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15

I too contemplated using a smartphone as a bike computer and eventually bought a Garmin Edge 800, which I've been very happy with. Here are the advantages it has: GPS is better. Compare these two GPS traces from a ride my friend and I did yesterday evening (taken from Strava). This is a 2.5km climb, part wooded and part exposed. The first is my Edge 800 ...


9

The vibrations will be hard on it. The result will not be instantaneous failure, but an increasing likelihood of failure after perhaps several hundred hours of riding. The likelihood of damage can be greatly reduced with a resilient, shock-absorbing mount of some sort (I assume most commercial mounts include some shock-absorbing function). Most important ...


8

I have a background in developing consumer GPS systems...... There is no doubt that a Garmin is a much better device for the job. On cell phones, GPS and associated functionality is the side dish - as in "would you like fries with your burger", on a Garmin, is the Raison d'ĂȘtre. Hardware wise, its a no brainier. First, as already mentioned in @armb ...


6

I do think that an iPhone and ANT+ makes for a pretty compelling combination. One thing that the dedicated bike GPS hardware has all over a smartphone is battery life. While you can get better battery life out of a smartphone when logging a ride than most people imagine, it's still not close to the battery life you can get out of dedicated GPS hardware. You ...


5

Biologic now makes an iPhone 4 specific mount. I have the 3 version that I use an iPhone 4 in. It's pretty decent, but this looks like they've made some good improvements.


4

You could always try making your own. There are lots of different ideas for designs over at Instructables the one below uses the bracket off an old reflector plus a phone holder (ie for mounting your phone on a car dashboard) screwed to it. More details here. I particularly like the rubber bands for extra security. My main worry would be the rain though and ...


4

I got this one: http://www.meritline.com/gps-cellphone-holder-for-bicycle---p-30668.aspx Its actually one of the cheapest available. It fits adjustable handlebar sizes, tho I don't know the range. The phone grips are foam based and you can get a very snug fit, and it clicks quickly out. I never had an issue with it popping out, it never even looked like it ...


3

Mobile is the way to go. Forget cycling computer. Cycling computer can't connect to computer wirelessly, your mobile can. I've stopped logging my rides on my mac, my mobile do this for me automatically and I can access the logs from anywhere. You get maps for free on your mobile from the internet and you don't have to update your map. You don't need ...


3

The three main advantages of a dedicated bike computer is battery life, reliability, and visibility. Only a handful of smartphones I've used can consistently run for 5+ hours with the GPS on. It would really suck to be 30 miles from home with a dead battery. Cycling computers can often run 10+ hours with a GPS. Some smartphone/app combos have questionable ...


3

As a plus for Smart-Phone apps, they are likely to progress quicker, add features faster, fix bugs faster, and provide more frequent version updates than GPS units. Another plus for smart-phones is that I'll take my cell phone on a long road ride anyway in case of emergency. Carrying 1 device is easier than 2. A plus for a GPS unit is that it is probably ...


3

I have owned 2 different smartphone mounts (Blackberry, iPhone). Before getting a mount, determine if you have a straight section of your handlebar that's at least an inch long, preferably 1.3 inches or more. Mounts with rigid plastic secured by screws will require that. Key attributes: Favor rigid molded plastic mounts secured by screws over the kinds ...


2

For what it's worth velcro and rubber are extremely good for this sort of application. I use one of these rubber blocks with velcro straps to attach my LED Lenser to my MTB, it holds really tight and if you position it right there is minimal shake. One day I decided to see how it would handle my iPhone so I could watch/hear endomondo giving me my lap times. ...


2

Although this question is over 1 year old, I thought I'd share a new iPhone mount that I've just come across. Its called the Quad Lock and has a mounting system very similar to the Garmin and Bryton GPS computers (uses a quarter turn mount that attaches to the stem): http://www.quadlockcase.com/ I don't have one (nor do I have any association with the ...


2

Having used an iPhone app for over 3 months now, I can definitely say that it has been very helpful. Just make sure the phone is fully charged before the ride so that there's enough charge left, in case you need to use the phone on your way back home. Some more pointers on who might find a phone app useful Someone who is primarily interested in shorter ...


2

The Garmin is waterproof, and has a resistive touchscreen that works with gloves. It has an ANT+ receiver for use with cadence sensors etc., and most phones don't. Battery life will be better than most phones. I suspect the Garmin will be easier to load maps onto than a phone with no plan, but many mapping apps do allow you to load data for later use without ...


2

I have had my phone attached to the handlebars in a little sleeve made of gaffer tape and some clear plastic I got out of the recycle bin and it's been good for a few years (I've replaced the sleeve thingy a few times as it disintegrated). For protection it's got a strip of high density foam at the back of it so that it doesn't clunk on the gooseneck when I ...


2

There is one use case I think will suit you greatly if you get your phone to work AND get some app that saves GPX files (I think most GPS-oriented apps do that): When you go out for a ride, you turn the phone on, get a GPS position, throw it in your back pocket and forget it. When you get back home, you transfer the GPX file to some service (Strava and ...


1

You're going to have to go with something purpose made for that specific model of phone to get a secure mount on the bike. I'm not aware of any universal phone mount options that are worth anything, however you can browse Wally World if you feel like wagering $20 one yourself. There are few different brands, but the Bracketron universal mount has ...


1

I have been motorcycling with my iphone attached with a Ram Mount. No problems ever, and that's constant vibration. I wouldn't worry.


1

I use mine filming in my Velocity Clip, and I have not had any problems yet. I have at least 40 hours of Downhill Mountain biking video. I'm using a Motorola Droid 4.


1

I would probably choose a "best of both worlds" option: Get a simple bike computer to monitor speed/distance/time while riding and have a smartphone with some app running in a waterproof pocket on me to have a GPS track to look at for after the ride (and when I'm lost). Bike computers are much better than a smartphone for during rides: More accurate ...


1

Battery life and water resistance are the two key ones for me. The other one that hasn't been mentioned is price. If you leave a smart phone in your handlebars while popping into a shop it will get stolen. A typical bike computer won't.


1

At the other end of the cost spectrum I've just ordered one of these http://www.wahoofitness.com/Fisica/Wahoo-Fitness-Fisica-Fitness-Sensor-Case.asp It's trick is to act as an ANT+ sensor, so that your phone can grab HR, speed, cadence and power from sensors. I'll report back when it's delivered and I've tried it out... OK its arrived, and its really ...


1

I saw this http://store.apple.com/uk/product/H0807ZM/A in the Apple store yesterday. I didn't buy one, but did play with it. It came with an iPhone 4 insert, looked at least showerproof and plenty sturdy. Would mount on stem or bars, has a headphone pass-through, camera window and the touch screen works. I think that if you removed the insert you might even ...


1

I personally am eying this one: Biologic Bike Mount But my cheap interim solution was to screw some holes in my snap case, fit some L joints to it and then just mount it on my camera mount. But it sticks up so high, I could see it just shattering if I were to bail. Lost a bike light that way... would hate to lose an iPhone that way.



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