• Ultimate Addons Motorcycle/Bicycle iPhone Mount

    This review probably has limited appeal to the masses but what the hell, if we really cared about the masses we'd also be running Windows wouldn't we? Besides, this review covers both the bicycle and motorcycle version and who isn't a tree hugging, bunny kissing, carbon neutral environmentalist these days? (no offense meant to our tree hugging, bunny kissing, carbon neutral environmentalist readers)

    My writing has been pretty slow lately, I blame it on a lack of time, tenders, a hectic work load and a stolen motorbike which forced me to seek alternative means of transport for my trips to work in the city. With losing at least 60 minutes a day of my time, my writing has taken a back seat as unfortunately my wife and 1 year old daughter moan louder than online magazine editors and I can "accidentally" spam their the Mactalk emails if they start complaining.

    Fortunately every cloud has a silver lining or a black lining in my case which came in the form of permission from the wife to buy a new motorized toy to replace my stolen toy. Motorized toys of any kind are not unlike Apple toys for married people. As a married guy, any new toy required me to fill in business cases, justifications, 26 quotes, financial adjustments to ensure we could afford it and an increased insurance in case I killed myself on it.

    The "Ultimate-Addons Motorcycle/Bicycle Waterproof Mount" is pretty self explanatory as the name does say it all. It's a waterproof motorcycle/bicycle iPhone 4 hard case. I figured they could have gone for something catchy like ibikemount (would have worked for both bicycle and motorcycle) but i guess all the "i" names are probably patented or already used so maybe they figured they'd go for the "we couldn't think of a short name because we spent all our marketing budget on our company name" option. They have two versions in the range, a charging version and a non-charging version, the charging version obviously more suited to motorcycles because it comes with a kit to attach it to the battery (which bicycles don't have unless you have one of those electric ones).

    The package

    The package I got came with the waterproof case, mount, hardware battery cable and iPhone adapter. Nothing else was supplied for fitting (no screwdrivers, cable ties etc) so if you're fitting to a motorbike, I suggest you head off to the local hardware prior to starting after you've established what you'll need. For bicycles, the base kit is going to suffice.

    The hardwiring kit includes a fuse setup and an on/off switch so you can disconnect the power from the unit if you don't intend using the bike for long periods.



    Fitment

    Fitment of the mount is pretty simple and doesn't require any special skills. If you're fitting it to a bicycle, any idiot could do it with limited technical knowledge or basic skills like how to screw in a screw with a screwdriver. Motorcycles require a little mmore skill due to the electrics.

    While it should fit most bicycles or motorcycles, it wont fit all of them, so I'd suggest you look at the design before purchasing to make sure it will fit yours.



    The mount is attached to an appropriate part of the motorcycle/bicycle handle bars. The iPhone 4 hard case clips into the mount and is removable which reduces the risk of theft and saves you having to open the case in the rain to get your phone out. I have previously had issues with theft when using a Ram iphone box which is permanently mounted to the bike.

    Using the case

    There are normally two issues with cases on bicycles and motorcycles:

    1) Can you use them while still in the case (applicable to motorcycles and bicycles)
    2) Can you use them with a glove (applicable to motorcycles as cyclists have those funny missing finger gloves to match their lycra)

    Obviously you're not legally supposed to touch your Sat Nat while traveling on a motorbike (not sure about bicycles) so this requirement is more to do with pulling over to the side of the road. There is nothing worse than having to remove a phone from it's case in the rain so you can set new Sat Nav locations or avoid a particular portion of the route. Fortunately in this case it's useable through the skin on top of the case although you may battle with gloves. My resulted with gloves were inconsistent, it worked sometimes and didn't work on others so I suspect the choice of gloves will have a major impact on the success.



    The one thing I will say is that use is not confined to the bike. The case is designed to be used as a generic waterproof case which also makes it suitable for beach use. It comes with a carry strap so its probably worth considering if you want something for some extra protection around the pool in summer.

    The only thing that really bugs me is the length of the iPhone cable which gets in a way a bit.

    Waterproofing

    This case falls in the water resistant category rather than waterproof but it's does what it's designed to do. The nature of the case means it's unlikely to work if you insert your phone and dunk it in water, but it will provide adequate waterproofing for heavy thunderstorms while riding. The reason for this is charging connector doesn't look like it's sealed adequately enough for a submerging, but with the connector at the bottom, it's unlikely any water would travel up in a storm. I'd recommend against any activities that would result in full submerging like riding off piers, through rivers, underwater motocross or attaching to a jet ski to find your girlfriends house during the next Queensland flood.



    Value for money

    The box cost around $70 including shipping which is not unreasonable given the nature of product. I've seen standard iPhone cases priced similarly and given the built in charger and bike connector provided as part of the kit, it seems completely reasonable. quality is perfectly reasonable for the product. The non-charging version is a little cheaper.

    Conclusion

    The case is good quality, comes with all the necessary connectors and is priced reasonably. Given the alternatives, this is definitely one of the best options for attaching your phone to a bike.

    I'm not sure about local availability. I purchased mine off eBay and shipping was about 2 weeks from order to arrival.
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