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Bike Mount

Iowa Tom
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I have used my Garmin 60CS for about one year with my mountain bike.


Lots of cycling in rough terrain, without any problem. It has get loose from the bracket twice due to crashes, but since I use a strap around then handlebar it did not fell to the ground.


This GPS is also water resistant so it’s no problem in rain either.

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I've wiped out on my mountain bike pretty hard twice with the GPSr mounted on the front, and a dozen or so times not so hard. I've done it with both the eTrex and 60CS. I've seen no ill effects. Granted, I've never landed ON the handlebars. If you fall enough on the handlebars, you'll have just as much concern damaging your cyclocomputer, headlight, reflectors and anything else you have attached to the handlebars.


I did find that the vibrations were enough to "find" that the eTrex vista doesn't hold the batteries in nearly tight enough, but then I also found that I have a pair of AA batteries are also about 2 mm smaller than the rest which cause them to be loose often.


All that to say, I've never damaged my GPSr in the handlebar mount either on the mountain bike or road bike during a crash.



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I got the bike mount for my Etrex Vista. That was the worst thing I could do. The vibrations would shut off the unit quite frequently. I would be riding and look down and it was off, missing all the track data. Also now the unit has problems from time to time. I would try and find a different method of mounting. Now I clip it to my back pack. That doesn't allow me to view it while I am riding but at least it stays on.



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I got the bike mount for my Etrex Vista.  That was the worst thing I could do.  The vibrations would shut off the unit quite frequently.  I would be riding and look down and it was off, missing all the track data.  Also now the unit has problems from time to time.  I would try and find a different method of mounting.  Now I clip it to my back pack.  That doesn't allow me to view it while I am riding but at least it stays on.


That warning reveals what I was concerned about. I think I'll play it safe and carry it in the belt pack I use. The belt pack contains both my camera and my GPSr.



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I have had my GPS shut down due to bumps (not mere vibirations) that the bike wheels hit. That was because the batteries inside moved enough to break the connection. A different brand of batteries that fit better solved that one for the most part.

Edited by Lone Duck
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That warning reveals what I was concerned about. I think I'll play it safe and carry it in the belt pack I use. The belt pack contains both my camera and my GPSr.

I had an eTrex Venture that eventually died. Whether or not it was mountain biking that ultimately did it in, I don't know. Since then I've been using a 60CS, and my wife has been using a Meridian Platinum, with no problems. There's nothing like having the map and data right in front of you. These things work on motorcycles and ATVs, why not mountain bikes? That's why they call them ruggedized!




Rich Owings




“We were desert mystics, my friends and I, poring over our maps as others do their holy books.” – Edward Abbey

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I use my Explorist 500 on my ATV and do some very rough riding over very rocky trails. I have had two occasions where the Explorist came out of the Magellan mount. My very low tech solution (which I had already done prior to the Explorist falling out) was to take the lanyard from my old Magellan 315 and attach it to the Explorist (which did not come with a lanyard). The lanyard then comes out the back of the mount and loops back over the front then if the unit falls out the lanyard catches it and keeps it from falling to the ground. I used to have a SporTrak Map and it never came out of the mount.


If using the Magellan mount on an Explorist I woud recommend a lanyard.


If you have a SporTrack and use Magellans mount you won't have a problem. (but you could use the lanyard just for safety).

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I had a eTrex legend that used to shut off all the time when it got even a little rough, but some foam in the battery compartment fixed the problem, unless it was a big hit. My Vista C doesn't have this problem, the batteries fit much tighter in it.

I use the standard Garmin mount and a Lanyard is a really good idea. I spent 20 minutes looking for my vista C after smacking it with my knee at high speed and loosing sight of it in a trail lined with tall ferns, it was about a week old.

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Try to use some tape around the battery to make them thicker so they do not move so much in the battery compartment. Also try to use some small rubber behind the spring to make them give stronger connection to the battery.


This has been discussed her before as a good solution. I did use it on my old 76S with good results.

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This is a second-hand suggestion (as I don't do mountain biking per se), but the RAM mount is quite secure and my impression is that those who lean toward the rough riding have been quite satisfied with their utility. I certainly love it for my road rides.


I also like that as I have upgraded my GPSrs, I need only buy the specific model bracket and can continue to use the other components of my RAM mount.

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I have no experience with a Magellan and bike mount but I do use my Garmin Etrex Vista with a bike mount on my mountain bike and a Yamaha Waverunner. I would say the personal water craft produced the most abuse on my Vista such as shock, vibration as well as submersion. I also had a similar problem with the batteries moving around and the unit shutting off so I taped both of the batteries together which resolved this issue. I’m sure if you are using a battery pack vs. individual batteries you should not have this issue.


Another recommendation which “gdps” already pointed out is the use of the lanyard as a backup safety measure.


Let me tell you after getting hit by a large swell in the pacific ocean with the Garmin Vista bike mounted to my waverunner’s handle bars and getting thrown off and flipping the waveruuner over just to see that my GPS was missing, caused a bit of panic. Luckily enough I was able to retrieve the gps and not donate to the sea, but this little rollover did crack the bike mount. After all this being said “USE A LANYARD” for backup.


On the Etrex’s you need to replace the back / battery cover with the bike mount kit in order for the kit to work properly.


