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Verdict: 
A great value and great performing rear mudguard, pure and simple
Weight: 
150g
Zefal Swan Road Rear mudguard
9 10

If you're looking for great protection from road spray from your rear wheel and don't have mudguard mounts (or much technical knowhow), the £8.99 Zefal Swan Road is a great option – for both permanent and temporary use.

Mudguards have always been a product I've been hesitant to attach to my bike. Not being the most practical person, I always feel an attempt to fit them properly – to the seatstays – will only ever result in annoying rubbing and/or mud clogging up what little wheel clearance I have. I'll never get it fitted cleanly and running smoothly, so I never bother.

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That's now changed with the Zefal Swan. Because it only fits via a sturdy yet simple bracket to the seatpost, there's no faffing around with fiddly support struts, and it eliminates the issue of clearance altogether. The bracket fits by a screw-on mechanism, which when fully unscrewed releases and unclips from the seatpost for removal. It really is super simple – and coming from me that's quite a statement.

Zefal Swan Road Rear mudguard - from above.jpg

Zefal Swan Road Rear mudguard - from above.jpg

This is all well and good, but does it actually perform? Absolutely. I've ridden with the Swan attached throughout our very wet and windy Christmas, and it's done a brilliant job of keeping road muck away from my back. Adjusting the mudguard is as simple as loosening the bracket and twisting it side to side or sliding it up and down the seatpost, and the 45mm width compensates with a little extra coverage because, inevitably, it doesn't sit quite as tight as your 'traditional' mudguards.

Additional adjustment comes from an angle adjuster, which means you can ensure the Swan sits closely to your wheel. I had mine lowered to within 2cm of the tyre, which provided coverage aplenty in tandem with its well-considered length.

Zefal Swan Road Rear mudguard - angle adjuster.jpg

Zefal Swan Road Rear mudguard - angle adjuster.jpg

Another factor I was worried about was the potential for flapping, seeing as the Swan is fitted only by the seatpost bracket with no extra support. That worry was quickly dispelled – the mudguard remains remarkably static even when riding over rough roads and potholes, which means coverage is maintained. Occasionally, I found the bracket had loosened over the course of a few rides – but just checking it before you go out or once at a coffee stop or brief pause sorts this small downside out.

Zefal Swan Road Rear mudguard - clamp.jpg

Zefal Swan Road Rear mudguard - clamp.jpg

The Swan weighs in at 150g, which, frankly, I didn't notice. This means your bike's responsiveness is uncompromised, and makes it suitable for both summer use when the weather isn't so good as well as full time winter employment too.

> For other wet weather gear and clothing, check out our guide here

Additional features? Just one: the bracket has a reflective circle integrated within the screw-cap. It means you get a little extra visibility from behind, although because the bracket never sits quite straight on the seatpost (by curious design), its appeal and effectiveness is slightly limited. That said, it's nice that it's there and makes the most of the design such as it is.

So, we have here a light, surprisingly sturdy, well-made and very effective rear mudguard that's easy to fit (and because of the extra clearance, easy to clean). At its rrp of £8.99, it's a real steal – and if you're not keen on fitting a full-length 'traditional' rear mudguard, it's a no-brainer.

Verdict

A great value and great performing rear mudguard, pure and simple

road.cc test report

Make and model: Zefal Swan Road Rear mudguard

Size tested: Black, Wheel Dia: 700c / 28''

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Zefal says: "Rear mud-guard attaching to the seat post with the MDTURN system. Adaptable on all seat post. Its shape follow the wheel for an optimal protection. Mounting without tools thanks to MD-Turn system."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

- Blade width: 45 mm / 1.8"

- Material: Techno-polymer resin

- Mounting: On seat post / adjustable clamp all type of seat post - Ø 25 – 32 mm

- Weight: 150 g

- Wheels diameter compatibility: 700c / 28''

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

It's sturdy and isn't going to break anytime soon. The bracket loses its tension after a few rides – but you'd check your bike for general maintenance anyway, so why not that too? No problem.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Throughout the whole of Christmas, in rainy and muddy conditions, I totted up a grand total of three spots on my back. Fantastic performance.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

I can't foresee any faults coming, so great marks here.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

150g was hardly noticeable on my Allez – a bike I like to ride all year round.

Rate the product for value:
 
10/10

£8.99? What's not to like about that?

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Brilliantly – almost flawlessly.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Easy fitting, and great coverage.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It doesn't quite protect people following your wheel as much as a full mudguard. For me (and more so for them!), that's the only noticeable downside.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, 100%.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 25  Height: 188cm  Weight: 83kg

I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding

10 comments

Avatar
webster [49 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I've had one of these for years, and I have to say the only mildly annoying thing about this is that I have to check each time before I ride that the thing is still lined up properly.

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LarryDavidJr [347 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

So good they review it every January! wink

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mostly [67 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Is there anything similar that would play with a giant vector 'aero' seatpost?

Avatar
LarryDavidJr [347 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Looks like you need the seperate rubber mounts as included in the seat post adapter (link)

http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/giant-carbon-seatpost-clamp-adapter-incl-...

Don't knwo if you can get them separatley.

Avatar
Angry Egg [32 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

You might as well get it with the front guard which comes as a set for a pound or so more

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Duncann [1018 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I use one of these sometimes - it works well, and you can get a matching front one that keeps the spray out of your eyes. They don't keep your bike as clean as full 'guards might but you can't have everything..

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ibr17xvii [175 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I have 1 of these if you don't want the faff of full mudguards it is an excellent alternative.

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birzzles [129 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

i have one and the front aswell, like it on my road bike, keeps back clean, good choice now design of crud catcher has gone off.

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Anthony.C [230 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The one I have on my hardtail has a habit of turning 90 degrees which isn't great on canal towpaths. I also have the road one that I haven't used for years, it's not easy to get them really tight so they stay straight..

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mostly [67 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

For any other giant seat post victims, the BBB road catcher fits, just.