If you don’t have fender / mudguard fixtures on your bike or just want a solution that gives decent coverage but is easy to add and remove, the Lifeline fenders / mudguards are an excellent solution.
Easy to fit to any road bike
Quality stainless steel fixings
You don’t get full coverage
Rubber mounts can reposition as you ride, causing rubbing
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If you’re fed up with persistently wet roads and your almost-new Ass Saver has just dropped off somewhere on your last ride never to be found again, it might be time to go for a set of full coverage fenders / mudguards.
The best bike fenders / mudguards tend to be bolt-on options which require that your bike has mounting points. Increasingly, bike makers have recognised that riders want the option to fit fenders / mudguards and have added mounting points to frames. They’re often removable, to avoid ruining the aesthetics of the best road bikes. Modern frames have more clearance for fenders / mudguards too, which helps to avoid that irritating rubbing on your tires.
But what do you do if you don’t have fender / mudguard mounts and still like to come back from your rides without a wet bum? That’s where the LifeLine Narrow Road Clip-Ons come in. They attach to any frame, provide a good level of coverage and are easy to fit and adjust.
LifeLine Narrow Road Clip-On Fenders / Mudguards: construction
Although they’re not as long as most full coverage fenders / mudguards, the rear fender goes from the brake bridge (if you’re still on rim brakes) and extends far enough to the rear to stop your ride buddies getting a soaking.
At the front, coverage is a bit more limited and you’re likely to get wheelspray in your face on a faster wet ride, as the fenders / mudguards don’t protrude in front of the bike’s head tube. Your feet aren’t as protected as with a full length fender / mudguard with a mudflap either, but there’s enough coverage between those two points to help keep you and your bike drier and less grit-spattered.
The advantage of the slightly shorter design is that the fenders / mudguards don’t have to fit through any pinch points between the frame and the tires. Even on a rim brake Cannondale designed for 23mm tires but with a set of 28s now squeezed in, there was no issue with fitting or clearance.
And fitting is dead easy. The guards come with robust stays that, as their name says, stay in place. They’re adjustable via quality corrosion-resistant stainless steel bolts at their far ends.
Mounting to the frame couldn’t be simpler. There are extended rubber sections that are attached to the fenders' / mudguards’ stays and fit over the forks and the seat stays. There’s a second rubber piece that fits over the other side of the stay and has four hooks on it. It’s just a matter of hooking the robust, stretchy rubber bands firmly between the sets of hooks on the two sides to secure the fenders / mudguards in place. Because they attach well up the stays, they’ll work with disc brake bikes as well as with rim brakes.
LifeLine Narrow Road Clip-On Fenders / Mudguards: the ride
Rubbing fenders / mudguards are the downside of keeping drier in the winter. Some clip-on designs are almost impossible to stop rubbing for more than a few kilometres at a time. I’ve used Crud Mk3 Roadracers and found them to be particularly prone to this. The LifeLine Narrow Road Clip-Ons aren’t perfect in this respect, mainly because the rubber mounting points tend to settle and shift as you ride.
I found that I had a few stops mid-ride to fiddle with them, as they began to rub as I rode. Adjustment meant pushing the mounts up and down the bike’s frame to even out their position, rather than the more usual having to bend the fender / mudguard stays or attack them with a spanner.
The LifeLine Clip-Ons did do a decent job of keeping me drier, with the bike needing less of a wash down once I got back, helping to save time with the darkness (and yet more rain) fast approaching on dreary winter days.
The other good news is that they’re also really quick to remove if you do decide to brave it on a day when the roads are dry, although you’ll probably be back to mid-ride fettling when you refit them.
LifeLine Narrow Road Clip-On Fenders / Mudguards: value and conclusion
Compared to most fenders / mudguards out there, except for Ass Saver-like options, the LifeLine Narrow Road Clip-Ons ($23.99 / £19.99) are great value, coming in cheaper than other clip-on options, including the Crud Mk3 Roadracers ($43.99 / £39.99) and Flinger Race Pro fenders / mudguards ($75.89 / £54.99).
They're also around a fifth of the price of many deluxe bolt-on options like the Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders which cost $129 / £100. Despite this, they seem robust and well made and should serve for several winters.
LifeLine's Clip-On option is not much more expensive than a pair of front and rear Ass Savers and should stand a lot better chance of staying with you too.
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Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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