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Old 03-24-2013, 12:28 PM   #1
JakeOfAllTrades OP
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iPhone 5 weather-proof & offroad-sturdy mount suggestions

I'm planning to use my iPhone 5 as my primary handlebar-mounted GPS.
I know I could buy a life-proof brand case and mount but I don't use a case on the phone while carrying it around so I want a mount that I can pop it in and out of that keeps it dry and secure enough for any weather or terrain.
Anyone have experience with a similar setup they'd recommend? Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:33 PM   #2
mflora98ss
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Check out the mounts that Ram make. I'm thinking about picking one up myself.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/RAM-AquaBox-...-/360507409143
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:05 PM   #3
70East
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I tried using my iPhone for awhile, two problems.
1. Being cold and hung out on the handlebar in a waterproof case. Even with the battery above 75% the phone would shutdown and show a dead battery. Would have to stick it in my pocket to warm up. Tried this with 4 different iPhone 4s's same results. This was around 38 degrees.

2. Bright sunlight I couldn't really read it.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
runnin4melife
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Had the same issue with my droid, I eventually went to a functional water proof motorcycle GPS.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:56 PM   #5
OakLeaf
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I also tried this. Yet another problem with using a phone as your primary GPS and music player is controlling it. Even without a waterproof case, and with gloves that contain the conductive tips, it's clumsy. I have yet to have seen a waterproof case that still allow you to properly control your apps.

They do make 'screen's that make it matte, and thus easier to read with light (ie the sun) behind you.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:03 PM   #6
BillsburgGS
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I have the iPhone5 and have mounted it two ways. Until recently I used the Ram universal grip that has the 6 "grip arms" to hold my old iPhone 4 in Otterbox, and now my 5 in a LifeProof. The Ram mount holds really well, I've dumped my bike quite a few times and the phone never came loose.

I switched to LifeProof so I would have to worry much for stream crossings and mud. I never have cold issues because I quit below the mid-40s before my phone has ever quit. As others have said, sunlight glare is worse than a dedicated GPS, but 90% of the time or more its fine.

I recently got the LifeProof handlebar clip so it's an instant switch from my GS to my bicycle.

I use the LifeProof case 24x7 and have no problems at all. I did commit to go all Bluetooth all the time avoid that headset screw with gasket getting lost. An excuse perhaps...to go buy some Beats BT wireless cans!
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:09 PM   #7
BillsburgGS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
I also tried this. Yet another problem with using a phone as your primary GPS and music player is controlling it. Even without a waterproof case, and with gloves that contain the conductive tips, it's clumsy. I have yet to have seen a waterproof case that still allow you to properly control your apps.

They do make 'screen's that make it matte, and thus easier to read with light (ie the sun) behind you.
I agree, it takes work to avoid that. I "weather proofed" a $5 styles and gorilla glued magnets to it so it clips on my Ram mount. You also have to turn off any notifications that pop up, or while you are trying see your route a big pop up saying you have a text, email etc.

Nice thing is through, just one device to carry, pocket at gas stations, etc.
I use Navigon for my bike and for a lot off business and vacation travel. A few compromises yes, but it works well and I can plan and save while on an airplane or no cell service forest road.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:51 PM   #8
PatrickM
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Tried it with my Droid (Samsung Galaxy S3 for music and GPS) and it simply wasn't worth it even with the larger screen than my iPhone.

The X-Grip and RAM mount was plenty stable, and if you're concerned with it being waterproof, a ziplock bag works plenty fine (just not sexy).

Eventually I went with a dedicated GPS (Montana) that performed a lot better (slow speed zoom in automatic, high speed zoom out, had trail routes already built in and survived plenty of drops when I used it as a camera) and was waterproof along with the mount that was hard wired to the battery.

For music I still run the iPhone but the Scosche wireless remote which allows you to adjust volume or advance to the next track if you're tired of a song.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:55 AM   #9
GSBS
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Tried it, went back to GPS...

After years of using Garmin 26xx series GPS units, I tried my iPhone 4s on one of my bikes because I had a RAM mount for it already.

