Published on February 10th, 2016 | by Scotty
Ask a Mechanic: Making A Custom Mud Guard.
Eric wants to know, “ I just got a new Bronson and noticed a lot of mud and debris is getting caught in my lower linkage. Do you know of any solution to stop this from happening?”
The new lineup from Santa Cruz seems to be making a lot of noise across the mountain bike industry, and for good reason. Their bikes are incredibly capable and very well built, but there’s one design flaw when it comes to the rear suspension. The lower link on these bikes is fully exposed to mud and debris that is thrown from the rear wheel. If this goes unnoticed, it can create all kinds of issues down the road. Since I’ve recently built up a few of the new Bronson’s and 5010’s, I came up with a solution for keeping mud and debris out of the lower link using nothing more than a tube and some zip ties.
Start by cutting out a section of tube roughly 7 to 8 inches long. Cut the tube down the center and then make the tube roughly 3 ½ inches wide. Once the tube is cut and cleaned, fold over the top roughly a quarter of an inch and pass the end of a zip tie through one side. Once the zip tie is through one side, pass the zip tie around the seat tube just under the front derailleur mount and then back through the folded over section of tube. After the zip tie is through, stretch the tube around the seat tube as much as possible and then tighten the zip tie to secure the top.
Next, go ahead and stretch the tube down and then around the driveside chainstay. Pull the bottom corner under the chainstay and wrap it around just behind the chainring, stretching the tube as much as you can. Once the tube is stretched over the chainstay, punch the zip tie through the tube on a slight down angle to the inside of the frame and then wrap it under the chainstay and secure the zip tie. You’ll want to make sure you keep the zip tie on the tube to hold it more securely. Next, we’ll repeat that same process but on the non drive side of the bike.
The last zip tie I add goes a few inches up on the bridge that connects the seatstay to the chainstay on the non driveside. Pull the tube to the bridge and then pull it slightly over the top and secure it with a ziptie. Once finished, the tube does a great job of keeping excess debris from getting into the lower link and costs next to nothing.
Because you have to stretch the tube to fit, this fix is something you’ll have to redo eventually as the tube starts to wear. As with most things, this method can be modified and altered to fit just about any bike out there. Just be sure that the tube doesn’t create any binding or clearance issues when the bikes suspension is compressed. Save yourself time and money with this quick modification; all it takes is a little creativity, some zip ties, and an old tube!
When you need more than a tube and a couple zip ties, drop by ArtsCyclery.com.