Bar Fly 3.0 review

Bar Fly's MTB-specific Garmin mount falls just off the mark

BikeRadar score3.5/5

After hitting the bull's eye with its more road-oriented 2.0 model, Bar Fly addresses the needs of Garmin Edge-using mountain bikers with the new 3.0. It offers a similarly secure perch as on the road but we're unfortunately not quite as excited about how it positions the screen or its compatibility with some riser bars.

    The 3.0 again clamps to one side of the handlebar like Bar Fly's 1.1 and 2.0 models. However, instead of placing the computer screen out in front of the bar, the new 3.0 mount positions the computer atop the stem – roughly where it would be if you use the stock Garmin mount.

    Where Bar Fly's option holds an advantage is that unlike the stock mount, this one actually works with shorter stems that otherwise don't leave enough room for the computer for fit. The quarter-turn interface is also reassuringly positive and the mount is firmly clamped to the bar instead of lightly attached with stretchy o-rings so there's less worry that your precious Edge will somehow rattle off during a rough ride or spill.

    We would have preferred that the computer were perched just slightly further forward, more inline with the handlebar. there can also be some interference issues when using very short stems or if there are extra spacers present: we would have preferred that the computer were perched just slightly further forward, more inline with the handlebar. there can also be some interference issues when using very short stems or if there are extra spacers present

    While other Bar Fly models can only keep the computer centred on stems with a faceplate less than 40mm wide, the 3.0 has been shaped with bigger mountain bike cockpits in mind and can thankfully handle ones up to 45mm wide.

    Still, there is room for improvement.

    The bar fly 3.0 feels sufficiently sturdy although the one-armed clamp doesn't always play well with riser bars: the bar fly 3.0 feels sufficiently sturdy although the one-armed clamp doesn't always play well with riser bars

    While the slightly rearward position provides more protection for the computer than with Bar Fly's other mounts (or any 'out front' mount, for that matter), it creates some interference issues when using the Bar Fly 3.0 on short stems (50mm or so), especially if there were any headset spacers above the steerer clamp. In addition, the geometry of some riser bars tended to cock the mount off-axis, leaving the screen at a somewhat awkward angle.

    We would prefer the computer screen to be a little further forward, directly above the bar or thereabouts. This would make it easier to view the screen at a glance while still keeping it relatively sheltered.

    In addition, reshaping the mount with two clamps – one on each side of the stem – would not only guarantee a level position even if there was some taper or angle to the the bar but would also provide an especially solid foundation.

    James Huang

    Technical Editor, US
    James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
    • Age: 40
    • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
    • Weight: 70kg / 154lb
    • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
    • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
    • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
    • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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