Ass Savers Win Wing Review
The new Sweden-made Ass Savers Win Wing is an ultralight clip-on mudguard that’s unlike any others we’ve seen. We were a little skeptical about the design before seeing one in person, but we put two of them to a full-blown test for this review. Find out how they fared here…
I’m not really a mudguard kind of a guy, honestly. I haven’t installed or used fenders in around 10 years and typically just opt to get dirty, even though we live in a very wet and muddy part of the world. However, when the Swedish brand Ass Savers got in touch and asked if we were interested in collaborating on the launch of the new Win Wing, I tossed preconceptions and vanity to the wind.
After taking a look at the product template document, I sent them a design, and a couple of months later, a big box of them arrived at my doorstep. They looked great, but I still wasn’t overly excited about using one. After so many years without fenders, why start now? Fast forward a few weeks into the cold and damp season, and my tune has changed. Read on to see why in this full Ass Savers Win Wing review, and then scroll to the bottom of the post to watch Neil’s complementary video review.
Made in Sweden from primarily recycled plastic, the Ass Savers Win Wing is an ultralight clip-on mudguard that’s designed be used on any bike—with or without fender mounts—in the cold and wet conditions of fall and winter. The Win Wing comes as a two-part system: a molded plastic “Wishbone” that attaches to the seat stays using pre-installed rubber straps and a polypropylene fender that attaches to it. The small team at Ass Savers believes the added comfort provided in a negligible 70-gram package is a win-win product, hence the name.
Ass Savers Win Wing Construction
In person, the Win Wing’s patent-pending Wishbone is quite impressive. It’s very well-engineered and seems equally well-made. It consists of three pieces: a fiberglass-reinforced polyamid Nylon arch and two TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) straps. The straps each have a T-shaped base that fits within the molded foot part of the Wishbone. These provide a nice grippy and non-abrasive connection to the seat stays. The straps wrap around the seat stays, thread through a slot at the inside of each wishbone leg, and then connect to a molded tooth on the outside. There’s also an additional slot on the drive-side leg for an “anti-theft” zip tie.
The fender blade is made from 80% recycled polypropylene and has five holes that are used to connect it to the Wishbone. There are three in the front-center of the blade that are used to insert the peg at the top of the arc. Each of these options changes the angle of the wing and enables bikes of varying sizes to achieve the correct angle. Ass Savers recommends a horizontal to “tail-up” position to maximize performance. I mounted it using the middle hole, which tilted the blade slightly upward on a size large drop-bar 29er. There are two additional holes that match with the two outer Wishbone pegs—one on each “wing.” Once they’re all attached, it’s remarkably solid, given its scant 71 gram weight.
The Ass Savers Win Wing installs quickly and securely. The straps are small and light but have the sturdy feel of a small Voilé strap. Once all assembled, it’s also easy to remove from the bike and install on another. It’s worth adding that each strap has seven holes and is long enough to accommodate thin steel stays or thicker carbon and aluminum designs. They worked with 9 of the 10 bikes currently in my shop. The one that it didn’t fit is the Ibis Ripley AF, which has very chunky aluminum stays. But, in my opinion, the Win Wing is better suited to gravel bikes and ATBs rather than bigger mountain bikes.
Win Wing Tire Clearance
Ass Savers offers two versions of the Win Wing: one for road bikes with tires up to 38mm and one for larger dirt and gravel tires up to 60mm (2.35″). The one that’s tested here is the gravel version for larger tires. I tried it on two bikes, my Tumbleweed Stargazer with 29 x 2.35” tires and another test bike with 2.4s—the gray one shown in many of these photos. Neil also tested his with 27.5 x 2.6″ tires, as you’ll learn in the video at the bottom of the post.
As you can see in the photos above, there’s 6-7mm of space when mounted with 2.35/2.4” tires. I think it would be better with tires smaller than 2.25” wide, but it worked fine with these. I never had any issues with tire rub or chunks of gravel causing any harm to the Wishbone or fender blade, which was certainly one of my concerns. We’ve all had a chunk of gravel get wedged in the tire’s side knobs, only to knock into the chainstays upon rotation. However, with the rotational direction and the fact that the straps act as flexible suspension for the Wishbone, I don’t see it being an issue, and I haven’t had any problems with it after several very rough dirt road and gravel rides.
