I’ve written before about different options for mounting gadgets on aerobars. None of them really address the needs of bikepacking cyclists, who may want to have two sets of lights, two computers, and possibly other stuff out front, so I’m taking matters into my own hands and having a couple of designs fabbed up by SendCutSend.
Both designs use four lateral slots with P-clamps to attach to the aerobars with some positioning flexibility. I’ve found a source for high-quality, dimensionally precise P-clamps with silicone coating for a little vibration damping. Both designs require straight sections of aerobars to clamp to, and will work better on “J-bend” bars than “S-bend.”
Each design has its pros and cons.
The first one (“New York Style”) is being produced out of thin 6061 aluminum, but could be made of carbon fiber. It gives a little more room for different attachments, and might be a better basis for a single do-it-all mounting base.
The second (“Chicago Style”) is being produced out of .25″ 6061 aluminum (could get it as thick as 0.5″). This is thick enough to tap the holes, which obviates the need for separate nuts (or other fixtures). There are some limits on what SendCutSend can do–for instance, it can’t tap an M3 hole in a thicker plate than this. Because of the material’s inherent rigidity, the fore and aft slots can be closer together. This lets it fit on bars where there’s a relatively short straight section, which might make it feasible on S-bend bars.
Both designs provide a bunch of mounting holes for specific purposes. I’ve got one set of AMPS holes for installing a Quadlock mount. The New York Style plate has a few Garmin/Wahoo combo hole patterns, holes for mounting a bottle cage, and holes for GoPro bases–these serve as a sort of universal adapter for lots of gadgets. Many kinds of headlights can be used with a GoPro adapter; there are also Garmin/GoPro adapters, which give you control over the viewing angle. This particular iteration of the Chicago Style plate has fewer mounting options.
I’ve received my first “New York style” prototype, mounted it, and taken it for a good test ride. The plate is 0.125″ 6061 aluminum and it feels much more solid in the hand than I expected. The plate by itself is 89 grams; with bar clamps, a Garmin mounting “biscuit” and a couple of GoPro mounts, 195 g. On a “grams per gadget” basis, this works out heavier than most out-front mounts, but not by a big factor. I’ve also received but not used my “Chicago style” prototype, and despite being twice as thick, the smaller footprint means it’s about 10 g lighter. A slightly longer center section would make it more functional.
The plate itself is a little rough around the edges, literally. The fabrication service I used doesn’t offer edge-chamfering. If they did, I’d use it. That said, unless you plan to spend a lot of time stroking its perimeter, this won’t be a problem.
It was absolutely solid and silent on my ride. Having received it and used it, I can see some ways to optimize it. It’s definitely overbuilt.
Interested in getting one of these? I am soliciting input for a small production batch..
Finally, I’ve developed a variation on the “Chicago style” plate above that you might call “Chicago style with everything” — this has room for two Garmin 830s, a headlight, and a water bottle. Or skip the water bottle and add an undermount headlight. Or skip the Garmins and add a phone. This measures slightly less than 100 × 200 mm. This is realistically about as much will fit.