DIY bicycle GPS mount

A guide on how to make a bicycle mount for the Garmin™ Nüvi™ GPS navigators.

DIY GPS bicycle mount

Note that Garmin actually makes a bike mount for the Nüvi series, but it is only compatible with the narrow screen versions (non-W models).

So, if you have a widescreen Nüvi (200W, 205W, 250W etc.) and you want to use it on your bicycle, you need to get creative.

You will need the following:
  • Garmin kit suction cup mount (it will still work as a car mount after the modification)
  • Bicycle lamp mount (the "plate mount" variant)
  • Small countersunk screws (2-3mm in diameter)
  • Tools: Hand drill and small drills (1-3mm), hobby knife, file, screwdrivers
Depending on the flavor of bicycle lamp mount you can get your hands on, and the free real estate on your handlebars, various configurations will be possible. Find the best mounting position before you start drilling and cutting.

The wide end of the Garmin bracket must be pointing down, so often you need to drill the holes near the cut-out section of the bracket (see the pictures). Place the holes as far away from the thin areas of the plastic to avoid weakening the bracket. It needs to clamp the GPS unit as firmly as possible.

The screw heads need to be countersunk because the GPS unit will be flush with the bracket when mounted.

The lamp mount should be joined with the bracket, so that it doesn't interfere with the ball joint hole. Then it can still can be used in a car with the suction cup part

The relatively soft and thin plastic of this particular bicycle lamp mount would prove to be a problem. During a test drive over some rough asphalt, the threaded band snapped without warning, as seen on one of the last pictures. The GPS unit luckily survived. I have since then found a compatible but much tougher handlebar clamp (this time from a reflector tag) as shown on the last two pictures.

It seems the kit mount bracket keeps a pretty firm grip on the unit, so it should stay on during normal on-road cycling. However, your mileage may vary if you go off-road. Some kind of backup lanyard system may be wise in that situation.

Happy navigating!
Tags: diy
Page last updated 2008-05-12 21:44. Some rights reserved (CC by 3.0)