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review

Topeak TetraFender G1 & 2 Set

7
£66.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Good looking, generous mudguards, let down by a few reliability issues
Modular for full or short coverage
Generous length and width – up to 50mm tyres
Quick-ish to fit and quicker to remove
Parts available
Arms might snap under impact
Limited adjustability
No tape included
Cinch straps could be stronger
Weight: 
537g

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The Topeak Tetrafender G1 & G2 Set is a decent way to add splatter protection to your gravel bike, over tyres up to 50mm (2in) wide. With adjustable length, fittings and generous coverage, along with tidy looks, they're a good option between ultralight-removable and fully-fitted fenders. There are a few concerns regarding impact-resistance and longevity, mind.

For more options, check out our guide to the best mudguards.

> Buy now: Topeak Tetrafender G1 & G2 Set for £50.36 from Alpinetrek

Two truisms permeate cycling: bikes almost always look better without mudguards, and getting wet, filthy or both is hardly ever fun. Thus the age-old argument runs on – when and how to use mudguards ('fenders' to some), and what is easy or even possible to fit to your bike if it's lacking dedicated mounting options like dropout or seatstay and fork bosses.

Which sets the context for the Tetrafender G1 & 2 set. A temporary guard is all about the mounting, and Topeak has recycled the design of its rock-solid quick-mount strap system as used to hold serious loads on its Tetrarack

2023 Topeak Tetrafender G1 & G2 set - rear mount closeup 2.JPG

As with anything going on your frame, you're advised to tape under the mounting points with at least electrical tape to prevent fine grit wearing away at the finish over time. Topeak doesn't include any clear tape in the set, so you might want to procure some from 3M or the like if you want your finish to remain pristine.

Clearance

The G2 set requires forks from 70-100mm wide as measured centre-to-centre of the fork legs looking end on – ie through the fork. At the rear they require the same 70-100mm centre-to-centre stay width at the point 200mm-ish down the stay from the bridge, and a clean seatstay for that same 200mm distance. Where your rear brake hose or shifter cable bosses are located will dictate this, so there's a bit of wiggle room – but I make the required clearance distance more like 230mm.

Which does then beg the follow-on question of 'is a seatstay bridge required?'. I think not – as the front of the rear guard is secured with generously-long Velcro straps that would work just as well going around the stay as over a bridge.

Fitting

The rear mounts are two-piece affairs that can be slid apart, allowing the guard to function with two lengths – a short one might be good for protecting a dropper post, your shorts and saddle, or a full-length second option.

2023 Topeak Tetrafender G1 & G2 set - over 700C tyre.JPG

The two halves of the rear guard are secured with a Nyloc nut and bolt. The front half holds the main body of the guard, and has a two-stage securing mechanism where the Velcro strap is pulled tight, then the 'strap tensioner' block pulls it all really tight using the provided 2.5mm hex key.

With practice you can get things plenty secure just pulling the Velcro strap tight, and for removal it's obviously very fast. The lower half of the mount that holds the rear of the guard out from the tyre is purely a Velcro cinch.

2023 Topeak Tetrafender G1 & G2 set - rear mounts closeup.JPG

The Velcro straps that wrap around the mount have a rectangular captive metal hoop at one end, which attaches over a hook on the inner side of the mount. The other end of the strap wraps around the fork leg or seatstay, loops through the other side of the tensioning block, and then Velcros against itself.

I had one of these straps fail, when the folded-over Velcro strap holding the captive hoop separated. Unlike the solid design on the Tetrarack, the Tetrafender's straps are only welded in some way and not stitched. This seems to me a design flaw and Topeak really shouldn't be skimping on this sort of fixing for want of a few seconds' stitching. For nearly £70 you'd expect a higher quality of construction, particularly for a system where there's a mechanism specifically designed to pull the strap beyond finger-tight.

Adjustability

You get a minimal amount of adjustability, to get the profile of the guard matching the tyre as close as possible, and here I feel Topeak could also have done better. The company does state that the Tetrafender is 'not suitable to mount on frames with unique geometries', such as significantly dropped seatstays that attach a ways down the seat tube.

2023 Topeak Tetrafender G1 & G2 set - in the wild.JPG

The main arms between the mount and guard don't pivot up and down at the mount, but do angle in-out, to accommodate different width stays or fork.

There's a weak point in this interface, where the arm narrows as it enters the mount. I managed to snap both arms through a bit of misguided navigation through a doorway and down some steps while the bike was balanced on the rear wheel, when the rear of the mudguard was impacted forwards. Topeak provided a replacement set quick enough, and said it hadn't seen any issues reported elsewhere, but again for £66.99 this is a disappointment, and I doubt the arms would survive a significant off-road impact.

The front of the rear guard is secured with two thin and narrow double-sided Velcro straps, which aren't there to support weight, rather to stop rattle. There's a series of holes you can choose from to get the position just right.

2023 Topeak Tetrafender G1 & G2 set - rear closeup.JPG

The front guard mounts the same, but has only the hex-keyed cinch strap and Velcro to wrap around the shoulders of your fork. I couldn't get the front of the guard through my Sonder Camino V3 carbon fork along with a 50mm 700C tyre, but a 55mm 650B wheelset afforded plenty of clearance.

