I love my Garmin Edge 800 GPS cycling computer, but the mount that comes with it left me a little underwhelmed when it was time to hit the singletrack. I never worried that the GPS would come off of my bike, but the rubber band mounting system did not hold the device firmly in place. The bumps on the trail jostled the Garmin out of position and it would slowly rotate around the bars. Very quickly the display would be at an unreadable angle.
I was tolerating this inconvenience because I don’t usually look too closely at my computer while I am on twisty singletrack. Then, I stumbled on a solution in Dirtrag magazine when I wasn’t even looking for it. As soon as I saw the picture in their review I knew that this would make my life better.
The Bar Fly 2.0 from Tate Labs firmly mounts the Garmin 200/500/510/800 or 810 firmly to your handlebars. What I like about the mount position is that it centers it out in front of the bar, so that you don’t have to look down as far to see the display. This is even more important on the trail than it would be on the road. At certain points during a race I am flying through the woods at high speed and can’t spare even a full second to read my normalized power off of the display. This new position makes it much easier to catch a glance.
The computer snaps into place in the plastic mount and feels very sturdy. I have never worried about it coming loose in over 250 miles of riding with it on the trails. The way it positions the computer out in front and level with the bars makes it easy to work the touchscreen. Another advantage over the Garmin mount is that the Bar Fly stays firm when using the touchscreen whereas the original mount allows the Garmin to move around when you are flipping through the screens.
It is very easy to install. I had it on my bike in well under 5 minutes.
My biggest concern with it on the mountain bike trail is that having it out front makes it feel like it could snap off when I crash – which I am prone to do from time to time. It seems like the folks at Tate must have thought of that though because when I was investigating the Bar Fly 2.0 at their webpage I noticed that they have designed the Bar Fly 3.0 specifically for mountain biking. The 3.0 mounts the device in the center but over the stem instead of out front. This looks like an excellent idea and if I can get my hands on a 3.0 I will post a full write-up for that here on Quickdirt.com.
Overall, I highly recommend the Bar Fly 2.0 and if you are using a 3.0 then let me know what you think of it in the comment section. The $20-$25 bucks you might spend makes this a worthwhile upgrade for your Garmin.
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