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You can have a lightweight bike and a dry bum with these mudguard-friendly rides

Do you want a carbon fibre road bike with mudguards? We’ve picked out ten road bikes that combine the performance of a carbon frameset with the practicality of mudguards.

Your choices though are limited, but that’s starting to change. A few years ago I wrote an article about carbon mudguard-equipped road bikes being The Next Big Thing. That hasn’t really happened quite as quickly as I expected. I’ve sent my crystal ball off to be calibrated. But there is now quite a bit more choice now if you really want a carbon fibre road bike that will take mudguards, and the world's three biggest bike brands — Giant, Trek and Specialized — have something for you, as do many smaller companies.

Why might you want carbon fibre road bike that is compatible with mudguards? If you want the performance and weight benefits of carbon fibre for summer sportives, but don’t want to skimp on the practicality of mudguards for grinding through the winter weather, then you want a mudguard-equipped carbon road bike. Fit some mudguards for the winter, take them off for the summer.

>>Buyer’s guide: The best mudguards to keep you dry

One thing that's helped manufacturers get on board with mudguard-compatible road bikes is the rise of disc brakes. To squeeze a mudguard between a tyre and a standard rim brake is tricky. The fork legs have to be slightly longer, or the seatstay brake bridge a little higher, and the brake pads lower in the caliper. It's doable, but it means using  up all the brake pad height adjustment. With disc brakes, it's easy to make room for mudguards and fatter tyres.

There's nothing to stop you fitting clip-on mudguards to a regular carbon road bike, but clearance can often be a problem, and they're never as secure or reliable as proper full-length mudguards. Most of these bikes have hidden eyelets that accept proper mudguards and don’t ruin the smooth lines when no 'guards are fitted.

The growth of adventure and gravel bikes is also having an impact because these bikes more than any other are really being designed for the demands of today’s cyclists. In many ways, adventure bikes are a modern update on the classic touring bike, with the benefits of bigger tyre clearance brought about by the disc brakes. These are bikes that are being pressed into service for weekend training bikes, sportive challenges, Audax, touring and even commuting.

>> 2017's hottest disc-equipped road bikes

If you want a carbon road bike that can take mudguards, here are nine options for you. Few of these bikes are pictured with mudguards because they're an optional extra, but a set of mudguards is a relatively small cost and they're easy to fit. A good bike shop will do that for you at the point of purchase.

Cervelo C3 & C5 — from £3,899 

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Cervelo_C3_6870_Ult_Di2-1.jpg

Even newer than the Genesis is the brand new Cervelo C3 and its super-light big brother the C5, the first ever Cervelos with mudguard mounts. Those mounts are fitted to full carbon fibre frames with space for up to 32mm tyres. They're packed with the latest technology such as flat mount disc tabs and bolt-thru axles front and rear, and they're light, at a claimed 850g for the C5. Cervelo says the C-series bikes are more endurance than gravel, but it’s clear they could lay a foot in each camp quite easily, dependent on tyre choice. They're not cheap, though, with the base model C3 with Shimano Ultegra at £3,899 and the Dura-Ace Di2 C5 running at £7,499.

Find a Cervelo dealer.

Dolan Dual Carbon Road Bike — from £1,369.99

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dual-ultegra6800-new-lgo.jpg

Introduced in 2009, the Dolan Dual is one of the few really good looking carbon road bikes that features eyelets for mudguards to be fitted. I’ve ridden it and the ride performance is very impressive, just what you’d expect from a carbon road bike. Handling is sharp and comfort is good, the geometry on just right for a mix of fast group riding to commuting and Audax use. A Shimano 105 model will cost about £1,400, and you can customise the build to your liking. A good choice if you don’t want mudguards.

Genesis Datum — from £1,849.99

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genesis-datum-10-2017-adventure-road-bike-white-blue-EV289578-9050-1.jpg

One of the newest bikes in this roundup is the Genesis Datum, the bike that bagged the road.cc Sportive Bike of the Year 2015/16 award. It’s a bike that straddles the fine line between an endurance bike and a gravel/adventure bike, with details that trace their way back to a cyclocross bike, particularly the tall fork with its huge tyre clearance. There’s space for properly wide tyres - 33mm will go in a treat - and even with proper full-length mudguards fitted, there is space for 30mm tyres. If you want your cake and be able to eat it, this could be the one for you.

Read our review of the Genesis Datum 30
Find a Genesis dealer

Giant Defy Advanced — from £1,549

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2017_GIANT_DEFY_ADVANCED_2_BLACK_RED (2).jpg

Giant has gone all-carbon and all-disc for the 2017 incarnations of its Defy endurance bikes; the aluminium-framed models have been renamed Contend. The range starts with the Defy Advanced 3 for 1,549, and goes right up to the luxury option, the Defy Advanced Pro with Shimano Ultegra Di2 at £3,875.

Find a Giant dealer

GT Grade Carbon — from £1,699.99

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GT-Grade-Carbon-Tiagra-2017-Adventure-Road-Bike-Road-Bikes-Grey-G11407M6051.jpg

Now if you want a bike with disc brakes, massive tyre clearance and a carbon fibre frame, the gravel/adventure category is the place to look. GT’s Grade came along just as the style of bike was spreading from its birthplace in the US to the UK, and it’s a bike that is well suited to British roads and cyclists. And of course, the frame has mounts for mudguards and, depending on the exact choice of tyre, can be modified to suit your requirements, whether’s weekend club training rides or the daily commuting. It’s available at a wide range of price points and in a choice of carbon fibre or aluminium – the aluminium Grades start at £1,000.

