Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Review: Tate Labs Bar Fly Garmin Mounts


My main cycling computer is the Garmin Edge 510, it's a great bit of kit and has a huge amount of functionality. However, I recently tested a Cycleops Joule computer in a PowerTap package and was impressed by the Bar Fly out-front mount that came supplied with the computer (something that is not supplied with the Garmin).

By placing the unit further out you reduce the amount you need to bend your neck to see the screen, whilst also reducing the likelihood of knocking the unit when you are out of the saddle. Those are two notable benefits, so having been pleased with the Bar Fly mount for the CycleOps Joule, it seemed a good bet for a Garmin out-front mount too; I opted for the Bar Fly 2.0 and the Bar Fly Mtb...



The Bar Fly 2.0 Mount



Starting with the build quality of the mounts... The Bar Fly mounts are made of a strong composite material, they weigh very little, but they are solid enough to last well. There are metal mounts on the market, but experience suggests these can "eat away" at the plastic lugs on the bottom of the Garmin; the composite is strong enough to hold the Garmin securely, whilst not damaging or marking either the Garmin or the handlebars. 

Fixing the mount is simple; you simply remove the stainless steel bolt with a hex wrench and then snap the mount over the handlebars. This mount is designed to be used with 31.8mm bars (oversized), but with a few spacers (not supplied) you could use it on smaller diameter bars as well. The mount needs to be placed right next to the stem in order to position the computer on the centerline of the bike; this is also important if you have tapered bars, as only the very middle section of the bars will be flat and therefore provide the best clamping surface for the mount. 

The Garmin has two mounting options on the Bar Fly 2.0, the further forward is for the Edge 510, 800 and 810 units, whilst the more inboard can be used for the 500 and smaller Edge units, to reduce the gap between the stem and the computer. One of the reasons I prefer the Bar Fly 2.0 to other out front mounts is that it positions the unit lower down so that it is in line with the stem, not only does this look smarter and provide a small aerodynamic advantage, it also means the Garmin is less likely to be knocked in a crash or fall. 

The quarter turn mount feels very secure, in fact even more so than the supplied Garmin mounts. It holds the unit safely and firmly and provides a great position to view the computer from.

Overall, a great out-front mount. It holds the unit safely, whilst not damaging the Garmin or your handlebars. It looks low and sleek with its aerodynamic positioning, and to really add some style to your cockpit it is also available in a wide range of colours!

The Bar Fly 2.0 is available from Wiggle Bike Shop (Link)




The Bar Fly 3.0 Mtb Mount

Long stems on mountain bikes are a thing of the past for a lot of riders. The introduction of 29ers, the All Mountain craze and the use of wider bars means that mountain bikers are increasingly running short stems, often with a significant rise. This is great for control and responsiveness, but it isn't so ideal for mounting computers; either because they don't fit on the stem, or because the screen is at an unreadable angle. This is where the Bar Fly 3.0 Mtb comes in...
Rather than an out-front mount, this is more of an in-bound mount; placing the computer over the stem at a level angle. Again this mount is designed for a 31.8mm handlebar, which means you will need spacers for smaller diameter bars, and the mount will not fit the new 35mm standard. For most people this is great though; it allows you to mount your computer safely in-board, whilst also keeping it level and well positioned. 

There is no reason why you couldn't use this mount on a road bike as well, in fact that is what I am currently doing; the mounting position is between where the computer would be if it was on the stem or on an out-front mount, which for some may be a better viewing position than the Bar Fly 2.0. 

Overall, another great mount; similarly well made, with a secure lock on the Garmin, and a useful halfway position that gives you a great viewing angle compared to a stem mounted computer.

The Bar Fly Mtb 3.0 is available from Wiggle Bike Shop (Link)

Tate Lab's Bar Fly mounts are distributed in the UK by 2Pure (Link)

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