ZEFAL Z CONSOLE DRY M
79g including Z mount £26.99
The Zefal Z Console Dry M is a weatherproof phone mount, which is designed (in this instance) so you can mount your phone on the bike's handlebar stem, while still leaving it fully operational, say as a GPS. It's well-executed and offers excellent defence against the elements.
With additional mounts, it can also be used in the car, or attached to a stroller. However, stems with very short extensions (my Univega’s being a prime example) can prove incompatible.
Pros: Well made, highly water-resistant.
Cons: Not suitable for very short stems.
The case itself, is made from 420d (denier) TPU and employs welded seams and a roll-top Velcro closure system, to keep the elements out. That said, we are talking, rain, mud, and similar grotty stuff. It's not intended for submersion, so bog snorkelling's out.
The clear window is touch screen friendly and there's a camera window, on the reverse too. The medium will accept phones measuring 5.9 inches (150mm) long, 2.8 inches (72mm) wide and 0.4inches (10mm) thick. Bold reflective piping runs along the sides, for some additional, nocturnal presence.
Riveted to the reverse, there's a serrated composite mount, which locks the case and contents, to the stem mounted bracket. This also allows it to be positioned portrait, or landscape.
The embossed Z mount is made from a solid thermoplastic and attaches to the stem via two O-rings. These hook diagonally, around two little lugs. A choice of 33 and 36mm are supplied.
A rubberised "foot" locates into the base and ensures solid, scratch-free tenure. "Happiest" with round tubes, the bigger O-rings were supple enough that they'd entertain box section types, including this Redshift Sports Shock Stop Suspension Stem .
Attaching the case simply requires a gentle press and twist motion: one that quickly becomes intuitive. However, although the back is lightly reinforced, this is much easier with the phone in situ. Removing the case is similarly easy. Depress two buttons simultaneously, while gently twisting.
Arguably, you can simply leave the mount in situ, say when locking in the street. For short periods, and with the bike in sight, I've been happy to do. However, experience suggests urban tea leaves will simply nick anything they can, so I'd be inclined to take that with me.
Especially on a station hack/town scoot. It might be worth carrying a few spare O-rings (I found a few compatible candidates rolling about my spares stash), in case the OEM should fatigue with constant fitting/removal. Additional mounts can be purchased separately, making for even easier porting between bikes.
Overall, the Z Console dry mount offers reliable tenure and decent protection from the elements.
Handlebar clutter is another consideration, and I needed to move a couple of brackets along (by a matter of millimetres, so the phone would slide beneath, unhindered.
The medium seemed almost tailor-made for my Nokia Android 1 handset.
Stem length and angles, though not crucial, are a consideration. I’ve had no problems with 6-9cm models with 7-15 degrees of rise.
However, (Some might say predictably) my Univega's "stumpy" stem was a non- starter. In a pinch, the Z mount bracket will also entertain some extension brackets, such as this Genetic Neuron Accessory Mount , or Velo Orange .
The touch screen window is serviceable, although some screens proved more responsive than others. My Nokia responded best, when prodded with a stylus tool. So; I’d check compatibility with specific phones, before committing cash. Clear and coherent conversations are possible with handsets set to speaker. Mind you, we’re talking quiet country roads, not town centres.
Bracket and mount are rock steady. The rubberised foot and O-rings do an excellent job of insulating against low-level vibration (at least with carbon and triple butted 'Cro-moly fork blades). I've hurtled along 1in7 descents at 35mph, with no problems. Unmade roads are more taxing, but fine at 15mph.
Heavy rain just beads up and rolls away. Stray splodges, of silty, muddy stuff were easily dismissed with a damp cloth. Had there been an IPX standard, I might've taxed it harder. Nonetheless, a 90 second blast from the garden hose left the outer fabric wet; yet bone dry inside.
Obviously, it can also be used, as an everyday, protective carry case, too, although the riveted bracket's moderate bulk means its best suited to cargo style trouser pockets.
There’s plenty of choice. Riders preferring to combine theirs with tools/spares may find something like Zefal Z console front Pack, a better bet for the money. Like for like, Blackburn Barrier VIP QR Handle Phone Case, boasts similar quality construction and for similar money. Riders requiring a more adjustable mount, might find the Tigra Sport Mount Case & Mounts a better fit.
The Zefal Z Console Dry Mount M is a well-engineered phone mount that offers excellent protection from the elements. However, the touch screen cover isn’t universally reliable. Riders with very short stem reach, will need to consider other options.