Well folks, this is it – now you can leverage Kristin’s tech review channel to get to various reviews of cases for smart devices (iPhones and iPads predominantly). Over the last week or we were able to also get a couple of hands on reviews going on for the bike mounts for the smart gadgets.
I personally find the mounts for iPhone (or Android phones for that matter) on my bike extremely useful and over the last several years have written multiple times about my experiences on the subject. Now you can see the video of how to install / use as well.
Why do I find these mounts so useful? For several reasons:
Allow you to have a good tool for assessing your exercise level
You are not likely to get lost on the trail — YES! believe me, multiple friends have told me they have had experiences where they were disoriented on a remote trail and took some time finding their way back to the car…
You can receive a phone call while biking – I do not recommend it BUT WHAT if there is an emergency….
…I am sure you will find other use cases as well (e.g. listening to music in some cases)
So check out the options I recommend and look for more reviews to come over the weeks ahead.
Earlier in the month I was writing about the items you need to start in mountain biking. One of those items – which brings you a feel of accomplishment — is a bike computer. You could purchase a purpose built bike computer (for several hundred dollars) or you could opt for an application that is running on your iPhone and allows you to leverage it as a large screen computer.
To start on the path of getting your iphone in the role of a bike computer you need to take the following steps:
Figure out how to get your iPhone on the bike in a most secure fashion. One option for that is leverage my personal experience described here (in earlier blog articles); There is always the danger that the iPhone can suffer some damage on your bike, but I personally have taken a good tumble with my mountain bike which resulted in bending the rear wheel of the bike but NOT damaging the phone which stayed securely in the braket.
NOTE: you need to replace the cord that came as original on the caddy with a stronger elastic cord – I bought mine from REI
Review options for iPhone applications to install on your phone;
In this write up I will provide the list of iPhone applications I have tried; Here is first the list:
I was very happy several months ago when I was able to install my iPhone with bike tracking software on my mountain bike. For that I used the Delta Smartphone Caddy…purchased from REI. The holder looked and functioned well — it held my iPhone in place and was a great alternative to a dedicated bike computer. I could track my progress on a map, count calories, monitor speed and elevation….all in all a great tool – and well enabled by the Caddy.
I wrote about it in a last Fall blog entry here. But only 6 months after starting using it, the Smartphone Caddy failed — you can see on the photo below – its rubber band which creates tension for keeping the phone in place, snapped.
I used the holder for only 6-months — and those were not very heavy usage 6 months. I am not sure what exactly created the tension necessary to break the band — I do not think the iPhone usage in the braket really created that much stress on the band…but whatever it was it happened. Very disappointing. Now I have to search for a new / replacement system….
Well folks Black Friday is quickly coming upon us….The key question is whether or not we can survive its onslaught and whether or not the deals are worth much — after all each year the quality of stuff being made available during those crazy shopping hours is changing.
So I decided to do some searching on the web and aggregate the products I think are worth checking out and potentially purchasing as a deal during the 2012 Black Friday shopping marathon (and potentially also during Cyber Monday next week). Here they are:
1) I like the Smart Phone Caddies you can install in the stem of your bike and be able to carry with you in a usable state an Android Smart phone or an Apple iPhone. The one I use (got it installed earlier in the summer) is similar to the one Amazon.com is carrying too:
check it out. You may be able to find some great, NEW uses for your iPhone or trusty smart phone. I know I did!
2) for the cold months of the year, you may want to consider the stationary bike for exercising (I have tried in the past the stands for my mountain bike and did not like them – so switched to stationary bike instead). Here are two consecutive models you can consider — with a nice discount from Amazon.com:
…. So there will be more to come of course — later tonight.
I have been posting about my experiences with the Cycle Tracker PRO which is the alternative I use for a cycling computer. Until now I was just placing my iPhone in a pouch after I turn on the GPS tracking on the phone. Yesterday, after using the program on my iPhone for about 3-4 months now, I decided to add a holder for the phone on my bike.
I looked around at various options on the Web — they all have very different ways in which the holder attaches to your bike. Some use just spring loaded mechanism which is supposed to grip the handlebar of your bike, others have more substantial friction based approach.
Here are the ones I saw on Amazon for sale:
I personally went with the Delta model. It looked most sturdy and secure to ensure that the phone does not go flying off the bike if and when I hit a sizeable bump…
Here are the photos from my installation.
Delta Smart Phone Caddy on my bike Delta Smart Phone Caddy – Another view – It is very sturdy
Delta Smart Phone Caddy – Just installed — Next need to put my iPhone in it Delta Smart Phone Caddy with my iPhone-4 in it – ready to go…
Now the bike is ready to go
The actual installation was very easy. All I had to do is remove the cap and bolt from the stem of my bike handlebars, take off the cap from the bolt, and replace that with the base of the Delta Caddy. Then I gently tightened the bolt into the stem securing the holder of the Caddy. Ideally you want to have a wrench which allows you to measure about 4Nm force when tightening the stem bolt, but if you do not have that wrench you can just feel it.
Once the base was attached to the stem, all I had to do is attach the rest of the Caddy to the base by using the provided bolt and nut. Then you just need to fit your iPhone or other smart phone into the Caddy and you are ready to go…!