Riding a bicycle is a great way to get exercise without putting a lot of strain on your knees. After tweaking my knee while working out, I decided to take up a little bit of casual biking to keep in shape. The one problem that I had was where to put my iPhone. I have a water bottle holder, a key and ID holder, but the phone ended up jammed in with the cards and keys and barely fitting. When the Bike2PowerBikeConsole waterproof, heavy-duty bicycle mount for the iPhone 5 was offered for review, I jumped at the chance. Not only do I live in Seattle where it rains frequently in the non-summer months, but it was something that I was hunting around for to begin with. After scouring the Bike2Power website, I was actually pretty amazed at the selection of bike accessories for us techies.
The contents of the package include: a mounting bracket, Allen wrench, waterproof plugs for headphones and charging cord, an everyday case, the waterproof, heavy duty case, and a strip of rubber. I still have no idea what the strip of rubber is for, but it wasn’t indicated as needed in the instructions.
First, you need to install the snap on, everyday case. I found that the everyday case was not too comfortable in my hands, nor did it provide any frontal protection. It’s a simple plastic case. Once your phone is in the case, you line the case up with the heavy-duty case ,and it slides right in and fits snugly. The phone did not wiggle around when inside the heavy-duty case. After you get the phone in, you close the top cover and flip up the side locking arms and snap them into place.
The heavy-duty case lives up to its name, as it is the bulkiest case I have seen yet. It is definitely not for everyday use, but that is what the inner case is for. If this case somehow dropped off of your bike while on a ride, I have little doubt that your phone would be just fine. The front screen seems like it will hold up well to general use ,and it is waterproof so it will keep your phone dry in the rain. It did not cause loss of touch-screen sensitivity that some full screen cases do. There are also holes at the bottom-front of the case for redirecting the sound from the iPhone speakers forwards towards you as you ride. I tested this out on the trail and on city streets, and while I could not hear my music on the streets due to traffic, I could hear my music just fine without headphones on the trails.
To install the mounting bracket, you loop the ribbed plastic piece around the handlebar and stick it into its respective slot. Using the Allen wrench, you can tighten the mount to several different widths. I could have probably put it on a handlebar that was twice as thick as my own without any problems. The heavy duty case then locks into place using a snap-on system as well as a twist-on screw to prevent the case from falling off. Once installed, you can rotate the case around 360 degrees so it is at whatever angle you desire.
Also, on the back of the case above, just below the camera cutout, you can see a small kickstand. I was unable to get this kickstand flipped out, but if it worked, it would be a good way to spend a water break watching some YouTube videos.
This mount allows for both headphones and a charging cable to be used while riding, and if you have waterproof cords, then you can also use them in the rain with the included plugs. The big downside to these is that the hole for the charging cable is so small that only the Apple lightning connector fits. The headphone jack is also the same way and has problems with non-Apple headphones, but Bike2Power has listened to the customers and will be including an adapter in the future. It’s good to know that a company strives to keep the customer happy.
One particular issue is that you cannot access your volume buttons nor the mute switch, but a small button at the top functions as the sleep/wake button. While riding the bike, it was near impossible to use that button because of its proximity to the hinge next to it.
Above is some footage I took using the mount to take video of my ride. I wanted to see how much the unit jiggled around while on a trail and over some railroad tracks. To my pleasant surprise, there was not much movement at all. It was hard to see the screen due to the glare from the sun to start and stop the video, and it was pretty late in the day, so on sunny days you may have problems seeing the screen.
Overall, for a little less than fifty dollars, I find the Bike2Power BikeConsole to be a good value and would work well for those of us who want a decent, low cost, protective case for our iPhone while out on a ride. It will provide ample protection for your phone without breaking the bank. The fact that Bike2Power has listened to its customers and improved on this case multiple times, and promising to add the adaptor mentioned earlier, makes me feel like it is a reliable company that truly backs its products. If you are looking for a sturdy bike mount for the iPhone, I recommend giving this a try.