Computer pop-off

This past Sunday morning, our club ride was making the transition from city streets to rural roads. The road got rougher as the scenery improved. It’s a road we ride often, so we didn’t think much about it — we just pumped away, and soon reached a Walgreens drug store in a small town where we always stop to regroup.

One rider who was with us for only the second time wasn’t there when we counted heads, so we waited. Eventually, he pulled up to the parking lot. We didn’t think he’d be that far behind, because he seemed to be a strong rider up to this point, but then he explained what had happened.

“My Garmin popped off,” he said. “Back where you make that curve across from the multi-colored condos.” He had stopped to look for it, to no avail. We agreed to go back that way, and help him try to find it.

On the return leg of our ride, he showed us where he thought he’d lost the unit. We dismounted, and walked along the road, trying to find a dark gray rectangular object amidst asphalt, weeds, and roadside trash.

“What are we looking for?” asked one rider.

“It’s a Garmin 205.”

“Oh, that looks something like this,” said another rider, pointing to the computer on his handlebars. The 205 is one of Garmin’s more basic units, measuring speed, distance, time, calories burned, and altitude, and the rider can transfer the data to his home computer. Still, it’s not cheap. Nashbar has them on sale now for $170. He said he bought his off Craigslist for $100.

We combed the roadside for about 10 minutes, but had no luck. Riders from other clubs, also coming back on that road, stopped to join the search. We still came up empty. The hapless rider told us to forget it.¬†We commiserated with him over his rotten luck. He said it was okay, and he’d figure out what to do about it.

Later, at the post-ride gabfest, stories started surfacing about other lost Garmins. Three others indicated they’d heard of the same thing happening, and the blame fell to a chintzy handlebar mount. I suppose we’ll have to take the stories at their face value, since there’s no way to check them out, but it seems odd.

Why would a costly cycle computer be attached to a bike by a mount that doesn’t secure it? Have any of you had experiences with Garmins — or other brands of computer for that matter — popping off in mid-ride?


  1. says

    I’ve never bought a Garmin – I can’t bring myself to buy a cycling computer that’s that nice yet. But I’ve had a couple different, incredibly cheap Schwinn computers that I bought at Meijer for about $20. Ironically, the mounts on these are incredibly secure! Like a rock.

    Watch, now that I say that, one will pop off. Oh well! They’re corded, so they won’t go far! Probably just get twisted up in my front wheel and send me flying over the handlebars. Oh, that’s a fun thought! LOL

  2. tracywilkins says

    I’ve had my garmin mount fail at som point…it isn’t the most substantial product in the world. Fortunately, mine was a slow failure, as it slowely got worse over time. I didn’t think to try to get them to replace it – I just ordered a new one.

  3. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever had my 305 go airborne. I still plan on checking out the new mount just in case. I use mine for road and mountain biking it’s been through some tough falls and has still remained on the bike.

  4. says

    Mine is a “Bike Planet” brand it’s popped off twice in mid ride, but only when I’ve caused it by changing screens or wiping sweat off of it. The flaw with it is that it slides in the mount from what I consider to be the “bottom” (top tube) side of handle bar instead of the top or front side of handle bar. With the unit at a slight angle, facing the rider, there’s no option BUT FOR it to drop out if it becomes loose (instead of being “cradled” by the mount.)

  5. MTS says

    The only time my Garmin has popped off is when I didn’t double-check it after I put it in the mount. I suspect the same thing here.

  6. says

    I lost Cateye Enduro 8 computers on two separate occasions, on my mountain bike. The “Enduro” is supposed to mean that it’s more rugged, for mountain bike use. After I lost the second one, I decided not to buy another computer for my mountain bike.

    My touring bike has a Cateye Mity 8, which is the less-rugged version of the Enduro 8, and it has never come loose — even though I ride that bike on gravel roads and some trails. Weird.

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