Mudguards vs road muck masochism

bicycle in rain with no mudguards

However hit-and-miss the weather over summer 2023, you can bank on a run of cold and damp cycle commutes this winter.

Rain needn’t stop play where cycling’s involved, but looking at the line-up in UK bike shops, you’d be forgiven for thinking mudguards are relics of a bygone era.

Perhaps we’re a nation of road muck masochists. Or purists unwilling to compromise our bikes’ clean lines. Maybe we’ve just forgotten that winter riding doesn’t have to go hand in hand with a damp and gritty backside.

Dutch cyclists think nothing of cycling in the rain…with mudguards

It’s not like there’s a shortage of mudguard styles to choose from. Blade-type designs are near-universal and easy to fit, but can’t compete with the performance of a traditional full-length set – preferably with mud flaps.

Win a set of mudguards

With key parts made from stainless steel the SKS Bluemels mudguard set looks perfect for cyclists who’d rather avoid dirty road spray. If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a set , simply leave us a message below. We’ll be in touch with the winner to ask about wheel and tyre size.

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.




  1. Darren C


    Mudguards are a must for any commuting bike, it’s not just rain puddles you need protection from, there are nastier things lying on the roads that sometimes you just can’t avoid!

    • Attila


      Yep. I have some stories about it.

  2. Gina


    Surely mudguards are some of the most obvious and useful things that normalise cycling as a means of transport not a leisure activity.

  3. Colin


    I’m very much in the camp of fitting mudguards to protect other riders and me!!

    • Johnny


      Yes please would be great as my guards are getting fairly battered

      • Yousaf Mirza


        An excellent give away! Much needed.

      • Torun


        No wait!…What mudguards..? What are mudguards?
        What do they do?
        Protection against spray, dirt, flying debris!
        OMG! Christmas is only 81 days away.

  4. John


    Mudguards are a winter must to protect you, your bike and everyone around you

  5. Pam J


    Quite apart from protecting other cyclists, I really don’t like having a soggy bottom. I would love a set of mudguards…an all round winner

    • Damian Connaughton


      One of my mudguards is broken, so this would be perfect for me!

  6. Jill M


    A must have for winter cycling

  7. Richard


    I’m just fixing up a bike at present that doesn’t have mudguards, or a rack. Yes please

  8. David Gray


    I can’t understand why people don’t have mudguards – I assume they leave the bike at home when it’s wet 🙁

  9. Pamela


    Mudguards would be great – put an end to the objections from my cycle buddy behind me!

  10. Boyd


    It would just be rude to ‘carry on mudguardless’

  11. Rob Lewis


    I already have mudguards, but they are getting very tatty, and a new set would look fantastic on my recently resprayed Roy Thame.

  12. Jamie J


    I know we live in strange times but “a damp and gritty backside” is still definitely a bad thing in my book…

  13. Bill


    I’ve always used mudguards and can’t understand why, unless racing, anyone wouldn’t? If lucky enough, a new pair would certainly come in handy…

  14. JohnB


    Hmmm, after getting a good splattering of mud on a few recent rides, I was just thinking that maybe I should get some mudguards. Would be perfect timing if I could win these!

  15. Martin Baker


    Much as I like a black stripe down my back, I’d rather have the mudguards please.

  16. Andy Brown


    Timely to win, as mine are battered !

  17. Clive


    As someone who rides on rural roads not much imagination needed to guess what I have to protect myself from.

  18. Chris Bromwich


    shouldn’t be called “mud” guards, its all the other debris that is kicked up and sticks when its wet!

  19. Peter Clark


    My current mudguards are beginning to fall apart so would be really grateful for a new set.

    • Mark B


      I much prefer a nice dry back!

  20. Jonathan Hunt


    Well, a set of mudguards is just essential in the UK. Not just for winter either!

  21. Julian Fargher


    Yes, please, so I don’t ruin all my jerseys!

  22. Alastair


    My Crud mudguards are wearing thin, it would be good to give these a try,



  23. Stephen


    I can’t believe that so many new bikes come without mudguards: They’re pretty much essential in the UK.

  24. Colin


    mud be gone

  25. Kelly Smith


    I need a new set !

  26. Les Gunbie


    Mud, mud, glorious mud …

  27. Andy


    Maybe it’s time to end years of biking mudguardless…

  28. Sam


    Just what I need, always have dirt splatter on me when I get to work. These would help keep that to minimum.

  29. Gillian


    Properly fitted mudguards are a must for any serious cyclist.

  30. Helen


    These would be perfect – my mudguards got stolen just last week 🙁

  31. Craig Young


    I’m no masochist, give me a quality set of guards any day please

  32. Mark


    SKS Bluemels mudguards are probably the best available. This is a lovely prize.

  33. Jennie Parsons


    Great stuff – I don’t like eating mud!

  34. Ema A


    Ready for winter!

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Your name and email are required.