There a few different options for keeping dry on the bike, there are temporary mudguards, permanent mudguards, rain protective clothing and you can simply stay at home. Each have their merits and for road cyclists who also fancy a bit of commuting, the temporary ‘Ass Saver” style plastic (polypropylene) rain guards are a simple and cheap option.
But these weren’t good enough for Victorian cyclist Stuart Wallace who has just released the BUTGRD KS to Kickstarter to attract funding. The key difference to the competitors (and the first generation BUTGRD) is that this one clips to the saddle rails rather that being folded and wedged into place. Being different is not enough, it also needs to be better than the competition and I asked Wallace about the benefit of the BUTGRD KS.
Christopher Jones: There are a number of mudguards without clips and they are typically priced lower, how does the BUTGRD differ or improve on these?
Stuart Wallace: It performs better because it sits upright / higher all the time which improves performance significantly. Its self alignment also overcomes a common problem with other savers.
Jones: The BUTGRD pricing is in a different league to the regular Ass Saver style mudguards, what will convince riders to opt for the premium product?
Wallace: The existing savers are difficult to attach / remove and often fall off if they are not connected / installed properly. This was a common issue with users we surveyed. They also often point down at the outer tip which offers little to no protection to the rider and looks terrible.
Jones: Have you completed any research to show that this is the right shape, form and angle? Do different bikes (e.g. wide tire MTBer v. narrow road cyclist) have different requirements and are there speed limits (rider velocity through wet) where the guard can no longer protect the rider?
Wallace: We have done testing and the BUTGRD KS is longer enough to provide protection in all conditions and works well . The KS25 is suitable for up to 32 tires and the KS 32 is wider and longer ( because mud flicks further forward than water ) for 32 + tires and mountain bikes. The velocity question is interesting. As the rider goes faster, the spray affect is actually less the higher up the spray is as it gets blown backwards. ( Wind direction does play a small part). The guard will always protect the butt or seat area which is its main requirement.
Jones: A lot of riders have saddlebags, how does this work in conjunction with the BUTGRD?
Wallace: There is a section on Saddlebags in the Kickstarter site. In short, each has its own system and attachment. Saddlebags that attach over / around and above the BUTGRD KS attachment will work. Its up to the user though to match their saddlebag with the product as it is with any seat mounted mudguard product. Most savers are difficult to use with Saddlebags.
Following my wet weekend ride with a competing Ass Saver style mudguard, I was left with a telling muddy streak running the length of my cycling jacket and knicks. The BUTGRD is not yet available to review but I thought about it and wondered whether it would have reduced the spray.
If you are curious and want to see whether this looks and works better – check out the Kickstarter campaign. The Early Bird pricing is $30 and regular pricing (on Kickstarter) is $35.
BUTtGuaRD KS – A new benchmark for seat mounted mudguards!