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Quickguard mudguards review

16 Dec 2019
Verdict:

Superb idea, but the reality is plagued with niggles that make the Quickguards much less effective than they could be

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£34.99 each
For 
Installation is quick (sort of) • Clean look (if you can get them to sit right) • Easily removable then re-attachable
Against 
See (brackets), left

Mudguards that don’t attach to your frame, are easily removable and install in two minutes? Take my money, please. In fact stay a moment, I’ll buy you a drink and we can cheers the Quickguard’s success. Let’s hope I‘m not being premarture.

Laudable dream

The idea behind the Bicycle Quickguard is admirable, and theoretically brilliant. Instead of having a mudguard that attaches at three different points – the stays or fork legs and the brake calliper bolt (and at the rear, sometimes a fourth – the seat tube or on a chainstay bridge), the Quickguard attaches at just one point: the end of the quick release or thru-axle.

In the case of the quick release system, you simply remove your QR’s regular nut and install the Quickguard’s, which is a 5cm long, hollow cylindrical thing, which looks a bit like a tiny BMX peg (remember the ones your mate could stand on while you rode?).

It’s onto this protrusion the Quickguard’s only mounting point slots. The idea is the guard is now more or less in place, and just needs fine-tuning so it sits nicely over the tyre. Sideways movement is achieved by sliding the mounting point along the QR peg; further lateral movement and some diagonal/rotational movement is achieved by two bolts that attach the semi-circle of the guard to the guard’s struts.

In this assembly are two pairs of bevelled bolts for that rotational movement, like on rim brake shoes, and sets of spacers that can be removed or added to adjust how far the guard sits away from the tyre.

Like I said, the theory is good. Even better that because of this fitment, the guard can be removed in seconds, just undo the one 5mm bolt that holds the end of the guard to the QR peg and slide off. Perfect for preserving the clean lines of your nice bike in good weather.

The reality is somewhat different. First, a minor… the two minute installation was 2m15s as I had to go back to the tool chest to get another Allen key, as the system uses both 4mm and 5mm headed bolts. Why? Why not just make them one or the other? Like I said, minor, but unnecessary.

As for the rest? Well, I was able to mount the guards in their approximate position in just a few minutes. There is no front or rear (in theory, I’ll get to that), the fit universal, which helps things along, but the main thing is the mounting system is ingenious and lends itself to swift installation – even the removing of a few sets of spacers to make the guards sit closer to the tyre was easy.

No taking off callipers to fit fussy brackets, cutting off ends of metal struts or bending things. Well, two out of three…

…because the reality is the fit wasn’t universal, for whatever reason. One of the guards fitted front and rear, the other only rear – I just couldn’t make it sit inbound enough to go over the tyre without the bracket rubbing as well. And even when I did get the less-than-universal guard to fit the rear, I just couldn’t make it fit nice and square. The struts are all but unbendable too, being thick but hollow tubing. So that was that. Front guard looked great, rear not so much.

Roll, shake, rattle

If that was a long diatribe about fitment, I’ll keep this bit brief. The guards don’t rattle, but they do move, and in moving, they rub, which is annoying.

The problem is the join between the clamp around the QR peg (plastic) and the strut (metal). This join needs to be absolutely solid and dead square to work, that is, to stop the guard from moving and to allow it to fit neatly over the wheel. The reality is there is some form of movement, such that the guard can even be twisted by hand a few millimetres.

Even if this joint was rock solid, the other potential problem here is everything needs to be nice and square and bon-on – the outer edges of the dropout, the perpendicular angle of the end of the QR skewer exiting the dropout, the dishing of the wheels etc.

The reason is because there is not enough adjustment elsewhere in the Quickguard’s system to compensate for if that joint is anything less than square, due to the surface its mounted on (bike) or due to any tiny play or movement in the said joint (guard).

The problem here is one that plagues all mudguards – it’s why they’re so fiddly to fit. They must cope with all types of bikes and setups, whilst simultaneously making a heavy piece of metal or plastic remain suspended at a far distance from its anchor points via spindly pieces of metal or plastic. The whole idea is cursed with areas to go wrong.

Find out more: bicyclequickguard.co.uk

Thus, while I salute the admirable nature of the Quickguard, the reality is it needs more adjustment options and that crucial joint which bears all the load needs to be more solid, otherwise these will be forever doomed to move about at best, not sit nicely over tyres and even rub, at worst.

That said, I’m sure there will be a generation two, so keep an eye out. Because again, I can’t praise the theory enough. I am just left dreaming for that reality. Because I hate fitting mudguards, I hate looking at them on my bike. But dammit when they are installed right, they are the best things in the world.

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