The Zefal Deflector Lite front mudguard sits at the minimalist end of the company's range. For its size, it provides good protection and comes in a simple-to-fit and universal package. It's a subtle addition to your bike which remains quiet on the trails. If you need more protection look at Zefal’s FM20 or FM30 options - both of which are some of the best MTB mudguards around.
Zefal Deflector Lite front mudguard - Technical details
The Deflector Lite is the smallest mudguard from Zefal. Made from polypropylene and weighing in at a claimed 27g, it measures 270mm in length, and is designed to be discrete.
It provides a universal fit with multiple fitting holes to suit attaching to a wide range of fork arches using up to six cable ties. This guard is suitable for 26-, 27.5- and 29-inch wheels with a recommended max tyre width of 3.0in.
Zefal Deflector Lite Front_4, by Ty Rutherford
Zefal Deflector Lite front mudguard - Performance
Fitting the mudguard was a simple affair using the provided zip-ties and protective tape. For the RockShox Lyrik, I opted to use two ties on the fork arch and two on the leg. Some shaping along the pre-creased fold lines helped with fitment.
The Zefal Deflector Lite is a small and discrete mudguard so don’t expect massive levels of protection like you would get from a wrap-around style guard. The protection it does provide is still decent – I found thicker mud clumps were deflected (excuse the pun), however, spray still found its way onto my riding glasses. The angle fitment does mean there is a large gap at the front between the guard and the tyre. This allows dirt/spray to be thrown forward which can get a bit messy as it gets thrown up in your path of travel.
Zefal Deflector Lite Front_3, by Ty Rutherford
The guard does a good job of protecting fork seals from dirt and grit and, while the pre-defined folds give it a thin-feeling to the touch, the plastic guard is remarkably stiff. I can report it doesn’t flap around like some guards of this style. At no point, even through braking bumps and rough trails, did the guard make any noise which is impressive.
Zefal Deflector Lite Front_5, by Ty Rutherford
I wasn’t sure about the looks of the guard but it has grown on me. Its angular shape stands out against the usual rounded designs. It's available in one colour and one style but the subtle contour line graphics compliment any style of bike and fork – I think its looks and performance merits are impressive.
Zefal Deflector Lite front mudguard - Verdict
With a retail price of £11, this guard isn’t going to break the bank. With the performance on offer, it represents a great option than running no mud-guard at all. If you’d like to add more style to your ride, the Slicy Custom XC AM Mudguard, at £20, costs a little more but performed extremely well during our review. The original mudguard of this style is the Marsh guard, also cheap and easy to fit and is also definitely worth checking out.
The Zefal Deflector Lite front mudguard is a very well-priced, minimalist option that provides effective protection for the size. The guard is lightweight, quiet on the trails and has plenty of fitting options to make it a universal option.
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