It worked okay, and I liked the fact that I could see if I had a text or phone call on the phone, but:

- The screen was harder to see than the GPS, especially in bright sun
- Phone's map graphics offered more details, but was harder to read because lines indicating roads, etc. were less bold
- I like to use the GPS to watch what's on the road ahead of me (upcoming hairpin curve, etc.) and this was much harder to do on the phone
- I had to have a plan for putting the phone away if it rained; GPS was totally waterproof
- Routing and zooming in or out was much more complicated on the phone
- The touch screen wouldn't work with my gloves on
- In summer the phone would overheat and shut down due to sun hitting the phone's face (never used it in winter)
- Draining the batteries was an issue for me. It worked fine when in standby mode, but if I was using the mapping or routing the batteries went very fast; GPS was hardwired, so not an issue

For the way I use the phone and GPS I found it best to go back to my trusty 2610s and keep the phone in my pocket. I don't really need or sometimes want to know I've missed a call or text the instant it happens. Nor to I want to be wired (or Bluetoothed) to the phone or GPS for safety reasons. I prefer not to have these additional distractions while riding, but to each his own. I just look at my phone when I stop.

At present I'm a Garmin 2610 hoarder. These do everything I want for a GPS and today have become very cheap to buy used as folks upgrade to the latest and greatest. I have one on each of my three bikes and one spare for when one of the others goes belly up (they all do eventually). Whenever I see one at a good price on the Flea Market here or Craigslist I pick it up. The last two I bought for under $50 each.

GSBS screwed with this post 03-28-2013 at 05:18 AM
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:12 AM   #10
lhendrik
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My experiments with an iPhone 4 as GPS, etc taught me that it is great as a backup unit for when your Zumo takes a dump. Putting the iPhone out there permanently will probably end in tears from vibration, temperature, rain. Cases help but make the phone hard to use, and forget gloves.

It's great when products converge and you can do so much with your Smartphone but a dedicated GPS seems to be the better answer.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:49 AM   #11
darkstarmoto
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Check out Ultimate Add Ons case. I used their case for my old 4S and it was damn good. Just ordered the new 5 case and expect it to be just as good. They have a few mounting options and phone is easy in, easy out.

http://www.ultimate-mobiles.co.uk/mo...ne5___2712.htm
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:36 AM   #12
darkstarmoto
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Just got my Ultimate AddOns case. Wow! Talk about heavy duty. FYI the stock charging cable fits just fine so no need to buy their "special" cord set-up. Perfect fit, the 2 latches snap shut nice and crisply. The gasket seal is well made and makes contact around the entire perimeter. It's just as good as the case they make for the previous gen iphone. My only gripe is accuating the Home button on the phone is a tiny bit harder than I'd like but all the other buttons work just fine.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:52 AM   #13
El Gato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox8 View Post
I tried using my iPhone for awhile, two problems.
1. Being cold and hung out on the handlebar in a waterproof case. Even with the battery above 75% the phone would shutdown and show a dead battery. Would have to stick it in my pocket to warm up. Tried this with 4 different iPhone 4s's same results. This was around 38 degrees.

2. Bright sunlight I couldn't really read it.
I've also tried using an iPhone as a GPS, and eventually moved away from it to a dedicated moto GPS unit. Besides the two reasons already stated above, I'll add one more. iPhones will shut off above a certain temperature. Even if the ambient temp is below that level, the sun beating down on the iPhone (especially if it's in a waterproof, unvented case) and its display on continuously (and probably on full brightness to be able to see it in daylight) it will get hot enough to shut down.

I get the allure of avoiding the cost of a dedicated GPS unit for the bike, but in the end the iPhone approach just had too many shortcomings for me.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:44 AM   #14
jrod
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X-grip and Griffin case

I use the Ram mount X-grip as well and place my phone in the Griffin Survivor Extreme Duty Case. The case is rubber and kills the vibration. Use it every day on my commute and any time I'm on the bike, rain or shine. Has worked well on single track or the open road.

Too big for the pocket, but takes 30 seconds to remove it.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:17 PM   #15
k-moe
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I love my Lifeproof case. It's rated for an hour of submersion at 6M and 6 hours of exposure to particulates as fine as Talcum powder, with no intrusion to the case. With as many times as I've dropped the phone I figure that I've saved myself $2000 in replacement costs I still haven't' decided on a mount for the bike, and may end up making one if i decide to ditch my Garmin.
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