Introduction: How to Make the Best GPS Bike Mount - for Free!

Picture of How to Make the Best GPS Bike Mount - for Free!

You can easily make a better GPS bike mount than Garmin can - and you can do it for free! My Garmin bike mount snapped in the middle of a trip, so i scrounged around the back of the car and turned up an innertube and a thick car-washing sponge - that's all you need! after a bit of creative wrapping, the best gps bike mount ever was devised. i've since done some serious off-road riding with it, and i can authoritatively say that the mount shown below is the most functionally perfect GPS bike mount ever. it is 100% vibration & rattle free, the gps does not budge at all, it's lightweight, inexpensive, and very quick to put the gps on and off the bike. you can build the entire mount in under 5 minutes.

Some background: up to now I've used the garmin mounts for my current 76-series unit, and for my older Etrex, and only had endless problems with them. vibration is a big problem with all the Garmin mounts, especially with the larger GPS units like the 76's. the GPS mount vibrates constantly making an annoying rattling sound which is very distracting. on top of that the GPS has varying sensitivity to shock, with the etrex it would constantly shut off when i hit bumps, the 76 is a bit better although i still had to hack it to make it totally shock-proof. and of course, the 76 mount ultimately just snapped when i hit a big bump.

This project is brought to you by MonkeyLectric and the Monkey Light bike light

Step 1: Tie on the Innertube

Picture of Tie on the Innertube

a full innertube is pretty beefy for just a GPS, so for my large 76 unit i cut a MTB innertube in half lengthwise. for a smaller GPS try a quarter of an MTB tube, or half a road tube.

Step 2: Tie on the Gps

Picture of Tie on the Gps

the wrap pattern you use will depend on the gps, and where you can strap across it. but the basic pattern is to tie onto the handlebar, wrap down the stem and back up the stem (sometimes going over the gps and sometimes just around the stem), and then tie onto the handlebar on the opposite side from where you started.

the 2" thick sponge takes up all the un-evenness of the stem/headtube/handlebar

Step 3: Finish Up

Picture of Finish Up

make sure you wrap the inner-tube about as tight as you can - that is the secret to keeping the unit rock-steady.

Step 4: Done!

Picture of Done!

go do some riding!


virian (author)2015-07-05

Here is a good common since solution to an idea, That did not, Require a lot of money, it doe's the job, It is safe and effective! good job. Virian.

Fireinthedisco (author)2006-08-13

yea free after a $60 rebate for a gps...

uhh, dude? this instructable is for a gps MOUNT, not the unit itself. if you don't have a gps unit, why would you need a mount for it? also of note, I tried something similar with my ipod, DON'T, they're too flimsy.

dan (author)0.775volts2006-08-15

do not attach anything with a hard drive to the handlebar, it will get destroyed fast. a flash-based mp3 player should be able to handle the vibration, but yeah, the cases are not as strong as a gps case so you'd need to be a little more careful with it - although i think some form of innertube+foam could work.

firefletcher (author)dan2009-11-05

how do you think my camera would handle being on the handle bars. I have recently made a mount for my camera and am looking forward to going off road with it to film the trail. The camera is digital and fairly old and i was wondering how do you think it will come with off road downhill trails??? I want to enjoy using the camera so just letting it sit at home would be pointless. so i am prepared to risk it a bit.

Myself (author)dan2006-08-31

This would be a fine way to secure one of the smaller clear Pelican cases, or an Otter Box, or Tupperware or whatever. Into that, place your device plus a bit of foam as a rattle suppressor. If you can find natural rubber foam, it absorbs bounces better than synthetic.

terrancio (author)0.775volts2008-06-04

You misread this instructable, i believe, but he is giving you ideas, willing to take them and adapt them to your particular items? am i missing something here?

ChrisTexan (author)0.775volts2007-05-15

Hmmm, it would probably work with an IPod or other "weaker" item with a small modification... cut a "socket" the size (or just barely smaller than) of the item in question (just smaller than the IPod) into the sponge, and deep enough to completely nest the item into. Then tightly wrap the innertube over the nest area, squeezing the item into place with the sponge compression (and securing it from bouncing out with the tube passing over the "nest", without the high pressure of the tube pushing directly on it.

0.775volts (author)ChrisTexan2007-05-15

that sounds like it would work pretty well. I found a solution that works for me though, I juat bought a cheapo 4 gb music player, that way if I ever go over the handlebars It's one less thing i have to worry about. the Ipod can stay safe that way.

cgr103 (author)2009-10-19

Put the sponge in a ziploc bag or the bag your newspaper uses.  That would keep it dry.

