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The Quickguard mudguard is a brilliant idea, but the reality is a bit of a letdown. The price is high, they're not as simple to set up as suggested, they're prone to twist and I got a lot of tyre rub.
Mudguards are, for me, a winter essential. I feel bad if I've not got a proper set on my bike, and I hate it when someone on the group ride comes out on a rainy day without them. But not all of my bikes have eyelets for proper guards, and I've had nightmares with clip-on versions. I'd also be wary of using clip-on guards on a bike with nice paint. We wouldn't want to mark it, would we?
So when we saw these pop up on Kickstarter, we were intrigued. The Quickguards are advertised as being full-length and 'designed not to mount directly to the bicycle frame'. This, the maker claims, makes them 'perfect for carbon road bikes or bikes without mudguard clearance and mounts'.
The concept is great and I hope that there is a second version in the pipeline, but this one is let down by a flimsy plastic joint at the base of the guard, which allows too much movement of the metal arms, causing the guard to twist. I also got lots of tyre rub and even had the rear guard fly off into a hedge, owing to the same problem. With a bit of work, this could be a very good option for those who don't want their mudguards to touch their paint. But this version is best avoided.
Fitting is simpler than clip-on and bolt-on guards, but it's not as simple as swapping out your quick-release skewers as Quickguard claims. Quick-release users will remove the standard nut and replace it with the Quickguard nut. This protrudes quite a way and doesn't look the tidiest, but it provides a good clamp area for the plastic joint and plenty of adjustment room.
Thru-axle users will need to screw the Quickguard axle in place of their standard thru-axle. (This comes with the disc brake version, which costs £44.99, or can be bought separately for £12.99.)
The trick is to close the quick release very tightly before installing the main part of the guard. If you don't, the guard will slip on rough ground. Then you can slide the main part of the guard onto the nut. You get the guard roughly positioned and then make finer adjustments with the two bevelled bolts.
You need to get the front edge of the guard positioned at roughly 11 o'clock for the front wheel and 12 o'clock for the rear.
Instructions are on the Quickguard website.
The whole process took a bit longer than the advertised minute but it was quicker than fitting clip-on guards. It was certainly easier to fit around disc brakes than conventional guards.
When they're correctly positioned the Quickguards are quiet and do an okay job of keeping wheel-spray from hitting you, and they deal with damp roads well, but they struggle to stay securely in place, especially when you ride over broken surfaces, and then they struggle to stop road spray. It's a disappointing performance given the price.
The big issue that the Quickguard has is the flex in the joint where the metal arms meet the clamp. This plastic part is simply not strong enough and allows the actual guard part to twist. This caused quite a bit of tyre rub and I even had the rear guard bounce down the road into a hedge.
With the arms being hollow metal tubes, I'm surprised that they're secured by a piece of plastic. The good news is that this is the one weakness in the system, so it should be easily remedied with an equally strong metal join.
I'd also say that the price is an issue. That £34.99 is for each QR guard. The thru-axle version is £44.99. That is significantly more expensive than good quality clip-on guards like the SKS Raceblade Pro at £49.99 for the set.
Thru-axle users will also need to know the thread pitch of their frameset. Currently, the Quickguard is only available with M12x1.5 for 12x100mm and 12x142mm axles. More options are promised, but you might want to check before purchasing.
I really hope that there will be a version two with a stronger joint to support the arms and the actual guard. The stability of the system needs to be improved, as do the options for thru-axle users. It's a brilliant concept but it needs a little refining.
Great idea but issues with stability lead to poor performance, and they're expensive compared to other guards
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Quickguard mudguard
Size tested: Fits up to 700 x 32mm tyres
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
According to its maker, "The Quickguard™ is the first bicycle mudguard uniquely designed not to mount directly to the bicycle frame, making it perfect for Carbon road bikes or bikes without mudguard clearance and mounts.
"Fitting your Quickguard™ is as simple as replacing your Quick Release nut with the supplied splined Quickguard™ nut, and in the case of Thru-Axles, you replace the whole axle with the Quickguard™ axle. Fitting and removal of the guard is made by a single 5mm hex bolt. Height adjustment to suit the tyre is made by adding or removing shims (supplied) and the guard can be centralised to the tyre by two 4mm hex bolts. This design means after the initial installation process, fitting and removal can be made in seconds."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Single sided, easily adjustable and incredibly rigid; The Quickguard™ has been designed to mount from only one side of the bike using a sturdy & lightweight welded aluminium stay.
The Quickguard™ is suitable for all 700c bikes with tyres up to 32c wide, this includes road, hybrid and gravel bikes.
One of the key features is the is the quick fitting and removal process of the guard. Once initially installed, the Quickguard™ can be mounted and removed in a matter of seconds, offering full coverage for the front or rear of your bike. Helping you stay warm and dry while riding solo or during group rides.
The unique design allows the guard to only touch your frame at the dropout, so no brackets, O-rings or pads to scratch your ride, making Quickguard™ ideal for carbon fibre frames or frames without mudguard eyelets.
Rattle free from the first installation, our unique gimbal washer system is used to perfectly align the height and angle of the guard to your frame and fork. Once installed at the dropout, simply remove enough washers to give you approximately 10mm of tyre clearance.
Disc Brake compatible with the use of Thru-axles (available separately) where required, for any installation or compatibility queries, please contact your local Quickguard™ dealer.
3M™ Black Reflective Decal for improved night visibility.
Supplied with a 2 Year warranty
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The movement of the Quickguard meant there was a lot of wheel rub and quite a bit of water got past.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They're pretty easy to fit on disc brake bikes.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The plastic joint is the root of many of the Quickguard's problems. Change that and the performance should be much better.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £34.99 each it's much higher than other guards. At £49.99 for the front and rear, SKS's Raceblade Pro is a much more suitable option right now.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? Not in its current form.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not in its current form.
Use this box to explain your overall score
I love the concept. The fitting is faster than clip-on mudguards, but the system is too wobbly thanks to the plastic joint. This leads to excessive tyre rub and quite a bit of wheel spray getting past the guard. The price is also too high.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.