'When you live in the UK, you gain an appreciation for a good set of mudguards,' says Kinesis of its Fend Off guards. And true to form, they are a good set of mudguards. Very good, in fact.
- Pros: Look good, work well, quiet, come with flaps
- Cons: Fairly pricey, no breakaway mounts on the front
Most of your mudguard options out there are plastic, or plastic with a metal core. These Fend Off mudguards are anodised aluminium, and as such they're considerably stiffer than most. Kinesis has only used a single stay on the front, and that's plenty to keep the guard firmly in place. At the back there are two stays and a bridge mount, but again the guard is stiff enough that you could dispense with the bridge mount if, for example, you have a frame with no seatstay bridge. With it in place, the guard is very rigid and quiet.
The Fend Offs are easy enough to fit, with a similar pinch bolt mechanism to SKS mudguards. The stays come with a rubber end cap to stop the cut end scratching you by accident; a Dremel tool with a cutting disc is the best way to trim them down. The stays were just long enough for my XL-sized Kinesis Tripster, which has long chainstays, so you're unlikely to run into trouble.
The seatstay mount is adjustable and crimps into place; if you have a bike with a downward-facing mount on the seatstay bridge you can bend the adjustable mount round but you'll probably want to drill the mudguard and fit it directly for a neater finish. Once they're fitted, they look great. Really classy with a matt finish and laser-etched logos.
The coverage from the mudguards is good, with both front and rear wrapping round the wheel a good way. The rear is shorter and if you're riding in a group you'll probably want to fit a mud flap. You're in luck there: the front and rear both have a mounting hole, a bolt for each is included, and the polypropylene packing card can be cut into flaps for front and rear. Nice job.
The profile of the mudguard does a good job of wrapping around the tyre and cutting out spray. I was running 30mm tyres and there was plenty of room for something a bit bigger in my frame, but it will depend on how much clearance your frame has.
The front stay doesn't have a breakaway mount; SKS ones will work if you feel you need one, although they're designed for a double stay so they don't hold the guard quite as securely as they might. I was able to set the mudguard far enough away from the tyre that I wasn't so worried about getting anything stuck in between guard and tyre, but again the amount of clearance will vary depending on what you're fitting them to.
Overall, I like the Fend Off mudguards a lot. They look good, they're easy to fit, they're quiet and effective and they come with flaps if you want them.
Good looking, effective mudguards that are quiet and easy to fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Kinesis Fend Off mudguards
Size tested: fit up to a 30mm tyre
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?
When you live in the UK, you gain an appreciation for a good set of mudguards.
The beautiful British weather that we experience can be ever changing and trying to keep dry and warm means mudguards become an all-round essential item to fit to your road bike.
Whether you ride on your own or in a group, mudguards make rides in wet and muddy weather conditions a pleasure rather than a pain.
Not only do the Kinesis FEND OFF mudguards keep you dry and clean, but they prevent surface water and debris from collecting and clogging up the mechanics of your bike and weighing you down.
They help keep your bike cleaner, so you'll spend less time cleaning and servicing your bike.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
FEND OFF MUDGUARD KEY FEATURES
* Anodized Aluminium and adorned with laser graphics.
* They provide full-wrap coverage and are full metal guards.
* The header card can be converted to durable polypropylene mud flaps.
* Updates for Winter 2018
- New Anodised Silver colourway
- Cut outs on the rear mudguard to ease fitting into tight chainstays
- Longer reach seat stay bridge to accommodate larger tyres
- Crimped area on the front guard to fit into tight fork crowns
- bolts included for the mudflaps
Really nice mudguards, finish is excellent.
Do a great job.
Full alloy guards should last a long time.
Heavier than chromoplastics, not by much.
Nearer the top end of the standard offerings but you're getting good performance to match.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They look good, they work well, they run quiet, flaps are included.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
On the pricey side, no breakaway mounts on the front.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
About the most expensive of the mudguards we've tested recently.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Very good mudguards. At the top of the price spectrum for non-fancy guards, but worth the spend for good looks and performance.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura
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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.