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The Thule Pack 'n Pedal Bike Wallet is part of Thule's new Pack 'n Pedal bicycle luggage range. It clips on a handlebar mount that has space for both the wallet and a handlebar bag we are also reviewing and writing up separately. Thule also make an iPad sleeve for the same bar mount.
The bar mount is cleverly designed to be installed around the handlebar and stem, and is made from a combination of aluminium and plastic. It looks, and is, very sturdy and comes with a selection of shims to fit your choice of handlebar diameter. It holds the wallet securely and positions it over the intersection of stem and handlebars. This is a good position from a seeing-the-phone point of view, but I found the wallet getting in the way of my knees when climbing out of the saddle.
The wallet itself has a zipped, landscape-oriented mobile compartment that allows you to use your phone through its transparent window. It swallows an iPhone 4 fine, but is a bit tight around bigger phones like the Nexus 4. If your phone is more like a mini-tablet (phablet?), make sure it fits before you buy.
The wallet also has a zipped main compartment with enough room to fit your wallet, keys and maybe one or two other small items, though the vast majority of the space is taken up by the recess for the phone compartment and the bracket moulding.
The wallet comes with a waterproof cover held in a little mesh pocket inside the wallet. You'll need this in anything other than very mild rain - those zips are not waterproof. Not so clever is the fact that you won't be able to see your phone through the cover. When it starts raining, you better not need to see the screen anymore. Although I haven't tried, I wouldn't trust my phone to it in a prolonged downpour.
All in all, both the wallet and bar mount are very well made (as you'd expect from Thule). However, at over £70 for the combo, it's a heavy and pricy way to use your phone on the move, even when offset against the bar mount allowing you to carry a handlebar bag at the same time.
Secure, but heavy and bulky system to attach and use your phone from your handlebars. It'll store your wallet and keys too.
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Make and model: Thule Pack 'n Pedal Handlebar Wallet
Size tested: xx
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Thule say it's an organiser for smartphones, keys or other small items:
o Easy access and great for use with GPS apps through transparent cover.
o Easy click in/out from Thule Pack 'n Pedal™ Handlebar Attachment.
o Includes rain cover.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Volume: 1.25 l
Weight: 290 g
Dimensions HxWxD: 18x14x5 cm
Warranty: 5 years
The construction is as good as you'd expect if you've used any of their other products.
It does what it says on the tin.
My initial concerns that the stem cap would wear through the wallet have remained unfounded so far. Other than that, it looks like the wallet should last a long time.
It feels quite heavy, especially taking the weight of the bracket into account too. You would only use this on a bike or journey where weight was of no consideration.
The zips have nice rubberised toggles. The phone screen can easily be seen while riding, and I can operate my iPhone through the transparent cover.
The wallet costs £40 (RRP) and doesn't come with the handlebar mount, which costs an additional £35. That's really quite expensive compared to other decent phone holders. That should be offset against the fact that you can carry a handlebar bag at the same time.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It holds a phone, wallet and keys securely in place on the handlebars. The phone screen is visible and it's easy to see the screen while riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Having my phone at my fingertips while riding. The quick release bracket works well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The position the wallet is mounted in on my bike means I knock my knees on it when climbing out of the saddle.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, for leisurely rides without significant climbs, where I didn't know the way.
Would you consider buying the product? No, too expensive.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not, unless they were rich.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A well constructed, but heavy and pricey solution to being able to use your phone while cycling.
Age: 36 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cannondale CAAD10
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,