First Look: Crud Catcher XL Fender

Mar 10, 2019
by Paul Aston  
Crud Catcher XL

Eagle-eyed Insta-stalkers may have seen Danny Hart testing a new mudguard earlier this year. And those old-timers among may remember the Dirt video (or maybe Getta Grip) when Pete Tomkins was featured outside of his (fair-sized) house sat on a Harley saying "If you have a good idea, stick with it, I made a million and you can too!" I ain't made a million yet, or even had any good ideas, but that is always something I bear in mind to this day.

Pete sent me a couple of guards earlier this year, and unfortunately, I never got around to doing any useful testing as it has been 'annoyingly' (I hate the mud) dry all winter so nothing useful was learned. So here's a great message from the man himself, and a few pictures and theory behind the man who bought us the original Crud Catcher.

Crud Catcher XL

bigquotesTo say the Crud Catcher changed my life would be a hilarious understatement. I was the village painter and oddjob man, struggling to get by, hand-to-mouth. I was racing MTB’s every weekend even though I really couldn’t even afford the entry fees.

In 1989-90, almost every weekend we raced in thick mud and rain. Everyone was struggling for vision, our eyes were literally clogging up. It was clear that something was needed, and I was the one who bit the bullet and designed a simple splashguard for the downtube.

I had no experience of product design, manufacturing techniques, or marketing, but I did have one big plus. Thanks to the intimate nature of the race scene in the late ’80s, I was personal friends with every MTB journalist in the UK. They liked what I came up with, told their readers, and I was in business full-time from the day my first Crudcatcher came off the mould. That was in 1991, and I guesstimate we must have sold close to two million CC’s since.

It has become clear to us recently that the new fork-brace mounted fenders have cut into our market share. Our new XL is a response to this. We have designed something that cannot clog, no matter how thick the mud. It uses re-usable UV-proof stretchy o-rings to fit totally securely to the fork legs. Fits in literally 30 seconds with a little practice. You can run it close to the tyre for rainy conditions, or raise it much higher for thick clingy mud. It’s made out of ABS-TPU, both materials are excellent for recycling.

Is the Crud Catcher dead? Well, no. We are still selling them in significant numbers. They are cheap, easy to fit, and they do a good job. But if you want the next level of protection, try the XL. It’s really quite a revelation the first time you go belting down a wet muddy track with one attached to your forks.

I knew it would be a challenge to design a full-length front guard that could never clog up with mud, but that was always the primary aim. Me and Jamie (my son and rider) always work together to push new designs forward, but I have to take the credit for coming up with the deformable midsection. Lots of fork crowns out there come to within 5mm of the tyre on full compression, so realistically a soft deformable nose was the only option as far as I was concerned. Anything else would be prone to clogging, the consequences of which could be severe.

We actually made about 10 laser-printed prototypes before we settled on a satisfactory design. It’s an incredibly expensive process but it’s a lot of fun. We were able to actually test the prototypes on the moors, this really helped refine the design. We were all set to start tooling work in January 2018 when our long term toolmaker had a major meltdown and sacked 30 staff, shut his factory doors. He’d had enough, just like that. Thanks Darren!

This set us back six months, but to be honest it’s hardly rained all autumn so we are not really behind the curve by bringing it out now. Danny Hart lives just a half an hour away, we have known him since he used to hang around Redcar skatepark about 18 years ago, so I went over to his downhill track with an early sample for him to try out. He loved it, so it was easy to hook up with him for 2019. Our factory is only five miles from his home, it works really well for all of us.

As to protecting the seals and forks stanchions, I have never worn any out yet, and I’ve been running front suspension since RockShox invented it in the early nineties. For World Cup racers, and anyone who rides fast, dispersing the mud is far more important than any imagined benefits of keeping gloop off your stanchions.
Pete Tomkins

Crud Catcher XL
The deformable mid-section blocks mud-spray, but can deform to allow mud to escape avoid contact with crowns.
Crud Catcher XL
Foam and rubber o-rings are pre-installed to protect your paintwork and avoid any extra faffing.

