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BikeCityGuide Finn

9
£10.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Very clever, simple and reliable way of fixing your smartphone to your bars, but no weather weather protection.
Weight: 
18g
Contact: 
www.bikecityguide.org

The BikeCityGuide Finn is a very clever piece of silicone that fixes your smartphone to your handlebars.

You may think you have no need to do this, as your Garmin already tells you how far you've been and where you're going, but sometimes when you need to nip down the post office in an unfamiliar city, it's pretty handy.

This is by no means the first such device, but it is certainly the simplest we've come across.

As the cliché says, sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, and there is no shortage of complicated solutions for fixing things to handlebars, mentioning no names.

The Finn has no screws to tighten, no different clips to suit different phones, it's just a strap made of stretchy silicone.

When you take it out the packet your first reaction will be, "I'm really not sure I want to entrust my £500 phone to this."

Happily, the makers have anticipated this and made a nice little video showing a chap jumping his bmx around in a carpark with a phone stuck on his bars.

Quite why you'd need your phone visible while honing your street skillz in the multi-storey is perhaps open to debate, but the point is well made; if this doesn't dislodge your iPhone then it's unlikely road or trail riding will either.

Installing the Finn is quick and pretty easy, although it feels like you need three hands the first couple of times. You wrap it around the handlebar, threading one end through a slot in the other, and then stretch out the ends to go around the top and bottom of your phone.

You have to pull quite a bit to stretch it around the phone and you find yourself worrying that it might snap, but the silicone is very stretchy and fits round even quite large phones (such as the HTC One).

Once it's on, it holds on a treat.

To begin with you find yourself keeping quite a close eye on things, ready to snatch your phone in case the Finn lets go or snaps, but once you've been over a few bumpy bits and everything stays in place you quickly become more confident.

We've used the Finn on long rides where the roads were sometimes pretty broken up and there was never any concern about failure.

As the phone is not encased, you can still operate the buttons and the touchscreen, and you could even answer the phone and talk if you weren't going too quickly.

So, it's late autumn, we're in England - let's talk about the elephant in the room. The Finn gives precisely no protection at all from the elements. If it's raining, your phone will get wet.

Perhaps you're lucky enough to have a waterproof smartphone like the Sony Xperia Z, but if not, you'll probably only want to use the Finn if you've checked out the weather carefully beforehand.

We did try using it with a waterproof case (/content/review/78077-donkey-label-pack-animal) which worked fine. We were a little worried the edges of the case could wear away at the silicone, but this didn't seem to be a problem at least in the short-term.

Almost everyone carries their phone with them when they're riding now, whether to record their tilts at Strava segments or just so they can be reached by their other half to ask if they'll be back for lunch.

However, most people are quite happy with their phone in a pocket, so do you really need it mounted on the handlebars? Checking your email or the footie scores while riding is not recommended, so the main application will be for navigation.

In my own experience, the time when I most use my phone for continuous navigation is when riding in a city I don't know that well.

I found myself on a Boris bike thinking how useful this would be, although sadly the huge chunky plastic handlebar covers on Boris bikes (and their equivalents in Paris and New York) would make this impossible.

The makers of the Finn started out offering city guides for cyclists. These are available for more than 30 cities across Western Europe so far and give you off-line turn-by-turn navigation aimed specifically at cyclists.

They also include cycle tour routes for those exploring the city without a particular destination. Each Finn comes with a code for a city guide worth €4.49.

Even if you don't want the included city guide (there are none in the UK or outside continental Europe yet), the price of €12 (£10) including shipping seems pretty fair to us.

Verdict

Very clever, simple and reliable way of fixing your smartphone to your bars. No weather protection so better for sunny days.

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: BikeCityGuide Finn

Size tested: White Transparent

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?

You can easily mount your smartphone to any handlebar without risk of losing it. Thanks to its simple design and high quality silicone material, the mount withstands whatever you throw at it.

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

Made in Austria from a single piece of silicone. Fits any smartphone and any handlebar.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made and surprisingly strong.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

We were a bit nervous to begin with, but it holds any smartphone with absolute reliability. No protection from the rain, obviously.

Survived a number of long rides. Too early to say whether it should last for months or years, but at this price it wouldn't be the end of the world if you had to replace it after a couple of years.

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

At 18g this must be the lightest phone mount on the market.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

It's made in Austria and ships for free, so we think the price is pretty fair.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Quick and easy to fix to any bike, allowing you to use either their own navigation packs or any other smartphone navigation software. Holds on firmly; no concerns about breaking your phone.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing much.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes although I wouldn't use it that often as I don't need to see my phone while riding..

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 6  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Boardman CX team for the daily commute  My best bike is: Rose Xeon CRS

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels.  His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding. 

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