Like Crud Products' venerable Crudcatcher, the Mucky Nutz Gut Fender is a down-tube guard that's intended to stop mud and dirty water spraying into your face when you ride off-road. It'll keep some of the spray off your upper body too, and will do so on road as well as off, but don't confuse this with a 'proper' mudguard. This isn't about staying pristinely clean; it's about keeping crap out of your face so you can see where you're going.
I used it on a mountain bike and on a Kinesis Tripster ATR, bikes I rode off-road and on. I suppose you could fit it to a road bike, and it'd be better than nothing on a bike that lacked the eyelets and clearance for full-length mudguards. The trouble is that the faster you go, the more you end up riding into spray that's been thrown off the front of the wheel, ahead of the fork crown. At slower speeds, like you get off-road, that doesn't happen so much.
I used the Gut Fender in conjunction with a Mucky Nutz Face Fender, a small guard that fits to the fork. (It cable ties to the fork brace and lower legs of a suspension fork, but I found that it fitted fine on the rigid fork of my Genesis Longitude too.) Between the two guards, I pretty much never got mud or water in my eyes, and it stopped my water bottle from getting covered in cack.
The Gut Fender is about the same size as a Crudcatcher: it's 395mm long and 120mm wide at its widest. It's a lot lighter: just 30g to the 80g of a Crudcatcher. That's because it's made not of thick plastic but lightweight polypropylene that feels like a piece of laminated cardboard. It doesn't need to be especially stiff as the down tube gives it a rigid spine. It's far from fragile, easily springing back into shape if it gets knocked.
The Gut Fender attaches to the down tube. A couple of circular pads protect your bike's paintwork. There are holes the right distance apart if your bike has bolt-on down tube mounts, or you can use either the Velcro straps provided or your own cable ties. Use cable ties. The Velcro straps have to be cut to length to keep things tidy, which makes it awkward to then switch the guard between bikes with widely differing down tube diameters. You get a more secure fit with cable ties too. The guard is harder to nick. And it's a quid cheaper if you buy the Gut Fender without the Velcro straps, so it's a no brainer.
Note that if your bike has bare cables running along the down tube, this guard will interfere with them, increasing friction.
Very lightweight spray protection for your face and chest on your mountain bike or cyclocrosser
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Make and model: Mucky Nutz Gut Fender
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?
Mucky Nutz say:
* It protects you, waist upwards, against mud and rainwater thrown from your front wheel.
* Coupled with the Face Fender or Face Fender (XL) this combo provides the ultimate front-end protection.
* Improves protection to the rear shock.
* It weighs in at just 40g, making it one of the, if not thee, lightest down tube guards around.
* Comes with fasteners but is also compatible with zipties and mounting bosses.
* Comes with rubber contacts, to prevent slipping, when installed.
* Quick and easy to put on and take off.
* Easy to clean as it's flexible and opens flat. Simply wipe it and you're done.
I say: it's down-tube guard, meant for mountain bikers of all kinds but suitable for any bike that might go off-road.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Material: Customized Polypropylene
Colour: black or white
Simple but lightweight and effective.
A 30g weight penalty for the ability to see? What's not to like?
It retains its shape well from occasional knocks.
It's £2 cheaper than a Crudcatcher. Save £1 and get it without Velcro straps and it's better value yet.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It works as well as any other down-tube guard.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No good if you have bare gear cables on the underneath of your down tube. My bikes don't, but some do.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 45 Height: 1.78m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: Ridgeback Solo World fixed wheel My best bike is: Planet X Pro Carbon Track. Or Whyte M109
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,