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I am about to buy mudguards for my 29" MTB bike. I will only use them while commuting on wet surface. I considered SKS Shockblade and XBlade set, but noticed they are attached to steering tube and seat post in comparison to others being attached to suspension fork arch and seat stays. The latter attachment allows mudguards to stick close to the tires. Is there any practical difference between mudguards attachment points? For me it looks like closer attachment to tire is better solution? No?

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On any bike, the higher the mudguard, the smaller an "angle" is protected. Thus, the more road water/mud misses the guard and sprays out radially.

Extreme example - I have an "ass saver" on the road bike but it is at the level of the saddle. So any real water and the underside of my legs still gets wet.

The closer to the tyre, the wider the guard's protection is. Risk is, too close and debris can wedge in there and slow you down or lock the wheel completely. For road, 5-10mm space is perfect. For mud/etc perhaps an inch or so.

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The practical differences are…

Fork arch based mudguards that attach with zip ties are very light and cheap but are more vulnerable to clearance issues.

Practically this means when riding on sticky flavours of mud that it’s possible to get your wheel completely locked up with a layer of mud between the guard and tread that will not clear without removing the wheel.

Fork arch based guards also generally have seal guards that reduce the amount of mud that reaches the legs and wiper seals.

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Mudguards that attach to the steerer with a compression plug need to be high quality products as the budget versions have a tendency to flop around and fall out. They don’t provide any protection for your fork legs.

Rear guards that attach to the seat post are good at keeping gunk off your back and rear but are not always feasible as they may not work with a dropper. They also can rub the wheel if you need it to work with full suspension. To clear a fully compressed rear wheel the guard needs to sit very high above the wheel which reduces the effectiveness.

From personal experience if you can use a post mounted guard they work really well but again need to be quality versions to prevent breakage and floppyness.

In summary, for your use of commuting you might find that ziptie versions are sufficient and their price is generally low enough (free if you make your own) to make it a suck it and see scenario.

For seatpost/steerer versions you’ll get what you pay for.

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  • E.g., Mughugger rear fenders attach to the rear swing arm and so they move with the rear wheel through its travel. So that's nice. But the main point of this comment is to remind readers (not the author) that if your fenders are clogging up with mud, turn around and don't further damage the trails :)
    – Paul H
    Feb 27 at 17:10

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