Rokform Rokbed V3 Bike Mount Kit Review

by Brian Mullin on June 13, 2013

The ever burgeoning smartphone bike mount systems are proliferating due
to increasing mobile GPS apps usage by mountain bikers, roadies and
triathletes. This well-made and tough unit from Rokform offers stability with a functional viewpoint and easy usage of the phone.

The Rokform
Rokbed V3 Bike Mount Kit is an all-encompassing iPhone mounting system
for bicycles, and the system includes a heavy-duty mount that attaches
to the headset and a protective case for the iPhone 4/4S. It comes in
iPhone 4/4 (tested), iPhone 5, and Samsung Galaxy s3 variants and
retails for $99. When the system is mounted on the headset, you can use
your iPhone for cycling GPS apps and normal mobile and music usage,
greatly extending your smartphones functionality, right at your
fingertips.

The mount system is comprised of a CNC machined billet
6061 T-6 aluminum mount and its headset assembly, which attaches to any
1 1/8- inch threadless headset. The two-piece case is made from an
injection-molded polycarbonate frame, and has a thermoplastic elastomer
non-slip grip insert that contains a rare-earth magnet. The case
connects to the mount using their Remote Mounting System (RMS), which is
a dual retention lock system.

The Rokform
Rokbed V3 Bike Mount Kit retails for $99, and includes the two piece
Rokbed v3 iP4 case with its accompanying magnet, a safety lanyard and
case lock, and the bike mount and headset assembly.

The
tough injection-molded polycarbonate case was moderately thin with a
slight bulge at the back, and all the buttons were easily accessible,
and although it offered a good degree of robustness, it’s not water or
dust proof. For all the cutouts on the case body, it’s surprisingly
stiff and strong. It was easy to insert the phone into the top part of
the case and then slide the bottom on, followed by snapping on the case
safety lock, which keeps the two pieces from separating during use. I
preferred using the plastic lock clip over the lanyard, as I found they
both offered the same security, but the clip was easier to use and
didn’t bounce around like the lanyard did during a ride. Removing the
phone was simple, since the bottom portion of the case has a nice
indention on the back to pop it off, and the phone would then easily
slide out. The case doesn’t have a screen cover, so it really needs a
protector installed to prevent any damage to your phone in adverse
outdoor conditions, though I ran mine without any ill effects.

Installation
of the mount was a fairly simple task. You remove the existing headset
cap and bolt, and attach the new cap with the socket side pointing up.
Then insert the cylindrical pivot into the mount, drop the bolt through
the pivot and mesh the assembly onto the cap socket. Tighten things down
slightly, and adjust the mounts pitch angle and alignment with the
stem, and torque down to the proper spec. You are constrained on the
downward pitch angle of the mount by the stem rise and/or the spacer
stack height that might exist on the top of your stem. My Syntace stem
has a 6° rise, and that worked perfectly for viewing and usage of the
phone.

The Remote
Mounting System (RMS) is comprised of the four prongs or tabbed male
mount, and the case’s female four notched receptacle. The mount has its
tabs aligned horizontally or vertically to the attached object, while
the case’s notches offset 25°. To engage the case to the mount, you turn
the case off axis by 25°, mesh the tabs and notches together, and twist
the case until it clicks. The case and mount magnets give a quick snap
when aligned, though they’re so powerful, they can make getting the tabs
and notches meshed together tough sometimes. You can mount the case
horizontally or vertically, depending upon your requirements, or the
phone apps.

The
magnet on the back of the case allows you to attach the phone in a
variety of places where any metal surface exists (shown above on a
fridge), and the strength of the powerful rare-earth magnet keeps it
securely in place just about anywhere.

Impressions
The mount system offers a very secure and stable platform for the
phone, and no matter how gnarly the trail was the case stayed right in
place and never changed position. On the rare occasion that I would hit
the case, the magnets kept everything situated properly, even when the
case would get a bit off center. It was easy to take the case off and on
for normal usage, although it was tougher to install since you had to
align things properly. The case itself was nice to use, and all the
phone’s buttons and camera were accessible. The case was slippery enough
to slide in and out of pockets, and it’s fairly slim, with slightly
more thickness on the back to incorporate the magnet and RMS connection,
though it isn’t enough to be obtrusive. I appreciated the additional
benefit of having the ability to attach the case to any metal surface
using the magnet, and that came in handy more than a couple of times. I
never had any issues with the two-piece case coming apart, since they
fit snugly together, though I did always have the safety lock clip in
place, even when not biking. It does take a bit more effort to install
the mount since it requires swapping out the headset cap, but once it
was done, it offered great stability. The pivot by the headset has
enough friction to keep the mount’s tilt from changing, but if use
enough force on the mount, you can make minor tweaks to the pitch angle.

Bottom Line
The Rokform Rokbed V3 Bike Mount Kit at $99, is a nice bike mount
system for a smartphone, with variants for the iPhone 4/4, iPhone 5, and
Samsung Galaxy s3, and have all the items required to attach it to a
bike’s headset. The tough polycarbonate case is sleek and thin with easy
access to all the phone’s buttons, and it provided decent protection,
though it’s missing waterproof and dustproof attributes. It was simple
to pop the phone in and out of the case when required. Their Remote
Mounting System worked well, and as long as you had the case and mount
meshed properly, it was a simple interface to use, greatly aided by the
strong magnets of the case and mount. The mount itself offered a stable
and secure platform for the phone, no matter how bumpy the trail
conditions were.

It’s a bit pricey at $99 for the entire package,
but you do get a well made mount and a tough case. The downward pivot
angle of the mount is constrained by the stem’s rise, so depending on
your setup it might or might not put the case at desired location.

This
is an excellent bike mount system, that is stable, secure, and robust,
and it gives a nice viewpoint and easy usage of the phone. The tough
case allows access to all the phone’s buttons and screen, and the RMS
connection system between the case and mount functions well and offers
good security for your phone.

Strengths

  • Case was easy to snap on and off the RMS (Remote Mounting System)
  • Bike mount was secure and stable
  • Case had good access features – thin, sleek & buttons were easy to use
  • Case magnet allows additional placements on metal surfaces

Weaknesses

  • Expensive
  • Downward mount tilt is constrained by the stem’s rise
  • Case has no water or dirt protection

MSRP: $99

Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Mount Specs:

  • CNC machined from Billet 6061 T-6 aluminum and stainless steel
  • Adjustable viewing angle from -20 to +55 Degrees
  • Magnet enabled grip and magnet included
  • Compatible with all 1-1/8 inch thread-less steer tubes
  • Feather light, 2.26 OZ

Case Specs:

  • Injection molded polycarbonate frame
  • Thermoplastic elastomer non-slip grip insert
  • Remote Mounting System (RMS), mount most anywhere
  • Removable hi-tensile wrist lanyard and lock clip
  • 10 lb rare earth magnet
  • Compatible with iPhone 4/4s

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