Lifeline Garmin and GoPro Mount Fail

Choices Choices. So I chose cheap and what would appear to be functional… and to be fair I should have known better. The Lifeline combined Garmin and GoPro mount (LifeLine Out-Front Mount For Garmin Edge and Action Camera) is a travesty of design – which is a shame – as there is no reason why something of a similar build quality could not be a success – however as is – it is a liability.

The issue is down to adjustability, and lack of joined-up-thinking in terms of forces that are going to be in play. These should not really be much of a surprise, as you are bolting one end to bars, and the other end – is going to have weights hung from it – at a distance – incurring moments of force around the point of attachment.

Rather than offer more than one size – this is “adjustable”. This is the point at which this transmutes from a functional well-made object to an annoyance/liability.

You will note from the picture below that the Garmin/GoPro end where the weight is hung has nice phat bolts that are anchored in deep enough aluminium. Nice.

The end that bears this mass is an adjustable slot. Which mates onto a matching male protuberance – so that the motion is purely forward and backwards.

The bolt that holds this in the required place, and in turn the weight-on-a-lever is a washered dome-headed Allen bolt with a fine thread into shallow aluminium.

Oh dear.

The vibration travelling up the forks into the bars exceed what this tiny bolt should really ever be used for on its own. Two bolts, no bolts, something – but not this. Shame on you Lifeline.

Okay – so the above shows an attempt to live with the situation. The surface between the two bar clamp and the outreach is not flush and is not smooth. The engaging slot to keep it forward is also not a tight fit – allowing a centimetre or so of movement to the left or right (if you require this – then you need to throw those bars away and get some that are square – seriously). The mount you can see there is not an upside down Garmin – but a Cyclic HD mount. I have a larger Garmin – so this has to be out at close to its extent of reach (the gap there is where the bar mount engages with that slot).

Here I have filed flat and flush both sides of the adjustable outreach. A more elastic epoxy was used between the bar mount and the outreach element. Loctite was used on the fine threaded bolt. It took 6 months – but the epoxy gave way, and now we are back to the rattling, wiggling left and right while riding. While unlikely to fall off (because we all want our Garmin / camera bouncing down the road at speed) – it is annoying as hell both in terms of noise and vibration before we talk about “tool for a job”.

While I refuse to spend three times the amount on a K-Edge mount. As such – reviewing pictures as far as they give away – I am going to try a Moon branded mount next… although I was surprisingly taken with the Hide My Bell offering – the humour involved appealed – as well as the fact the weightier camera mount was further back along the lever closer to the pivot.

It’s not hard – its engineer: Specification, predict, design, do, recurse.

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