[dropcaps]I[/dropcaps]f you live in a larger city, bikes may be your main form of transportation because they do not use gas and are easier to park. I live out in the country where the only think within reasonable biking distance is a barn, but I still use my bike for exercise. The Satechi Ridemate is a waterproof bike mount for your phone to keep it safe in case you ride through a puddle or get stuck in the rain. I decided to take the Ridemate for a spin and see how well it worked and if it kept my phone safe and dry.
The box contains the pouch to put your phone in along with the handlebar mount for your bike. The construction of the pouch and mount feels sturdy, and the hefty zipper coupled with the Velcro assured me that my phone would be protected from water inside this case. There is a plastic window on the front of the case allowing you to see and interact with your phone along with a smaller window on the back for your camera.
I noticed that the box said it fits phones with up to 5.7″ screens. I did not take this as a limit, however. I took this as a challenge to fit my effing huge Nexus 6 into this bike mount. And guess what…it actually fit.
Fit, of course, being used loosely. There is absolutely no room left in the pouch and the zipper barely zipped, but I got it! Now this being said, the RideMate is not meant to house phones larger than 5.7″ so I would not recommend trying to cram a larger phone in there.
After spending a few minutes fitting my phone into the RideMate pouch, I tested to make sure I could still use my phone. There is a large window in the front of the pouch that allows you to use your phone while it is inside the mount. The touchscreen on my phone was fully responsive through the window and I could see every part of my screen.
One thing that was difficult was finding the power button to unlock my phone. It took some fiddling because there are no buttons on the pouch or window to see the edges of your phone.
On the back of the RideMate pouch, there is a smaller window for your camera. The camera on my Nexus 6 sat right in the middle of this window, but if your phone has a camera that sits over to the side, it might be obstructed because the window does not reach to the very edge of the pouch.
Once I had my phone inside of the pouch, setup was easy. The bike mount clamps onto your handlebars nicely, and the hold was strong so I did not worry about my phone slipping off while it was on the mount.
Attaching the phone pouch to the mount is also pretty easy. There is an attachment on the back of the pouch that slides onto the bike mount. Once it clicks and locks into place, there is a tab on the back of the pouch that you push to make sure the pouch is not coming off of the mount.
If you need to use your phone but do not want to spend time taking it out of the pouch, you can remove the pouch by pushing the tab back and pulling the pouch off of the mount.
Using the Satechi RideMate is just like using any other bike mount with the exception that this one is waterproof. The screen is fully functional and visible while riding so using GPS to get directions is simple and easy. If you want to listen to music, however, you should invest in some Bluetooth earbuds because there is not way to plug headphones in while your phone is in the pouch.
The Satechi RideMate is rated at IPX6 which means it will stand up to heavy splashing and rain; two things that you might encounter on a bike ride around town. The RideMate is not rated for water immersion so do not think that you can take it underwater.
However, I was pretty confident with the RideMate’s seal and wanted to see if it could handle being underwater. Long story short, I did not see any signs of leaking from the few minutes I had it underwater, but I would not recommend using it in a pool since it is not rated to handle these types of activities. If you drop it in a bucket of water or bathtub though, I would not worry as it should be just fine.
One thing that I did worry about was overheating because the airtight seal around the phone means that there will be no airflow to the phone. In my testing, I did not notice any overheating, but it you are riding on a particularly hot day, you might want to check and make sure your phone is not getting to hot.
My time with the Satechi RideMate has been positive and negative. The RideMate does a wonderful job keeping my phone protected from water and attaching your phone to the mount is a breeze.
But I wonder what it has over simply buying a normal bike mount and a waterproof case for your phone. With the second option, you do not have to worry about possible overheating, you can plug headphones in to listen to music, and you do not have to carry you phone around in an ugly pouch.
What I liked:
- Solid construction
- Good seal and nice waterproofing
- Easy to setup
- Phone was still usable inside the pouch
What I did not like:
- Possibility of your phone overheating
- Ugly pouch for your phone
- It did not have much over a waterproof case and normal bike mount
- Your phone might have to be taken out of its case to fit
For only $40, $30 currently on Amazon, the RideMate might sound like a good deal to you. But if you are seriously considering a waterproof mount, you might want to see how much a waterproof case and mount for your phone are.