The folks at Ass Savers have always been happy to toss some of their snap-on plastic pseudo-fenders our way to test out. Most of the time though, when we are looking for fenders we really want a full-coverage mudguard to make the winter commute less wet and grimy. And as much as we might hope, no fender clipped onto the saddle rails is going to keep our pants leg clean. But with the addition of their newest zip-tie-on Mudder we threw some plastic mud deflectors on some mountain bikes to at least try to keep our glasses clear and our shorts a bit easier to clean when we got home…
I usually figure that if we’re riding an enduro bike, what’s the point of trying to not get dirty? That’s half the fun of mountain bikes, right? Well as we’ve seen on the DH circuit where the riders certainly have no cares for staying clean, it’s improved visibility that makes a big difference. And the Mudder is another in the simple and easy-to-install solutions to keep some mud flying off the spinning front wheel from making its way to your face.
What we actually really like about the Mudder, besides the fact that it only costs 9€ is the simplicity. Sure, there’s not much to the typical snap on Ass Saver, but a strap-on fork arch fender is a little more complicated. Still, like their other products, the Mudder cuts out any need for packaging with a built-in hang tag, and gets the instructions on how to install & adjust it printed right on the inside of the fender. It even comes with the zip ties you need to hold it in place, already threaded through its holes.
Out back we tossed on the matching 9€ Ass Saver Wide that just snaps onto your saddle’s standard rails. It has instructions printed on it too, but they’re a bit less necessary, although on some occasions we’ve had issues where the clip at the front of the rails doesn’t stay secure over time with some saddle/post combos.
Follow the instructions and you can’t go wrong. It’s a pair of fender-like mud deflectors on your bicycle in less than 5 minutes (45 seconds for the rear, and the rest adjusting & trimming zip ties un front.) The Mudder kind of sits in place on its own, but we had to work a bit around the shape of some fork crowns to trim the zip ties since we couldn’t always get them to spin around after securely cinching it down.
The instructions tell us to fold down the front flaps, but on wider 27.5″ tires we didn’t always have enough extra room to play with. On other 26″ & 29″ XC bikes we tended to have more space between the fork arch and the tire. The spacing hasn’t been a problem on any bike though, never clogging up, although we don’t often find super thick mud on the mountain bike. The Mudder has done what it said, deflected mud and water spray from hitting us in the face.
Do we come away from rides shiny and clean? Of course not. You ride in the mud and wet, and you still get dirty. But as someone who rides in prescription (sun)glasses, I really appreciated a noticeable decrease in the number of mud spots on my lenses. And as to the Ass Saver Wide out back, I get the sense that less water is getting sprayed up on my shorts. I still come home dirty after muddy rides, but I can say that its coverage is much improved over the standard width Ass Saver that I regularly clip on while warming up for a cross race. And I haven’t felt like my ass was wet after a couple of longer trail rides with a lot of creek crossings.
Our lasting impression of this made in Europe setup is more that they can’t hurt. At 18€ for the pair and less than say 50g with zip ties, there isn’t much of a down side for a little extra protection. We’ve mounted them on a couple of bikes, and then forgotten about them. Sometimes you want positive feedback from additions to the bike, but just as much I appreciate something that simply disappears and does the job without any further input.