AM produces bespoke Garmin mounts
Whether cycling for pleasure or in a race or time trial, many cyclists use a GPS computer to monitor their performance, distance and speed, or for computerised navigation. However, a common problem is that the only place they can be mounted is on the vertical stem of the handle bars, making the screen very difficult for riders to see without looking directly downwards which isn’t particularly safe, especially when racing!
Martyn Harris works for 3T, the UK’s leading Additive Manufacturing (AM) Company as their DMLS Projects Manager, and is also a keen cyclist having represented Team GB in 2011 and won the Track Cycling Masters World Championship. Faced with the problem of not being able to easily, and safely, see his own cycle computer (an SRM Power Meter), he posted an item on an online time trial forum to gauge interest in producing a bespoke, customisable mount.
The feedback he received was extremely positive and many cyclists asked if he could produce a mount for their Garmin GPS Cycle Computers. Whilst Garmin do supply a mount with their computers, they have to be secured with cable ties which mean they’re not very robust and vibration can be an issue. The computer also cannot be located in a position that is easily visible by the rider.
Jason Swann, a cycling enthusiast replied on the forum with some basic CAD data that he had already produced for a Garmin mounting bracket, so Martyn set about producing a prototype using 3T’s plastic AM process. Several iterations were then designed and trialed to fit various models of the Garmin computers.
Initial prototypes in Nylon proved to be a little flimsy, and they rattled loose. So Martyn switched to using Glass Filled Nylon material instead, which gave additional stiffness so the mounts were more robust. Several further iterations were worked through in order to get the thickness of the part right.
The nature of the AM process means that small adjustments can be made to the CAD data and a new part built in just a matter of days. Once tested, further modifications can be made until the design is fully tested and finalised.
Initially designed just for use on time trial bikes for racing, the cycling community asked if mounts could be made to fit onto a road bike for leisure cycling. With the benefit of AM building directly from the CAD data without the need for any tooling, each mount can be customised to fit directly onto the handle bars of any bike and to hold any Garmin computer. Currently over 20 different versions are available to order including left handed versions, giving a truly bespoke product to meet the needs of any cyclist.
3T’s vibro finishing process gives the mounts a smooth finish and using their colouring services, they can be produced in a variety of colours to match the livery on the bike.
Martyn cycles for the Banjo Cycles Racing Team and they recently undertook a 6 hour mountain bike endurance challenge using the Garmin mounts, which really put them to the test in some extreme conditions. The result was minimal vibration or movement throughout the challenge.
The Garmin mounts are available on Martyn’s RaceWare Direct website (http://www.racewaredirect.co/), retailing at £24.99 for a standard mount and £27.99 for a customised version. To date, there have been sales of over 500 units. Through the cycling network and online forums, they have now gone global and are being sold to cyclists in every country in the world!
Martyn is currently working on new designs for SRM Power Meter mounts … so watch this space!