You might like to take your smartphone along with you if, like me, you:
- Use GPS maps to follow a trail or to work out exactly where you are.
- Track your rides, for training or motivation.
I know that specific GPS devices like the Garmins do this job beautifully, but to avoid spending £150-£300 on a separate device having a bar mount for your iPhone is a very good alternative. The option to have the one device to track/follow routes; take photos; talk to people (yes, I know, wow); post to your favourite social media sites whilst you’re out etc. is an option I decided to take.
After quite a bit of research to find the best way to attach my iPhone to the handebars, I chose the Tigra mount.
(If you’re looking for a Video Case for your iPhone, have a look at this other review of the ProductX POV iPhone Camera Case)
Why choose the Tigra Bike Mount?
The Tigra iPhone Handlebar Mount is a fairly simple affair, not much bigger than the phone itself. In my opinion, the main benefits are:
- It’s easy to fit, with a pretty infinitely-adjustable collar that’s open on one side so you don’t need to remove any brake or gear levers.
- The phone housing attaches to the collar with a satisfying double-click and in over 12 months of use (with a multitude of offroad bumps and quite a few crashes) there’s never been any sign of the housing trying to disconnect from the collar.
- There’s decent weather-proofing, with a rubber seal around the housing and extra rubber plugs for the headphone and mic holes if you’re not using them. So if you get caught in a shower, there’s no need to panic.
- The clear plastic front recognises your finger inputs so you can control the phone without removing it from the mount.
- There’s a cutout for the camera lens on the reverse so you can take photos without taking the camera out.
- All the important buttons can be used whilst your phone’s mounted.
Any Bad Points?
Very few things in life are perfect. In use, I’ve found a couple of niggles with the Tigra mount which I should tell you about. They’ve not stopped me loving the product, but I sometimes wish they’d been addressed.
- The collar fastener could be tighter. It’s basically a plastic jubilee clip and very easy to over-tighten, at which point it slips back a notch. I’m thinking of inserting a thin strip of rubber in there to make things more secure. In fairness it’s adequate enough, but it can slip a little when you’re hammering down the trail.
- The rubber plugs for the earphone and mic holes are easy to lose. I’ve decided to tape up the earphone hole permanently, as I don’t have tunes on when riding. It’s the plug at the top so now I know there’s no weather creeping in there. I can see why Tigra needed to give me the option to listen to tunes on the go, but I prefer a permanent seal.
In very rainy conditions, I take the extra precaution of slipping my iPhone into a butty bag. This is mainly so I can take it out of the mount without any splashes if I stop for a brew. On one ride last year though, I actually fell into the canal and the phone survived unharmed with the extra weatherproofing! Bonus.
I’d definitely recommend the Tigra mount . It’s a cost-effective way of using GPS on the bike for road or trail rides, whether you’re following a mapped route or just recording where you’ve been. Much cheaper than a Garmin to do the same job, and of course you have your phone handy, too!
Tell ‘em Phill sent you