Musguard rollable bike fenders now protect on the filthiest rides
Cyclists can ride around for weeks in the summer without ever needing fenders or mudguards, but that one ride they need them, they really need them. In 2013, Slovenian startup Musguard bridged the divide with a set of ultra-packable mudguards that roll right around the bike's tubes for easy transport – out of the way on a clear day, eating up road spray within seconds when the going gets sloppy. Now, Musguard has introduced the Omni, a more versatile rollable mudguard ready for dirtier terrain like gravel and singletrack.
Back when the Musguard team was developing its original rollable mudguards between 2008 and 2013, the hipster ruled the city (or at least trendy parts of it), and his fixed-gear bike ruled the bike lane. So Musguard aimed its product at city single-speeders. Urban commuters and riders were an obvious target because rapid-deploy mudguards could mean the difference between showing up to work sopping in street sludge or rolling in clean and dry – a solid value proposition for dedicated bike commuters.
While not necessarily dead, the fixie and single speed craze isn't quite what it was back then, and cyclists have largely moved on to the next shiny things: gravel riding and mullet mountain bikes are a couple that come to mind. Musguard figures a new breed of mudguard is in order.
The original Musguard was designed specifically with traditional frame geometry in mind, relying on high split seat stays and the brake bridge for support. Made from 0.8-mm recycled polypropylene, the Omni still works with that type of frame, but it's also compatible with a much wider variety of frame geometries, from traditional road bikes to full-suspension mountain bikes.
Musguard has added a few extra folds and creases to give it the sturdier structure the original Musguards lack, and two silicone-coated hook-and-loop straps to prevent the swiveling that would otherwise occur without the seat stays keeping the mudguard steady. The company says the Omnis remain upright and stable even in the bumpy terrain inevitable in many types of biking.
The rear Omni mudguards come in two sizes, providing coverage for tires up to 3 inches (76 mm) wide. The front Omni comes in a single standard size for tires up to 2.8 in. That's enough coverage for standard bikes running tires slimmer than full-blown fat tires, making Omnis an option for many bike styles, including gravel bikes, cyclocross bikes, cargo bikes, tourers and mountain bikes.
The front and rear guards can roll up individually or stack atop each other, storing around a tube on the bike or in a backpack or bike bag. At 3.3 oz (93 g) or less, the front/rear pair doesn't add much weight no matter where it's stored. Not only is the rollable design handy for storage, it helps maintain the coiling tension, according to Musguard, ensuring that the mudguards ride straight and stable when put back in use.
Musguard is hosting a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funding it needs to begin Omni production, offering pairs for pledge levels starting at €49 (approx. US$56), a €10 discount off the planned €59 (US$67) retail price. Supporters can choose their rear size after pledging support. It seems like cyclists are welcoming the new design with open arms and hearts because the campaign has nearly quadrupled its $11,500 goal with 37 days left to go. If things continue moving along as planned, deliveries will begin in the oft-messy month of March, 2022.
The video shows Musguard Omnis doing work out in the wild and also getting unrolled and strapped to the bike.