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For those of you that have tried these, I'm wondering if the stem (or even bar) mount is preferrable over the top tube mount? Seems like having the top tube mount means you have to look further back (and down) to glance at the screen.

  • To what type of bike would you like to mount your phone? And would you like to read from it while you ride or only have it accessible when stopped? – gschenk Nov 23 '18 at 15:55
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    It is an old mountain bike w/quill stem, rigid frame, used pretty much exclusively on paved trails and roads. Looking at the screen would be occasional rather than frequent, ie not for something like turn-by-turn navi. I'm thinking I answered my own question. The other concern is the top tube "see-through" bag type seems more secure as well, which is a plus. – Gaston Nov 23 '18 at 16:28
  • The average modern phone is not built to survive crashes, nor to cope with a high vibration situation for long. For the phone, the best mount point is in your jersey pocket. If you need something to look at for speed/cadence etc then a proper cycling computer like a garmin is designed for this life. – Criggie Nov 23 '18 at 20:01
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    @Criggie I'd say that navigation is the biggest reason for being able to see the device (whether it's a phone or computer). – David Richerby Nov 25 '18 at 13:05
  • Criggie: now that I'm doing longer and longer rides, I finally got my first cycling jersey. You're right about the jersey pocket being the best place for the phone. At the moment all I use is a basic phone gps app to record time/distance/avg speed. I just start the app, put they phone in one of the pockets and off I go. I take it back out to stop the app at the end of the ride. A real bike gps computer (not to mention a more suitable bike!) might happen if I continue riding for good. – Gaston Jun 7 at 12:21
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I regularly use a stem-mounted phone mount for navigation on my tourer, and occasionally on my hybrid. I have tried my phone in a toptube bag, and don't get on with either the bag aspect or the position.

One benefit I find is that mounting it further forwards means I can mount it more upright, which shields the screen a bit against both rain (waterproof phone) and sun. I've just made a little wind/rain shield for my stem mount, which I'll take on its first long ride tonight. It would be nice if someone made something like this.

On the MTB I occasionally use the toptube bag, but I'm more worried about knocks and more willing to stop for the map, and it's easier to move the toptube bag between bikes than the customised stem mount.

Edit: some pictures of the mount I use, more details on the windshield.

It did a good job of keeping the rain off the screen while moving, but I didn't have to navigate stop-start traffic in the rain so that's still untested.

Rider's view This is about what I see when riding (if on the drops I can still see enough of the map, but not my stats). The toptube bag holds snacks, keys, and battery pack if needed, as well as the cue sheet/backup navigation.

side view of mount The mount from the side. It's a cheap one from Tiger (emergency purchase), with the smoked Perspex windshield hot-glued on (there's not enough plastic on the mount to screw into without killing the adjustment). It needs a bit of anti-vibration (more hot glue, and a strip of old inner tube as a rubber band). Ideally I'd have got my hands on some thinner Perspex (this is 3mm, and a bit hard to bend cleanly using just a heat gun and scrapwood), but it wasn't available in time.

Another detail

Update: That particular plastic phone mount didn't last very long after those shots were takendue to a broken adjustment mechanism. Its replacement couldn't take the weight of my phone, which is essentially armoured - just as well as it hit the road at 30 km/h. I'm currently using a metal phone mount on the aero bars and need to remake the wind/rain shield to fit it.

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    Picture to follow; we had enough weather to put it to the test, and it kept the touchscreen completely free of glitches induced by rain. I also use a toptube bag for snacks and backup battery, but it's fairly small ("medium") so isn't an issue unless it slips to one side (and that's another story) – Chris H Nov 25 '18 at 7:16
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    I forgot to tag @Criggie before, but the pics are up. Here's the ride on Strava. very light showers at first, got heavier at about 240km. – Chris H Nov 25 '18 at 9:58
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    The club cap draped on the bars wasn't intentional, but once it was in the shot I thought it a nice touch and didn't reshoot. And I have washed the bike since I took the pictures - there was short stretch of muddy gravel. The phone app I was using is @Ifor's IPBike with mapsforge offline mapping. – Chris H Nov 25 '18 at 19:29
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    I'm guessing the wee shield will break-away in a frontal crash if your chest/thighs strike the trailing edge ? – Criggie Nov 26 '18 at 3:31
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    @Criggie I assume so. That's an advantage of hot glue rather than screws. But to be honest the phone mount would probably snap leaving a ring round the stem, because there's a bit of a weak point – Chris H Nov 26 '18 at 6:43
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The most solidly locked-on setup that I know of is the Quadlock range. If they make.a specific case for your phone, then that's the best way to go, but otherwise you can attach the mounting kit to the back of your phone or current case. They do small mounts that will fit on your stem or handlebar, as well as an out-front mount that will be the easiest to use while riding.

I use a cycle computer rather than a phone, but the principle's the same. I have out-front mounts on all of my bikes and wouldn't use anything else. You can just glance down at your screen without having to take your eyes off the road for more than a second. If you need to press anything while riding, then you're able to get your hand back on the handlebar much more quickly if you need full control in a hurry (unseen pothole or animal running onto the road etc.).

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I'm using one of those and it's working well, although not perfect if you want to interact with your phone while riding (not advisable in any case). It protects well against the vibration and elements and has protected my phone in a crash (although the bag itself had to be replaced). Good if you want to set some display and forget it while riding. Not the prettiest setup but functional. https://www.amazon.ca/RockBros-Handlebar-Waterproof-Cellphone-Sensitive/dp/B07B9QCD6F

RockBros Handlebar Phone Bag

  • If you have to interact with your phone, then stop and get a foot on the ground. Drivers think they can multitask and we know that's wrong. Try it on a bike and you're not paying enough attention to the road. – Criggie May 14 at 7:17
  • I use one that's very similar, quick simple and works if your not fussed about the looks. – Dan K May 14 at 7:53
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I have used both, I've had a small top tube mounted holder with a space for tools and spare inner tube which is handy. I prefer the angle and look of a stem mounted holder though. Be warned, I first used a twist lock phone mount. I bought a good quality metal stem mount and then a 3m sticker based twist adapter that I stuck to my phone case. After around 3 months the stickers plastic mounting points had worn down and hitting a bump in the road my phone fell off and bounced into the undergrowth. Thankfully it was fine and I have since upgraded to a quadlock system which I hope is more resilient.

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