My first impressions of the XL are that it is incredibly easy to fit and literally takes seconds. The foam fork protection and o-rings are pre-installed so no need to hunt for zip-ties that then end up being cut off and dumped in the trash after one ride. Thanks to the deformable mid-section, you can run it super close to the tire for maximum protection, or raise it up in really bad conditions for more clearance without risk of connecting with your lower crown under bottom out.

Crud Catcher XL

Crud Catcher XL
The deformable mid-section blocks mud-spray, but can deform to allow mud to escape avoid contact with crowns.
Crud Catcher XL

Crud Catcher XL
Foam and rubber o-rings are pre-installed to protect your paintwork and avoid any extra faffing.

Crud Catcher XL

The XL Fender costs £35 GBP and is available from crudproducts.com If it ever rains, we will be putting the Crud Catcher XL through its paces, but until then you can learn more below about how to fit and more from Danny's mechanic, Dave Garland.




104 Comments

  • + 78
 Shirley there’s a point when you’re riding an e-bike with full fenders and hand guards when you’ve got to stop pretending and go buy an mx bike.
  • + 63
 yes, and don't call me Shirley!
  • + 6
 @fronthole: I'm going to be frank here, pass the eye bleach please.
  • + 3
 Right, me personally I’m going to skip the emtb step and go straight to the E-Motocross bike when they get the bugs worked out
  • + 4
 @excavator666: Nice to meet you Frank!
  • + 1
 @dakotadog: Same here bud
  • + 15
 Hey, @pinkbike Can somehthing be done about comments here that are CLEARLY coming from the manufacturer? See above RobridesMTB and MackaralFillet, both day old accounts , with no other content or posts, posting overwhelming positive reviews in a public comments section ?? I know there are bigger problems in the world, but I've used PB since 2001 and this kind of crap is something Id hoped not to see. Completely torpedoes any credibility, beyond the much commented advertising bias that allegedly happens in the MTB medis. Sort this shit out please. Cheers.
  • - 1
 You paranoid much there fella, neither of those accounts are day old but also neither have posted on anything but this one. Maybe they just like the mudguard or shall we ask pinkbike to look in to every one who posts something positive about a product that has been reviewed.
  • + 5
 @fatduke: the account Rob Rides MTB was created 10/3/2019. The other's ONLY COMMENT apparently in 3 years, is virtually identical. It's cute you want to get the moral high ground there by claiming it's 'paranoia'. It's nothing of the sort. I happen to think the comments are linked. It is a striking coincidence is it not. This isn't my first rodeo pal, this is old hat stuff in comments but it's poor too see. I'll let others judge the veracity of the comments. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. Also, you contradict yourself in your reply there- both accounts ONLY have a single positive review on them for this product, one of which was created yesterday.. no pics, no history, no other comments... 'just sayin' as they say out there.
  • - 2
 @nickkk: I'll hold my hand up and say I misread one of those account dates. At some point we all had no history pics or comments .


