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.
|To 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
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.
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.
No moral high ground here either just found you amusing with your post. Each to their own I guess enjoy your rides.
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?
Theres 86,400 seconds in a day... "fits in seconds" is not a selling point.
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.
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.
I snoozed and lost; in my mind anyway. Could have been a trillionaire but looks like Jeff Bezos will beat me to it.
Marsh style guards are adequate and are barely noticeable
Sure, if other guards do this that’s a plus point but in the real world likely makes absolutely no difference to your forks seal or stanction longevity or performance.
However, I do still prefer the mud hugger at least on aesthetics and simplicity of construction.
HFturbo: Seals definitely wear out, and need replacing. If you don't tend to that, you'll damage your stanchions (learned that the hard way!). I think if a mudguard helps you get the full 50 hours between service intervals, rather than like 20 hours if you're riding in shit conditions, a mudguard is worth it? Especially if you go the homemade free route =)
- thinks fork seals don't wear and that mud ridding is not affecting forks
- sells a fork in "immaculate condition"