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REVIEWED

RRP ProGuard Bolt On Fender Review

Words AJ Barlas
Photos AJ Barlas
Date Jun 24, 2020

Observant riders will have noticed a couple of threaded holes on the backside of their fork brace. For what seems like forever, Fox forks have included them but with nothing to mount there, they left many riders puzzled. SR Suntour and DVO also manufacture their lowers with threaded holes but include fenders with your purchase for some models, while Öhlins, like Fox, gives you holes but no mud guard. Other than the Syncros Trail Fender, which only worked with some Fox forks, there were few products making use of these odd threaded inserts.

That changed late in 2019 when RRP released the Pro Guard Bolt On fender. Available in two sizes, the fender can be – you guessed it – bolted to the fork brace, removing any need for zip ties. Each fender also includes a couple of small adhesive-backed rubber pieces that mount to a specific location and reduce wear on fork lowers.

Highlights

  • Two sizes available: Standard and Mini
  • Height adjustable by 6mm
  • Angle adjustable for an accurate fit
  • A small lip at the front deflects spray
  • Long rear with raised lip effectively extends coverage from wheel debris
  • Seal Shield protects fork seals from the elements
  • Minimum fork offset of 44mm
  • Works with 26”, 27.5” and 29” wheel sizes
  • Tires up to 3 inches are said to work with it (Tested with a range of 2.5-inch tires from Maxxis and WTB)
  • Includes mounting hardware for Fox, Marzocchi (2017 & later), Öhlins and SR Suntour forks
  • Two adhesive rubber pads protect the fork lowers from the fender
  • Sticker recess for riders who want custom designs (available separately or make your own)
  • MSRP: 47 USD / 61.99 CAD
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RRP have a series of solid zip-tie fenders but their latest is catching all of the attention lately.

Details

With most MarshGuard-style fenders, there’s not much to talk about but this bolt-on fender changes that. RRP has produced two sizes of their ProGuard Bolt On fender and labels them Standard and Mini, however, their chosen nomenclature is quite misleading. The Standard ProGuard Bolt On offers coverage more aligned with its large zip-tied sibling, the ProGuard Max Protection fender. It's a beast of a fender capable of keeping water and muck away from your face in the most hideous conditions. The Standard measures roughly 80mm shorter than the zip-tied Max Protection fender but on the trail, I found them both to offer similar coverage. A great thing for those super soggy days.

With the Standard being the behemoth, the Mini’s size is what we are more typically used to seeing on bikes but even then, it offers more protection than many. With a length of 494mm, the Mini provides ample coverage and more than any of the simple zip tied fenders floating around. In recent years there’s been a surge in fender options offering more coverage and two notable names include Muddhugger and Mucky Nutz; but neither bolts to your crown.

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The Standard is large and offers heaps of protection. It's best when conditions are biblical out.

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The Mini is still considerably larger than most typical fenders and offers ample coverage for most riding scenarios.

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Three mounting options are covered by the slots visible here.

Currently, three mounting options offered for the Bolt On fenders cover forks from Fox, Öhlins and SR Suntour. They're working on solutions for DVO, X-Fusion and some Fox 40 forks as well. RockShox fork owners are stuck with zip-tie fender solutions for the time being but if RS were to begin implementing threaded holes in their fork braces, you can bet RRP would begin work on a solution.

Included in the kit are the different bolts needed for the different forks; Fox uses two M3 bolts, Öhlins use three M4 bolts and SR Suntour use a single M6. They’re packaged and labelled individually to make things easy and RRP even includes a couple of Allen keys to use. Three tilt brackets adjust the level of the fender so that achieving adequate clearance between the tire, front and rear of the fender can be achieved. The previously mentioned adhesive-backed rubber guards help make fitment a breeze once installed to the marked locations on the fender. Pinch the sides together, move the fender into position, gently resting the mounting bracket against the fork brace, and release. The fender will be held in place in most situations, allowing you to grab a bolt and gently thread it into the brace.

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RRP include three of these tilt brackets with the mudguards. I needed to use this bracket for a slight tilt forward.

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The tilt brackets mount into slots in the mudguard, and are then sandwiched in place between this and the fork brace.

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The tilt shim mounted in between the mudguard and the fork.

Try & Try Again to Get Dirty

The ProGuard Bolt Ons arrived once the wet season in Coastal B.C. had been in swing for a while, making the Standard the smart choice initially. Before mounting it, I'd been using the ProGuard Max Protection, making a direct comparison simpler. During sloppy, wet days on the bike, the Standard prevented moisture and grit finding its way to my face and often stopped much of it making it up past my waist. Different riding positions could affect the amount of coverage below the neck but above that, the muck and moisture become a distant memory – at least until stopping to take a look at your bike and surroundings. During the most biblical rainstorms, the Standard keeps heaps of the moisture and muck down around the wheel, and that makes the riding in such conditions far more enjoyable.

