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Mudhugger Evo Front Mudguard
117g £30.00 Long Term (6 month) test

The Mudhugger Evo Front Mudguard is designed primarily with suspension forks in mind and offers greater protection from gloop and a cleaner aesthetic than most mtb designs. In common with its Gravel hugger cousin, they’re not instantly detachable but extremely secure and wobble free, thanks to the zip ties. That said; I’ve found upgrading the OEM ties for a beefy 7mm types proved a winner.

Pros: Excellent coverage, very stable, easy to fit, solid build quality.

Cons: Beefier OEM zip ties would make a great guard better still.

cycling mudguard test review suspension fork mudhugger

Materials/Specification  3.75/5

cycling test review mudguard mudhugger

The Evo also has recycled plastic in common with their Gravel Hugger cousins. The finish is more satin and part consequence of the recycling process. Mudhugger also say it’s their preference. Works for me, too.  Vital statistics ... 515mm all told, which translates as 330mm at the rear, 185mm up front and the sculpted mid-section protects the headset’s lower race and steerer tubes from ruinous filth. Tipping the scales at a very modest 117g build quality and lateral stiffness are reassuring solid.

test review cycling bicycle mudguard

There’s some engineered give, where they rest against the fork legs-necessary, otherwise you’d struggle to fit them flush and without causing undesirable paint rub. Length is also sensible, ensuring decent coverage without being prone to fouling. In my experience, optimal for an older cross country mountain bike running 26inch wheels. Mudhugger reckons there’s sufficient coverage for rubber up to 3 inches wide, which should cater for most tastes and contexts.

Ursula’s Carbon Cycles Exotic Fork with Disc & V brake mounts  measures 83mm (about 3.27 in) between the legs and no issues with fit/compatibility Talking of which, the Mudhugger range is intended for bikes with disc, not rim brakes.

However, that’s not to say they won’t, with some careful planning and lateral thought. We’re talking deviating from the script, not bodging. Oh, before I get carried away there are Velcro and bolt on versions for suspension forks-best have a chat with your local dealer, or indeed Mud hugger to confirm the bet fit for yours. 

Test Bike & Fitting

test review cycling bicycle

Now Ursula should require little introduction and the old girl is a good test rig, since there are some era specific quirks. Traditionally I’ve favoured full length chrome plastic guards. However, after four years’ hard service and approaching 40,000 miles (about 64373.76 km) the SKS Blumels Shiny Mudguards had begun to tire. I decided this was the ideal opportunity to reconsider specification and tyre choice. I decided I wanted to exploit the bike’s off-road potential- clearance for 2.25 knobblies etc., which rules out full length models.

test eview cycling bike mudguard

This would also provide sufficient room at the rear triangle for the Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro . They also need a bit more room at the front end.  I needed to move the mud hugger a little higher to accommodate the Maxxis Ikon (2.2 inches wide) knobblies. A little compromise on the aesthetic less hug but not too “gappy” in my book.

bicycle cycletst review mudhugger

Sure, sitting it between the fork crown gives a more extreme and, in my view, less attractive “moto-cross” rather than “trials” aesthetic. However, it would prevent clogging in deeper snow and the zip ties mean it's easily repositioned when conditions relent.

With this and the cantilever bosses in mind, I needed to prune the Evo’s lower mount, since raised higher, this would foul the cantilever mounts. *This would naturally void the warranty, so at your own risk* Then of course, counter any potential flex/movement with beefier aftermarket zip ties. (I checked this out before performing surgery and went for 7mm, since that’s what I had in stock. 8mm (about 0.31 in) tie is still realistic.

Given what I’ve said earlier, about rim brake incompatibility, a rear Mudhugger guard was a non-starter. I went for an adjustable post mounted affair. A fender, in the literal sense- it will fend off rain, mud and other wet stuff but less comprehensively. 

