I don’t know about you but I’m a statistics freak. Every day I look at the Google statistics for this website, I track the number of posts I write each month and even weirder I studied statistics at college. Hell if I could be bothered I would probably track the average number of showers I have per week.
Yes, I know I’m a freak. It’s 5.4 showers.
So how does this unhealthy statistics obsession translate into cycling? Well, you may think I have a bike computer. I don’t. The reason being is that I think they look a bit tacky with the wires hanging down. Plus I have always found them fiddly to use.
What I do have is an iPhone and as it turns out its very useful for cycling. Using iPhone bike apps such as Trails I can see things such as how fast I’m going, where I’m going and what my average speed is.
To do this though I need to attach it to my bike. This is where iPhone bike mounts come into play.
Whilst I have briefly covered all of these before I wanted to go into a little bit more of an in-depth review of one particular one: The Bicio iPhone bike mount which was formerly called iBikeMount. This is a small mount that fits the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.
Watch movies while cycling?
So why on earth would you want to have your iPhone visible whilst cycling? Well, aside from GPS tracking your performance you can also look up directions. I often do this when I’m somewhere I have not cycled before or if I’m trying out a route I have downloaded. A quick glance down at the iPhone and I know exactly where I’m going.
Occasionally, I listen to podcasts, though only when cycling off-road. If I wanted to I could answer calls and send text messages. If the mood took me I could even watch an all time classic movie like the Titanic while cycling. Though that would be stupid. On two accounts, the Titanic is horrific and also I would crash into a white van.
My first worry when I first got my hands on the GoRide bike mount is that it was a bit flimsy. The manufacturing didn’t feel particularly sturdy and its construction is pretty simple.
In the interest of the London Cyclist readers and against better judgement I just went for it. I clipped my iPhone in, gave it a quick shake to check it wouldn’t fall out and mounted it to my bike. I am happy to report that my prized little possession is still live and kicking. I have been using the GoRide bike mount for over 3 months now and in that time it has not come close to falling out. That is after cycling on and off-road, bumping up and down pavements and covering many miles. Now I’m not telling you to go out and test it on the most extreme mountain bike trail you know because I can’t vouch for that, but for normal riding conditions I strongly doubt I would ever have a problem. When I try to pull it out with my hands it does not shift easily and I don’t think the two cable ties would ever give way.
Installing the GoRide iPhone bike mount
Whilst the mount came with very few instructions (read: none) it was pretty obvious what needed to be done. You mount the unit to the bike handlebars using the supplied cable ties. Then the iPhone is pushed into the holder and slotted onto the unit. Twisting it to lock it firmly into place.
Speaking of the cable ties be wary of your partner throwing them away. My girlfriend managed to classify mine as rubbish and threw them in the bin (pffft!!).
You can choose to either mount it vertically or horizontally. For the apps I would be using I went for vertically.
One thing that did worry me is looking at how tight the iPhone was held in the mount I was worried that removing it would damage the white finish. Luckily it hasn’t and it’s comforting to know how tight it is locked in there.
Once it is installed using it is very easy. Unlike other bike mounts it is very easy to unclip and take with you. So when I arrive at the DVD store to take out Titanic because my girlfriend is so keen on watching it even though I hate it so much (pffft!!) there’s no problem. You just twist and pull it out.
The main downside I can think of with the GoRide iPhone bike mount is that in the rain you have to put it away. What would be nice would be perhaps the option of an additional cover that would keep it safe from the rain. I only know of the VeloTrack that has such a cover. However, what you trade of then is that it becomes harder to see the screen and use the buttons. Thus making the whole having the iPhone in-front of you pointless.
The second downside is that it keeps slipping. So I’ll be riding along and hit a bump and the mount will fling downwards. Obviously with the iPhone bike mount facing the ground it is not of much use to me. What I tend to do now is just put some tape to hold it in place more firmly.
Having the iPhone in that position is absolutely fantastic. I find I tend to look towards the handlebars anyway so I’m often glancing at the screen. I haven’t really felt less safe using it. I think it would be more unsafe for me to have a map clipped to my bike and keep trying to look closely to find my route.
I think the GoRide iPhone bike mount will appeal to anyone that wants to track their cycling performance for training purposes or for pure geekness. Also anyone that loves having their iPhone at easy reach and anyone that often has to cycle somewhere where a map would be really useful.
I have found it makes me want to go out on my bike more than I did before. It just adds a bit of an extra fun dimension to cycling and it feels good to have my iPhone somewhere that is easy to reach. I definitely think it is money well spent.
I have also put together this quick video review that goes over some of the main points and shows the Bicio GoRide iPhone bike mount in action:
It is my first ever YouTube video so go easy on me!
What I liked:
- Easy to unclip the iPhone and take it with me
- Small and simple
- Held securely in place and not scared of it falling
- Easy to access all the buttons and see the screen
- Easy to install and position where it suits me
What I didn’t like:
- Sometimes slips down unless you fasten it somehow (I used sellotape)
- Not waterproof
Where to get the iPhone bike mount
The mount is stocked by Amazon.com.
- A look at the rest of the iPhone bike mounts
- Bike Apps for your iPhone
- 3 new cycling apps for your iPhone
- Using GPS coordinates for cycling
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.