Monday, December 12, 2011

The BikeConsole iPhone Mount - Installation and Review

Since I am an early adopter, and needed the ability to move appointments and send harassing text messages verbally, I actually stood in a line to upgrade to the iPhone 4S. As I stood in my line, I was Googling away on my perfectly functioning iPhone 3G, looking for a bike mount for the new phone. I am afraid to admit that I'm a headphone guy; I love having music on my rides. I do feel a little guilty sometimes because everyone says "You'll die if you can't hear the car that's going to run you over". I can't bunny hop, so I don't see myself doing an elegant move to get out of the way of being squashed, and I'd rather go out hearing something good than hearing accident sounds; they always stress me out.


I had been using a cheap mount that I found on eBay for .99 + shipping for my 3G, and it worked fine and was solid. However, the phone had to be naked in the mount, so it was for nice day rides only. I definitely wanted some protection for the phone this time around, especially as I have designs on rain commuting this year, and I like to use my phone as a computer. There are a ton of apps available to let you do so, and I use Runkeeper, though I am also giving Bikebrain a try in order to give you a couple of options.



I found BikeConsole online and contacted them; they offered to send me a BikeConsole and one of their new products - the BikeCharge. I'll be installing and reviewing that later, but this post is about the BikeConsole.



First, the installation. Everything you see above comes in the box. The large black piece is the silicone cradle for the phone when it is in the case. The console actually comes with a cradle for the 3G as well, so that's nice bonus. Note well the Allen key; it is all you need to install the mount, and it is included in the package. Also included is a spare silicone band used as a safety to keep it closed.


Handlebar Mount


All you need to do is slip the strap around the handlebar, then use the included Allen wrench to tighten it. Once the mount is secure, put the phone in the included box and slide it onto the mount. That's it. The case is a thing of beauty, and if it didn't have the clip on the back, I would probably use it as a case most of the time. It has a touch sensitive front, and a button, so the basic functionalities are available. There is no access for the volume buttons. There is a port for the headphones, and it is covered by a silicone flap.

Closing Latch - you can see where the band clips. 

Silicone cradle in the case

Rail on the back to connect it to the mount. 


There is a cutout for the camera, but the flash is reflected by the case. It gives an interesting effect, but I ended up turning the flash off to avoid it in other pictures.

Artsy

Once installed, the mount can be oriented either horizontally or vertically, by twisting it.

Auto Corrected - So You Can See It. 


The BikeConsole mount is solid on the handlebar, and the case is very secure, with a solid snap lock on the bottom and a silicone band to provide secondary closure should the clasp somehow break. BikeMount makes a model for many smartphones, with complete list of available options on their website. It can be mounted on the bar or on the stem, whatever your pleasure.I like this mount quite a bit, because it protects the phone well, and allows you to use the touch screen while providing that protection. If there is any nitpick, it's that I can't adjust the volume while it is in the case.

The BikeConsole is available here for $54.99, and is available for several models of smartphone. Spare bicycle mounts are also available, so you can just move the case from bike to bike if that is your pleasure.

I like this a lot, and I'm glad that I am cradling Siri in safety, rather than hanging her in the wind as my old handlebar mount did.

2 comments:

  1. I bought this model for my iPhone 4s and went mountain bike riding down Mt. Buller's downhills trails in Victoria's high country. For the most part the case went really well & held together as expected, however the rocky/bumpy terrain caused the case to gradually rotate on the handle bar into a vertical position so I was unable to read the screen. The next day I carefully tightened the clamp with the allen key and heard it slip one of the teeth in the plastic clamping strap - This is an obvious design flaw that should be fixed. A metal hose clamp style fitting should be emplyed here and also the ability to adjust the volume so I can hear my bike apps voice alerts & updates would make this great unit an outstanding unit.

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