March 3, 2014
So simple and clever, we wish we’d thought of it ourselves.
Once upon a time the only way to keep mud out of your eyes was the humble Crud Catcher. Mounted on the downtube, it could be a bit of a sod to fit round cable housings but worked fine – as long as you only rode in a straight line. When you turned the bars, the crap thrown up by the front wheel was simply thrown straight past the Crud Catcher and into your face. Lovely.
Step forward the fender. There are lots of different variations on the theme available now, from the moto-style Powa DFender to the tiny NeoGuard. We recently took delivery of a batch of the minimal Bender Fenders from MuckyNutz and discovered that they are really rather good. Quick to fit with the supplied velcro straps (and even quicker if you dispense with the straps and use zip ties instead), they’re unobtrusive, inoffensive to the eye as they follow the line of the wheel and – most useful of all – very effective. Because the fender is mounted beneath the fork arch it turns with the wheel, so you’re protected at all times.
Made of die-cut plastic, they pack completely flat and are small enough to keep tucked in your toolbox if you really can’t stand to have a guard on your bike all the time. For me though they’re the epitome of a fit-and-forget product – until I get on a bike without one and realise just how good they are.
Overall: So simple and clever, we wish we’d thought of it ourselves.