If you’ve been reading Dirt lately you might have spotted a feature that we did on a great little company that we found called Rock Guardz. Basically the guy behind the company used to make carbon fairings for superbikes, and race them, but then he got into mountain bikes and he used his skills to make a carbon downtube protector for his bike. His mates then all wanted one, and then so did theirs, and from that hobby a business has grown. He now gets some of his Oswestry locals to help him make the custom guards as demand has grown so much, and now they’re even busier as they’ve developed this new range of front mudguards.
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Each one is made by hand and there are a few different models to fit a range of forks, and the number of compatible forks is growing all the time (we’ve found they fit to other forks pretty well anyway). They’re also offering a choice of three different lengths as tastes vary, but all of them will work with 26″, 650b, or 29″ wheels. You might think that because they’re made from thin carbon they’d be useless in a crash, but we’ve twisted one well and truly and it simply pinged back into shape. Impressive. They’re incredibly light too, 70g for the short, 95g for the medium, and 111g for the long. You have to add in the weight of the four zip ties which you use to secure the guards, but even so they’re still bloody light.
When we first received the mudguards we were a bit unsure about the look of them, particularly the longer ones, but as soon as we mounted them to a fork we thought they looked great. Fitting them is dead simple and quick too, just four zip ties. These do a great job of holding it securely in place and there are no rattles. Because the guards are so thin mud clearance looks decent too, and Brendan Fairclough certain didn’t seem to be having any problems with the one he was using at the recent Combe Sydenham mud fest.
The added bonus of the design is that the arms which stretch downwards also do a great job of stopping filth getting onto your stanchions and seals. This should help keep your forks running smoother for longer. Of course there are other mudguard options on the market but we think these could well become our favourite. We reckon they look a bit classier than the other offerings and considering that they’re hand made from carbon we reckon they’re very reasonably priced too, especially when you remember that they’re made right here in the UK. We always like to support home grown products, and even more so when they’re as good as these. We also really like the fact that you can chose between several lengths.
By the sounds of it Rock Guardz might well have some more stuff up their sleeves too like rear mudguards that are custom made to fit different frames (like their original downtube protectors), and they’re certainly open to ideas too. So, if there’s something that you’ve always fancied but haven’t ever been able to get hold of then I definitely reckon it’s worth getting in touch with them. As long as it’s made from carbon that is. A gem of a company if ever there was one, and it’s made even better by the fact that all the products are made by a great bunch of people in their sheds. Keeping it real indeed.