Read our review of the GT Grade Alloy Tiagra
Find a GT dealer

Orbea Avant — from £1,299

Orbea Avant M10.jpg

Orbea Avant M10.jpg

Like the Roubaix, the Orbea Avant has discrete mudguard eyelets on the frame and fork. Without ‘guards, it looks like any other carbon road bike. With ‘guards fitted, it’s a practical bike for winter riding. Fit mudguards for the winter, take them off for the summer. The geometry of this Avant leans towards comfort with a tall head tube promoting a position that places less stress on your back and neck.

Read our review of the Orbea Avant
Find an Orbea dealer

BMC Roadmachine — from £1,649

bmc roadmachine .jpg

bmc roadmachine .jpg

The all-new BMC Roadmachine is an endurance road bike that is lighter than the company’s Granfondo and offers some aerodynamic aids for the cyclist that wants a sporty ride. It’s only available with disc brakes and uses 12mm thru-axles, and the top version gets a nifty integrated stem and handlebar to keep all the cables tucked away. There’s space for up to 30mm tyres on the carbon version, 32mm on the aluminium frame, and mudguard mounts on the Roadmachine 02 and 03 models - the top-end model does without them.

Find a BMC dealer

Trek Domane — from £1,400

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1440300_2017_A_1_DOMANE_S_4.jpeg

Trek tucks away the mudguard mounts on its Domane endurance bikes so you hardly notice them, but they're waiting unobtrusively until you need them. The cheapest model in the range, the Domane S4 above, has the signature IsoSpeed decoupler in the frame with rim brakes. If you want discs, your carbon-framed starting point is the £2,100 Domane S5 Disc.

Trek's Silque women's bikes also have hidden mudguard mounts. The range starts with the £1,400 Silque S4.

Find a Trek dealer

Tifosi Cavazzo Disc Tiagra — £1,350

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cavazzo1.jpg

British brand Tifosi used to offer the Corsa carbon road bike with mudguards, but that has gone now and in is the new Cavazzo, which combines disc brakes with space for up to 35mm tyres. It’s tapping into the gravel/adventure popularity and the promotional spiel talks about it being a “multi-terrain carbon adventure road bike”. The bike has discreet mudguard mounts, maintaining the clean lines when they’re not fitted.

Read our review of the Tifosi Cavazzo
Find a Tifosi dealer

Whyte Wessex — £2,250

Whyte Wessex.jpg

Whyte Wessex.jpg

British brand Whyte has a good handle on the demands of the British cyclist. The Wessex is a lightweight carbon fibre road bike, with disc brakes and eyelets for mudguards. And with SRAM’s hydraulic disc brakes, 25mm tyres and sub-9kg weight, it’s a bike that combines comfort, control and performance in one very smart package. Here’s a bike you could commute to work on during the week, and tackle a hilly sportive at the weekend. Whyte has designed its own mudguards which integrate seamlessly with the frame and fork and cost just £30.

Find a Whyte dealer 

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

5 comments

Avatar
netclectic [136 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

This article could just as easily be titled '10 of the ugliest mudguard-compatible carbon fibre road bikes'. The Dolan is the only one that doesn't look like it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Avatar
Innerlube [21 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
netclectic wrote:

This article could just as easily be titled '10 of the ugliest mudguard-compatible carbon fibre road bikes'. The Dolan is the only one that doesn't look like it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

All in the eye of the beholder, but this is the exact opposite of my  reaction!!

The Dolan is all brash "look at me, look at me, go on , look at me" whilst some of the others are quite tasteful!

Particularly like the Domane in this shade of red - aesthetically pleasing, though it all felt wrong when I took one for a test ride a couple of years back. But definitely my choice from this bunch for posing at the cafe stop!

Given the headings it would have been nice to actually have pics with the bikes with mudguards on though! My experience of  a previous Specialized was that it had mudguard eyelets, but in practice it wasn't possible to fit actual real world mudguards to the frame... which led me eventually in to ended the arms of Mr Crud. The Mk 2 and Mk3's are for me a better solution for guards- slip em on only when the forecast is wet...

Avatar
StoopidUserName [293 posts] 2 months ago
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From what I understand the new Roubaix doesn't have the mudguard eyelets anymore...they've lost a number of UK sales because of this according to the threads I've seen.

 

 

Avatar
shutuplegz [49 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Agree, the Roubaix had been high on my list for a winter/wet bike until I realised they had removed the mudguard eyelets from the latest model. Big opportunity missed by Specialized I think.

 

The Whyte was also high on my list although it is a little on the heavy side compared to some of the others I was looking at. However it dropped to the bottom of my list as I failed to get any kind of response to some basic technical questions I sent in to Whyte via a variety of means. It then dropped completely off my shortlist when a retailer confirmed that only Whyte's own mudguards could be fitted as the angle of the eyelets was at 90degrees to usual positions that would otherwise have been suitable for normal mudgaurds like SKS Chromoplastics/Bluemels.

 

In the end I went for a BMC Roadmachine RM02. It should be on the list above really. Carbon bike and it has mudguard eyelets. Not the easiest frame to fit mudguards to by any means but it is designed to take them.

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flimflamvanham [1 post] 1 month ago
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the Defy Advanced should not be on this list as it does not have fender mounts.  

I'd guess Giant would be well served to build them into the '18 line up (I hope).