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satechi ridemate waterproof case in box

Carrying a smartphone while riding is not something I usually recommend, especially if you have an expensive phone that’s going to cost you a lot of money out-of-pocket to replace.

But there are times it makes sense to carry a smartphone with you. Perhaps you need navigation with turn-by-turn directions. In that case, a smartphone running Waze (or another mapping app) is the perfect solution.

You just need to find a case to protect your phone from damage!

Let’s look at the Satechi Pro RideMate Waterproof Bike Mount for Smartphones. This is both a case and a bike mount, it’s waterproof, fits most any smartphone, and costs $29.99.

If you’ve been shopping for a protective case, that probably sounds like a good deal!

There are tons of cases out there, but the good ones are really expensive! And most of them require you to buy both a fancy case and a fancy bike mount. The Quad Lock system, for example. Yeah, it’s sleek, but it’s also $70. And the Lifeproof case, which is actually waterproof, costs about $80 itself + $40 for the matching bike mount. (These days you can purchase an iPhone 4 for less than that case!)

Then you have the cheaper “universal” mounts that clamp onto the handlebar and then clamp onto your phone. You can get these for $20, but I just don’t trust them! If the strap loosens, your phone could launch out into the street if you hit a pot hole!

Now, back to the Satechi RideMate. This is a nice happy-medium where it’s a low price, yet basic enough that you know it’s not going to open up and drop your phone.

satechi ridemate waterproof case box contents

Satechi RideMate Set-Up and Installation

The system is fairly straightforward. You put your phone in the pouch and seal it up. You clamp the mounting bracket onto your bicycle. Then the pouch slides into the mounting bracket and locks in place. And that’s it.

satechi ridemate waterproof seal

Just slide your phone into the pouch and close it up. It has a heavy-duty Ziploc-style closure, then the bottom folds over and Velcros shut.

satechi ridemate waterproof case mount

Turn it over and you can see how it all fits together.

satechi ridemate waterproof case locking mount

When the case slides into the mount, it clicks together and is held in place. But for extra security, there’s a locking shaft you push to either side. This disables the release tab.

satechi ridemate handlebar mount

Once you figure out how that works, you can mount it on your handlebar. The handlebar mount clamps down using what’s essentially a quick-release skewer, so that was simple to figure out.

A rubber strip was included, but I didn’t notice any difference if I used it or just clamped straight to the handlebar. The inside of the clamp is rubber so it shouldn’t damage anything.

Then you can slide the case on and off as necessary.

Putting It to the Test!

I installed it on a commuting bike I’m putting together. It fit on the handlebar just fine. It would probably fit on your stem if you wanted to do that instead. Essentially, it fits onto any tube from 0.79″ to 1.34″ diameter.

The swiveling base lets you use your phone in portrait or landscape mode, which is great, depending on how you want to use it. Since the case is pretty wide as is, I leave it in the portrait orientation.

Here’s what you see from the cockpit:

satechi ridemate on handlebar

And here’s what people see when they look at you:

satechi ridemate on handlebar

It’s big, but no bigger than a map or cue sheet holder.

Using the phone through the case, the touch-sensitive front panel works perfectly. I can swipe or tap or whatever I want. No complaints here!

Around back, you’ll see another clear panel:

satechi ridemate camera

That’s so you can still take pictures! And yes, the pictures turn out just fine.

Here’s a picture I took with my iPhone while the phone was in the case and mounted on the handlebar:

iphone photo within satechi ridemate case

It’s not very exciting but you’d never know it was taken from within a waterproof case. Well, other than the edge of the handlebar mount that’s in the corner of the photo. Haha!

The case performed flawlessly during my bike commuting test. The case stayed in place during an easy ride through town, and I could run the Waze app for GPS and voice navigation!

The weather was cold, but dry, so I had to create my own inclement weather…

The case is IPX6 certified waterproof, which is a solid rating. It means it will protect your phone from powerful water jets, like getting sprayed from a hose. So, pouring rain or splashes should be no trouble whatsoever.

I put it in the sink and blasted it with water on both sides.

satechi ridemate waterproof case underwater

Not a drop of water got through anywhere.

satechi ridemate waterproof case underwater

The Zip-loc style seal obviously works, and none of the seams leak. I’d trust it on a rainy day.

It’s not rated for submersion, though. So if you drop it in the ocean and fish it out later, you might not be happy. It could last for 10 seconds or something, so I’d say it’s still a decent idea for a day at the beach.

Will your phone fit? Probably.

The case is compatible with most smartphones, including the new iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5. Unless your phone is bigger than those ones (unlikely,) I think it will fit.

In the photos above, you can see my iPhone 4 fits perfectly with plenty of room to spare.

satechi ridemate case holds otterbox

Even inside an OtterBox Defender case, my iPhone 4 fit inside this.

However, it look close to a minute to get it in. And about 3 minutes to get it out! I do NOT suggest combining this Satechi case with a big case like that. If you have a thin, sleek phone case, it should fit inside this very nicely.

Who this is for:

This case is excellent for certain people.

  • Someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money
  • Someone who borrows or rents bikes, like in city bike sharing programs
  • Casual riders and bike commuters

Who this is NOT for:

But it’s not for everyone.

Mountain bikers

The mount is good, but I wouldn’t trust it for extreme mountain biking. Even though you can clamp it down tight, nothing wraps totally around the bar, so if it comes loose or slips for any reason, it could go flying.

*I didn’t test it during mountain biking, because even if I used it once on a rough trail and it held up fine, I still wouldn’t recommend that you do the same.

Road bike racers

It’s big and bulky, and definitely not aerodynamic. The claimed 13 oz weight is heavy! That’s 368 grams. Compare that to a stainless steel water bottle cage, which is only 49 grams. A Garmin Edge 510, 82 grams. Your handlebar is probably only 300 grams.

The size of the clamp gets in the way, too. If you have a road bike with cables routed along the handlebar, the clamp is going to interfere with them. And since you have to clamp it down pretty tight, I wouldn’t use this on a carbon bar.

Finally, anyone who uses their phone as their primary bike computer. If you use your phone rather than a Garmin Edge, you will want a much sleeker mounting system. I know I’d get sick of using this big mount all the time. It would be worth paying double the price for an upgrade. (Or even better, just get a Garmin Edge.)

My final verdict is…

Satechi makes a lot of neat gadgets and electronics, and they seem to be a well known company when it comes to computer accessories. I think they have a good product here, too. If you’re looking for an inexpensive case and bike mount in one, this might be right for you. It’s one of the best I’ve seen under $30.

Official website: www.Satechi.net

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Satechi
Product: Satechi Pro RideMate Waterproof Bike Mount
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2014-12-13
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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1 Comment
  1. This would be nice when I’m traveling for work (most of the week) and I have to find a lunch spot in an unfamiliar city on a rented bike!

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