ReCreate (author)2009-01-29

good i found a $200 Etrex garmin gps in the trash one day I also found a DELL LAPTOP WORKING CONDITION in the trash too! AMAZING

thepaul93 (author)ReCreate2009-04-03

good find

ReCreate (author)thepaul932009-04-04


thepaul93 (author)ReCreate2009-04-04

what etrex did you get?, and what are the specs of the laptop?

ReCreate (author)thepaul932009-04-05

Its a Garmin etrex legend(google it and you will find it) Also,the laptop. 1.5GHz processor,512MB of ram Came with XP(and has label on the underside) 60Gb hdd Its a dell inspron 6000 something Very new boots from the usb Also has a very good battery with no stress it laster 2+hours on battery

thepaul93 (author)ReCreate2009-04-05

Wow, they will both come in handy. :)

ReCreate (author)thepaul932009-04-05

indeed. i got it to boot slax very nicely too

pollag (author)2008-08-25

I Like it, Tube comes in really handy!

chrismcnally (author)2008-04-25

Frankly I think this is brilliant. Works flawlessly and takes only a few minutes to build with crap laying around your garage. I will probably adapt your design for my Nokia N800. Thanks!

casey321b (author)2008-04-16

inertubes are meant for tubing in rivers and stuff not for anything else. espetialy tires!!! not for tires! lol plus that looks how do I put this - CRAP! sry if it sounds mean but it looks like you duct taped some insulin and a cell phone to ur bike. like doesnt that look like a huge cell phone?

Whatnot (author)2007-06-28

lol, it seems usable but looks a bit bad, also I don't like the smell of inner tubes and how they make your hands smell, and lastly if it rains that sponge is going to be disastrous :) Tying things and other uses for inner tubes are a good idea though because it's a sturdy usable material and not expensive either if you were to use a new one.

Remf (author)2006-09-28

That looks horrible! Buddy of mine has the same GPS and if want to ride with it, do your self a favor and something that looks better. He has one of these Topeak front handlebar bag mounts that has a riser attachment for a bike computer, essentially the same diamter as a handlebar. Just mount your Garmin handlebar mount on that and you are golden.

Or, you can do what I have done and if your GPS has one of those cell phone clip thingies on the back so that you can clip it into the belt hook, you can get an extra one from radio shack and use zip ties to hold it down to my stem.

Then I took an old cell phone holder, for when cell phones were the same size as my GPS, cut off the top, cut a notch in the back for the phone clip, and then cut out the front of the holder so you can see the screen and just use a little micro-bungie to hold in place. The cell phone pouch gives it cushion against the stem.

Check out my blog for a good example of this:

dan (author)Remf2006-12-04

i don't know about you, but when i'm blasting down a trail in remote wilderness i make sure to tip my head a little to the left so that the wildlife will see me in my most flatteringly attractive profile. its true that this reduces my peripheral vision a bit on the left side, but who cares? if i can't look good doing something, why would i want to do it at all? anyhoo, as noted in the first sentence this was an emergency, i threw it together in 5 minutes in the middle of a trip using the crap that was in my car at the time. you could easily make it much cleaner at home by cutting a foam block with a knife to match the outline of the GPS. also, innertubes are the new duct tape. get with the program.

michaelkaer (author)dan2007-02-08

The new Red Green for innertubes? :) I fix bikes so I have lots of old tubes laying around and have used them for all kinds of stuff. Sling shots and sheaths for a knife and a hatchet amongst others.

dan (author)michaelkaer2007-02-09

absolutely! here at Squid Labs / Instructables we learned long ago from the teachings of our wise master TimAnderson that innertubes are the real duct tape. you wouldn't strap your boom on your sailboat using duct tape,would you? that's nuts. you'd use innertubes of course.

zachninme (author)Remf2006-10-06

Did you actually read it? He said that the good one didn't work. Also, the spirit of this instructable and site is doing what you can with what you have. (That, and making life easier by modifying middle-class technology)

marca (author)2006-11-02

I have a garmin forerunner that I use to gps out my routes.

Check out this website that allows you to Upload/View GPS Routes and plot them as well as the ability to plan a future route.

Uploading your GPS route allows you to see it on google maps with statistics such as average speed, ascent, descent, max speed. You can then enable graphs including elevation, speed, and heart rate. The Route Planner allows you to plot out your own route, calculating distance, and even graphing the elevation of the route for you.

A very nice tool.

About This Instructable




Bio: Dan Goldwater is a co-founder of Instructables. Currently he operates MonkeyLectric where he develops revolutionary bike lighting products.
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