Out in the Rough Stuff
My “gravel rides” usually aren’t only on graded gravel. There’s routinely at least one bit of chunky doubletrack or a stretch of singletrack thrown in to keep things interesting—stuff that’s not fender-friendly. That’s one of the reasons I’ve strayed away from them in the past. There are simply too many parts that can come loose, rattle, or break when riding on the rough stuff. Ass Savers’ marketing declaration that the Win Wing “is stable, can handle knocks and hits, and is rattle-free” lured me in. Fortunately, all those claims have held water, so far. I’ve taken it out on several chunky rides and found it to be much more stable than I expected. It’s generally just there doing its job with no noticeable noise or movement, other than the blade flexing a little on the roughest bits. And it’s yet to hit the tire or be knocked out of whack.
The Win Wing is positioned above the rear quarter of the tire. According to Ass Savers, this shields water and mud at the “tangential point of release.” Essentially, the physics behind it dictates that with the increased forward momentum and faster wheel rotation, spray travels in a straight line from the point of release, which happens to be in the upper rear quarter of the tire. This is why your ass gets coated with mud when pedaling through the muck. Folks around here who ride in winter know this look all too well.
I took it out on a pretty wet day earlier this week after we got over half an inch of rain. Clawhammer Road was quite soggy, and coming down it at speed would be a good proving ground. As the company’s name suggests, the Win Wing generally kept water and mud from spraying up on my back, hip pack, and rear end. It’s pretty nice not to feel that cold and wet flogging every time you charge a big puddle. That said, unlike full fenders, there’s not much protection on your lower legs. My calves and lower thighs got their fair share of muck.
I later realized I’d positioned the Win Wing a little high. Ass Savers recommends that you “aim for 5-10 mm tire clearance” for the Tangential Coverage to work properly. That’s very close to the tire. As you can see in several of these photos, the bike I was testing it on happens to have mounts at just the wrong place on the seat stays. This prevented the Win Wing from being repositioned into the perfect spot. I tried it on a different bike the next day, and moving it a little lower seemed minimize forward spray, although conditions weren’t nearly as wet. Either way, the ass-saving function of the Win Wing makes it well worth it.
- Model/Size Tested: Ass Savers Win Wing Gravel
- Actual Weight: 71 grams
- Place of Manufacture: Sweden
- Price: $25/25€
- Manufacturer’s Details: AssSavers.com
- Lightweight, innovative design that works with big tires up to 2.35” wide
- Inexpensive and simple product that seems durable and well made
- Made in Sweden with recycled materials
- Ass Savers offer parts available separately for repairs if needed
- There’s not a larger version for 2.4-2.6” tires
- Not a replacement for full fenders
- Aesthetics won’t be for everyone
Not by coincidence, the Ass Savers Win Wing was released just as the cold and wet conditions of fall and winter set in. Perfect timing, right? Smart, because it was something I didn’t think I needed until I actually did. And that kind of sums up the Win Wing. It’s a solution that slaps you in the face, in a manner os speaking. It’s so simple that it makes you wonder why it didn’t already exist. And, at the same time, its clever and minimal design leads you admire the thought process and engineering that went into it.
While it might not be the ideal, full-coverage fender solution for daily die-hard commuters, if you plan on pedaling your gravel bike or ATB in wet and muddy conditions, the Win Wing is a no-brainer. It has a negligible weight, it’s inexpensive, it’s made using mostly recycled materials with replaceable parts, it’s durable, and it does what it’s supposed to do.
P.S. Members, keep your eye on your email inbox over the next week or so. We’ll be selling a limited number of these Win Wings with the BIKEPACKING.com/PEDAL FURTHER design you see here, and you’ll get 20% off. If you’re not yet a member, check out the new merch teaser here.
Ass Savers Win Wing Review (video)
Ultralight Gravel Fender vs. Death Mud
With with its compact and lightweight design, can the Ass Savers Win Wing hold up to the death mud found in Colorado’s high desert? Neil puts it to the test to find out in our latest video review
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