Performance 3.75/5

Having admired and debated the aesthetic long enough, it was time to get out and ride. Thankfully, conditions had been soggy enough that the neighbour’s cat was nagging me to build an arc. Coverage is excellent and along waterlogged lanes, rain and muddy residue remined beneath the guards- I was just serenaded by a gentle “swoosh”. 

test review mudguard mudhugger cycling

No ‘crossers’ face pack here, but I wasn’t surprised to find some residual spray towards the bottom bracket shell. Unless you fancy contracting something nasty from your underside mounted bottle, you’ll still want to cover an exposed cap area with a bag or similar. 

Again, I was pleasantly surprised by how dry my feet have kept, although waterproof socks remain a good bet when it’s belting down and boggy. Staying with this theme, much like a motorcycle trials guard, I’ve not had any issues with clogging- at least not with 1.95 knobblies and I’ve spent a fair bit of time belting through churned bridlepath and letting rip along green lanes.

cycling bicycle bike test rview gravel mud

I had to raise it up, having switched from the Maxxis Overdrive Excel to the Ikon, their cross-country cousins and though less aesthetically crisp, it rules out clogging worries when tackling boggy stuff, or indeed deep snow with the spikes. Besides, this is a by-the by consideration for riders of older bikes with cantilever mounts, not contemporary builds. 

Compression isn’t an issue with a rigid fork obviously, but other riders suggest they’ve had no issues with unwanted contact, thanks to the recessed mid-section. Annoying chatter, vibration and wind noise have been non-existent too, thanks to the design’s sturdy simplicity. No elastomer/composites to perish at the least convenient moment either. 

Durability/Care 3.75/5

Six months and 3,500 miles in, there’s nothing to suggest any obvious vulnerabilities. Indeed, I’ve been running the Gravel Hugger day in, day out for the past 18months These look and feel as fresh as they did the afternoon, I fitted them. That being said; keeping them clean, avoiding unnecessary exposure to solvents and caustic chemicals goes a long way. I periodically treat chrome plastics and composites to a synthetic protectant to keep them nourished- silicone-based aerosols such as Muc-Off Silicone Shine is a good bet, if you’re time-pressed.

Value 3.5/5

£30 for a front mudguard is at the upper end but competitive alongside other brands comparable models. Mucky Nutz MugGuard is Arguably its closest comparator. It’s also made in the UK, designed to entertain tyres up to 3 inches wide and available in two sizes- short for general riding, long for winter’s grottiest. At £25.00, it’s also slightly cheaper. 

RRP (Rapid Racer Products) Pro Guard Front Mudguard comes in three lengths and is made from Polypropylene. It’s also a tad cheaper at £26.99 for the standard and £28.99 for the max protection. However, its theoretically disc only and the fork brace indent is shallower than the Mud hugger EVO. SKS Mud rocker Front offers secure mud-cheating performance. 

However, its shorter, offers less protection to seals and is comparatively fiddlier to fit. A little steeper too, at £32.00.  At £35 Crud XL fender offers decent coverage and is easy to whip on/off. However, some say the mounting kit can mark paintwork and aside from looking a little quirky, the design offers less protection to seals. 

POWA Defender is another design that offers impressive protection and is very well made. However, it's not quite a universal fit and £49 may be a little steep for some. Money no object?  RockGuardz CG570 is made from carbon fibre, measures a whopping 540mm long and comes with a crash replacement warranty.  Claimed 150g, it will “only” manage tyres up to 2.35 inches and costs £59.


For those on a tight budget, Zefal Defender FM30 front mudguard might be a winner. At 420mm long, it doesn’t offer the same level of protection as the Mud Hugger Evo, especially when tackling gloopy trails at speed. On the plus side, Velcro fitting means it's easily ported between bikes and it’s £14.99.


The Mudhugger Evo has several rivals that on paper could give it a good run for your hard earned. That out of the way, the Mudhugger Evo is well designed and executed, mounts securely and offers excellent, clog-free protection even with bigger tyres and gloopier trails. Although aimed at contemporary cross-country bikes with suspension forks, if you’re prepared to accept a less tyre hugging aesthetic, it seems easily (and safely) tweaked for compatibility with bikes sporting cantilever mounts.

Verdict 3.75/5 Well designed and generally effective mudguard for cross country mtb duties, although zip ties may divide opinion. 


Michael Stenning


The Mudhugger





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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