Being both an avid bike rider and a technologist, I always get excited when a new product combines these two passions. The team at F3 Cycling must be the same way, and it shows with their FormMount Phone ($59.95) for bicyclists. How well does this mount perform? Read on to find out.
Installing the FormMount Phone is relatively straightforward, especially with the help of the helpful set of installation videos available on F3 Cycling’s website. Overall installation time took me just under 15 minutes, and that was going slowly and methodically. The step that gave me pause was the requirement of applying the phone mounting plate with a very strong adhesive to the phone case. The case has to be smooth, no bumps or weird textures or else the adhesive won’t hold. Of course, this also means once properly applied, you will have one heck of a time trying to pry it off your case. And it should go without saying that it is highly unwise to affix the mounting plate directly to the back of your naked phone.
Once the bike mount bracket and plate are locked in, attaching the encased plated phone to the bracket is as simple as bringing the case a centimeter or so above the bracket. The incredibly powerful magnets in the bracket will attract the metal case plate and firmly snap it lock tight. My goodness the magnets in the base bracket are strong! It takes a firm grip and a good tug to remove the plated case from the mount base. As I gained confidence that the brackets stayed magnetically glued together, I simulated several hard curb strikes, wheel landings and angled shakes to see if anything could jostle the brackets enough to break their magnetic bound. Needless to say, the mounts held firm no matter what reasonable impact I tried to decouple them.
The current design does come with a few limitations that should be considered before buying. First and foremost, this is a one-to-one product. In other words, once you install the adhesive phone plate on whatever phone case you decide, it won’t be something you will easily re-install on a different phone case (such as a new phone for example). Also, the bike mounting bracket is specific to the handlebar style found in most mountain bikes but incompatibilities among handlebar designs might arise. F3 Cycling is working on different attachment approaches. For example, one of the products that is expected to be available later in 2019 is an integrated phone case to help eliminate the concern of affixing the adhesive plate to a less than ideal phone case surface.
- Easy installation
- Incredibly strong grip
- Streamlined design
- Phone Component can really only be used once per case
Ultimately the choice to spend a hundred dollars on a incredibly stable bike mount for your phone comes down to how often you intend to have your phone securely front and center during highly variable riding conditions. For endurance mountain bikers, the FormMount Phone is an ideal choice. For casual weekend street riders, other solutions with a far less ferocious grip may suffice.
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