While some perverse individuals seemingly revel in getting facefuls of filth all winter, most now recognise the benefits of a guard – and you'll struggle to top the Front Race Mudhugger. It does a superb job of keeping spray, mud and grit down, it’s built to last, looks sleek and – at £25 – it's good value.
The FR Hugger is compatible with all wheel sizes (26er, 650b and 29er) and fits ‘plus’ wheels with up to 3in tyres in a Boost fork. Mudhugger says it fits most bikes – if you can get your index finger between the fork brace and top of the tyre, there's generally enough clearance.
I found it an easy fit to a RockShox Pike with a Maxxis High Roller II 2.3 underneath, with just a little time experimenting with the various ziptie holes to find the perfect position on the fork brace. It proved just as happy on a Rockshox Lyrik with 27.5x2.6" Specialized Hillbilly tyres on wide rims, too.
Once on it the 80g guard doesn't budge, the rigid plastic keeping a low profile against your tyre, and the supplied zipties are very secure. Curiously, the 2019 Mudhugger FRX uses strong velcro instead, so if you like to adjust your bike regularly to the conditions, that may be a better choice (it also features pre-drilled holes for their optional extender).
The FR Hugger is 450mm long, meaning great coverage fore and aft of the fork. Its clever design means it doesn’t clog – to my surprise it even worked in my local clay. It also works in dry and dusty conditions, and helps keep your fork seals cleaner too. In icy conditions I could hear the ice/grit mixture rubbing, but it still didn’t clog.
Made from 99% recycled polypropylene, the FR Hugger has decent green credentials, boosted by the fact that it’s virtually indestructible – under duress it twists and flexes, rather than snaps. It will last.
If you want more colour you can buy decal sets (£4.50) in seven different colours, while if you prefer something less obvious there's a 340mm Shorty Front version available for £18.
I really rate the Mudhugger FR. It's great value, superbly robust and does the job of keeping crud out of your face and off your jersey very well indeed.
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