BBB Patron iPhone 5 Kit review

Secure holder for your smartphone

BikeRadar score3/5

Smartphones seem to be taking over the world of data transmission and display – on your bike as well as everywhere else. There are apps now that let your phone do pretty much anything a GPS computer or heart rate monitor can without having to buy an extra device. The problem is mounting them on the bike in a secure and weatherproof manner, and that’s where BBB is hoping to score with its new mount.

    The Patron iPhone 5 mount fits 31.8mm or 25.4mm bars without needing spacer rubber and secures firmly with a bolt. The phone ‘shoe’ can be configured in portrait or landscape format and you can change the display angle and use the camera through the hole in the back. The kit comes with a choice of open or weatherproof silicone ‘covers’ which secure the phone into the plastic shoe. Getting it tucked in neatly can be a fight, but the snug fit means your phone won’t go bouncing down the road after a pothole hit.

    The non-weatherproof cover is fully open for uninterrupted connection and visibility but the ‘weatherproof’ one is pretty thick, making it hard to see in bright conditions. You can use the touchscreen if you know where the functions are, but trying to see data – particularly in smaller, multi display sizes – involves hand shading and squinting. Shots through the camera become similarly milky, the speaker phone has a submarine quality and trying to get the phone out of its gimp suit in a hurry is tricky. The soft silicone picks up muck and random fluff too.

    The Bluetooth accessories transmit bike info via the BlueCombo cadence and speed sensor kit and body stats via the BluePulse heart rate belt, though we were left puzzled for a while until we clocked the crucial ‘clip the HR sensor into the belt while phone is searching’ part of the setup.

    • Mount (BSM-01) - £33 / AUD$59.99 / €39.95
    • HR Belt (BCP-62) - £50 / AUD$119.99 / €65.00
    • Speed & Cadence Sensor (BCP-61) - £50 / AUD$99.99 / €55.00

    This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

    Guy Kesteven

    Freelance Writer, UK
    Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
    • Age: 45
    • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
    • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
    • Waist: 76cm / 30in
    • Chest: 91cm / 36in
    • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
    • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
    • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
    • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
    • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
    • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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