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Old 03-15-12, 10:13 PM   #1
BenBurchfield
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DIY iPhone Bicycle Mount

Not sure if anyone else have been looking for a cheap way to mount their iPhone to their bicycle, but I have found a way that works great for me. Using a broken OtterBox Defender belt holster and a couple of stainless steel cable ties from the hardware store, I was able to fashion a fairly stable mount for my iPhone. Basically I drilled four fairly centered holes into the belt holster and then threaded the stainless steel cable ties through and around my stem. Pics of the installation are here.
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Old 03-24-12, 06:06 PM   #2
Epicus07
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That looks fantastic!

Does it slide around at all?
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Old 03-25-12, 04:39 PM   #3
BenBurchfield
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Epicus, I have tested the mount for around 100 miles or so and have yet to be able to get it to move. I think part of its stability can be attributed to my bike's stem and its design.
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Old 03-25-12, 08:44 PM   #4
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here is mine
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Old 03-26-12, 08:12 AM   #5
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Thanks for the idea. I have a spare Defender clip for my BlackBerry. I can mount it on my bike, but I'll have to remove the magnet first or the 'Berry will go into sleep mode when I put it into the clip.
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Old 03-26-12, 08:14 AM   #6
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Strange. I have the iPhone 4S and Otterbox Defender case, but the phone won't clip in securely if it's face-up. Not a big deal when it's on my belt, as I put it face first into the clip. Won't work on the bike though.
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Old 03-26-12, 11:02 AM   #7
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Strange. I have the iPhone 4S and Otterbox Defender case, but the phone won't clip in securely if it's face-up. Not a big deal when it's on my belt, as I put it face first into the clip. Won't work on the bike though.
That is odd, my iphone 4 will clip in face up or face down easily
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Old 03-27-12, 05:43 AM   #8
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I have gone thru 4 or 5 variations of the DIY iPhone mount starting with the 3GS and now the iPhone 4. My first mount was very much like the OP and attached in a similar manner only using a different brand of case mounted to the stem. After a short time I became worried about the shock and vibration coming up the fork and stem. My second design I made a bent aluminum bracket attached that to the bars and the case to that the U shaped bend acted as a spring and dampened the vibration a great amount. I used that mount all the time I had my 3GS and it also allowed my DIY charger to work with it mounted because the cycle apps demand a lot of power and longer rides will leave you without a phone. When I moved up to the iPhone 4 I got my first otter box case and I have never cared much for the belt clip method of holding my phone (just a personal preference) but the case and belt clip worked great just clipping it to my aluminum bracket as the strip of aluminum was exactly the same size as a normal belt would be and was very easy on and off, and I could still charge as I ride. There was still some vibration though the combination of the bracket and the belt clip and this spring it dawned on me to try just clipping the belt clip to the strap/ handle on my handle bar bag. This worked perfect the bag took all the vibration out held the phone in perfect vision and if I have the DIY charger on when I normally get off the bike the two things I take are the bar bag and the phone so it can stay connected. This has worked out really well for me I know most people don’t have a handlebar bag but if you do it might be an idea. I don’t have a photo of it clipped to the bag but I have a photo of the older setup with the bag mounted and I think you will get the idea.

As to the phone snapping in both ways. I warn everyone about the otter box case as on mine I can snap it in both ways but with the face out I can get a false snap, and will think it’s in there. I always give it a pull test to make sure it’s all the way snapped in. After you play with it for a while you will know what the real snap feels like.

There are several waterproof bike mounted cases on the market now they are not cheap but look really nice. Maybe with the next phone I might try something like that if I start doing some longer tours.
This was my 3GS setup but shows the bar bag.


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Old 03-27-12, 08:28 AM   #9
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Okay. I can actually get it to snap in face-up. It require me to press hard and pull at the "latch".

It looks like Otterbox sells the replacement holster for $15.
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Old 03-27-12, 08:46 AM   #10
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Okay. I can actually get it to snap in face-up. It require me to press hard and pull at the "latch".

It looks like Otterbox sells the replacement holster for $15.
That’s exactly how mine is, and on mine you can sometimes think it’s snapped when it’s not. Make sure you hear the click or give it the tug test.
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Old 03-27-12, 12:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
Okay. I can actually get it to snap in face-up. It require me to press hard and pull at the "latch".

It looks like Otterbox sells the replacement holster for $15.
I bought a replacementholster on ebay for $7 not too long ago
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Old 03-27-12, 06:48 PM   #12
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I was fortunate or unfortunate depending on how you look at it, in regards to how I came upon my spare holster. After snapping the clip from the holster my wife contacted OtterBox and they were nice enough to send us a replacement free of charge. I believe that one poster mentioned the shock from the fork and stem but I do not think that it will be much of an issue compared to riding in my pocket or bag.

I am not sure if my setup will work with stems on other bikes, but if anyone has tried it I would be interested in their outcome as well.
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Old 03-28-12, 07:19 AM   #13
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The type of vibration / G force I was talking about was not bouncing around in a pocket or a padded bag. What I was more worried about and what is hard on electronics is the rapid hard vibration and impact G force. I have no idea what the limits are the phone is designed to or what it is capable of taking. I try and keep mine out of extreme hot and cold, high moisture and high vibrations.

When I first mounted mine and ran a GPS tracking program it was kind of novel and I had it running a lot watching my track. I noticed it getting pretty hot being out in direct sun and would shade it. Mostly now I still turn it on to keep track of my stats and have it inside my bar bag with the top closed but not zipped, or when on top just snapped to the top of the bag.
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