In a search to prevent late middle age spread, I’ve been biking 6-7 miles every day at lunch. I arrive home hot and sweaty, so that must be a good thing, right? However, I also feelliberated to snack all afternoon and have a nice glass of wine with dinner, so I’m afraid so far the fat is winning. Like a lot people, I’ve measuring all this activity to feel like I am accomplishing something. I have a mini bike computer that measures the miles and time and I check is obsessively as I ride, to the great peril of pedestrians and small animals. A few weeks ago, I downloaded Argus, a steps and other activity tracker. Based on your location, it can monitor your speed, but also the amount of elevation based on your route for an approximation of calories burnt. Now that I’m looking at that, I’ve also given into the temptation to listen to music as I ride, which I don’t think is necessarily a safe habit but it is a lot of fun.
Wahoo Fitness PROTKT Bike Mount
Enter the need to then attach the iPhone to the bike so I can operate its controls and see the screen. I’ve been trying the PROTKT bike mount for iPhone 5 from Wahoo, a small company that is trying to get into the activity tracker business. They have a kickstarter project for the RFLKT smart bike computer, which may result in production as early as October 2013 For now, their PROTEKT bike mount makes monitoring your iPhone easy while riding your bike.
The first thing you need to know however, is that despite the image on the box cover, there is no bike activity app that comes with this case. The graphics are for an app in development. You’ll have to use a third party app like Argus or Track My Ride. They do offer other physical tracking devices that connect to the iPhone, which I will review in the near future.
In this review, I just want to focus on the PROTKT as an iPhone 5 bike mount.
First of all, the installation is very confusing. The creators found it was easier to include a QR code in the box rather than actual directions, so you need to scan and be directed to a URL to see the fairly basic directions in a YouTube video. I found that a little silly, since the video directions were not that clear, glossing over the parts that were the least obvious to someone looking at the device for the first time. For example, the case is held closed by a stretchy rubber band. Without knowing this, opening the case is not intuitive, and not that easy even when you do know how. The video shows this, but doesn’t make it very clear. However, once you get your phone in the case, you do feel very secure that it is locked down tight, which of course, is the most important thing since you likely are not going to be delegating the encasing of your iPhone to many other people.
Installation on the bike:
Attaching the mount to the bike also requires watching a short video, which again loses a little something in the translation. The mount attaches to the bike using plastic locking ties (think the plastic cuffs you see cops use) that pull and lock the mount down tight. I did find that once the mount is attached and the phone is inserted, that everything works as planned. The PROTEKT shields the phone from the elements, allows access to buttons and screen and holds still on the handlebar or stem thanks to a slightly cushioned mount that hugs the metal.
While all the marketing materials show the PROTKT mounted on the stem, so right in the middle of your handlebars, this will not work on all bikes. My wife’s Giant has a stem that is both big enough and round enough to take the mount. My Trek however, has an oval shaped stem that will not allow the mount to tightly grab the bar. I had to mount the PROTKT on the handlebar next to my bell.
Once we figured out how to get the phone in the case and the mount on the bike, ongoing use was easy and simple.
The PROTKT also comes bundled with the Wahoo Fitness App for cycling – but you need to combine it with fitness sensors to get anything out of it. I am eager to pair my PROTKT’ed iPhone with the Wahoo Blue HR Heart Rate Strap and the Wahoo Blue SC Speed and Cadence Sensor to track my cycling through the Wahoo Fitness app. But that will have to wait until I get the the sensors.
Bottom line: there is a lot to like with this case. Installation is actually really easy once you get past a few confusing moments in the beginning. Best of all the mount really does feel secure attached to the bike. We’ve tried other options, such as the Text Hook that allow for more flexibility in terms of phone or device size, but in the end feel looser and riskier.
On the other side, this case is only for the iPhone 5 and will not fit the iPhone 4 and potentially an upcoming iPhone 6. At almost $70, it’s not a cheap case, though the cost of dropping your new iPhone is substantially higher.
- Ultimate protection: Tested in the most extreme conditions, the PROTKT will keep your iPhone safe through the sweat, the wet, the dirt and the dust.
- Secure and easy mounting: With a simple quarter turn twist, your phone is locked into place with a reassuring click and can be removed just as quickly and easily by twisting to unlock.The rubber stem and bar mounts included paves the way for a smooth ride.
- Full phone functionality: Data junkies rejoice: the PROTKT allows you to monitor your progress on multiple Apps without fumbling in your pockets or packs. The effortless quarter-turn mounting lock also makes it easy to pick up your phone for calls or for those can’t miss photo opportunities and of course full access to your music library.