The winter time in Northern California is a great time to really visualize the pathetic tuning skills of most mountain bikers and roadies in the dirt. Regular rain and winter storms cover the ground with water and mud. This extends for 3-4 months.
It’s painfully obvious as each rider goes by, on the wet and muddy trails, how few of them know how to tune a bicycle. 90% of riders totally lack a front fender of any kind. 10% have fake silly show fenders that look like they got them like a free prize “record” in a Saturday morning sugared cereal box. It’s moronic and it’s juvenile especially when you factor in how pro they think they are.
I just upgraded to a better winter fender and I’m pretty stoked. It’s a Rapid Racing Products Max Protection Front. This is the nicest fender I’ve ever had and I’ve had quite a few. My last ‘go to’ fender was the FRX Mudhugger. That’s a great fender but this one is on another level. A tiny bit wider and a few inches longer in each direction, it’s definitely the one to buy as of this writing.
The rule of fenders is that bigger is better. Don’t buy a small fender. Always buy a DH/Enduro fender over something branded XC.
Neither of these fenders, the RRP nor the Mudhugger, are easy to get in the United States so I suggest you look at your options and make something happen quick. Fenders are an investment and a smart rider has one ready to go whenever it’s needed.
It’s also worth pointing out that just a little cut plastic in the rear of the bike can do a lot to protect the dropper post and shock from muck and slop.