iPow Universal Smartphone Bike Mount Review:
Today is a great day! I learned that there’s yet another product on the market that I can no longer live without. The iPow Universal Smartphone Bike Mount is a fantastically simple addition to your leisure bike ride or your hilly mountain-bike thrash through the woods.
The holder is quick and painless to install, but the instructions are a little terse and somewhat insulting (“Pls twist and lock…”). “Please spell please” was my first impression. I recommend simply ignoring the text and looking at the pictures. They are more informative and make install straightforward. The first step is to unscrew the nut that is right behind the part that holds your phone. Do this until it comes free and then pull gently and remove the holder from the clamp. Use one or both of the included rubber pads and wrap around your bike frame where you want to holder installed. I only used one of the two. You just want to have it positioned so that both of the pieces that clamp to your frame have some rubber between them and the metal of your bike. You don’t have to get it perfectly straight as the holder’s convenient adjustment screw will allow you to position the phone right where you want it within reason. My mount fits perfectly in the bend of my handlebars right next to my reflector. The instructions talk of “twisting and locking” the clamp to your frame. My advice is to just unscrew the two pieces until they come completely apart, position, and then screw together. Very easy. Finally just put the tightening nut upside down on the “ball” that is on the top of the clamp on your bike, push down the holder, and then screw the nut tight.
You will have a great deal of flexibility in positioning your phone once the clamp is installed, my advice is to loosen the nut slightly, move in to a position very close to where you want it, and then tighten it down. If you do it right, you will have a surprisingly stable mount for your phone.
At first I was slightly worried about how this was going to hold my phone, but the mount’s rubber grip will hold your phone tight. I was able to bike on the street and in some bumpy, hilly, gnarly areas without any slippage of the phone. You might even find it fun to take some selfie videos while riding, or re-position the mount a bit and get some fantastic ride videos.
This mount, combined with Google MyTracks running on my phone, is my new friend. My old bike computer is now officially retired. A word of caution: you will feel very tempted to fiddle with your phone while riding so don’t forget to consider hazards while using. Also, if you’ve been using a bike computer for awhile, you might find it tempting to leave your phone strapped to your bike while you stop for coffee; don’t invite people to steal.
In summary, this is a sturdy mount that is worth your attention if you are considering a new way to track your rides or stay informed on the go. I could see it being a great companion to a pair of bluetooth headphones so you can keep the tunes playing without wearing an arm band or a backpack to keep your phone safe.