2023 Topeak Tetrafender G1 & G2 set - Front.JPG

If you're running fork cages or have bosses in place, you might need to play with the location. As with the rear, there's a minimum amount of wiggle room up and down, on account of the arm not having any up-down angle adjustment at the mount end.

Once all fitted and fettled, the Tetrafender set stays solid and silent over the roughest terrain. I'd argue as quick-fit mudguards go they are the best-looking option around, and the 50mm tyre coverage should suit most all gravel bike uses. Over a 650B wheelset there's a ton of clearance for mud, leaves, sticks and so on.

2023 Topeak Tetrafender G1 & G2 set - front on.JPG

Topeak includes four thin reflective stripes to stick to the sides of the guards, improving side-on visibility at night.

Value

In terms of coverage, they're excellent – possibly the widest quick-fit guards on the market. At £66.99 they are at the top end of the price spectrum, though – which would be OK if the quality was higher. 

For many years the go-to temporary mudguard has been the excellent SKS Raceblade Pro XL which I tested back in 2020 and have happily used for tens of thousands of miles – but that was always limited to about 30mm of tyre. They're £55 a set now.

Testing the mountain bike-aimed SKS VeloFlexx mudguard set in 2021, I found it to be an excellent option for a gravel bike when hacked a bit – but it is predicated on a significant amount of fork and seatstay clearance to work. It's £41.99.

Probably the main contender for a go-to quick-fit gravel bike mudguard would be the SKS Speedrocker, as tested by John in 2019 – but oh my eyes, and the comments in the article from owners aren't that flattering. It's also limited to 40mm max, which is nowadays on the stingy side of wider-is-better – but then, it's £51.99.

Conclusion

All in all, I liked the Tetrafender G1 & G2 set. They fit securely, stay put solidly and look good, covering pretty wide tyres. The only letdowns are the questionable durability of the arms and straps, which are issues you may never strike or should be sorted quickly by customer service. Quick-fit mudguards are inherent compromises in looks and durability over fixed mudguards, and having lived with the Tetrafenders for a few mucky months, I would keep them at the front of my go-to wet-weather pile of kit.

Verdict

Good looking, generous mudguards, let down by a few reliability issues

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Topeak TetraFender G1 & 2 Set

Size tested: 650-700c wheel sizes with tyre width 32 - 50mm

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?

They are for gravel or road bikes needing quick-fit full-coverage over wide tyres.

Topeak says:

DESCRIPTION:

Compatible with all frame materials and finishes.

TETRAFENDER G1:

The perfect quick-mount, dual color front fender that attaches to gravel bike forks with hook and loop straps easily and securely. Adjustable struts provide a closer fit to the tire and excellent mud / spray protection while the highly polished underside helps prevent dirt buildup and aids in cleaning. Included 3M reflective decals provide safety at night.

TETRAFENDER G2:

The perfect quick-mount, dual color rear fender that attaches to gravel bike frames with hook and loop straps easily and securely. Adjustable front struts provide a closer fit to the tire and excellent mud / spray protection. Unique two-piece, dual tone design provides short or longer fender usage options for a precise fit with your bike. A highly polished underside helps prevent dirt buildup and aids in cleaning. Included 3M reflective decals provide safety at night.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Topeak:

MATERIAL

G1: Two tone injected high impact resistant plastic with engineering grade polymer struts

G2: Two tone injected high impact resistant plastic with engineering grade polymer / metal struts

ATTACHMENTS

G1: Fork attachment with hook and loop straps

G2: Seatstays with hook and loop straps

ADJUSTMENT

G1G2: Angle adjustable

G2: Adjustable fender length

COMPATIBILITY

Disc brake compatible frames only

Compatible with all frame materials and finishes

G1: Front fork width within 70 - 100mm, 650-700c wheel sizes with tire width up to 32 - 50mm

G2: Seatstays width within 70 - 100mm, 650-700c wheel sizes with tire width up to 32 - 50mm

SIZE

G1: 51.4 x 16.8 x 12.2 cm / 20.2" x 6.6" x 4.8"

G2: 64.5 x 27.5 x 12.2 cm / 25.4" x 10.8" x 4.8"

WEIGHT

G1: 194 g G2: 340 g

ADDED FEATURE

G1G2: 3M reflective decals G2: Short and long fender sizes

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
5/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

If nothing breaks, the performance is cracking.

Rate the product for durability:
 
5/10

My major bugbear here – Topeak needs to go back to the drawing board on a couple of components.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10

537g for full-ish quick-fit coverage is 200g-ish heavier than the SKS Speedrockers, but still OK.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

More expensive than rivals, and the value is impacted if you suffer any reliability issues.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Once in place, the coverage is very good – clean, dry bum and dry-ish feet is always better than the alternative.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The coverage.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The broken bits.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

They are at the top end of the price spectrum, which would be OK if the quality was higher. In terms of coverage, they're excellent – possibly the widest quick-fit guards on the market.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes-ish

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but with caveats.

Use this box to explain your overall score

If I'd not had the issues with snapped stays and strap, I'd happily give another point or two here. If they don't suffer any issues, the design, stability and coverage are excellent.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 183cm  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe  My best bike is: Nah bro that's it

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L

Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.

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1 comments

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huntswheelers | 10 months ago
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Speedrockers for me and my pals on 42's 

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