You never know when you will need to text while in a traffic jam, check directions on Google Maps or ignore your mother calling, so for all these eventualities I like to have my phone handy while out on the bike. The Tigra Sport BikeConsole iPhone 5 Bike Mount (also available for earlier iPhones, Samsung, HTC, and others) keeps my phone accessible and safe while I'm out on the road.
I'm not suggesting you text while riding, but like many people, I carry my phone with me constantly and this does not change when I am on a bike. I don't want to be reaching into a pocket if I feel my phone vibrating, and the thought of stowing it away in a bag for the whole trip fills me with a rising nervous dread. Besides wanting to see if my friend has texted to say they have arrived before me (I am a notoriously slow rider), I use my iPhone as my go-to device for both route mapping and fitness recording apps, so having it visible and usable is a must for me when out and about.
With a mounted phone holder I am looking for security on the bike and ease of unclipping. The BikeConsole comes with detailed (and thus quite confusing) installation diagrams without written instructions, but luckily the website provides a how-to video to help the process along. Once I understood what was required of me, the installation of the mounting bracket was fairly quick and easy, with a Jubilee clip style attachment that fits on bars or stems 20-45mm thick. It coped with the taper of my handlebars and looks like it would wrap around non-circular bars with relative ease. An Allen key (provided) tightens the mounting and a rubber strip is included to enhance the grip.
The phone holder then clips securely onto the mount and an additional metal screw ensures the mount and holder stay together. This gave me confidence that they wouldn't part company over bumpy ground or off kerbs. The case has two double-hinged latches to hold the phone in place, which also feels secure – an opportunist thief couldn't simply grab the phone out of the mount at traffic lights.
Inside the mount there is an optional silicone casing to use to cover a naked iPhone and provide an additional layer of bump-resistance. Alternatively I could leave my phone in my own case; it slotted neatly into the foam cut-out without issue.
All the buttons are accessible when the phone is in the holder, and are easy to use when on the move. The cover integrated a touch screen, which was as if not more reliable than the actual iPhone screen when using gloves. It switched between portrait and landscape modes easily and could be set at an angle as wished, which was useful when trying to take photos on the move. Rain caused no problems for the unit (it's rated IPX4 which means it's at least splash-proof) and sun only in so much as usually stops screens being seen easily in strong daylight.
The case apparently has 'sound boost technology' but I couldn't hear my sat nav app directions while on the move and only barely while stationary. There is access for headphones so if you had a long enough cable it wouldn't be an insurmountable problem. I didn't try any drop tests but the unit appears to be as solid as this type of plastic gets.
At £35 the BikeConsole mount is at the pricier end of the range, but this is set favourably against the high level of security I felt it gave my phone. Seeing as the phone would cost upwards of £400 to replace, this is small change, but I do feel that it is overpriced for what it actually is - a plastic surround for a phone. However, shop around a bit and you can find it for quite a lot less.
After a month of steady use the unit has presented no particular flaws and has felt sturdy and safe around my most precious cargo.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Bike Console iPhone5 bike mount
Size tested: n/a
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?
They say: world's most versatile bike mount for iPhone 5. Loads of improvements from previous models.
I'm not sure it quite lives up to the claim, but it is a bike mount, and it fits most bikes with bars/stems of 20-45mm.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fits iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s (except that Touch ID cannot be used).
IPX4 Waterproof submersible.
Drop tests from 2 meters on hard concrete floor at multiple angles.
Touch screen operable with sensitivity over 90%.
Strong case and mounting bracket made of engineering plastics.
2 Double-hinged latches lock phone in with extra security.
Pocket-friendly flat back design.
New safety lock design prevents case from falling out of bracket
360 degrees rotation with reinforced rotation mechanism
Home and sleep/wake buttons operable
Total weight 174g (iPhone excluded).
£34.95 Quite expensive compared to the car equivalents.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It held my phone securely and was easy to operate.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fact that the touch screen still worked perfectly.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
To take it off you need to undo a security screw.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but it's pricy.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 5'7 Weight: size 16
I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure