We took the Dahon Biologic iPhone mount with us to the Bahamas and who better to test it on a Dahon than a teenager who wants to listen to her tunes on an Island ride?
Initial results were disappointing because she used her iPod Touch, which is much thinner than an iPhone. The welded touch-sensitive membrane wasn’t close enough to the front of the Touch to allow her finger to swipe or touch the interface. Every bump she hit in the road triggered the Touch’s shake-to-shuffle feature and her iPod was frustratingly shuffling the whole ride. If she were to use it again, I’d add a pad underneath to push it close to the membrane.
The mount does fit the iPhone much better but you do have to push the smaller buttons in an app’s interface hard to get them to register. The fit and finish is what you’d expect from the BioLogic line (Dahon’s house brand) with a curious choice to tighten the mounting strap with an allen key. For traveling, I don’t want the mount to get smashed so would remove it before putting it in the case and this requires an allen key and a nut that sticks to the key. Suggest rev 2 of the mount use a wing nut or knurled thumb nut instead. Note: The mount allows the case to be pivoted 360-degrees for use in either portrait or landscape mode, also removed, and a camera port.
I don’t doubt the shockproof features of the mount, but would not want to test it’s waterproofness myself. Water gets into everything during a Seattle rain ride and that’ll void you warranty quicker than dropping your phone in a toilet. For a drizzle, a few drops, or getting caught in the rain, I’m sure it’s fine. But I would not set out for a training ride or long tour with it and that’s where you run into the limits of the iPhone as a bike computer. We discussed this recently at length when Andrew posted on the new ANT+ for iPhone software. I think the sweet spot, the potential killer app, is a device that gathers data, syncs with and lets you manipulate the data on your iPhone instead of forcing it to work like a Garmin, iBike, or PowerTap.
Besides the software, 3G network, and the potential for bricking the iPhone in foul weather, is that you’re going to have to look to touch. The iPhone doesn’t have a “dying up this climb, tap a button, what’s my power, ZOMG, I’m bonking” feature. Or even simpler, just a glance at speed, cadence, and location. You’re going to constantly touch, toggle, and work with the interface and that’s taking your hands off the bar and eyes off the road. There’s a potential heat issue as well. Sealed from the elements also means there’s no vent holes for a Summer day.
For riding around, listening to tunes, answering a call, taking video, the mount works well and we recommend it. We did expect it to have better isolation from the road, possibly suspension or dampening, and a mounting system that didn’t require a tool. The mount does not work well with an iPod Touch.
We want to test it next with their ReeCharge (formerly FreeCharge) system.
Dave, who publishes a blog about living in Hawaii, attached the mount to his Ducati with great success, including riding in the rain.
Also while we tested the mount with an iPod Touch, anticipating others would want to as well, the product is not intended for the Touch.
The MSRP for the mount is $59.00 and they are availabe from your local bike shop, online from Dahon, and on Amazon.com.
We're riding townies, adventure, and mountain bikes. Find recommendations on our store page. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.