I kept the Standard on the bike until an early spring dry spell when I switched for the Mini. The swap was easy but be careful; the threads in the fork brace can be stripped by even moderate ham-fisting and that could be a bad scene. Cleaning threads thoroughly will also help preserve your threads. The ProGuard Bolt Ons were easy to mount to the Öhlins RXF36 m.2 that they spent the last six months on but I had taped the brace when the fork was new, preventing any dirt getting in any of the grooves to begin with.

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There's plenty of clearance available and I never had a problem with the mud around the Sea to Sky region.

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As with any mudguard, rocks and debris can be heard getting caught under it from time to time.

The combo of laziness and our unpredictable coastal climate has me leave fenders on year round. I also realized the fender keeps some rocks and debris down and away preserving fork seals, keeping them fresher for longer, especially when riding in sandy, gritty locations like the Whistler Bike Park or Pemberton.

The Mini is the perfect all-rounder for me but if I need a bigger fender, the swap takes only takes minutes. It's quicker than zip ties, there's no mess and nothing disposable required.

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The 'flick' at the rear of the ProGuards extends the coverage a little more than if it were to stop without.

These aren’t the cheapest fenders available but there's heaps more to them so the ~$10–$20 cost difference is warranted. North American readers can also save some money with the fenders currently on sale for 42 USD / 54.99 CAD (down from 47 USD / 61.99 CAD).

Both fenders do a bang-up job on the trails but for North American readers, RRP distributor, Reciprocators has an added feel-good purchase bonus. They’re donating money from every sale to local mountain bike associations – 10% of every order to be exact. Contact your local trail/mtb association to see if they're setup for the donations and if they aren’t, it’s probably worth suggesting they do so.

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With no zip-ties, the mounted ProGuard Bolt On looks as clean and tidy as a mudguard can get. The rubber pieces help with attachment, keep the mudguard quiet and prevent it from damaging the paint on your fork.

Room For Improvement?

Both fenders have worked sensationally but the length of the Standard does bring about a minor complaint. During big compressions, say at the bottom of a steep roll or during a couple of solid consecutive hits, the fender can flex enough for the rear to connect with the tire. I’ve never found it to be enough of a connection to slow the wheel like a quick dab of front brake but it can be unnerving when it happens in already challenging sections of trail. The first time it happened I thought maybe the bolts weren’t fastened correctly but that proved not to be the case. In drier conditions, when speeds can increase and more aggressive riding comes into play, this happens more often. The Mini never exhibited this trait.

Verdict

This is another one of those, “why didn’t they think of that sooner” scenarios and I’m still confused why most suspension manufacturers didn’t a) work with someone to make one for their product or b) make one themselves. Designing suspension is the focus but why not make use of what’s already available to provide more for your customers?

Both fenders perform great and have mostly been set and forget items. Aside from the occasional extra flex of the Standard, they go unnoticed but you'll make note of the clear vision they provide.

More on the RRP ProGuard Bolt On fenders is available on the RRP website and for North American readers, head to Reciprocators for more on the trail donation.

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Comments

momjijimike
+4 AJ Barlas Pete Roggeman Vik Banerjee Tjaard Breeuwer
momjijimike  - June 23, 2020, 11:24 p.m.

Hi  AJ Barlas,

same setup - Öhlins M.2 Coil, Assegai DD Maxxgrip and Proguard "mini" 😜

I used to run the Syncros fender(a little bit to small, also don't cover the fork sealings) on my Fox 36, and also the normal Mudgurad(nice but I don't like zip's) for many years. 

I can confirm 1:1 your review. I like the Proguard and does everything better that the other two. In the wet everything is fine, a lot of space for little stones and little fir cones. The only thing - the seals still get some dust, may they should increase the "sides nose" a little bit 😉

It gets my recommendation too.

Greetings from Tyrol,

Mike

Reply

Vikb
+1 Pete Roggeman
Vik Banerjee  - June 24, 2020, 6:19 a.m.

Looks great. I have all SRAM forks and no mounting holes sadly. :-(

I've got a nice ziptie RRP fender ready for my new build and a Mudhugger for the rear. I just leave my fenders on all year round. There always seems to some unplanned rain and hence mud on summer rides. Not to mention creek crossings once the alpine opens up.

I'll look forward to the day I can bolt on my front fender!

Reply

mats
0
mats  - June 24, 2020, 7:05 a.m.

