Project Monty continues to evolve, and over the past couple of weeks I’ve been putting some choice accessories to the test. I’m glad to report that nothing has failed, broken, or otherwised let me down. That’s always a good thing when you’re shopping on a budget and buying some of the off-brand stuff, of course. So what have I been putting through the wringer?
Magellan Meridian Bicycle Mount
As to be expected, it does the job of holding my GPS unit securely. I can remove the Meridian with the push of a button and replace it in a snap, which is great when biking from one geocache to the next.
Through plenty of rough trails, logs, and wipe outs, the unit has held strong without me needing to tighten it back up. The GPS itself doesn’t rattle or move at all, which can sometimes be the case with universal mounts.
View it on Amazon: Magellan Meridian Bike Mount (it sells for about $12.)
Sunlite Gold Tec Front Rack
This was pretty much the cheapest of the cheap that I could find while searching for a basic front rack. My goal was to have a simple carrying option for a few essentials – tools, first aid, and a bare-bones survival kit. Since I knew I wasn’t going to be attaching 50 pounds to the front of the bike, I went with the Gold Tec (that costs a mere $18 shipped.) Installation was kind of pain, especially since the worthless instructions showed how to install it on the rear for some reason, but I was able to figure it out and use the included bushings and hardware to mount it to my front fork via the V-brake mounts.
I’ve been very pleased with it so far. It hasn’t fallen off, bent, or loosened, even after a few spills. It’s actually advertised to carry up to 40lbs, but I’ve strapped my Maxpedition FR-1 to it and that’s pretty much the loadout on every ride. It’s convenient and reassuring to know that I have a plethora of emergency supplies attached to my bike at all times. When I start packing heavier loads on the bike (my pack has enough room for everything else that I currently carry) I’ll go for a larger rear rack.
So what if it’s almost embarassingly cheap? It does what it’s meant to do, and it hasn’t failed me yet.
View it on Amazon: Sunlite Gold Tec Front Rack
Generic CREE Flashlight w/ Bike Mount
I’ve purchased four of these generic CREE LED flashlights over the past several years, and despite them being dirt cheap, none of them have given up the ghost. You can find them branded with a variety of different names, but I typically end up getting the ones branded “UltraFire” or “Intshun.”
Because they’re sold under many different names and by different companies/sellers, you might have to shop around to get a package deal where it includes a bike mount like mine. I’m sure any mount will do, since the one they sent me is probably worth about ten cents and it’s held up like a champion. The mount is pretty much friction fit – the part that holds the flashlight is a bit springy, and you just pop the light in.
I thought for sure the flashlight would fall out after a few minutes of riding, but it hasn’t happened once. The light is surprisingly secure, and even the worst bumps and downhills haven’t moved it.
Here’s a link to the flashlight on Amazon, where it goes for around $12.
* In the top photo, you can also see the empty mount for the Ion Cool i Cam that I reviewed earlier (I didn’t have it mounted because I was testing my new ContourHD 1080p when I took the screen capture.)
That’s about it for now, although the mods will certainly continue. What’s coming next? Mainly, I’ll be replacing some of the old, worn parts. I have a new chain to put on and I definitely need to do something about the bashed up crankset/stripped crank arm. That will have to wait until I decide whether or not to go single-speed, but it will have to be soon.