A great solution if you have to take your wheels off to put your bike in your car.
Mr Crud is back! Anyone with an age beginning with a four or higher will remember the old Crud Catcher. This simple rectangle of plastic was seemingly attached to the down tube of every mountain bike in existence during the nineties, but now its inventor Pete Tomkins has returned with a new and more sophisticated design. Crud Products designed and sold the original Crud Catcher, and this new design aims to be the best mountain bike mudguard on the market.
The Crud XL Fender is made from injection-moulded plastic and it attaches to the fork lowers via six thin rubber rings that stretch around the fork legs and are held by hooks on the opposite side. The rings a little bit tight to stretch over the hooks, and if you’re not careful they can ping off, but they do allow you to remove the XL Fender easily to stop it getting bent or damaged in your car.
Unlike the RRP and Mudhugger, the Crud XL Fender is totally cut away in the centre with just two rubber flaps overlapping the fork brace. This means you can tweak the tyre clearance and adjust it to fit different wheel sizes by sliding the mudguard up and down on the fork. Two foam pads on the inside of the leg supports are designed to stop the plastic scuffing the paintwork, but you need to ensure these are free of dirt and grit when fitting because that can be just as damaging.
Compared to the square moto styling of the RRP and Mucky Nutz, the Crud XL Fender is a little bit more tapered at the front, but it’s just as effective at reducing spray and splatter. Since it is fixed to the fork, the XL Fender tracks the wheel, and even riding it really wet conditions the upper part of our body and face remained spotlessly clean. On some forks the XL Fender does hit the underside of the crown at full travel, especially if you’re running it slightly higher to increase tyre clearance. This means it’s noisy and it also flexes on harsh landings, although it’s not alone in this regard. It can also look a bit kooky compared to the sleeker designs from RRP and MuckyNutz.
The XL Fender is a big unit, it’s also pricey but the best thing about it is you can remove it quick and easily, which is a godsend when transporting your bike in the back of a car.