A phone mount can be useful for touring, navigating in cities or even during static training, and the Tigra MountCase gives a secure platform, though its RainGuard is showerproof rather than fully waterproof. (A MountCase with 'military grade' ArmorGuard is £32.95.)
The set comes with a handlebar mount and a case specific to your phone type – an iPhone 5c in this instance, though there are a number of models available, check here for compatibility – and RainGuard.
The mount is solidly constructed with a plastic strap that wraps around bars or stems ranging from 20-45mm in diameter. A stem cap mount is also available and offers more adjustability. The phone can be mounted portrait or landscape so there should be plenty of options even if your bar is cluttered.
It's secured with the supplied hex key and a rubberised section on the strap that does what it's supposed to and keeps the bracket in place. I also used a thin section of inner tube to stop potential rubbing on the bar; it would be better if the mount shipped with some extra rubber sections for those precious about surface finishes.
There are three buttons on the mount, two release the case and the third is a slide switch, which locks the buttons and thus the phone in place.
From the front, the case resembles many other matt black aftermarket phone cases with the exception of having a splined socket on the rear section. It snaps on and stays in place by fitting tightly around the phone. The socket is 4mm deep and doesn't affect the size of the phone when in a trouser or coat pocket. It's all nicely rounded so doesn't snag on material. Attaching it to the mount is quick and natural if you've used a Garmin or other bar-mounted device. Buttons and switch are easily accessible.
The RainGuard cover snaps on, leaving the back section of the phone exposed, which would be no good in a downpour where water tends to bounce up from the ground as well as falling down from the sky. I wasn't too keen on testing it out due to the potential knock-on effect on my phone, but it could serve a purpose in a light shower or damp conditions.
I also found it a bit temperamental, not always giving access to the touchscreen, and because of its thickness, trying to use the home button function through it isn't particularly easy either.
The build and attachment of the mount suggested it would stay solidly in place and it didn't disappoint. Plenty of bumpy Scottish roads had a go at dislodging the phone, to no avail. I didn't use it off-road or over gravelly surfaces, but it would appear strong enough to do the job in those situations at sensible speeds.
Getting the phone off and putting it back on was simple and became second nature. A bit of careful adjustment is needed to get the phone facing the right way, not so easy on the stem as on the bar. It does vibrate a bit at higher speeds on rougher surfaces, but round town is fairly easy to see.
An external power pack could be used as the charging port is accessible, but you would need a frame-top or bar bag to store the pack. Probably worth thinking about if you're going to use it for touring.
I also used the system on the rollers to keep abreast of social media during training sessions, and it could also be used to follow a plan on an online training programme, or useful to get the likes of a GCN YouTube spin session to keep things interesting.
At £25 it's not a dirt-cheap solution, but it is effective and seems built to last. Certainly worth the money if you're planning on using your smartphone to navigate or to keep your phone close at hand when on an indoor trainer. For more rugged outdoor use you might be better off investing in the ArmorGuard version for another £8.
Smart device for smartphones, secure and allowing on-bar accessibility
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Tigra MountCase Bike Kit
Size tested: iPhone 5C
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?
Tigra says: "The MountCase 1 is super light and offers medium protection to your phone against impact in daily use. But whenever greater protection is required, its modular design approach allows you to drop the whole set inside the ArmorGuard (to be separately purchased) which offers military grade protection to your phone against water, shock and impact in extreme activities. It works with all CrossLoc mounts. The included CrossLoc Bike Strap Mount is the lightest, strongest, and most secure bike mount system for smartphones."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Well-proven pipe clamp style nylon strap fitting bar/stem size of Ø20-45mm with Allen key
- CrossLoc mounting bracket with patented Dual Lock mechanism for double security
- Single hand operation
- Portrait or landscape mounting
- Works with all CrossLoc cases
- Weight: 36g
Plastics used are tough and the switches feel solid.
No problems during the test. No suggestion of problems to come.
Weight is 90g, so it's not going to slow you down much.
Not as cheap as some mounts, especially those from the Far East, but it seems built to last.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Worked well, even on rough surfaces.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The system as a whole is tidy, easy to attach and simple to use. The case looks neat on or off the bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The rain cover didn't inspire much confidence – but it's described as 'showerproof' rather than fully waterproof...
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
If you're looking for a device to keep your smartphone on your handlebar then this could be the thing to use. The slightly more expensive ArmorGuard version would probably be a better option if you were using it for serious touring where weather could play a factor.
About the tester
I usually ride: Kinesis Racelight T (winter) Cervélo S2 (Summer) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 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