No moral high ground here either just found you amusing with your post. Each to their own I guess enjoy your rides.
  • + 4
 Hey Nick
  • + 0
 @MackeralFillet: hey dude! Long time no see! How's the mudguard? I'm pretty keen on one. I use a go pro too, can you confirm whether it stops mud splattering on it? Thanks. Look forward to hearing about it. If you've got any pics to share then I'd love to see them. Me and 10 of my mates are looking to buy one. Also, how's yer old pal RobridesMTB these days? See him much? Congratulations on your second post btw. Welcome to Pinkbike.
  • + 6
 @nickkk: *Shoves Popcorn in my face as I wait on the edge of my seat for MackeralFillet's response.*
  • + 0
 @redrider3141: you and me both mate lol
  • + 2
 @nickkk: LOL!! Funny :-) Nick, I am both accounts. Honestly there is no sinister dark story here... I had a PinkBike account for years, I posted that comment under MackeralFillet (yep first comment!), but I wanted to change the username to my current YouTube // EMTB Forums // Instagram account, RobRidesEMTB. You see, I ride ebikes and I wanted to keep the name consistent. It turns out that I can't edit a username, or even edit a post here for some strange reason. So I created another account and posted it again. You can see me on Instagram if you want, I use the guard a lot as its good at swapping between bikes. Cheers, Rob.
  • + 3
 @Robridesemtb: *ponders belief system and life decisions up to this point
  • + 6
 I'm sure it works great but jeez it's ugly. My solution was to have children and time the second one to arrive as autumn ends. Then you can't ride at all for the first few months and miss the wettest of weather. Hopefully it will just be getting drier again as I'm allowed back out at which point my mucky nutz arch mounted mud guard will do fine.
  • + 8
 Crocs of the fender world.
  • + 3
 As to protecting the seals and forks stanchions, I have never worn any out yet, and I’ve been running front suspension since RockShox invented it in the early nineties. For World Cup racers, and anyone who rides fast, dispersing the mud is far more important than any imagined benefits of keeping gloop off your stanchions.—Pete Tomkins
  • + 2
 whatever, tell me more about your Delta !
  • + 6
 I'll pass and stick with Mudhugger.
  • + 1
 @Gavalar66 : What do you think of the Mudhugger regards fit? What sized wheels / tyres / fork? I fitted one to a boost 140mm 650b Pike and a 2.35 Magic Mary and the only way I could make it fit without buzzing the tyre was to cut the nose off, to me it looked like it was designed for 26". Now I've modified it it works great for rain / very runny mud but as there is hardly any clearance a bit of thick mud and I can see it jamming up in no time.
  • + 1
 @StevieJB: Currently it's fitted to an Ibis Mojo HD4, boost Fox 36 forks, Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 WT,on Santa Cruz Reserve Wheels, 30mm internal width, no problems whatsoever with clogging in the Yorkshire mud, the model I use is the Shorty X.
  • + 3
 Just wondering, out of all the PB guys (and gals), why send a mudguard to the one person least likely to get rain, let alone mud of any kind? Razz
  • + 18
 I can't speak for the others but with recent weather patterns on the East coast, I'm more set to be reviewing boats than a mudguard....
  • + 1
 @danielsapp: now with the higher temps and probably no freezing, it’s going to be awhile before the trails here in PA are ok to ride.
  • + 1
 @danielsapp: THE SUN'S OUT!!!
  • + 3
 The glaring problem to me is why don't most fork manufacturers make their own bolt on mud guards. A simple design fix surely?
  • + 1
 Taken ohlins over a year and still nothing ????‍♀️
  • + 1
 Suntour has some integrated mud guard I think: www.pinkbike.com/news/suntour-durolux-29-review.html
  • + 2
 Design - really ugly, however it probably works great, not a big fun of this. For majority of the cases simple mudguard does sufficient job. However I'm not living in UK, so my experience quite limmited
  • + 6
 In the UK simple mud guards are reserved for our wonderful summers.
  • + 1
 I checked the website and found the following for the XL:

FITS ALL FRONT SUSPENSION FORKS
GUARANTEED NO CLOGGING
NO TOOLS NEEDED
FITS IN SECONDS
DISC BRAKES ONLY

I have no doubt it fits but I can't imagine it on a Manitou or other fork with a rear mounted brace, and do the flexible bits work the same then?
  • + 4
 Just mount it backwards
  • + 9
 I wanna see it mounted to the Trust Message
  • + 0
 "fits in seconds"

Theres 86,400 seconds in a day... "fits in seconds" is not a selling point.
  • + 0
 I’ve been using this over the winter.
Absolutely love it and a point which isn’t mentioned is the fact it can fit absolutely any fork and wheel size with eze as you just slide it up and down the legs and the crown goes through the hole in the middle.
Plus, it’s the best at keeping mud out your face than any I’ve used before.
  • + 2
 Been running one since they came out, bottom and front of the guard extend much further out, so goggles/glasses/eyes stay almost completely free of mud/grit/water.
  • + 1
 OR …. just ride when its dry.

but really, mud around here is sticky and something like that will clog up faster than you can spit.

Fenders around here just make matters worse.
  • + 3
 The look would match the new Marin Mount Vision ... perhaps with a linkage fork ...
  • + 1
 2 questions. Are the white XL stickers removable? (Looks like it) and would it fit over an existing marsh guard? This is definitely something I would run on a rainy day at the bike park.
  • + 1
 Review should have been... a bit like a mud hugger but not as good fair play for not totally ripping them off though like everyone else.
  • + 1
 Looks effective but I’m not defiling my ride putting something that ugly on it.

Marsh style guards are adequate and are barely noticeable
  • + 1
 Look, if you want a fender that works, stop putzin around and get a fender mounted like a moto... one that's at the fork crown. Like an Sks Shockboard or comparable.
  • + 2
 That's what I run. Agree 100%. Never clogs, never throws stuff in my eyes, looks moto.
  • + 4
 When I was stationed in Germany, and actually rode a lot in mud, those were the only type of mudguards that existed for MTB. I hated them. They always broke or fell out of the steertube and worse yet, they didn’t really work as a mudguard. I remember thinking, ‘if only there existed something that attached at the arch on the lowers! It would stay close to the tire and keep mud from flinging passed the cheap steertube guards.’ I wanted to start making them but Steve Peat (I believe?) came out with one or started endorsing that very type of mudguard.
I snoozed and lost; in my mind anyway. Could have been a trillionaire but looks like Jeff Bezos will beat me to it.
  • + 1
 For those of you dinging the looks... Paul rides an e-bike; he probably doesn't care about looks too much. Wink
  • + 1
 Can anyone pls tell this guy that the only problem with getting wet on MTB could be on your ass and your back?
  • + 0
 A bit silly to go thru all that effort at the front of the bike, yet resign oneself to having a backside splattered with the brown glop......
  • + 7
 No it isn’t. My arse can be as mucky as anything, but seeing where i’m going is pretty important
  • + 1
 hey, camera op - adjust your shutter speed, you're going to trigger a seizure in someone. Smile
  • + 2
 Didn’t the Predator use that?
  • + 2
 only when batting to protect his junk. Nice spot too, I'm a huge fan of Predator and had forgotten the deleted cricket scenes from the directors cut blue ray.
  • + 2
 Looks really good. Just what you need especially with British weather.
  • + 1
 Why can't someone make a fender like the old Dirt Diggler and just forget it...?
  • + 3
 Mudhugger all day long
  • + 1
 Quality closing to the opening sentence Paul. It was like reading my own thoughts, reading that!
  • + 1
 Opening paragraph I mean!
  • + 1
 Less of the 'old timer' we're connoisseurs of the sport......
  • + 1
 What about protecting the fork seals?
  • + 1
 Trying to follow the steps of Marsh guards and make a new trend ahaha
  • + 1
 Bring back THE guards, loved that shit from the 90/00 era
  • + 2
 Dfender.
  • + 1
 This is like going back to pc
  • + 1
 Absolutely horrendous looking. Wtf have they been smoking.
  • + 1
 Function > Form
  • + 1
 @yzedf: ta for stating the obvious, that is no excuse however. It's just a subjective opinion but Mr Cruds products that I have used on bikes I've own since 1996 have all been sleek and efficient design exersises that worked well. I happen to think there are designs out there as effective and less fussy for this style of guard. This crosses a line that for me, wouldn't be worth the protection. It looks laughable. The mounting solution in particular is notable for its fussiness. Again, this is just my opinion. You can disagree. It makes no difference to me.
  • + 1
 @nickkk: I run a Mucky Nutz XL. It's relatively cheap, Velcro type attachment straps and doesn't look all that awkward. Then again, it also doesn't work all that well.
  • + 1
 @yzedf: not a glowing review there then..
  • + 1
 @nickkk: indeed. Keeps the headset from creaking, which is enough for me.
  • + 1
 Hideous.
  • + 1
 What's mud?
  • - 1
 just quit being a bitch and just accept that you're going to get dirty MOUNTAIN BIKING!
  • + 4
 Even if you don't care about getting dirty, I'd rather not replace my headset bearings every year due to FOD. That, and who actually likes getting mud in the eyes?
  • + 1
 Being able to see is the important bit, don't care if my forks or my self gets muddy, just like to see. Though I probably would not run this as it seems a bit of a monstrosity to me.
  • + 1
 Darth Vader edition
  • - 1
 Design would be better if stopped mud getting on fork stansions?
  • - 3
 This is literally a THE guard
  • + 6
 It couldn't look less like that guard which was mounted from the steerer
  • - 2
 is there ebike specific version.
  • + 5
 Yes, it's sold in the same area as the 29er specific seatposts.
  • + 3
 Wrong thread mate, this is an MTB product.
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