Rapid Racer Products Pro Guard - Bolt On Review
Mud guards and mountain bikes have an interesting relationship. For a long time there was nothing solid in place and we'd see tubes zip tied between fork crowns / lowers and other, less than ideal attempts at a solution. Fast forward a few years and we've come to accept that a better solution is needed because hey, you can go faster when you can see. Now there are many mudguards on the market making it a competitive category. One of which is the 'Rapid Racer Products Pro Guard, Bolt-on' model.
This guard is designed and manufactured in the UK and is used by top level athletes including Brook MacDonald and your new DH world champion Reece Wilson who took the rainbow stripes in some seriously muddy conditions. The bolt on 'mini' guard was the one we chose for this test. Weighing in at 104g, the guard is light and for it's immense coverage relatively discrete once installed. So, how did we got on with it?
- Fits fox 32, 34, 36, 38, *40 (2021) 49
- Fits new Marzocchi forks (fox chassis only)
- Fits Ohlins forks
The guard comes with multiple screws to suit your relevant fork as well as blocks to adjust the tilt angle if you're not happy with the natural angle of the guard on the forks. You can also adjust the height of the guard vertically thanks to long slots on the guard. Overall the installation of the Pro Guard bolt-on was straight forward and didn't take long. Two rubber adhesive pads are provided to put on the side of the guard. These not only protect your guard and fork lowers from damaging each other but make for a noiseless ride. From here you simply select the relevant bolt set for your forks and... bolt it on. It's worth noting that the threads in the fork arch can sometimes be a little rough and to start lightly with the Allen key to avoid cross threading.
We've now had some time to get amongst a bit of Australian wet weather MTB riding and test the rapid Racer Products guard in it's element. The difference in protection on this guard compared to a standard smaller, foldable guard is night and day. When compared to no guard at all it's like you're simply riding a completely different trail. This was by far the best riding experience I've had in muddy conditions. Without the blur and distraction of water and debris spraying off the front wheel I was able to focus on the trail ahead with a level of confidence previously unknown in wet conditions.
One area in which the guard really stood out against the other foldable designs was in the corners. When leaning the bike over with smaller guards I'd be sprayed with debris off the front tyre however, with the Pro Guard this was nearly eliminated allowing for clear visibility and letting me hit my lines with greater precision.
In Australia we don't get a lot of rain but are often caught out when the wet weather eventually hits our MTB trails. The Rapid Racer Products Pro Guard, bolt-on model, is exceptionally well thought out and executed to an incredibly high standard. Being able to bolt the guard on and have it at the ready is an absolute blessing when the heavens do open making for a vastly more enjoyable, faster and safer wet weather riding experience.