Mudhugger Gravelhugger front and rear fender / guard review - maintaining gravel misadventure throughout the winter

Sturdy and easy to fit with loads of tyre clearance. They won’t keep 100% of the muck off you and your bike but where’s the fun in that?

Mudhugger Gravelhugger
(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Mudhugger's Gravelhuggers gravel bike fenders / guards are strong and easy to fit. They keep most and the worst of the crud off your face, bum and bike whilst being incredibly stable and leaving enough room for big tyres to turn.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Keep the splatter off your face, bum and most your bike

  • +

    Sturdy

  • +

    Big tyre clearance

  • +

    Made from recycled and recyclable plastic

  • +

    Easy fitting

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Lack of protection for feet

  • -

    Need to buy Velcro straps for rear fender guard separately

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In the last few years the guys at Mudhugger have achieved something never thought to be possible; they’ve develop a mountain bike fender / mudguard that protects the bike and rider and is stable on rough terrain. And if that wasn’t enough, they’ve even managed to make the fender an acceptable piece of kit on to run on an MTB – they've even featured in downhill World Cup races.

Can Mudhugger transfer this effectiveness and credibility into the world of gravel? We set out to see how the front and rear Gravelhuggers fared against the winter muck and the other best mudguards or fenders for gravel bikes.

Image shows the Mudhugger Gravelhugger front and rear fenders / guards.

Single piece moulded fenders / guards

(Image credit: Future)

Mudhugger Gravelhuggers: construction

The Gravelhuggers are single-piece mid-length fenders / guards made from 100% recycled (and recycled) moulded polypropylene. Both front and rear fenders / guards are designed for tyres up to 50mm / 2” wide.

Image shows a gravel bike with the Mudhugger Gravelhugger front fender / mudguard attached.

Front fender / guard uses o-rings to mount to fork

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

Mudhugger Gravelhuggers: fitting

Both fenders / guards are really quick and easy to fit without a single fiddly bolt or hacksaw in site.  

The front fender / guard fits to your fork by o-rings wrapped round your fork leg which attach to hooks on the guard. A couple of different size rings are included to account for different fork leg shapes.  

The rear attaches to your seat stays by the yoke of the frame using zip-ties or small Velcro straps which are sold separately. I’ve only used zip ties as I don’t regularly remove my fenders / guards so I’m less concerned about lots of unnecessary waste.

Mudhugger Gravelhugger

Rear fender / guard uses zip ties or Velcro straps to mount to seatstays

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

Mudhugger recommend you protect your frame with the supplied robust helitape –rather than rely on electrical tape – and regularly inspect for signs of wear to prevent damage to your frame. 

I shunned this advice first time I fitted the fenders / guards, as the curved and angled tubes of my frame and fork were going to make this a tricky job. I wanted to use electrical tape for ease until I knew I had the position of the fenders / guards correct. 

That electrical tape is now 12 months old and doesn’t show any sign of wear. It’s not that I’m recommending this as an approach, more it demonstrates how stable the fenders / guards are on the bike.

Mudhugger Gravelhugger: the ride

Image shows a bike with the Mudhugger Gravelhugger rear fender / mudguard attached.

Clean seat post = clean bum = happy rider

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

There are a couple of noticeable – or perhaps unnoticeable – things about the Gravelhuggers; they do a really good job of keeping the splatter at bay and they’re quiet, strong and stable.

The fenders / guards have easily kept the bulk of the wet, gritty splatter away from my face, backside and back, making washing after a winter spin a much less arduous affair than before. 

As they’re not full-length fenders / guards, you and your bike won’t come home completely dry and clean. You’ll certainly want to be wearing overshoes and your riding mate won’t want to sit on your rear wheel. For me, this is an acceptable balance for lots of tyre clearance, after all these are fenders / guards for a gravel bike not a winter roadster.

Image shows a gravel bike with the Mudhugger Gravelhugger front mudguard attached.

Muck stops here - plenty of protection for your face, not much for your feet

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

On the subject of tyre clearance, my usual wheel / tyre combo is Schwalbe G-One/Bite 40c on 700c Hunt rims swapping occasionally to American Classic 650b wheelset with Maxxis Ardent 2.1 tyres. The Gravelhuggers have had plenty of clearance for both combinations as well as the mud that I accrue on the chunkier tyres. 

As a mountain biker, I tend to ride lots of trails and in a manner that probably isn’t best suited to a gravel bike – in addition to more standard tracks and trails. Even down fast rocky descents that have split my tyres, the Gravelhuggers haven’t rattled, rubbed, snapped, cracked or broken and I haven’t had to reposition of fix any of the mountings. Unlike the full fenders I run on my road and commuter bikes, there’s no buzzing or vibrating either.

Looks aside, the Gravelhuggers are so innocuous it took me well into early summer to bother removing them.

Mudhugger Gravelhugger: value and conclusion

Image shows a gravel bike with Mudhugger Gravelhugger front and rear mudguards attached.

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

The Gravelhuggers are available separately at $28 / £23 for the rear and $30 / £25 for the front. As a set they’ll cost you a similar amount to the full length SKS Speedrocker ($60 / £52).

Your view of the sturdy and fuss-free Gravelhuggers is likely to depend on your background. If you come from a MTB stock or ride in particularly poor trail conditions you’ll appreciate the ability of the Gravelhugger to keep the most and worse of the crud off your face, bum and bike whilst being incredibly stable and having enough room for big tyres to turn. 

If you’re more of the winter road riding sort then you’ll likely bemoan the lack of coverage and the unnecessary amount of space for your 30mm slick gravel tyres. Personally, I think they’re great; anything that keeps the muck factor low but still allows plenty of misadventure does alright by me.

Mudhugger Gravelhuggers: spec

  • Materials: 100% recycled polypropylene
  • Fitting: O-rings (front), zip-ties or Velcro (rear)
  • Max tyre width: 50mm
  • Weight: 220g for set including fittings (as tested)

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