Review of Arkon SM032 Bicycle or Motorcycle Mount for iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by PlaneCrazy, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. PlaneCrazy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #1
    I ride my bike and use my iPhone to listen to music, for a GPS-based exercise tracking tool, and the timer to know when to turn around and head home.

    I started by using my old Belkin arm band holder from my iPhone 3G but almost crashed a few times trying to adjust something on my phone.

    I looked around and found a holder for my iPhone that mounts right on the handlebars so my phone is in front of me and not to the side. Reaching it is now much safer than before.

    So, here's my review of the Arkon SM032 mount for bicycles or motorcycles. http://www.arkon.com/Smartphone_Holder.php#SM032

    The mount is solidly made of a hard plastic you see on a lot of such mounts. It's well designed with one exception and mounted quite sturdily to my handle bars. It comes with a couple of rubber inserts to help hold it onto smaller bars. And with a simple screwdriver it goes on very easily.

    That is one possible issue, you need a screwdriver to mount it. Not necessarily a biggie, but some may care about it.

    The main case mounts to the clamp around the handle bars with a very secure double t-mount. To make it even more secure, they include a small brass screw that you screw in to keep the t-mount from accidentally working its way loose. The t-mount is pretty well made and secure by itself, but the screw gives a slightly better peace of mind. The only problem I had was that the screw overlapped by a tiny bit with the mount so it didn't quite fit right. A minute or so with a small half-round file made it fit perfectly.

    The clamp also includes a ball-type fitting that allows the iPhone case to swivel over an adequate range to account for all kinds of handlebar configurations and riding situations. It tightens with a hand-turned threaded nut that keeps the ball from swiveling out of alignment.

    The case itself is a little bigger than an iPhone both in dimensions and depth. It has a special zipper that is fairly water resistant and a slit on one end with a rubber gasket to allow for a headphone cord.

    The problem with the headphone cord gasket is that it is in the direct center and doesn't allow for the long headphone plug that comes with the iPhone's own headphones.

    I end up flipping the case around so the headphone gasket is on the bottom and just zip up the zipper around the headphone cord, which seems to work fine. I'll still be looking for a headphone that has a right-angle to the plug. That should fit within the case and then I'll be able to use the gasket side.

    Inside the case, they've included a foam insert that makes sure the iPhone is up against the plastic window to allow for using the touch screen. The plastic window seems to work about as well as any other touch screen through a flexible plastic window I've seen.

    Overall, it's a good design, well-made and perfect for this application. I'm sure it will save my hide one of these days. It will also hopefully help save my iPhone should it start to rain while on a ride. It should be water resistent enough to keep the rain off until I can find a safe place to pull over and wrap it in a baggie.

    I bought mine from Amazon which was selling it for significantly less than the manufacturer's site. It came quickly and mounted easily. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to use their iPhone on a bicycle or motorcycle (or Segway, or scooter, or hang glider, or whatever has bars to mount it on).

    Added: BTW, I have no relationship with Arkon, or anyone else mentioned. I just thought some here would like to know about a good product for a very specific use.
     
  2. cheapa55 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #2
    Thanks for the review. Any real life pics you can share?
     
  3. PlaneCrazy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    I'll see if I can get some iPhone pics and post them. It looks pretty much exactly like the online pictures. It won't win any fancy design contests, but it's well-made and does the job.
     
  4. PlaneCrazy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #4
    Additional information

    After using it for a while, I wanted to follow up and let people know that it is truly a solid, nicely made product. I ride over bumpy, rocky trail for part of my ride and it never moves from where I place it. I even got caught in a major rain storm this morning and rode for about 2 miles in the pouring rain. And even though I use the case upside down and just zip the zipper up around the headphone cord, my iPhone was still dry as a bone when I took it out.

    I now highly recommend it to all my friends.
     
  5. bmwhd macrumors 6502a

    bmwhd

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    #5
    I would really appreciate this too. Especially details of the mounting. I want to adapt it to the device mount I have on my bike already.
     
  6. cyberbiker6 macrumors newbie

    cyberbiker6

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    #6
    Has anyone tried the Arkon SM032 with the iPhone 6 (4.7")? At a height of 5.44", it's just short of the SM032's size limit.

    I prefer the size of the SM032 to the larger Arkon SMWPCS532
     

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