Slipgrip 1.5″ Bike Mount 4 iPhone 4 Otterbox Defender

Some news on the Slipgrip Bike mounts for us cyclists, I found a webpage for the Slipgrip products. On that page I found several new mounts that look interesting. Both do away with the ball and cup joint (although that is still available to order) and just go with straight bar. They also have them in versions that depend on the thickness of the handlebar, ranging from 1 inch to 1.5 inches. I chose the 1.5 inches as it gives me the flexibility to move it to another bike easily with the scissor type clamp that it uses. I hope to have it before the weekend as I have a long ride that I can use it on. Look for updates to this posting sometime next week.

Their new webpage can be found at SlipGripCarMounts.

Update: 09/08/2011

I finally got my new mount in on Tuesday. Upon opening the box, the first thing that I noticed was how big the clamp is. It’s huge! It looks like a crab claw. This is one beefy clamp and should quell any complaints about a flimsy clamp. There were no instructions that came with it, just the receipt. Installation is a simple process of adjusting the clamp width by spinning the cam lever until you reach the desired width. Place the clamp over the handle bar or t-bar and flip the lever. If too tight the undo the screw a little and try again. Keep adjusting until you have a nice tight grip. No need for any rubber shims either as the clamp jaws have a serrated rubber liner that grips pretty good.

The following day, I took the bike out for a spin and chose a route that takes me over several railroad tracks as well as some rough roads. I purposely placed the unit at a 45 degree angle from a horizontal position to see if it will slip. Nope. Not one bit. I am going to like this very much.

Other features includes being able to rotate the unit 360 degrees that is set on a spring tension ratchet. Just turn the unit to any spot you want and it stays there. It also has the cutout for the camera, although I don’t find it useful. I suppose you can mount the camera perpendicular to the road and use it to take pictures or videos as you are riding. I just don’t see me doing that. The case is the same as the original, but attached to a huge claw.

I paid $29.94 plus $4.95 in shipping for USPS First Class Mail, directly from their website and it took about a week to arrive.

My conclusion, it is definitely better that the original. No ball and cup joint and a much stronger method of mounting to the bike. I would definitely recommend this unit to other users of the iPhone and have the Defender series of the Otterbox.

Drop a comment if you have one yourself and share you’re experience with it.

Update: 09/16/2011

It just dawned on me that I can mount the Slipgrip on the handle bar stem. I am no longer limited to only one size of bar to mount it on, so I took it off the t-bar, opened the jaws some more, mounted on the handle bar stem and turned the case holder 90 degrees. Presto! A nice snug fit. Now I can take off the extra t-bar and declutter the front of the bike.

It has been several weeks since I’ve installed the new mount on the stem. I love it! It’s no longer in-my-face as it was when I used the T-Bar.

Update: 02/08/2012

It’s time for another update on this mount. It has been about fives months since I bought this mount and I am happy to say that I’ve had absolutely no issues with it. No wear and tear, no jury rigging, no breakage … rock solid!

Update: 05/24/2013

Some recent news has come to my attention as to the sturdiness of the bike mount. One individual had an accident with a car and the mount snapped off at the joint. Another reader has had problems with the phone popping out if he hits a jarring bump on the road. Read the comments below this post for additional details. Support from the vendor has been sketchy at best and that is a shame.

I like simple homemade solutions to problems that I have. If I had the problem of the phone popping out I would look to see if a rubber band on the top and bottom will keep it in place. It’s a simple solution that I would use as a temporary fix as I look for a new mount.

My current recommendation as been altered now because of the feedback you have provided. I recommend the use of this bike mount for leisurely rides at a slow pace (10 mph or less), for a baby stroller, or anywhere you want to mount the phone to jam to some tunes. For faster rides or rides on bumpy roads I do not recommend it.

Not to leave you hanging as to what else you can use, here are some options to consider (in no particular order).

1. iBike – Phonebooth products for both the iPhone 4 and 5 series that are water-resistant with secure mounts. I have used the iBike Dash case and like it.

2. Wahoo Fitness – They have several bike mounts worth looking into as well as the remote display called RFLKT. The RFLKT is an interesting product. You mount it to the bike and sync it with one of many cycling apps. Once synced, ride data is displayed on unit and you can put your iPhone in your pocket or bike bag.

3. LifeProof – Not only a pretty solid case but they also have a bike mount too. Not sure if it will survive an accident with a car, but how often is that? Other than that, it looks like the phone won’t be popping off if you hit a hard bump.

