Minoura Phone Grip smartphone holder  £24.99

8/10

A bulky thing to have on the handlebars - but it is very secure

Weight 122g   Contact  www.zyro.co.uk

by John Whittington   December 6, 2012  

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With many smartphone apps these days that take the role of a bike computer, along with mapping, many are wishing to mount their phones on the handlebars for easy view. This Minoura iPhone holder uses a ratcheted side-grip, making it near universally compatible with the ubiquitous rectangular smartphone shape.

As part of the delivery for the Minoura Live Training package, which includes the iOS app, this holder was designed primarily with the iPhone in mind. Referred to as a 'phone grip' in the packaging however, and with the way in which the phone is held, it should suit many others. Basically, the phone is clamped from the sides by means of two claws that slide on ratchets. To mount the phone, you place it on a foam center pad - centered by a lower lip - then push the clamps in together - that simple. We had the 'M' size on test, which can range in width from 28-35mm - able to fit an iPhone and hardcase. A 'S' is also available: 22-29mm.

The phone is then supported by three points: bottom-left, left and right. Testing with my iPhone 4, this proves to be an extremely secure hold, due to the grippy padding used on the back plate and grips; the phone isn't going anywhere without the clamp in tow. The iPhone 4 is a uniform shape throughout, allowing maximum grip contact area. I'm not sure the hold would be quite as tight with some of the curved phones on the market, but with the clamps clawing around the top slightly, I shouldn't imagine it would be a problem. An additional rear pad is included to thicken it out if necessary.

If you're using this with the Live Training package, you'll no doubt have the ANT+ dongle too. It just about fits into the dock connector, around the lower support point. Other phones, with USB connectors on the side, may have difficulties running with accessories in this mount however.

The clamping mechanism is attached to the gripper with a single bolt, between a toothed interface for angle adjustment. The bolt is tightened prior to inserting the phone, so if you want to sit the phone at a specific angle, you'll be juggling between the two. Once tightened, it is solid with zero play.

The clamp itself is a robust metal job, with a Kilner jar style lock. Clamp diameter is adjusted by means of a bolt on the opposite side, adjusting the pivot location. I found it quite hard to adjust, because of how much extra shortening the lock adds. There is a silicon strip for grip, but it doesn't have much give in it like the rubber gasket of a Kilner jar. Secondly, because the diameter is adjusted on the opposite side of the circle, you end up with a slight oval, rather than a circle. Once I did get it right, the clamp was secure and didn't wiggle or rotate on the bars - fairly essential given the weight, bulk and value of most phones.

With a clamp range of 28-35mm, I believe it is intended for the bars. Due to the length of smartphones and inevitable overhang though, I found this a really bad place. Riding out of the saddle was impossible due to my knee clipping the bottom edge and to me it just looked vulnerable - especially considering the clamp release button is located on the underside of said edge. Taking a leaf from Garmin's book, I managed to clamp t to my stem instead, by maxing out the range of the clamp and rotating the platform 90deg. It worked well in this position, apart from the odd drips of sweat.

Minoura's iH-100 is a solid smartphone holder, which ticks all the boxes and one which I do not doubt with the security of my iPhone. The only flaws I can find are ones which are inherent to mounting a phone to a bike's handlebars: the bulkiness of a smartphone compared to a bike computer and the lack of protection from the elements.

If you're looking for a bike clamp for your phone, you'll have already decided this isn't a problem for you though, and if that is the case, I can thoroughly recommend Minoura's.

Verdict

A bulky thing to have on the handlebars - but it is very secure.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Minoura Phone Grip smartphone holder

Size tested: Medium

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?

A smartphone handlebar mount, primarily designed with the iPhone in mind for use with Minoura's various iOS apps, it will fit many others.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Holds a smart-phone, cellphone or GPS

Phone is securely supported at 3 points (wings and bottom hook)

Softly padded for protecting phone surface

Just pull a small lever on backside for detaching phone

Lightweight and rustproof alloy clamp

Quick release type clamp allows mounting only when you need it

No tool required for installation/removal

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

A good solid build, with well designed clamping mechanism. There is no play once everything is clamped down - just what you want.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

As above, I was impressed by how well held the phone is. There was no doubt in my mind as to the phone falling out.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

I can't see any chance of things breaking here.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
5/10

Fairly weighty due to the bulky metal clamp. An alternative plastic clamp version is available however, if this is a concern to you.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

A RRP of £24.95 seems honest in my opinion; about what I would expect to pay.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

No problems really: the phone goes in and out quickly and easily, is held securely with no wobble and angle can be adjusted.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The ease of inserting and removing the phone from the holder.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The fiddly to set up and get right clamping.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? No - for me, I'd prefer to use a purpose built bike computer than risk using my bulky phone

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes - if they were intent on mounting their smartphone to their handlebars.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

A great handlebar mount, just consider whether using your smartphone on the bars is a sensible option for you or not.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 184cm  Weight: 66kg

I usually ride: Orbea Onix (Carbon) - Summer, Orbea Asphalt (Alu) - Winter  My best bike is: Orbea Alma G10

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Semi pro

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,

 

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