I’d reached that point in my rides, where I wanted some sort of cycling computer to track my progress and show my route, so I recently picked up a Biologic BikeMount to allow me to use my iPhone. Rather than buy a dedicated unit (such as a Garmin, which isn’t really an option financially at this point) this lets me reuse a device that’s already replaced lots of other separate devices like Camera and iPod. Here are my thoughts after 2 months of use.
The phone gets clipped into a sturdy protective hardcase, which is then mounted to your handlebars via a supplied bracket. I’ll let this chap called Josh tell you exactly how it works:
Together with Cyclemeter, I now have a nice clear display to glance at, at the end of the ride, I export the results to Strava. The dedicated Strava app is nice and clean, but a bit basic. I like the features of the Cyclemeter app, such as telling me how many calories I’ve burned (very motivating for me).
The main disadvantage of this setup is the overall size of the kit. While the iPhone itself isn’t that big, by the time it’s in the protective case it’s got added bulk. At least the case gives me confidence that if it does get dropped, the phone would survive.
I’ve managed to get mine mounted on my stem, so that it keeps it out of the way a bit, but there’s no getting over how much it much it dominates the handlebars compared to a dedicated unit like a Garmin. It might make you feel a bit self-conscious!
Other, minor, negatives points are that the home button is a stick-on dome of plastic, which fell off after a few weeks, just leaving the sticky pad. It still works though. Also, the bracket that you put on the bike doesn’t get absolutely tight. Just as you think it’s going to tighten, it loosens slightly again. So you have to tighten again, and stop just before it ‘snaps back’ to loose. However, I’ve not any problems with it falling off, or being wobbly.
Another reason I got the mount, was that I fancied trying to shoot video to capture some of the picturesque parts of my rides (the case has a window for the lens). First of all, it’s a fiddle to get the bracket and phone in the right position so that the camera has a good landscape view, but it is possible. However, the iPhone camera just isn’t up to the job – the picture is just too shakey. There’s a lot of post-processing apps that will take out the shake, but they crop the image a lot. I did try an app called Steadylens, which works during recording, but that wasn’t much better. The overall effect is what I can only describe as ‘swirly and shimmery’ even at very slow speeds. As if its being viewed underwater:
I also noticed on still images, taken with the phone in the case, that it distorts the image towards the edges.
Despite the size, and other little niggles, the BikeMount, along with Cyclemeter, works really well, and do me just fine.
- 2011 15 Jul
- Comment via Twitter