The Garmin Combo Mount was engineered to reduce clutter for riders that want to use both a GPS and POV camera mounted to the handlebar. This mount consolidates those devices into a singular, sturdy mount that Garmin says saves weight and improves safety.
- Combo Function–The principal reason to purchase this product is to mount both a Garmin GPS and a POV camera, such as the VIRB. It does this well and is very fast and easy to setup and use. It is also easy to reposition on the trail using any standard multi-tool.
- Design–The mount is attached to the bar as a C-style clamp with a single bolt, secured in place by a rubber ring that is specific to the handlebar diameter. The design is very ergonomic and allows riders to easily view and use the GPS, and flip on/off the VIRB for video recording. I do like that the arm of the mount curves in, which makes viewing and using the features easier.
- Craftsmanship–The mount is solid. Using the appropriate rubber ring, the mount stayed put even over technical terrain, despite the heft of the VIRB and Edge at the end of the mount.
- Flexibility–Although this is obviously designed for Garmin products, any POV that uses the same attachment flanges (i.e. GoPro) can be mounted with the included hardware. Riders can also mount lights if they are equipped with the same attachment, such as the Jetlites F3 that I reviewed a few months back.
- Camera Placement–I think that my principal concern with the design of this mount is where the camera is located. Placing the VIRB underneath the mount is undesirable for two reasons. First, it does not make for very entertaining video, having your footage at a low angle in front of your bike. You miss a lot of scenery. Second, chances are your cables will be in the way of what the video captures. Even if you reposition the mount more vertically (which looks silly), the camera will still record the cables from your cockpit. I mentioned that using the VIRB video is easy; taking still pictures is not because of where the shutter is placed. Using the menu is near-impossible because the camera is upside down, and you would have to either remove the camera to access the menu, or turn your bike upside down to see the screen and use the menu buttons.
- Garmin-Specific GPS Mount–The upper portion of the mount is dedicated for Garmin GPS devices. I attached my trusty Garmin Edge, and it fit perfectly. However, I admit that I rarely use the Edge anymore; with the advent of smartphones, and Strava, I don’t often carry around a GPS on my rides. Some riders do, but the only issue I see with this is that you need to have a Garmin-branded GPS to mount it.
- Handlebar Diameter–Probably the biggest issue for me personally was the inability to mount this clamp to a 35.0mm handlebar (stock). I actually made it work by cutting up a tube and using it as my own rubber clamp, I just don’t think a rider should have to do this with 35mm bars coming stock on a lot of bikes these days. Most mountain bike riders still use the traditional 31.8mm bars, but the trail/all-mountain/enduro market started actively spec’ing bikes with 35mm bars a little over a year ago, and the aftermarket followed. As such, all of my bikes now have 35mm bars, and I had to dig out a 31.5mm bar/stem combo from my parts bin just to test this product. This might not a big deal for most riders, but if you have 35.0mm bars, this product will not work for you.
- Loose Parts–The only other issue I had with the combo mount was the rubber ring that keeps the clamp in place. As mentioned, this clamp will fit both 31.8mm and 27mm bars, and to accommodate this swap two different rubber bar rings are included. Because I did not want to leave the mount on my bike all the time, I took it off for some rides. Unfortunately, the rubber ring kept falling out, and sometimes I’d have to tear my garage apart to find it. I would suggest that you glue this onto the mount if you purchase one–otherwise, like me, you may not be able to use it when you want to without that ring.
Overall I think the design of this mount is solid, but I think its use is limited for recreational mountain bikers, or even road cyclists, given the cons I mentioned above. If you are using the Edge or VIRB for data collection, and don’t mind having cables in your video, then it is perfect. I don’t think that applies to most riders that have learned the simple art of shooting POV video from higher angles (or off bike) to make more impressive video. I think this mount would also work well for someone with multiple cameras shooting different video angles.