Ass Savers Mudder Mini fender / mudguard review – is 'just enough' protection worth it?
Subtle, lightweight, easy to fit and remove... but is discrete the thing you're looking for in a gravel bike mudguard? We rode through the splatter to find out
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Ass Savers' Mini Mudder front mudguard is designed to protect your headset bearings and face from the gritty wheel spray of the gravelly trails. It's cheap, incredibly lightweight, discrete, extremely easy to fit and remove, and stays exactly where you put it. But the small size means little coverage which might be less than your face and bearings need.
Doesn't provide much protection
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Back in 2011 Ass Saver launched its first ever product. The eponymous and self-descriptive guard is discrete and lightweight and provides just enough protection to keep the worst of the road spray off your bum.
Nowadays Ass Savers' product range is much larger but still based on the same principles of keeping guards as minimal as possible whilst providing just enough protection to keep riding through the worst of the weather.
Here we have a look at the tiny Mudder Mini front guard. We've also reviewed Ass Savers' Fendor Bendor Big rear gravel guard as part of our best mudguards for gravel bikes buying guide.
Ass Savers Mudder Mini: construction
The Mudder Mini adopts a similar design that is seen on many a mountain bike. It’s a small piece of polyprolene that follows the arch of your forks and is held in place by a couple of rubberised Velcro straps. The guard only measures 90mm in length and weighs a tiny 22g.
For something so small you’re never going to get much protection from the Mudder Mini. But that’s not its point, it’s designed to keep the worse of the spray off your lower headset bearing and face too.
Ass Savers Mudder Mini: fitting
Fitting is really straight forward. There’s a little folding to do which gives the Mudder its strength and all the fold lines are pre-scored which makes the task quick and easy. Then it’s a case of positioning just above your tyre and fastening with the Velcro straps. It takes up little room so you shouldn’t have any problems getting it in between your tyre and fork, Ass Saver suggest it fits tyres from 32 to 55mm and any gravel/cross fork.
Ass Savers Mudder Mini: The ride
The Mudder Mini is certainly small and neat, and the rubberised fixings have held it firmly in place on a variety of trails and speeds.
The Mudder Mini has done the job it’s meant to: it’s reduced the amount of spray around my bottom headset bearing although – as you can see from the photos – there is plenty that made it past. It’s also not hugely good at protecting your face, as I’ve still had enough spray and splatter through to be wiping grit out my eyes.
I’m sure there’s a certain type of trail type and condition that this little amount of protection is adequate, but it feels like a rare one to me.
Ass Savers Mudder Mini: value and conclusion
At $13 / £12 the Mudder Mini is a good chunk cheaper than many other gravel guards and also has the advantage that you buy separately from the rear. Other individually available front gravel bike guards like the Mudderhugger Gravelhugger's are twice the money at $28 / £25 (albeit for much more protection).
The Mudder Mini is relatively cheap, incredibly light, easy to fit and unobtrusive. If you only want a tiny bit of protection on the front of your gravel bike then this is a great way to go. Personally I’m not sure a tiny bit of protection is worth it given all the parts of you and your bike that still get filthy.
Ass Savers Mudder Mini: specs
- Materials: polypropylene
- Weight: 22g (front)
- Tyre size: 32-55 mm
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Rachel has been writing about and reviewing bike tech for the last 10 years. Cynical by nature, Rachel never really trusts the marketing hype and prefers to give products a mighty good testing before deciding whether they're worth buying or not.
Rachel's first riding love is mountain biking where she's been European and UK 24hr Champion on more than one occasion. She's not just confined to the trails though and regularly rides - and occasionally races - on gravel and road too.
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