Do Mountain Bikes Need Mudguards?

mountain biking in the rain

Mudguards are a crucial component of any mountain bike. In fact, many people believe they are the most important part of a mountain bike.

Mudguards serve two purposes: Firstly, they keep the cyclist dry from the mud and water that is kicked up from the ground by their tires when riding through wet or muddy conditions. Secondly, they protect cyclists’ clothes from getting soiled during a ride. Mountain bikers can stop worrying about sinking in to a hole and ruining their clothes because their mudguards will help deflect any dirt or grime that comes their way.

Mountain bikes need mudguards in inclement weather with snow, slush, and mud. They are not needed in dry, nice weather. However, few mountain bikes come with them already installed.

So whether you’re an avid biker looking for protection against wet terrain when biking in the rain, or just someone who likes to take leisurely rides on sunny days, your best bet is investing in some high-quality bicycle guards!

What are the Advantages To Using Mudguards

Mudguards have been around for hundreds of years before being largely replaced by fenders. They were reintroduced to mountain biking in the 1970s. Today, they are used by all cyclists to keep themselves cleaner and dryer.

They have many advantages such as:

  1. Mud guards are very important to cyclists as they keep you and those around you from getting dirty.

  2. They also help you to see better without the mud flying.

  3. It can help your mountain bike parts last longer with less mud in bearings and such

  4. Stops flinging mud at the rider behind you.

  5. Stops flinging mud up your back.

  6. Keeps you from getting as soaked in freezing weather

As you can see, there are many advantages of using mudguards, most of them centered around bad weather.  If you’re riding a fat bike through the mud (and this is so much fun), then mudguards are even more important as those wide tires can kick up amazing amounts of mud!

What are the Disdvantages To Using Mudguards

First, mudguards can look weird on a vehicle. Nobody wants to have something bulky sticking out from their vehicle.

Second, installing the guards may be an additional cost for the automobile owner because it requires modification of the vehicle’s frame or added protection for the panels near the wheel wells.

There’s not too many real disadvantages to using mudguards and I think when they’re not in use it’s really more of a style thing. The truth is, in great weather there’s not too many reasons to use them when you’re out out on dry trails.

Are Mudguards Standard on Mountain Bikes?

Mudguards are not standard on mountain bikes when new, but it is something riders can add later if they want. However, if you decide to buy a bike with the mudguard fitted already, you should be aware that it may need some adjustments to get it just right.

If you ride in deeper mud, you’ll want to adjust the mudguards higher for clearance.

Can You Add Mudguards Onto Mountain Bikes?

Mountain bikes are not designed to have mudguards due their specific design, but it is possible to add mudguards onto any mountain bike.

Mudguards are universal based on wheel size so they are readily available and easy to install and adjust to the correct height.

Do Mudguards Make A Difference?

Mountain bikes with mudguards are much more efficient than those without them because they can protect the rider and the bike from getting dirty and muddy. Mudguards will also help the rider to stay dry during a rainy day, however, if it’s not raining then there is no need for them. Some people think that they are too cumbersome to use on a trail ride but there are many advantages to using these guards.

Can Mudguards Slow You Down?

There are two aspects where mudguards can slow down your cross country bike:

  1. Studies have shown that bikes with mudguards installed can have an increased drag coefficient meaning you’ll go slightly slow with them on.

  2. If you get enough mud on the wheels to jam up between the wheel and the mudguard it’ll slow you down.

The thing is, these are both really non-issues. The drag coefficient is only a partial mph difference if you’re really moving.

If you adjust the mudguards up higher like they should be, there is so much clearance between the mudguard and wheel that it is unlikely you’ll get enough mud stuck to the wheel to make a real difference. The mudguards just need to block the mud from flying up at you, so if they are adjusted a few inches off the wheel you should be good. If you have that much mud, you’re likely just spinning your wheels at that point.

Remember, you can always either adjust the mudguards higher or even pop them off easily on the ride (you did remember to pack tools in your bike kit right).

Mudguards Are A Must in Bad Weather, Not Needed In Dry Weather

Mudguards are a great idea for riders who ride in inclement weather like snow and mud. They have many advantages that the rider will be able to experience. However, mudguards are not needed on dry weather.

When you find yourself in a situation where you need to choose between a bike with a mudguard and one without, always go with the bike with a mudguard. It will help you save time from having to clean your bike after every ride.  And remember to wear the proper biking clothes and your eye protection so you don’t get mud in your eyes!