The Mudhugger rear mudguard is the last word in mucky ride protection. With full coverage side to side and to the rear, it will keep your back and bum dry and clean. Now with rock-solid yet quickly-removable straps and a removable, trimmable front flap, it can be installed or removed easily whilst protecting you and your bike.
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Mudhugger Rear Mudhugger MK2 mudguard - Technical details
There are two kinds of MTB riders: those who are slaves to fashion, and those who aren’t. For the fashion-conscious, rear mudguards are anathema - why would you ruin the lines of a bike by putting a huge mudguard on it? For the rest of us, why does every ride need to end in time spent scrubbing mud and animal faeces off hundreds of pounds worth of shorts, jackets and packs, not to mention the inevitable accelerated damage to expensive dropper posts and suspension items?
We’ve accepted front mudguards openly, maybe because muck in your face or eyes is a very obvious drawback. Even then, many opt for next-to-useless short guards instead of something longer like the Mudhugger FR or RRP Proguard, which in its Max variant length actually keeps your whole upper body clean.
Of course, if you live somewhere perennially dry, this is a moot point. But for those of us living in the real world of the UK and for me, specifically the Highlands, it’s a rare ride where the bike doesn’t return a kilo or so heavier with accumulated cack. I own a very well-used pressure washer for a reason.
Hopefully the above paints a very clear and logical case for rear mudguards. For the last five years, I’ve had the original Mudhugger zip-tied to my bikes, be they MTB, e-MTB or hardtail fat bike. Across the bikes, years and occasional unplanned trips off the trail, the guards have remained firmly fixed, silent and effective. The original Rear Mudhugger required a hefty number of thick zip ties down each side, making removal a right pain and not something you’d want to do in the life of the bike. Certainly, for cleaning or transport, it stayed in place. The thick nature and number of ties meant theft was never a concern. One point to note is if you’re using a tow ball-mounted rack, a simple old-school toe strap or Voile strap does a great job stopping the guard from flapping in the wind as you drive.
The Rear Mudhugger Mk2 changes all that. Yes, you can still use zip ties, but now included are four thick silicone-backed velcro straps that pass through new, wider slots in the guard. The foot of the guard has been updated with rubber strips to minimise the risk of the guard eating its way through the provided helitape patches and damaging paint or frame, a definite risk of the old model.
The other major innovation is the inclusion of a long front flap that protrudes forward and down from the guard, to protect suspension, BB area and chainring from splatter. This removable flap clicks solidly into place and is made from a thinner plastic, allowing it to be trimmed with scissors to perfectly match your suspension or frame fit. This is a great addition - for years I improvised this protection by running a thin front mudguard, faced backwards and zip-tied to the seatstay arm. If you have a brace between your chain and seatstay this might make fitting the flap tricky - but again, it can be cut to whatever shape you like.
The Mudhugger Mk2 comes in two sizes - Medium for seat stays from 34 down to 27 degrees, 690mm long, and the Large for stays below 28-degrees, 775mm long. Both are good for tyres up to around 90mm / 3.5in, depending on how splayed your stays are. I run a 2.8in 27.5 on my e-MTB and there’s loads of clearance. If the guard looks too long it can be cut shorter with decent tough scissors.
Installation is pretty simple. Once you’ve removed your wheel and wiped the frame clean, the wide helitape patch is applied to each side. Be sure to check and double-check where the guard will sit on the bike, so you get the correct location for the patches. I find it easiest if you gently heat your frame with a hairdryer, and also warm the patch itself as you apply it. That way it confirms better to any stay curves and looks pro.
The four straps pass through the guard from the inside out, meaning that once looped back through their buckles, you end up pulling them tight on the outside and upwards. As they are silicone-backed, they don’t budge at all. The straps are plenty long enough for even thick frames or swingarms, but likely not enough for an Orange monocoque job.
If you want to quickly swap between bikes, or buy a new bike, Mudhugger makes extra helitape patches available and will shortly make extra front flaps available too - so you can have one cut for each bike.
Of course, if you’re concerned about theft you can go old-school with the zip ties, as there are still slots aplenty for that method of fixing, and you get the benefit of the new front flap over the Mk1 model Mudhugger.
Mudhugger Rear Mudhugger MK2 mudguard - Performance
Over two months of blatting about the Mudhugger Mk2 hasn’t budged at all. The front flap has done its job of keeping the lower front area clean, and everything’s been dead quiet. Repeated pressure washing, trips on the bike rack and several high-speed excursions into the heather haven’t troubled things. I’ve fitted several Mk2s to other bikes, notably for my wife and mates, and they’ve been similarly impressed. If and when I feel inclined to remove the guard, it’s a few seconds’ work - and maybe a minute to refit and get it positioned right. You don’t need to remove your wheel to refit - just position the straps pulled through a bit to access the buckle, then pull them inside the guard before cinching down.
Mudhugger Rear Mudhugger MK2 mudguard - Verdict
There’s only one real alternative to the Mudhugger Mk2, and that’s the identically-priced SKS Mudrocker. It’s pretty much a copy SKS brought out to take on Mudhugger but with one additional feature of reversible rubber feet so you can tweak the angle relative to the tyre. It’s also curved, so it sits a bit closer to the tyre as well. The Mudrocker is made from glass-reinforced plastic, so is not recycled or recyclable. The Mudrocker is good for tyres up to 3in.
For £35, made in the UK from 100% recycled materials and with all parts available, the Mudhugger Mk2 is the long-awaited evolution of a great solution to a very real ride-all-year-round problem.