Topeak's DeFender iGlow is a mountain-bike-style seatpost-fixing mudguard for road bikes. There's an added gimmick in the form of LED lighting at the tip and running along the spine. I used it under sufferance.
To be honest, any kind of mudguard like this makes me sigh and shake my head. If you're going to ride your road bike in the wet, stop fannying about and buy one that will take proper, frame-fit mudguards. Those will keep you properly dry and, as a bonus, the cool kids who think Muswell Hill is the Tourmalet won't talk to you.
Even if you bought a close clearance race bike by mistake, there are some pretty good solutions nowadays. SKS Raceblade Longs or Crud Roadracers both do the job and go on and off reasonably easily. I suppose hardcore fashionistas might want something that goes on and off even quicker than this; something they can grudgingly add to their pride and joy only if it's chucking it down and their mates aren't watching. Something like this?
The DeFender iGlow is made from impact resistant plastic and errant capital letters. The plastic is indeed tough. I held the guard in my hand and whacked it on the ground several times and it showed no ill effects.
You can adjust the vertical angle of the guard with an allen key. The horizontal angle is determined by the quick release strap. You have to get this right. It's a narrow guard, designed to protect you from the spray of a tyre no wider than 25mm. Because it's narrow, it only needs to be a few degrees out for water to spray past it. That's the main weak point.
In principle, the strap looks like a good idea. It's rubberised, to stop it rotating on the seatpost, and it's fixed to a dial, so you can wind it in or out for length to suit any diameter post. When it's the right length, you clip the metal bar at the end of the strap into the sockets on the open cam lever. Closing the cam lever tightens the strap and the guard is fixed in place.
Unfortunately, the guard can still move from side to side on the seatpost. Not a lot, but enough so it doesn't sit directly above the back tyre. To try to keep it still, I did it up as tight as I possibly could... which popped the cam lever off its hinge entirely. To its credit, the plastic hinge wasn't broken, and eventually I got the cam lever back in place. I still couldn't get the guard to stay completely still.
The light is a 0.5W LED. It's fairly bright, but small. You can see the tail light okay. The light on the spine of the guard is mostly visible from above and from the sides; depending on the angle of the guard, motorists behind might be able to see it. It works okay, flashing or steady, from a couple of CR2032 coin-style batteries. It's better than nothing but it's not really a substitute for a brighter, more powerful rear light.
If your bike won't take proper mudguards, there are several better options that this. Heck, if you just want something to stop your backside getting soggy when you're riding your faux race bike, save yourself £24 and get an Ass Saver instead.
Gimmicky quick-release rear mudguard for road bikes. Lighting, meh; clamp, poor.
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Make and model: Topeak DeFender iGlow rear mudguard
Size tested: n/a
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?
A sleek rear road fender with Integral Glow (iGlow) technology for safety at night and low visibility conditions. Unique illuminated fender quickly straps to the seatpost for protection from road spray and grime and easily removed in seconds. Highly polished underside prevents dirt buildup and makes cleaning easy. Fits road tires up to 700 x 25C.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Attachments QR Seatpost Attachment (Fits All Diameter Seatposts)
Adjustment Adjustable Angle and Position for Perfect Tire Coverage
Material Injected High Impact Resistant Plastic
Lamp 0.5W Super Bright Red LED
Battery CR2032 x 2 (included)
Control 2 Modes Constant / Blinking
Burn Time (approx) 50 hrs / 100 hrs
Size (L x W x H) 55.8 x 5.8 x 3.7 cm
22" x 2.3" x 1.5"
Weight 179 g / 6.31 oz
Guard material is sturdy and light works okay, but the clamp is poor.
The ease with which I broke apart the cam lever gives me low expectations.
You can get proper mudguards for this kind of money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It was better than nothing.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I enjoyed whacking it on the ground.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Couldn't get it to stay still, laterally.
Did you enjoy using the product? No.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.
Age: 42 Height: 1.78m Weight: 65kg
I usually ride: Ridgeback Solo World fixed wheel My best bike is: Planet X Pro Carbon Track (with front brake)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,