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

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

Intro: 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

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

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

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!

go do some riding!

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    27 Discussions

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    virian

    3 years ago on Step 2

    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.

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    0.775voltsFireinthedisco

    Reply 12 years ago

    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.

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    dan0.775volts

    Reply 12 years ago

    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.

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    firefletcherdan

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    Myselfdan

    Reply 12 years ago

    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.

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    terrancio0.775volts

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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?

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    ChrisTexan0.775volts

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    cgr103

    8 years ago on Step 4

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

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    ReCreate

    9 years ago on Introduction

    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

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    ReCreatethepaul93

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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

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    chrismcnally

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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!

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    casey321b

    10 years ago on Introduction

    inertubes are meant for tubing in rivers and stuff not for anything else. espetialy tires!!! not for tires! lol plus that looks like...um... 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?

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    Whatnot

    11 years ago on Step 4

    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.