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Topeak's TetraFender R1 & R2 Set of mudguards are straightforward to fit and remove, rattle-free in use and do a decent job of stopping you getting wet. They're not as effective as full-length guards, but for the occasional damp summer day, they're more than adequate.
If you don't want mudguards permanently fixed to your bike, these are well worth a look. They're held in place with Velcro straps and once they're set up they take just a couple of minutes to fit or remove from your bike.
They've proven completely stable, even when I've rattled them around by detouring along the odd dirt road, and they've kept my bum and legs dry on wet roads. They're shorter than permanently-mounted guards like SKS Longboards, so they don't control front wheel spray as well – and neither do they stop rear wheel spray from hitting following riders.
The rear guard stops at the seatstays so it doesn't shield your bike either, but these are limitations of many other quick-fit mudguards too.
Initial fitting takes a bit longer than any subsequent fits, but it's simple enough. You back off all the screws so the struts and clamps can conform to your bike, strap the fork or stay attachments lightly into place, then shuffle everything around so the guards sit a sensible distance from your tyres. Small, thin Velcro straps hold the front of each guard in place against your frame or fork.
Next you just pull the straps tight and do up all the various screws. The main straps have a screw to tighten them, so you don't have to reef them down by hand, just get them initially snug.
The instructions don't help much. Topeak has produced one sheet to cover both this model and the TetraFender G1 & G2 set for gravel bikes, and the layout is confusing.
The Velcro straps that hold the front of each guard are fiddly, too. Had I been mounting the TetraFenders to one of my own bikes I'd have protected the frame with helicopter tape and used zip ties.
The main mounts, with their adjustment screws, are cleverly done. You get a significantly more secure mount with this design than by the more usual way of just pulling the straps as tight as you can. I'm tempted to replace them with thumb screws so they can be fitted and removed without tools, though.
The rear guard is in two parts, held together with a screw and a nyloc nut.
You can remove the rear section if the weather's not actually wet or, as Topeak puts it, fit the 'Long fender for rainy and muddy rides. Short fender for dry mud and dusty conditions.' I was going to snark about how often that happens in the UK, but right now that's exactly the weather. I've left the extra bits on the TetraFenders anyway as I'm sure normal weather service will soon be resumed.
SKS's various RaceBlade models are probably the most popular quick-fit mudguards available. The Raceblade Longs are my favourite, but they don't fit bikes with through axles; you need old-school quick releases. SKS Raceblade Pro XLs beat the TetraFenders for length, and their strap-on mounts are very quick to use, albeit not quite as stable as Topeak's.
The Crud Roadracer MK3 mudguards are significantly cheaper and lighter at an RRP of £44.99, and they're usually available for a lot less too. The SKS RaceBlade Pro and the larger Pro XL version are supposed to be £50.99, but are also always cheaper than that. That does make £67 for the TetraFenders look rather steep, and even with a similar discount to the others they'll cost more.
The strongest feature of these guards is the very solid mounting. If rattly mudguards annoy you, these are a great choice. Otherwise, they provide decent but not stellar control of road spray, and they're very easy to fit and remove.
These are for mostly fair-weather riders who want a bit of insurance against damp days. Serious rain gods and goddesses will have full-length guards, but if you prefer more clement weather, you should consider adding a set of these to the kit collection.
Easy to use and fairly effective, but a bit expensive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak TetraFender R1 & 2 Set
Size tested: F 41 x 21 x 11cm, R 63 x 27.5 x 11cm
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're quick-fit mudguards to help stop you from getting soaked when it rains.
Compatible with all frame materials and finishes.
The perfect quick-mount, dual color front fender that attaches to road 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.
The perfect quick-mount, dual color rear fender that attaches to road 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?
R1: Two tone injected high impact resistant plastic with engineering grade polymer struts
R2: Two tone injected high impact resistant plastic with engineering grade polymer / metal struts
R1R2: Angle adjustable
R2: Adjustable fender length
R1: 41 x 21 x 11 cm / 16.1" x 8.3" x 4.3"
R2: 63 x 27.5 x 11 cm / 24.8" x 10.8" x 4.3"
R1R2: 3M reflective decals
R2: Short and long fender sizes
R1: Fork attachment with hook and loop straps
R2: Seatstays with hook and loop straps
Disc brake compatible frames only
Compatible with all frame materials and finishes
R1: Front fork width within 55 - 85mm, 700c wheel sizes with tire width up to 25 - 32mm
R2: Seatstays width within 55-85mm, 700c wheel sizes with tire width up to 25 - 32mm
R1: 173 g
R2: 319 g
Decent but not amazing wet protection, and especially poor if you're a following rider.
They're on the heavy side for quick-fit guards; even some full-length guards are lighter.
A bit on the spendy side.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Well; they kept my bum and feet fairly dry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Having a dry bum and feet.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Spraying people behind me.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Crud Roadracer Mk3s are significantly cheaper and lighter at an RRP of £39.99, and they're usually available for a lot less too. The SKS RaceBlade Pro & Pro XLs are supposed to be £51, but are also always cheaper than that. That does make £67 for the TetraFenders look rather steep.
Did you enjoy using the product? Come on, they're mudguards
Would you consider buying the product? No, I'd go for something longer
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd suggest they go for something longer
Use this box to explain your overall score
Performance decent; price a bit steep. A solid but unremarkable 7/10.
About the tester
I usually ride: Scapin Style My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb,
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.