German accessory brand SKS has been making bike bits for over 100 years, and that experience has definitely paid off with the new Mudrocker mudguard.
What do we want from the best mountain bike mudguards? Protection from mud and spray flicked up by the front wheel, obviously, but there are other important features too. A rattle-free fit, for one, as no one likes their mudguard slapping around on a rough descent or when landing a jump or drop. Ideally it should be easy to install and remove, so that you can put your bike in a car or van for the journey home. And finally, it needs to be relatively cheap and look good/inconspicuous when fitted to your bike.
In recent years mudguards have taken a major leap forward, with designs that are sleek, effective and good value for money. Brands like RRP, Crud and Mucky Nutz have seemingly cornered the market, but this new product from German brand SKS hopes to steal a slice of that (mud) pie.
The Mudrocker is made from impact-resistant plastic and is designed to work with tyres up to 3in in width. At 490mm, it’s about the same length as the standard RRP Proguard, but shorter than the Proguard Max and Crud XL. Width-wise, it tapers between 100mm and 120mm, which is broader than both these models, and this affords excellent tyre clearance to help prevent claggy mud collecting around the fork brace.
It can be mounted in two ways, either using the three wide hook-and-loop straps provided, or the included adaptor that bolts directly to the threaded holes on Fox, RockShox and Ohlins forks. I tried the Mudrocker on numerous different forks from Fox and RockShox and had no problem with fitting, although it was tight on the slim-line SID.
Being nice and wide means that the Mudrocker needs fewer straps to secure it to the fork, and they’re less fiddly to fit, so installation is really quick and easy. On par with the Crud XL, in fact. The straps are backed with silicone strips, so they don’t slide around, and this keeps the Mudrocker nice and stable, even in the roughest terrain and landing the biggest jumps. There’s no annoying rattle or buzz at all.
And in terms of protection, the Mudrocker is first rate. On one day at BikePark Wales, where it was raining hard enough to mean that I had to ditch my eyewear altogether, the SKS kept my eyes (and most of my face) completely clear of spray.
In terms of complaints, I’m scrabbling around. It’s a few quid more expensive than the RRP Proguard and Mucky Nutz Mugguard, but cheaper than the Proguard Bolt-On. Buy online and the prices are very similar. It doesn’t have quite as much seal protection as the RRP or Mucky Nutz, but in my opinion you should be cleaning and lubing your fork seals after every winter ride anyway. And to prevent paint wear on the fork legs, it would be worth installing some clear protection stickers, but this is the same for any mudguard.
The SKS Mudrocker is a worthy new entry to the mudguard market then. It’s quick and easy to take on and off, provides excellent protection and doesn’t wobble around. Recommended.