Musguard’s Omni Wide is the larger of the two Omni mud guard sets and covers tyres up to 3in width. It's super light at under 100g for the pair, and rolls up to fit in a pocket, your backpack or around a tube on your frame. It comes in 4 colours and fits without any tools and costs £48.
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Musguard Omni Wide - Technical specifications
Musguard makes two Omni models, this Wide version and a slimmer standard version for gravel tyres between 28-47mm wide. They fit exactly the same way and work the same with the narrower set weighing in at 91g.
Made from recycled Polypropylene the Omni Wide set tips the scales at under 96g. When not in use and rolled up they are about the same size as a can of fizzy drink (pick your own brand). Fitting requires absolutely no tools, well apart from your hands, simply follow the instructions printed on the guards. If you need help, Musguard has a handy video to show you how to fit them.
Musguard Omni Wide - Instalation
Fitting is a little bit of a mixed bag depending on your frame design but it really shouldn’t take more than 1 minute. Once you have the knack I expect that could be 30 seconds, they are that easy. Make sure you really fold the polypropylene material hard on the crease lines to stop the guards from rolling back up and also decide whether you want a flattish rear guard or an angled rear guard, although this might actually be decided for you depending on where you fit the guard.
The rear guard can be mounted in a number of methods, around the seat post, around the seat tube above the top tube, and around the seat post below the top tube – if the frame and wheel allow for it – they didn’t on mine so I tried the first two methods.
I found my 27.2mm seat post was almost too small in diameter causing the polypropylene material to nearly overlap and thus preventing the silicone-backed velcro straps from gripping as securely as with a larger 31.6mm diameter seat post on my other bike. However grip it does, even on the 27.2 - it's just more fiddly to get tight
Moving to the seat tube above the top tube option on either of the frames meant a little bit of wriggling through and around the support brace which forced me to have one strap above it and one strap through the triangle. If you don’t have this little brace then fitting will be a breeze. Fitting in this location provided the most secure attachment on both bikes.
Fitting the front guard is much easier. Simply attach it to the underside of the downtube and tighten the straps. I played around with the position on the downtube a little and found that about 4-5 inches down from the headtube (on my large frame) provided good coverage. There is no angle adjustment option for the front guard, its ‘shape’ being created by the tightening of the straps against the downtube.
Musguards Omni Wide - Performance
In use, both Musguards worked pretty well with my Krampus' 3in tyres. The front deflects muck and spray neatly onto my shoes and the bottom of my frame but does nothing about the muck flinging out front of you for you to ride into. It's just not close enough to the tyre to do this and it doesn't track the front wheel which means a muddy face when cornering fast.
If you keep your speed low and the mud is thick the front guard works well, as found on a slow, but very wet and muddy day around Dorset. However, with against sloppy wet and thin mud conditions in Wiltshire, I found the front Omni Wide guard simply not wide enough for the 3in tyre I was using. If you don't own such large rubber, you'll be pleased to know it faired much better with 2.4in tyres on my other wheels. It is still fixed to the frame though and therefore will never offer the coverage of a front guard such as the Crud's XL Fender. but then you cannot roll that up and put it in your pocket.
On the same saturated ride around Wilshire that beat the front guard the rear performed beyond expectation with my jacket remaining mud free despite stream running, muddy byways and filthy potholed towpath work. That's quite a result.
Musguards' advantage over more heavy-duty, fixed mudguards is obvious in their weight, flexibility, speed of fitting, storage and colour options. They are easy to store when not in use, around your frame if that works for you, or in a side pocket of your backpack etc.
And whilst they are similar in material to the now ubiquitous saddle-clipped versions that can fall off part way through your ride – as my last one did, they work so much better due to their length and closer proximity to the rear tyre and their fixed nature. On all the rides with Musguards I’ve never once had to re-adjust the position of the rear guard, it has stayed put and not swung to the side at any time. Ditto the front guard.
Just a couple chinks in their protective coverage that are worth mentioning. The front guard only just had long enough straps to go around my Sonder Transmitter downtube so I suspect others might also find this issue as the Sonder's downtube is hardly massive. Longer straps here would solve the issue easily.
And I seem to have a collection of frames that have the seat tube supported by a small brace in front thus robbing me of an easy mounting location. Looking at the images on the Musguard site of frames that will work, mine is not one of them – but hey it does work, maybe just more fiddly than a frame without a brace.
Musguard Omni Wide - Value and Verdict
At £48 the Musguard Omni Wide mud guards set sits in a unique position in the market being both a seriously fast no tools fit with low weight, and portable. There is a wide selection of mudguards that mount to the frame and/or the seat post but none of these is as easy to fit as the Omni Wide or covers the same width tyres. One option that covers some of these bases is Bontrager’s Universal Road/CX/MTB Fender Set at £45 which covers up to 2.8in tyres and straps on and off, but you can hardly fit it in your back pocket.
If you don’t need such wide coverage then there are more contenders such as Ass Saver with their £15 Speed Mullet and their £22 Win Wing rear which Suvi loved earlier this year although quite not as portable or Mudhugger’s front and rear Gravel units which come in at £48, the same price as the standard Omni set and are not as portable or as light.
As a bonus, if you own both a mountain bike and a gravel bike, the Omni Wide has a trick up its sleeve, the front guard works really well as a rear gravel guard once you have reversed the straps; so that’s 1.5 sets for the price of one!
They don’t offer the same coverage as some of the heavy-duty offerings on the market that track your swing arm or are fixed to your fork brace, but these guards are not designed for that use, think more along gravel and adventure lines with up to 3in tyres, just be warned the front guard doesn't work as well as the rear with 3in tyres. Its performance with slimmer rubber is better.
If you need the occasional mudguard set for muddy riding that you can take out of your backpack, frame bag or even jacket pocket and fit within seconds then the Musguards are an excellent choice, just make sure that they fit your frame and don't expect miracles from the front guard.
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