Plume bicycle mudguard recoils when not needed


May 16, 2013

The Plume sits coiled up under the seat when the roads are dry

The Plume sits coiled up under the seat when the roads are dry

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Although there are already plenty of good bicycle fenders out there, some people don’t like the way they rattle around, while others think that they detract from the looks of the bike. One option is to use something like the QuickFix, which is a fold-flat rear mudguard that attaches to the frame in seconds. The Plume, however, takes a different approach – it’s a mudguard that recoils like a metal tape measure when not in use.

Invented by Dan McMahon and Patrick Laing, the Plume is made from a thin, flexible sheet of stainless steel, encased in a flexible polymer.

In order to first install it, the bicycle’s seat post is removed, squeezed through the rubberized mounting ring, then put back on the bike. This minimizes the chances of the Plume subsequently being stolen, and allows it to accommodate different seat post diameters – although fat mountain bike posts are still too big for it, so far.

To “deploy” it, the rider simply grasps the end of the mudguard between their fingers and pulls it out. When the roads dry up, grabbing its end and pulling up on it causes it to roll itself back into a tight little loop under the seat. According to McMahon and Laing, doing things like riding over bumps won't cause it to accidentally recoil.

They’re currently raising production funds for the device, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$35 will get you one, when and if they’re ready to go.

The Plume can be seen in use in the video below.

Source: Kickstarter

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Seems a bit pointless worrying about keeping your butt dry - and given the height above the wheel, that is debateable - when the front wheel is spraying water towards your crotch anyway! A small nylon trouser or full suit (like those fold-up ponchos) kept in a pouch under the seat or locked to the handlebars would be virtually as cheap and more useful. You could walk after parking the bike and still stay dry!

The Skud

I'm not a biker, not since i turned 16 anyway. Boy that was so long ago now... ANYWAY this looks like slap-bracelet technology and despite "claims" that it won't auto recoil i bet someone out there is getting slapped in the back with this thing. Also agree with Skud, you'd need a front one too and it's too thin to be so far from the tire. you'll just have a clean line in the middle of your back.


Well i do ride and I ride Mountain bikes and having a devise like this will be really good. As for the front, I've run a "Deflector Shield" (read flat plastic zipp tied to the down tube) permanently ever since one rider, Tomac, got ill when something was flipped up possibly onto his water bottle. Aerodynamics are not much of an issue with MTB's but weight is.


I think this could be half decent, though i agree it could be abit wider. That being said from my experience the dirt on the back seems to be mostly in the middle anyways.

Also i doubt you'd get slapped with this because its no where near your back, it would barely touch your back even if your stretched the tip of it up to your back. And you don't need a first one, it would be nice but one out of two is still better then none, alot of the under spray from the front tire gets blocked from the bike frame except when turning.


How hard of a bump can you hit before it self retracts?

Ele Truk

What I was waiting on was for the guy to ride through a puddle. I would not buy one until I see it work. Seems unlikely being so far away from the tire. I agree they need one for the front. If it worked it's very cool however it looks like a lot of other great ideas. They look good but do not perform. What would be a great test would be to weigh a dry set of coveralls. Put them on and ride through a water course without the fender. Then weigh the suit. The difference would be the water splashed on the rider. Do it again with the fender extended. And a third time with standard fenders. Publish the results.


Brilliant and elegant in its simplicity. Bravo! I wonder what else it could be used for?


In synch with the comments so far. If it fastened to the frame below where the rear struts came up (above the rear brake calipers), it has a good chance. If they could solve the front wheel spray issue they are really onto something. That, and my sorry 'drive the car in the wet' attitude because I am getting older and softer may see some good sales. With n2liberty on the need for some back up facts. Still, great ideas all start somewhere. Good luck guys.

Shelby Wright
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