Friday, December 30, 2011

iPhone 4/Otterbox Defender Bike Mount

Like some of you, I realized early on that the iPhone is a wonderful device. As an occasional cycling enthusiast I like to keep track of my rides. I've used several bike computers that have worked well, but really fell short in some areas. I downloaded the Cyclemeter App and decided right then and there that I was going to toss my bike computers and use this amazing cycling app. There was a problem, however. I didn't like any of the iPhone bike mounts I'd seen on the market. I didn't trust them because I cannot afford to replace my phone of it departs the bike mid-ride. It took some thinking before the solution (which was sitting unused in a drawer) came to me. It's as simple as it gets and if you already own an Otterbox Defender case for your iPhone 4, you've got 90% of what you need to make this work.
You'll need: the Otterbox Defender case and belt clip (included with case), several medium length zip ties, pliers for tightening zip ties, cutters for trimming them down, and as an option you can use some craft foam between the clip and the stem of your bike.
Cut a section of craft foam the same size as the belt clip. Being a student teacher, I have lots of this on hand. I like the sticky back variety. This is simply something to give the clip something to cozy up to other than the metal of the stem. I think it helps prevent the whole thing from rotating down to the sides.
Place the foam on the upper side of the stem.
You can put the zip ties on now, or after you place the clip on the stem. It's up to you. If you maintain a bike, you can figure this out.
Place the belt clip on the stem and put the zip ties over the clip till it looks something like....
Tighten the zip ties while you make sure the holder is centered on the stem.
It should look like this. The belt clip/case on the iPhone 4 Defender allows the phone to clip in either face down (covered) or face up (uncovered). I tried my wife's iPhone 3gs with an Otterbox Defender and it did not work. Here are some images of what it looks like in the riding position. The clip rotates and will click into any position (landscape, portrait or anything in between).


  1. I love this idea as I seldom use the holster. I just throw my iphone 4s, in its OtterBox Def, in my pocket. Not only is this a great bike Mount, it didn't cost a thing. Thanks again Scott

  2. Great Idea! Thank you I almost bought a LifeProof case...

  3. It's been six months...any issues? I'd love to try it, but being a mountain biker, I'd hate to have my phone jettison into a creek...

  4. Thanks! I did this with my Samsung Galaxy S3 and a case from Verizon (because the Otterbox Defender wasn't available yet) but it didn't work too well. I got the Otterbox and it works great. I mounted mine to the top tube instead; used double stick tape and three zip ties, and a velcro strap to keep the "tilting" feature from rattling. I also mounted it "upside down", or with the belt clip facing the front of the bike, because it moved the mount closer to the head tube so I'm not restricting the brake cable with my velcro strap. I hit it with my knee every once in a great while when I'm out of the saddle but it is out of the way otherwise.

  5. doug can you please post photos i have the same phone and defender and would like to know what it looks like. Im also curious how it has worked out for you over the month

  6. you guys should check out for an awesome mounting system

  7. Thank you for taking your time. It was awesome

  8. I did the same on my side, and the belt clip broke on my first ride (and the road was not that bumpy...). I think this clip is not strong enough for bike mount.