If you are an avid bicycler or motorcycle rider, you may wonder where to put your BlackBerry while you're riding. Tucking it away in a pocket or compartment works just fine most of the time, but what about when you need to see your screen for GPS, maps, music, or a workout app like Endomondo? The Arkon Handlebar Mount with Water Resistant Holder is a great solution to this situation. This sleek, removable case not only keeps your BlackBerry (or other device) in plain view, it also protects it from the weather, dust, and scratches.
When the Arkon mount arrived, I opened up the simple packaging and got right to installing it on my bicycle. The pieces of the mount are held together with 2 small screws, so you will need a screwdriver for installation. Simply unscrew them, and the two parts of the mounting bracket come apart. Curled inside you will see a couple of thin pieces of foam like material. These wrap around the bar you are mounting to, to prevent the bracket from slipping around after it's installed. Position the two halves of the bracket over the foam pieces, and screw them together, ensuring that everything lines up correctly. From start to finish, this is only a 5 minute installation process at most. Fast and easy installation means we're off to a good start with this accessory!
The bracket swivels and tilts, so you can put it at just about any angle that works for you. You can even put it horizontal and view your device in landscape mode (assuming you have a non-QWERTY keyboard device). This feature is extra handy if you plan on mounting this item on something with vertical bars, such as a golf cart or wheelchair. Even if the bracket is installed horizontally, you can still have your case oriented vertically. The bracket is compatible with most straight, drop, trekking, and touring size handlebars and fits standard (25.4mm and 26mm) size handles up to 33mm in diameter.
The zipper case slides on to the bracket and snaps into place. There is a small golden screw that you can use after it's snapped in to secure the case to the bracket, ensuring that it won't accidentally come off. This is both a pro and a con, depending on how you plan to use the case. If you'll be frequently removing the case from the bracket, messing with the screw will be time consuming. However, if you plan to put the case on the bracket and leave it, or if you take a lot of long rides (I'm thinking days at a time) then the screw will give you some added peace of mind. Personally I think that the case snaps onto the bracket pretty securely, and don't find that I need the screw. It's nice to have the option though, especially if I continue to use the case in the future. I imagine repeatedly snapping it into place and removing it may cause the slots to wear and therefore become loose, in which case the screw will become necessary.
The case is well made and designed to fit a variety of devices, even if you have a case on the device itself. I tested out my BlackBerry Bold 9900 as well as my iPhone 4, and both fit well. The case comes with 2 foam inserts, so if your device is thin it will still sit inside snugly, allowing you to use the touchscreen or buttons through the plastic cover. The plastic is thick enough to be durable, yet I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to accurately use the touchscreens on both devices I tested. The plastic is flexible enough that I could even type on the QWERTY keyboard of my Bold with no issues at all. The only complaint I have about the plastic, and it's a minor complaint, is that there is some glare in bright sunlight, but that's to be expected.
The case is advertised as water resistant, which is not to be confused with water proof. Extra stitching and durable materials make the case very sturdy and the zipper is designed to keep water out. This is great for situations where you may be caught in the rain or snow, but I wouldn't advise submerging it in water with your device inside. One last neat feature I thought was a nice touch (and another reason the case is not waterproof) is at the bottom of the case where you will find a cut-out for your headphones or even a charger, though that seems less practical given the nature of the case and where you'll likely be using it. Still, nice to have the option.
The Arkon Handlebar Mount with Water Resistant Holder is a nice accessory to have if you frequently ride a bike, motorcycle, golf cart, wheelchair or anything else that you can mount it on. Obviously, it's not something that everyone will find a use for, but for those that do, I think it will quickly become indispensible. Available for under $20 in the CrackBerry store, it's a great solution that won't break the bank.
Please remember, while operating any vehicle -- be it bicycle, motorcycle, or golf cart -- distractions can be deadly. Pull over and stop to take/make that call. Use playlists for music so you're not trying to change songs on the go, and if you must use earphones (which we don't recommend) use only one earbud and keep the volume low so you can hear what's going on around you. Safety first folks.
Arkon Handlebar Mount with Water Resistant Holder
If you frequently ride a bike, motorcycle, golf cart, wheelchair or anything else that you can mount this accessory on, you'll be able to have your device handy for all kinds of uses. Water resistance is a bonus for those times you get caught in the rain.
The case part of the Arkon Handlebar Mount isn't fully waterproof, and not really practical for use without the mount.
I really like the Arkon Handlebar Mount and the case that comes with it. Not only can I track how far I ride my bike with apps such as Endomondo, I can see if I'm getting an important call or listen to music without worrying about my BlackBerry getting scratched or dropped.
Contest: Want to win an Arkon Handlebar Mount with Water Resistant Holder for yourself? Drop a comment below letting us know where you would install it or how it would help you meet your fitness goals, and you're entered to win. One entry per person, contest ends Sunday at midnight. Good luck!
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