An incorrectly configured handlebar mount could be one of the worst things you do to your iPhone's camera when mountain biking. Handlebar vibration might slowly be killing your phone's camera with each ride.
Smartphones are an indispensable part of modern life – and they come along on nearly every ride. But how you carry your smartphone when riding can have a huge impact on its longevity. For years, riders only worried about crushing a screen, riding with a smartphone stashed in your jersey or baggy’s pocket if they crashed.
The bigger risk is to have it mounted on your handlebar. Despite the claimed improvements that carbon-fibre handlebars yield over alloy, in terms of vibration absorption, the best mountain bike handlebars still resonate a very high level of vibration.
Hand fatigue? Your device suffers, too
If you mount a smartphone – especially an newer iPhone with gimbal-based image stabilisation – on your handlebar to use as a live navigation device, you could inadvertently be ruining it. Most of the trail buzz you feel through your hands, is also transferred to the device via its handlebar mount.
Riders are at risk of literally shaking their smartphones into disrepair. The advanced image stabilizing technologies present in most new smartphones, such as Apple’s recently launched iPhone, requires incredibly sensitive calibration.
Smartphones are not designed to deal with the prolonged frequency vibration of a being mountain on a mountain bike handlebar.
The convenience of having your luminescent smartphone screen acting as route guidance has some merit. But is that worth degrading its longterm performance?
Choose premium – if you want to mount
With e-bike module display screens and control units improving each year, the Smartphone belongs in your pocket when on a ride. There it is protected from terrain induced vibration and you won’t be having to waggle with your service provider or technology repair store for a warranty issue.
Not all handlebar mounts are equal. Some provide a degree of vibration damping via the layered structure of their mounts, with softer materials reducing the resonance.