Overall I continue to use the bike mount and do not have any issues with my vista, although every time the little bugger got submerged the batteries had to be removed and dried off or they would rust and cause contact failures.



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I’m thinking about getting the bike bracket made for my Magellan but I am wondering if the vibrations on a mountain bike would damage it?


Anybody have any experience with bike brackets? Anybody wipe out with one on?



I took my eXplorist 200 on a bike trek/cache hunt last summer, sitting comfortably in its bike mount. The ride back was one of THE bumpiest rides I've ever had in my life, on the way down a steep and rocky path. My bike has no shocks. It was a pretty crazy ride. The eXplorist remained in the holder. However, I don't think I'd do it again without a lanyard or perhaps a strip of Velcro in the older and on the back of the GPS.



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I found this thread looking for information as to whether or not putting a GPS on a mountain bike would damage a GPS. I recently purchased a Colorado and the recommended bike mount.


I attached the mount this morning and went on a quickie road ride to see if I could "feel" how much vibrations could get to the unit. At least on the road, it seems very little.



The bike mount can be mounted both in the X and Y direction (straight up and down, or side-to-side, if you will) but cannot be swiveled once attached. You could always cut off the zip-ties which hold it to your handelbars, but only 4 are included; you use two to attach the mount to your handlebars. The grooved protrusion on the backside has a rubber covering to eliminate the mount from moving simply from vibrations, but giving it a firm tug will allow you to adjust its position. I haven't done any rough riding to see if it would cause the mount (with GPSr) to jump, but I can imagine that it would given enough force from an impact.


Installation is as easy as they come. The included zip ties are quite stout and once I have determined the favored mount position I'm going to take some needle nose pliers and tighten it up as much as possible. Lowes sells zip ties of varying thickness and width, so if I ever run out I know replacements can be had, although you might not be able to find black ones. (The ones I've seen at Lowes are white.)


The mount itself is of the same design as the included carabiner attachment, and attaching and removing the unit couldn't be easier.


I'd say it's worth $10. :)




Next time I go mountain biking I'm going to put the Colorado in my backpack. There's no reason why I would need to look at the GPS while I'm riding. Plus, the screen brightness is so poor that I would have to really focus on the screen to determine anything *important* (and by important I mean the map), and thus I would not be concentrating on the tree I'm about to smash into. :D


However, I am not experienced with mountain biking nor GPSr, so I'd be interested as to what sorts of things you guys actively monitor while you're riding. If the screen brightness wasn't an issue then I could see having some nifty data on the screen, but since it is not I'm not really aware of what I would absolutely need to see.

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One thing to watch out for with the lanyard is to make it as short as possible or tie up the slack. I recently attached it to my motorcycle and the sight of all the slack in the lanyard had me worried. If it came off the mount and just dangled from the handlebars, it could get caught in the wheel or on the bike and not allow you to turn the bars and then you would be in big trouble. My solution was to remove the lanyard. I do want to make a much smaller version at some point, but for now I would rather lose the GPS than crash.


I have only used my Vista HCx a few times on my motorcycle, but so far so good.

Edited by TravelingSquirrel
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I use my Etrex Vista HCx on both my motorcycle (dual sport) and my mountain bike (no shocks). I have employed variations of the Ram mounts on each with great success. I would never consider putting my "Favorite Toy" on either vehicle without the lanyard! I do wrap the lanyard around the mount to keep the "extra" length from getting tangled up in anything (mostly branches and such). The only things I monitor when "off road" is my location relitive to a waypoint (cache site or a pre-marked turn). I have both topo and road maps loaded, but the information they provide can not be utilized while dodging rocks, ditches, and trees. While on the road, I do use the road map (cn 08) to auto route me to a location, but after that I switch off the navigation mode and just glance at my location relitive to where I need to be when the trail conditions permit (pulling over and stoping first works best!).

Edited by 1XL-on-XR650L
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Remember too that mountain bikes are as different as GPSs. When someone says they had vibration problems it is important to know what kind of bike they had the GPS mounted on. A Wal-Mart mountain bike will ride significantly different then a bike store mountain bike with quality components. A full suspension bike will ride different then the a hardtail or a rigid fork. So when someone says they had vibration problems it is just as important to know what kind of bike they were riding as to know what kind of GPS they were using. Just my opinion though, YMMV.

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I use my eTrex Legend HCx on both my mountain bike and my motorcycle, using the Garmin handlebar mount, and it's worked flawlessly for me. I just use the mountainbike around town, so no serious vibrations or anything, but not only did the unit stay on the time I dropped my motorcycle taking a corner, (a 600 pound bike hits the ground HARD!), but it kept on recording the trace, and I even have a GPS record of that drop. This is the newer Legend, where you just add the supplied clip to the back cover instead of replacing the whole back cover, maybe that makes a difference? Anyways, here's the trace of my drop:




I was coming from the top of the picture, stopped at a stop sign, then turned, and I guess I gave it too much gas, and the back end came out, and that zig-zag would be where we got it back up on its wheels and rolled it off the side of the road. I had a huge bruise on my elbow for a week and half (and I was wearing my armored jacket), but the Legend HCx didn't eve blink an eye.

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