Based mostly on the street Defend R35s, the Defend G50s are a gravel-specific fender / mudguard providing from accent consultants Zefal. They’re designed to suit wheel diameters from 650b to 700mm and tire widths of as much as 50mm which ought to cope with all of your gravel-tire wants.
We took them out for a spin to see how they in comparison with the remainder of the most effective fenders / mudguards for gravel bikes.
Zefal Defend G50: Building
The Zefal Defend G50s are a sturdy thick guard created from ‘technopolyer resin’, i.e. sturdy plastic. This makes them a bit on the heavier facet than some at round 500g for the set. They’re pretty broad that means they will take 650b and 700cc tires as much as 50mm huge which is helpful for individuals who prefer to run porky tires on their gravel bikes.
Zefal Defend G50: becoming
My first impression of the Shields was that they’d be simple to suit because the design seems actually easy. Oh, how flawed I used to be. An hour and a half later with the assistance of my long-suffering assistant I used to be lastly accomplished. With out boring with all the main points, right here’s the run down…
The guards connect utilizing Zefal’s MD-Repair fastening which is greatest described as an enormous zip-tie that slots right into a housing on the guard and attaches with a bolt. However it’s extremely awkward to measurement up and slot collectively while holding the guard on the similar time. That is made harder as, at this level, you don’t know precisely the place in your stays / fork the guard will match so that you’re not sizing to a precise level. Probably the most awkward a part of that is slicing and wrapping the protecting rubber strips that sit beneath, significantly on the slim seatstays for the rear guard becoming. After a number of makes an attempt I shunned this strategy and went for one among my go-to bike protectors, a trimmed size of outdated internal tube. Lastly with the whole lot in place you want one set of arms to carry it collectively and one other on the hex key to tighten up.
As soon as the guards have been lastly fitted I then needed to drop out the rear wheel and swap over the extension piece that sits on the high of the guard (there are three lengths to select from). Just like the fastenings, it’s tough to measurement this up as you go as you don’t know precisely the place the guard will sit till it’s on. Annoyingly the extension piece is connected with a tiny little screw which is on the within of the guard (and so topic to the total pressure of the moist and grime off the tire).
Zefal Defend G50: The trip
As soon as fitted the Defend G50s do their job merely and effectively. On the paths they have been completely fuss free, not a single rattle or chafe on the tire, even when driving some wholly inappropriate trails on a gravel bike. Having simply swapped over from driving with the SKS Speedrockers I’d assumed that I’d get much less safety from the Defend given they’re fairly a bit shorter ( the rear of the G50s is 560mm, and the entrance is 460mm). I used to be pleasantly shocked how little spray made its well beyond, even when travelling fairly quick on puddle-strewn roads. The flexibility to get the guard good and near the tire may have helped this and off-set a few of the drawback of the brief(-ish) guard.
With a little bit of a tweak in positioning they did a very good job with my chunkier 650b tires too, simply accommodating the two.1” diameter.
The one actual draw back of the guards was these pesky fittings which do their greatest at accumulating a load of muck and are awkward to get clear.
Zefal Defend G50: worth and conclusion
At $43 / £35 for the set, the Zefal Defend G50s are one of many most cost-effective of units of guards we’ve had on check. In truth, they’re about 60% of the worth of the SKS Speedrockers ($75 / £52) and Mudhugger Gravelhuggers ($68 / £48 for set).
Design, protection and tire quantity measurement the Zefals are most intently matched to Mudhugger’s Gravelhuggers. As a direct comparability the Mudhuggers are far simpler to suit, take away and clear however are dearer and don’t sit as snuggly to the tire so there’s extra spray, significantly on the rear.
The Zefal Defend G50s are an efficient set of sturdy fenders / mudguards to your gravel bikes that may accommodate huge quantity tires in addition to slicker rubber. They’re a bit on the heavy facet and a ache to suit however while you take into consideration their worth, there’s actually not a lot to grouse about.
Zefal Defend G50: specs
- Weight 226 g + 248 g (with mud flap 20 mm)
- Wheel Ø 650b / 700c / 28”
- Max. tire width advisable 50 mm
- Rear fender dimensions (L x W x H) 560 (with mud flap 220mm) x 54 x 210 mm
- Entrance fender dimensions (L x W x H) 461 x 54 x 210 mm