Why does it need to be so long? – Basically, the spray comes off the tire at every imaginable angle. So, you’ve got to draw an imaginary line from the back of your tire–
– OK, I get it. – passed the tip, if
there’s anything back here it’s going to go straight
into your rucksack. – Point in having one, right?
– Absolutely. – Well, the proof of the
pudding is in the eating, although, we’re not going to be eating the dirt hopefully today. So, let’s get this fitted
and out on the hill. (upbeat rock music) Okay, run one, mudguard on the
front, mudguard on the back. Clean body, let’s see what it looks like when we get to the bottom. (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) (brakes squeaking) I think time for a halfway check. How am I lookin’? (upbeat rock music) So, goggles off. I’m going to do the second half
of the run without goggles. (upbeat rock music)
(mud splashing) (laughing) (laughing) (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) So, not totally immune to
the odd bit of flying muck but then, unless you’ve got a bit sheet of purse backs in front of your bike, there’s no way you can stop everything. So there’s the evidence of run one. As you can see, front of
house there relatively clean. I think the most noticeable thing for me was the lack of mud flying in my face. And back, well, apart from
that little bit of a skirmish I had coming down the bank. Ignore that patch there, it’s pretty dry. And you can certainly feel that when you’re coming down the hill. Your bum is definitely warmer
than you would be riding with no mudguard on the back. Now, I mentioned earlier that
we’d be doing three runs. The first run with
mudguards front and back, then the second one with the
mudguard just on the front. However, what we decided to
do because of the fading light we’re now going to go for
mudguards off in the fading light and see how that pans out. Run two here we go! (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) (splashing) (upbeat rock music)
(brakes squeaking) Now, I do not know what I
look like from head to toe, but what I do know is
that only after one minute of that track I can hardly
see out of these goggles. So, I think for me the mudguard
is definitely a benefit. One of the other things I can feel compared to the first
one with the mudguard, I’ve actually got a
lot of grit in my mouth and that can’t be a very good thing because if you think about
all the oil and all the grit and all the bacteria
which is on those pedals that can’t be good for you. So Brandon, how am I
lookin’ from head to toe? Doesn’t look too dissimilar
to the first one, right, up front? – [Brandon] Yeah, it’s more muddy. – Okay, and what about the back? (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) (upbeat rock music) Wow, I’ve just picked this suit
up and the weight difference from this to the first
run is absolutely massive. It actually casts my
mind back to when I rode Sam Blenkinsop’s Yeti
Downhill bike in Schladming about 10 years ago. We actually weighed the mud on the bike between the bike being
clean and it being dirty after one run. I think it was like two or three kilograms of mud on the bike. So remember, that a
mudguard will actually keep the mud off your bike
as well as protect you from the elements. I definitely think there’s
only one winner in this, right? (laughing) Do you know what? I feel like I’m working for
a washing powder advert. Well, mudguard versus no mudguard. It’s probably one of those videos where the results probably speak for themselves. But for me, I definitely
think when it comes to vision and control, that front
mudguard has a big effect on your speed down the hill. Remember this is just
one track on one day. The results on another day
could be completely different. I genuinely believe that
because it’s so wet today that it actually has made
the results actually probably more close than it might have been. I certainly think that
when the tracks dry out and they get really sloppy that’s when you must see the
difference really exacerbated between mudguard and no mudguard. So that’s about it, I think. Like I said, the results pretty
much speak for themselves. Let us know your thoughts on
mudguard versus no mudgaurd. Do you actually use a mudguard? Do you actually use a rear mudguard? For me, that was the big
eye-opener on this ride. You definitely feel a warmer bum when you’re going through those puddles. And like I said, a lot of
people actually ride in the dark so it doesn’t actually matter
what the bike looks like. It’s all about practicality,
not about fashion. Give a thumbs-up if you like the video. Don’t forget to hit the
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