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Sometimes all you want is a handy, basic lightweight mudguard that'll protect your back and butt from the worst of the road filth, rather than a full-on fitted guard. The RideGuard Gaiter is designed for road and gravel bikes, is simple to use, light, effective, inexpensive and it gets bonus points for being made from recycled plastic.
Wet weather riding can be a stain in the backside but full mudguards are not always what's wanted or needed, particularly as spring starts to roll round. The lightweight, low-profile design of a guard that fits to the underside of the saddle rails can be an easy solution to the problem of water and mud spraying off the wheel and up your back, and won't break the bank or cause the extra faff.
RideGuard is a British company, operating from Bristol, and its USP is that its cool-looking mudguards are made from 100% recycled plastic waste. The mudguards are even recyclable afterwards too. RideGuard also supplies the guard with a re-usable zip-tie, so you can take the guard off and refit as many times as you wish, and not create any waste by throwing away single use zip-ties.
The Gaiter is designed for gravel and road bikes with tyres of between 23mm and 40mm, but the company does offer wider designs for chunkier tyres too. Currently available in six designs, there's something to suit most tastes.
In terms of what you get for your £9, it's a shaped piece of recycled plastic with two ready-to-bend seams and a reusable zip-tie to secure the guard once positioned under the saddle.
It's easy to fit, although keeping it in position successfully while tightening the zip-tie required a bit of dexterity. Once in place, though, it felt secure.
The design extends further back than many similar guards, making for a bit of extra protection. Out on the road, it did a pretty good job of keeping my backside from getting wet and muddy, and stopped that tell-tale track of grot up the back of my kit that's so difficult to wash out. It's not a replacement for a full mudguard, and you'd probably still get dark looks from other cyclists on a group ride, but for antisocial riders like me it does a great job as a quick fix for the wettest months.
The Gaiter is around the same price as the Ass Saver Regular that does a similar job, and the Zefal Shield S10, but a bit pricier than the SKS S-Guard Rear Mudguard at £7.99. Personally, I would be happy to pay the extra £2 for the RideGuard being a British made product with funky designs and high environmental credentials.
If you're after a quick fix to a soggy bottom, then the RideGuard Gaiter is a cost-effective option with plenty to recommend it.
Well-designed and effective wet weather protection at a good price with a nice positive environmental story
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road.cc test report
Make and model: RideGuard Gaiter
Size tested: Length 290mm, width 87mm
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?
It's designed for road and gravel bikes with tyres of between 23mm and 40mm.
Rideguard says, 'Road and Gravel Bike, Saddle Clip On Mudguard.
'Quick and easy to install, the Gaiter fits securely under your saddle to give you instant protection from rear wheel spray and dirt.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rideguard lists these details:
* Quick and easy to install, includes fitting instructions.
* Secure fit, includes reusable zip tie.
* Fits all standard rail saddles and is compatible with saddle bags.
* Designed and made in Bristol, UK.
* Weight 15g. Length 290mm, width 87mm (at its widest), 36mm (at its narrowest).
* Made from 100% recycled post industrial plastic waste.
* 100% Recyclable.
Optimum performance for tyres between 23c-40c.
Always pre-fold your Gaiter prior to fitting. The score lines are engineered to lock your Gaiter in place, keep it centered, and stiff whilst riding.
Tough, light and with nice designs (where applicable).
For what it's designed for, it did a great job. It was straightforward to fit and protected from the worst of the road filth.
There isn't really anything to go wrong. Replacement tie-wraps make removal and re-fitting easy.
It's around the same price as rivals, and a couple of quid more than the SKS alternative, but worth it for an effective, British-made product with good environmental credentials.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cool designs, environmentally friendly, UK made, inexpensive, easy to fit...
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really, as long as you're not expecting full mudguard protection.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's around the same price as the Ass Saver Regular that does a similar job, and the Zefal Shield S10, but a bit pricier than the SKS S-Guard Rear Mudguard at £7.99. Personally, I would be happy to pay the extra £2 for a British made product with funky designs and environmental credentials.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Absolutely
Use this box to explain your overall score
A well-designed, attractive and effective quick-fit solution to wet weather riding issues. It won't do much to protect your fellow riders if riding in a group, but it does a good job of keeping your bum from getting wet. Nice ethics too, and a British company.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.