Saturday, February 26, 2011

Topeak handlebar mounted phone/PDA case

I haven't published a product review on the trailsnet blog for awhile, so now's a good time to review one of my most useful trail tools.

Next to my trusty steed, or in this case my trusty bike, my Topeak phone carrier is probably my most important trail tool. Heck, since I often rent a bike, but always have my Topeak, I could argue that the phone case is my most valuable trail tracking tool.

I learned, the hard way, that carrying my phone in my pocket wasn't a good idea. I had finally broken down and purchased an iPhone, because a.) I needed a portable trail-tracking GPS and b.) I love everything Apple makes.

The first time I took it out on the trail, I turned on the tracking system (At the time, I was using the Trails app.) and jammed the phone in my shirt pocket.

Bad move.

After owning the phone for less than a month, I was mortified to feel the phone slip out of my pocket, hear it as it crashed to the ground, and see it as it made its final tumble into a nearby ditch.

It'll be fine, I thought. Only a couple scratches... or in the immortal words of Monty Python, "It's only a flesh wound."


Major damage!! Long story short... I had to buy a new phone. And for a cheapskate like me, that hurt.

So I knew I had to come up with a better system than jamming the phone into my pocket.

I began the search for a phone case that mounted on my bike. It had to be something that would secure and protect the phone yet allow the magic satellite signals to reach the GPS thingy majobby on my phone. (Sorry to go all technical on you.)
Topeak handlebar-mounted
PDA/phone case

My search ended at REI in Boulder, CO where I discovered the handlebar mounted PDA case by ToPeak. The actual case is perfect. It's just the right size, holds the phone securely, and is easy to put on and take off my bike. The plastic mounting bracket is easy to secure to the handlebars and can be put on just about any bicyle.

Topeak PDA case w/
iPhone inside
I've had it for almost two years now and haven't dropped another phone. I have ridden many trails in that time, and some of them have been brutally bumpy; not a problem.

The only downside is that the ToPeak PDA (or smart phone) case is a bit hard to find. I have discovered that the same REI where I bought my first case, no longer carries them or at least didn't when I went back to buy a handy-dandy back up case to mount on another bike.
Topeak case on left & mounting
bracket on the right

They do appear to be available at, so if your local bike shop/sporting goods store doesn't carry them, check out this link.


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