The Zefal Z-Console Universal Smart Phone Holder is a handy method of carrying a smartphone on your handlebar, especially if your phone is an odd size (or a different size from your previous one). It lets you access the full functionality of your phone, as well as holding it securely in place.
There are two products in the box: the bar mount and the console mount/support – the bit that keeps your smartphone/device safe.
The bar mount will fit bars or stems of 20-45mm in diameter, and comes with a thin rubber strap to avoid marking your bar/stem as well as providing a bit of extra grip when clamping. A hex key is supplied to tighten the mount.
The console mount/support should fit most medium-sized phones up to 74mm wide by 122-156mm long, and 13mm deep. I used it with an iPhone 5c and there was plenty of adjustability to get the phone securely mounted.
Cutouts along the top and bottom give you access to all ports and buttons.
A number of pads come with the console mount to adjust the fit around your phone. Once you've got your phone mounted as you want, there's a switch on the back that locks the dimensions and keeps your phone/device exactly where you want it, without fear of it rattling about.
The instruction sheet explains how to attach and lock the bar mount to your bike, and they're quite clear, describing each function with a series of diagrams.
As with the Zefal Z Universal Mount I tested at the same time, the console mount attaches to the bar mount with an eighth of a turn, in portrait or landscape mode. Two buttons release it from the bar mount; you just press these two side buttons together.
Having tested the almost identical Tigra phone-specific console mount last year, I'm pretty impressed with the Zefal. It allows you to put your smartphone into a holder, even if it has its own case. It holds secure, both on the mount and the console holder itself, and the console locking mechanism gives additional peace of mind.
The Z Console Universal M comes with a rain cover. It's a wobbly/slightly stretchy silicone cover that stretches over the entire console mount. It's actually pretty good at keeping splashes and light rain off the phone, though I wasn't keen on trying it in serious downpours, for obvious reasons.
Instead, I wrapped a rectangle of cardboard in some paper and put it into the console then fitted the cover, set level or on a slight slant (as it would be mounted on the bike), then tested its waterproofness.
In the first test I splashed some water on the cover by hand; I also splashed some from beneath to mimic the effects of road-spray from wheels/mudguards. All was good, and there was no ingress.
For the second test I used the shower on a low setting to simulate rain, again from above and below. There were no issues with water ingress into the cover or through the unit from below.
Finally, I put the shower on a high setting, but still kept the unit at a distance as I didn't want any pressure from the shower forcing the cover off, as this wouldn't really happen in a real life situation. The top cover was fine after a few minutes, though there was some beading of water around the edge of the cover/console interface. In reality, this drips away as there's a bevel around the edge of the console unit to keep the waterproof cover in place. The carefully wrapped paper/card inside remained dry.
The cover is also nicely transparent, and lets you use your touchscreen, though not without some fairly careful prodding. It becomes pretty hard to use once you have gloves on though.
Generally, though, it's a useful universal mount with a good waterproof cover. If you have an odd-sized phone, or you change your phone with any regularity, it's definitely worth considering.
A good option for use with multiple devices, or you like to upgrade your phone regularly
road.cc test report
Make and model: Zefal Z-Console Universal Smart Phone Holder
Size tested: From 122mm to 175mm, Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Zefal says: "The Z Console Universal M is a simple-to-use smartphone mount for bikes. Designed for universal use, the mount can be used with all phones up to a maximum width of 74 mm and a height of between 122 to 156 mm (inclusive). The Double Lock System ensures the mount is secure over rough terrain. Thanks to smartphone apps, you'll be able to record and save all your routes to view afterwards."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Zefal lists the following info:
SUITABLE FOR LARGE SMARTPHONES : The mount is suitable for all phones up to a maximum width of 74 mm and a height of 122 to 156 mm (inclusive).
LOCK SYSTEM : Easy installation in one click and with one-hand.
360° ROTATING SUPPORT : Adjustable angle in landscape or portrait mode.
WATERPROOF : Rain-cover included.
Simple plastics, robust and uncomplicated.
The waterproof cover might not last indefinitely, but everything looks very robust.
Okay, this isn't for a race-type situation, so the weight is pretty acceptable.
The best part of £30 isn't to be sneezed at, but a fair price, especially if you're using this mount for your primary GPS/route recording method.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
No problems with the mounting system, though the holder itself is a bit bulky.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The security and protection offered.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Your phone might not fill the whole console support...
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
This is a good option if your phone is an odd size and you can't get a specific mount. It's well made, should last well, and is a fair price. A solid 7.
About the tester
I usually ride: Kinesis Racelight T (winter) Cervélo S2 (Summer) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking