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Mudguards

Mudguards protect your bike and your clothing from grit and grime when the roads are wet.

There are various types available offering different degrees of protection.  

Full mudguards

Full length mudguards curve around both wheels. The rear mudguard is semi circular in shape, extending from the bottom of the seat tube, around the top of the tyre and down to nearly level with the axle. The front mudguard is a quarter circle wrapping from in front of the fork to about the level of your feet when the pedals are horizontal. An additional mud flap at the bottom of the front mudguard can help to keep your feet drier.

Full mudguards offer the maximum protection from mud and water from the road but are heavier than other varieties and may not fit on some types of bicycle, such as some mountain bikes and racing bikes.

Half Mudguards

These are a compromise.  Shorter than full mudguards, they are lighter but offer less protection.  Some brands will fit bikes that do not accommodate full mudguards.

Shorties

The shortest of mudguards that, perhaps, looks the best and are the lightest but with a corresponding drop in performance when it comes to keeping you and your bike dry and clean.

Clip ons

If your bike’s frame does not have the necessary attachment point for mudguards clip on versions are available.  These attach either to your seat stay or seat post at the rear and your forks at the front, either direct of via a quick release attachment.  Seat post attached rear mudguards have a tendency to swing away from the wheel when cornering if not attached firmly, which somewhat mitigates their usefulness.

Clip ons are light and easily removable but can be difficult to adjust to provide significant protection from water and dirt off the road.  Also make sure that for clip on rear mudguards that attach to the seat post that you have sufficient seat post clear between the frame and the saddle to make the attachment.