It's been a pretty sloppy winter for us on the West Coast, but there's no rest for the soggy. Lightweight, plastic fenders mounted underneath the fork arch have become ubiquitous in recent years, and a staple for lousy weather riding. Crud catchers like these are great for deflecting front-wheel grime from your face and eyes. I like to keep one in my gear bag or toolbox when traveling to ride–it's super thin, weighs next to nothing, and can be installed or removed quickly. There are many similar varieties floating around in the mountain bike accessory ether, but Tony Baumann's Made Rad designs add a splash of style to your ride.
Designed in Bellingham, Washington, the Made Rad fenders are available in three different styles ($23), and the Space Mountain version has been employed on the front of my trail bike for the past couple of months. The fenders are compatible with all wheel sizes, and riders looking to protect their rear suspension from trail debris have the option of installing one on the rear-end of their frame. Instead of zip ties, the Made Rad fenders include reusable hook-and-loop fasteners for simple installation and removal. The Space Mountain fender weighs a whopping 1 ounce (30 grams), or about as much as a few mud globs dangling from your chin.
In addition to looking pretty cool, fenders of this variety are also helpful for keeping loose debris, dust, and gravel from pelting your fork stanchions or building up around the seals. The Made Rad fender does a nice job of diverting muddy wheel spray away from your face and bike, and does so with functional flair.