4. Quad Lock Mounting System – Something that came from a KickStarter project that looks pretty good. Neat locking mechanism that can be used in multiple ways. Take a look at the video of them mountain biking with the iPhone mounted.

If you have had any experience with the four suggestions above, drop me a comment and let us know what you think of it.

Update: 06/27/2014

I’ve been using the Quadlock Mounting System on my bike for a while and love it. Check out the post about it: Quadlock Case for iPhone 5 Yes, the Quadlock supports other phones.

Weight Loss Through Cycling

My first intention of getting back into cycling was to help me lose weight. With eight months into the year gone I haven’t seen the results I would like to have seen. Basically, I’m stagnant. I’m not gaining any weight but I’m not losing anything either. I need a better approach to using cycling as a means to shed the pounds. Just going out and riding haphazardly is not going to cut it anymore. I’m going to need a structured plan or at least move in that direction. Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten better, ridden longer rides and feel better about it. Those are good things, but more is needed.

A trip to the book store yielded some possible books for me to look at. Even further searching on Amazon produced one that is on the Kindle format so I purchased, Ride Your Way Lean: The Ultimate Plan to Burn Fat and Getting Fit on a Bike by Selene Yeager. I’m in the process of reading it now. I’m hoping it can jump-start things for me and get me going in the right direction. Only time will tell. Let’s hope time brings good news.

Happy Cycling!

Top two reasons to do your own bike repairs

For the past week I’ve had my bike in the shop for a grinding noise when I ride. It is something that started recently and I wanted to take care of it immediately. I dropped off the bike Monday morning and was told it would be ready later in the week. I called on Friday to check up on it and I get the usual, “Oh sorry, we have been busy this week, but I’ll get right on it.” How many times have you heard that from any mechanic. I go in Saturday morning and find that they have not gotten to it yet. The store manager promises by end of business that day. I go out to eat, catch a movie and kill some time at Best Buy.  I arrive back at the store 1.5 hrs before closing only to find that nothing has been done. Great! What a waste of time this is. The store manger tells the mechanic to drop what he is doing and get on mine. A new bottom bracket and derailleur adjustment later I’m waliking ot the door with my bike. No charge on the labor costs since I had to wait. That’s cool.

This leads me to my top two reasons for doing your own bike repairs. You save time and money. It’s that simple. In the long run, you will save a lot of time and a lot of money when you learn to do the work yourself. Some of you may be thinking that you can’t do it, that it’s too complicated, you’re not mechanically inclined. Come on, just look at your bike. It’s two wheels with a crank, chain and some sprockets. Sure you need a couple of special tools, but once you buy them you are done. Many of the tune-ups can be accomplished with some basic tools such as plyers, screwdriver, rags, degreaser and some lubricant. Start off with the basics, cleaning your chain and cassettes then move on to adjusting your brakes and derailleurs.

To perform even more, there are many books on bike maintenance as well as videos on-0line to learn how to do it. Fire up your favorite web browser and run an Amazon search on “bicycle maintenance” and you will find a huge selection of books to choose from. The Park Tool Company has an excellent on-line Repair Help and Education section on bike maintenance that is free. The site is nice because not only does it show how to fix the problem, but what tools are needed to do the job. Of course the tools mentioned are Park Tools, but hey, many bike shops carry the tools. Let’s not forget to mention your biking buddy that can also lend a hand and show you. Once you learn to do the basics, you can avoid having to take your bike in for the tune up. Imagine spending an hour or two tuning up your bike and then getting out on the road the same day.  The big plus, you don’t have to haul your bike to the bike store and wait a week for them to finally get to it. Then find time to go pick it up when they are done. How sweet is that!

The other reason to do your own bike repairs is the money you save. Now who doesn’t like to save some money. Many stores offer to install an item you purchased from them for free. That’s great, if you have your bike with you, but who drives around with their bike with them? I live in the next town and I don’t want to drive back and forth to get it. So, that’s not much of a deal for me. I can install them myself, how hard is it to turn a bolt? Discuss this option, at the store, with one of the sales people to see what it is you need and ask questions on installation. At that point you can make the decision to do the work yourself or bring in your bike. At the very least try! The only way you will learn is if you try to do the work yourself.

So there you have it, time and money are my top two reasons for doing as much as possible your own bike repairs. I hate wasting time on waiting and on top of that, paying someone to waste my time. Give me a book, video and some tools and I’ll just do it myself.