Currently the best solution on the market
The Crud XL Fender is made from injection moulded plastic and it attaches to the fork lowers and covers a large area of the front wheel.
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.
On the new Crud XL Fender there are rubber areas around the fork brace, and foam where the fender sits against the inside of the legs. Six rubber bands – just like the ones that used to come with the Crud Catcher – stretch around the fork legs to secure it in place, and you can slide the mudguard up and down to adjust clearance depending on the wheel size and trail conditions. This means the Crud XL can be fitted and removed in seconds without wasting zip ties – great news if you transport your bike in the back of a car.
We’ve been riding with the Crud XL for a couple of months now through all sorts of grim conditions, so how has it performed? In terms of keeping mud, water and spray out of your vision it’s proven highly effective. On one ride we covered 40km through a mix of snow, mud and frozen hard pack, smashing through every puddle we could find, and didn’t get a single spec of mud on the lens of our glasses. And the only time we’ve had it clog was in fresh powder snow, which doesn’t really count. For pure mud protection its only equal is the Mojo Dfender, but that’s more expensive and you can’t swap it between forks without buying new clamps.
So what’s the rub? Well, exactly that. On RockShox Pikes and Lyriks, at full travel the underside of the crown will hit the rubber flap on the Crud XL and push it into the tyre. It also flexes somewhat on harsh landings. Both these things mean if can be pretty noisy depending on the fork, wheel and tyre combo you’re running.
The only other small criticisms we have are that the Crud XL doesn’t keep mud off of the fork seals, and dirt tends to get trapped in the foam bumpers where it can scratch the paint on your lowers.