Review: Tate Labs Bar Fly SLi Garmin Mounts

Back at the start of 2014, I reviewed the original Tate Labs Bar Fly Garmin Mounts on the blog; they proved to be very well made and very secure. They were so good in fact, that I've been using them ever since, on a variety of bikes.

Earlier in 2015, Tate Labs announced their latest range of mounts, the SLi series. These mounts are made of similar high-strength plastic composites, and they are usable across all of the latest Garmin range. The critical new development though, is that you can now bundle the computer mounts with different add-ons, to make them extra versatile and useful.

In this post, I take a look at the Tate Labs Bar Fly SLi BAM Garmin Road Mount and the Bar Fly SLi-D Mountain Bike Garmin Mount. For the SLi Road Mount, I've trialled two of the additional add-ons, which allow you to mount a GoPro and a light, underneath the out-front mount.

Tate Labs Bar Fly Sli BAM Road Mount - GoPro and Light Bundles

Tate Labs have taken their award winning Bar Fly 2.0 mount, and made some significant marginal improvements to create the SLi BAM Garmin mounts. 

The first notable improvement, is versatility. The SLi BAM is usable with Garmin's larger units, such as the Edge 1000 and Edge Explore; this means you can now have one out-front mount that will serve all your Garmin needs. The clamp on the mount is also more versatile, and will accommodate both 31.8 bars and new larger 35.0 bars, thanks to its neat hinged design. A small internal shim on the clamp also means that it can now even accommodate a taper in the handlebar, which really makes it mounting capabilities pretty universal.

Rather than a one-piece mount, the SLi BAM is designed to be adaptable, and it is this that makes it capable of its "bundle" packages. The Garmin quarter-turn mount bolts onto the top of the arm, using two stainless steel bolts; you can also position the mount in two aspects, which means you could use this with Garmin's watches as well, or with their Edge series in 'landscape mode'. 

Underneath the arm, is then where the secondary interface can be installed. Using two slightly longer bolts, you can fit either the light mount or the GoPro mount. The light mount is a neat bit of kit, and can hold a small cylindrical front light up to 150 grams in weight (The 2014 Lezyne Macro Drive features in the below photo), using two rubber bands. The GoPro mount is your standard finned mount, which grips the camera case well. You can also mount an electronic gear (Di2 or EPS) interface box underneath the arm, using a simple cable tie. The significant advantage of this new system is that you can very easily de-clutter your bars, and create a clean look and feel to your cockpit. It is a great concept.

In the interest of 'marginal gains' Bar Fly have also wind tunnel tested this new BAM mount, and claim that it is the fastest mount in the world, with the potential to save over 8 seconds per 40 KM. I can't verify that, but it certainly looks smart and sleek. Perhaps a more interesting claim for the every day rider, is that the mounts are 20 times stronger than the competition and indeed carry a lifetime warranty to back that up.

Bar Fly seem to have done it again. You can be sure these mounts aren't coming off my bike for some time. Fit, forget, and enjoy a clutter-free cockpit!

View the Bar Fly Sli Mounts at Wiggle (Link)
SLi mount, with GoPro mount fitted

The bolt-on modular system on the BAM SLi mounts allows you to change interfaces

Tate Labs Bar Fly Sli-D MTB Mount

The second mount that I've been testing is the SLi-D Mountain Bike Garmin Mount. This is quite similar to the MTB mount that I tested in my first Tate Labs Review, in that it mounts the computer over the bar-stem interface; but again, there have been some notable improvements. 

The first, is that the new clamp design makes this usable with 35.0mm handlebars/stems; a cockpit setup that I've been running for some time on my mountain bike. The second, is that thanks to a similar modular design, you could also use this clamp to mount a GoPro, by bolting that interface on instead of the Garmin quarter-turn mount.

Another great adaptation, to an already very good mount.

View the Bar Fly Sli-D MTB Mount at Wiggle (Link)
The MTB SLi mount positions the Garmin just aft of the handlebars, over the stem

The new hinged clamp design, used across all the SLi mounts, means they can accommodate 35mm bars


Popular posts from this blog

Recipe – The Ultimate High Energy Flapjacks

SwissStop Disc Brake Pads Comparison Test Review – Are All Disc Brake Pads Made Equal?

Review – Victorinox Bike Multi Tool Kit

Review – Selle Italia SLR Boost Gravel Superflow Saddle S3

Best Gravel Bike Cycling Routes on the Isle of Wight