Joy Factory StormCrusier iPhone Case and Bike Mount Review

by Brian Mullin on May 19, 2012

The
StormCruiser is a all-encompassing iPhone mounting system for bicycles
(or anything with bars), and the kit includes a heavy-duty handlebar
mount and a protective case for the iPhone 4/4S for a reasonable $50.
The rugged case is water and dust proof, and provides protection for
your precious and expensive commodity, and the mount fits a wide range
of bike and motorsport bars with diameters less than 1 1/8 inches. When
the system is mounted on your handlebars, you can use your iPhone for
cycling GPS apps and normal mobile and music usage, greatly extending
your smartphones functionality, right at your fingertips.

Mount
The mount and case are made from a tough high-impact resistant plastic,
for excellent protection and robustness. The mounting system consists
of the handlebar clamp, and a swivel ball mount and lock nut. The clamp
comes with two pieces of padding, which protects the bars, offers
diameter fine-tuning and keeps things from moving around. The clamp’s
clamshell design is pretty simple, and it squeezes down onto the bars
using two large screws, and the two halves are kept in place with an
alignment groove. Once the clamp is on the bars and tightened down
sufficiently, insert the ball mount with its lock nut into the clamp’s
socket, and tighten everything down. The clamp is fairly wide, so you
might have trouble squeezing it between the stem and where you
handlebars rise or bend starts, and in addition, where the oversized
diameter section changes sizing. Fiddling with the padding, getting the
screws engaged and the groove aligned is painful, and it was not my
favorite clamp system to use, and it certainly isn’t easily removable
for swapping on and off. Once the clamp is in position, and the screws
are cranked down, it never budged out of place, and it provided a
rock-solid platform.

Case
Installing the iPhone in the case is an extremely easy task, and only
requires opening the case, plopping the iPhone in (oriented properly),
shutting the case and snapping the two clasps closed. Simple is as
simple does! The bottom of the base and the top of the swivel mount,
have a three-pronged interface, which wasn’t overly tough to engage, and
only required a simple tap to get it on and off. On rare occasions
while doing hike-a-biking and just moving the bike around, I
would accidentally hit the case, and it would partially come out of the
mount. Fortunately, it never gave me any issues while riding. To adjust
the case’s orientation on the mount, just loosen the lock nut, and move
the case around to its desired location, and then tighten it down. Once
it was cranked down, I didn’t have any movement issues, and it was
sufficiency stable.

I
found the case’s touchscreen a bit thick and floppy, and it takes some
additional effort to get the icons to work, as they can be less
responsive and sometimes not work, and overall I didn’t like the tactile
feel of the screen. I didn’t find the screen too glossy or shiny, and
it worked fine in any light, and didn’t give me any glare issues.
Although the side and top buttons felt squishy and soft, they functioned
properly, although there was no button to turn the vibrate mode
on/off?  One great features of the case besides being able to quickly
snap it off the mount, is that you can easily pop the phone out of it to
use it in a normal manner, since the two side claps were simple to
open. Some issues that I had with the case besides the screens dull
tactile feel, was the earphone port was deeply recessed and not all
plugs would connect properly, and the case was bulbous and fat, so it
wasn’t a very pocketable case for carrying around.

Measured Specs:

  • Mount weight – 69 grams
  • Case weight – 96 grams
  • Total weight – 165 grams

Bottom Line
The Joy Factory StormCrusier iPhone system, includes a protective case
and a handlebar mounting system, and offers a rugged and stable
environment for your smartphone.  The mount was somewhat difficult to
install and isn’t easily removable, but the ball swivel system allowed
multiple orientations of the case, and once tightened down it offered a
very stable platform. It was simple to pop the iPhone in and out of the
case, as was snapping the case onto and off the mount. The case’s
buttons worked fine, but the screen had poor tactile feel, and the
deeply recessed earphone port didn’t work with all jacks, and I found
the case was slightly bulky for everyday use.

The StormCrusier is a
good rugged system that provides a iPhone 4/4S case and mount for a
reasonable $50 price point, and has enough functionality and features
for bicycling, offering GPS, music or mobile usage on your handlebars.

Strengths

  • Durable and rugged
  • Case was easy to snap on and off of mount
  • Easy to remove phone from case
  • Mount was secure and stable

Weaknesses

  • Case screen has poor tactile feel
  • Handlebar clamp is difficult to install and not easily swappable
  • Earphone port is deeply recessed and not all plugs connect
  • Case is fat and bulbous and not very pocketable
  • Case doesn’t have a vibrate/silence button

Overall Rating: 3.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

StormCrusier Specs:

  • MSRP: $49.95
  • Visit the Joy Factory StormCrusier website
  • 6.1″ x 3″ x 3″
  • .41 lbs
  • Attaches to bars  up to 1 1/8″

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