By Mike Riley on Fri, 07/08/2011
Avid bicyclists rejoice! Bracketron has created a case for your iPhone, iPod Touch and various other mobile devices that securely mounts on your bike handlebars. Does the bracket hold up against a rugged day-long road trip? Read on to find out what shines and what, if anything, needs more polish with this bicycling enthusiast mobile digital lifestyle accessory.
Bracketron has done a great job in designing a case that keeps an iPhone or device with similar height and width dimensions snug and well sealed against the elements of rain and road dust. Four foam inserts allow you to customize the degree of firm fit you prefer, as well as accomodate for a variety of thicknesses (such as the difference between an iPhone and and iPod Touch or Android phone, for example). Once seated inside the case, the zipper with overhanging top and bottom vinyl lips nearly hides the zipper seam, keeping dirt and water out. The back of the case is a smooth, water resistant material that also greatly aids in the deflection of and protection against any fast flying pebbles being kicked up from the riding surface.
The adjustable bracket has three latch levels to accommodate most handlebar styles and thicknesses, and took me less than 30 seconds to clip on to my handlebars and tighten down. A ball and socket joint allows the case arm clip to rotate the case in portrait or landscape mode as well as give the ability to set an ideal viewing angle. A lock and release clip on the back of the bracket allows for easy attachment and removal of the sealed case from the bracket mount, perfect for pocketing your encased iPhone during roadside stops or bike lockups.
So how does the device perform on the road? Even on bumpy pedaways, the bracket held up pretty well. I did have to ratchet down the ball joint locking nut tightly to keep it from loosing its angle setting over shocking bumps, but my apprehension over seeing my expensive mobile device drop and shatter under the fast-moving asphalt dissipated after about 20 minutes of continuous riding on a variety of smooth and rough surfaces. I did have to squint a few times to fight the sun glare against the screen, but this is a result of the device display and not the case itself. I have to admit, though, it was pretty liberating to have such easy access to GPS, messaging and my favorite bicycling applications while riding.
One thing I wish Bracketron could have optioned was a safe, secure way to allow for wired earbuds to be used in conjunction with the sealed case. I prefer listening to podcasts on long stretches of bike paths, but given the tight seal that the case provides, there's no easy way to plug in any kind of wired headset without leaving the case partial open and thereby leaving the device highly susceptible to dust and damage. While I could use a Bluetooth headset instead, that means lugging around yet another expensive device to be charged at the end of the day on the road.
However, even with the audio limitation, the newfound flexibility and convenience of this Bracketron case allowed me to use my iPhone and iPod Touch in safe, accessible ways that further optimized my bike riding experience. Now if Bracketron could either create or partner with a bike generator company so that I could keep my iPhone charged with my peddle power, that would be really awesome! For now, I will remain satisfied with the assurance that my iPhone is literally locked down in front of me and ready for my input at any time throughout my bike ride. If you are a biking enthusiast and bring your phone along for the ride, do yourself a favor and take a closer look at this Bracketron case bike mount.
Product: Bracketron All-Weather Soft Case Bike Mount
Rating: 4/5 stars