AJ, are these compatible with non-boost forks? Thanks for the review!

Reply

andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - June 24, 2020, 8:57 a.m.

Pretty sure they are.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - June 24, 2020, 1:22 p.m.

Yep, they work with standard and boost Fox forks. It isn't clear if that transfers to other manufacturers though.

Reply

RapidRacerProducts
+2 AJ Barlas Mammal
RapidRacerProducts  - June 25, 2020, 10:30 a.m.

Yes 👍

Reply

Taz123
0
Taz123  - June 24, 2020, 8:44 a.m.

Waiting for the DVO solution :) the bolt-on one included in the fork is just too short.

Reply

WalrusRider
0
WalrusRider  - June 24, 2020, 10:32 a.m.

Same! I like that my fork came with an integrated mud guard but it hardly stops any mud from flying in my face.

Reply

Pnwpedal
0
Pnwpedal  - June 24, 2020, 10:41 a.m.

I got excited for this as the bolt-on Syncros fender I have on my 36 now is pretty minimal, but apparently these don't work with the new 37mm offset forks on the market. Lame.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - June 24, 2020, 1:16 p.m.

Yeah, I'm trying to understand what it is about the shorter offset that has RRP not include it as a fit option. I'll see what I can find out.

Reply

RapidRacerProducts
+1 AJ Barlas
RapidRacerProducts  - June 25, 2020, 10:41 a.m.

On the 37mm Fox forks we’ve tested the top crown can actually hit the main bracket on the mudguard on the way down well before bottoming, it’s also been tested on many prototype forks with even less offset with similar results.

It’s likely to be less about the offset than the placement of the fork brace over the tyre on these forks, but the 44mm min stated is a ‘catchall’ just to be safe.  If you have a ProGuard bolt on one or a friend does you MAY find it just misses but many don’t.

NB: For this same clearance reason we’re also struggling with adapter brackets for other forks for DVO, X-Fusion, Cane Creek etc.

[if the top crown taps the main part of the mudguard on bottom out that should be fine, just not the bracket]

Hope that helps explain a bit.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - June 26, 2020, 7:48 a.m.

Thanks for the info RRP!

Reply

mammal
+1 AJ Barlas
Mammal  - June 24, 2020, 10:48 a.m.

I have the old Max Protection version of the Proguard (made for zip tie attachment). I've threaded re-usable cable ties (the velcro-like kind) into the zip-tie slots of the fender, so it can be quickly mounted between different bikes. It takes all of a minute to swap between my 27.5 hard tail, and my 29er trail bike. Once you get used to them, you can cinch them quite tight and securely. So anyone who want's one of these fenders, and doesn't have the threaded mount locations, it's still possible to have a convenient option.

As for the fender itself, they're the cat's ass. I've had mine for over a year now, and have used it everywhere from WBP (Older Boxxer) to general aggressive trail riding (DVO Diamond), to faffing around on my hard tail ('14 Fox 34). It's sooooo nice to not worry about crap in your eyes or continuously cleaning your goggles. I got caught in a proper North Van squall yesterday, just as I began my ride up No Quarter on Fromme. Didn't even care, and not a drop of spray or particle of grit in my eyes for the entire ride.

The ties I use for quick attachement:

https://www.amazon.ca/VELCRO-Brand-Reusable-Fastening-Organizing/dp/B001E1Y5O6/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=cable+ties&qid=1593020899&sr=8-7

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 Mammal
AJ Barlas  - June 24, 2020, 1:15 p.m.

Those fasteners look good, Mammal. I'm not gonna lie though, I'm surprised they hold solid but glad to hear there's a solution like that which works on the zip-tie version.

Reply

mammal
+1 AJ Barlas
Mammal  - June 24, 2020, 2:37 p.m.

Believe me, I was skeptical, and ordered the ties anyway because they're super handy for other stuff too.

They work great, even when things get super muddy and crusty. I think I've taken a brush to one strap, at one time, because it was a bit more caked with mud than usual. Seriously, they hold nice, and don't really peel back or anything.

Reply

Endur-Bro
+1 AJ Barlas
Endur-Bro  - June 24, 2020, 11:39 a.m.

Reckon I’ll order a pair of minis. Hoping to find out of my trail org is listed first.

Reply

OLDF150
+1 AJ Barlas
Kerry Williams  - June 25, 2020, 12:35 p.m.

I bought one of the Standard fenders in March and it works great. On top of that, the little details for mounting are well thought out and way better than zip ties.  Everyone thinks they're just for mud, but you're right in that they also keep sizeable rocks from hitting my downtube and I'm grateful for that as well.  I'd buy another one without hesitation.

Reply

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