Garmin mounts. They’ve been done to death, from genuine items to chinese imports, stem mounts to out front. So what makes the offering from F3 Cycling any better? At a passing glance, nothing, yet everything. You’d be forgiven for missing it at first, but you’d notice something is different, a little better and cleaner. The Garmin (or Wahoo) sits low and tidy, there is no offset arm sticking asymmetrically from the bars. Things just look tidier.
The F3 Cycling FormMount doesn’t clip round your bars like the more common type of out-front mount, instead opting to utilise your stem clamp bolts to fit to the front. Which you use is up to you so you can have low and sleek or higher up and visible.
For those that like a camera you can simultaneously mount your GoPro on the underside saving the need for another mount and cluttered cockpit. Or, for the commuters you can mount your light underneath instead to give yourself a great position for your light and keep things clean and pro up front. Just look at the pictures, never seen a front light look so good!
Fitting is simple and quick and the twist lock for the Garmin was firm and secure, something I was pleased to find as many non genuine Garmin mounts I’ve found to be a little loose, and rattle on bumpy roads.
Looks wise it’s great, well made, solid, looks like it was made by an engineering firm and not just kicked out of a cheap 3D printer. The final nice little touch is a choice of coloured inserts to coordinate with your colour scheme, and who doesn’t like a spot of colour coding?
So who are F3 Cycling and why haven’t we heard more from them?
Mike, Tim and Frank make up the team of 3 men behind the brand. Mike met Tim after joining his cycling team and they became good friends. The idea for a direct stem mount is one Tim had been thinking about for some time and when Frank joined the team, that idea started to become a reality. Frank is a great product designer and the three of them played around with designs and prototypes for months before they knew they were onto something. Much of this story is told in the web site video and makes good viewing. I caught up with Mike and had a chat about things:
So what exactly spawned the form mount? A dislike of current offerings?
No not at all. There are a lot of nice mounts on the market. FormMount is like no other with the ability to mount directly into almost any stem. It makes for the kind of clean cockpit cyclists have been wanting for a long time now.
How did you arrive at the final design and materials?
A lot of collaboration. Countless prototypes. Experimentation and testing of various materials. Tim and Frank both have a background working with raw materials and our manufacturing partner was also key in the process.
How long has it been from concept to going to market?
From Tim’s initial idea to market, several years. But from the time the three of us started working on it together, about a year and a half.
Many previous designs, failures, challenges?
Yes, as mentioned above, many prototypes. We are all perfectionists so the amount of reengineering that went into every single detail was quite, well, detailed. Almost every step of the way there was a challenge, but as creative problem solvers, we thrived on the process.
What do you have in the pipeline for the future? New ideas/developments?
Yes, we have several exciting new products in the pipeline. How does that saying go? We can tell you, but we’d have to kill you.
FormMount was not a one-off Kickstarter product. Rather, they used it as the way to kickstart F3 Cycling as an innovative brand. That was the game plan from the very beginning and Mike admits he’d be remiss if he did not give a shout out to all of their backers. They were patient as the campaign did not go as fast as expected.
But we literally have dozens of emails praising us for the campaign we ran. I believe what you can say about yourself pales in comparison to what others say about you. With that said, I want to leave with comments from two of our backers:
I’ll tell you what, I’ve backed a PILE of Kickstarter campaigns. Some successful, some a bit disappointing, some a disaster and some that were supposed to ship years ago. I have to thank you guys for doing a FANTASTIC job of keeping us all updated. I also have to thank you for what looks to be an awesome product. I’m more revved up to open this one when it comes than anything else I’ve gotten on the site. I’m an avid cyclist and cycle with groups often. I think I’m gonna be costing some guys some money and sending it your way once these go up for sale! 🙂 Thanks, again!
I have backed several Kickstarter and IndieGoGo projects and think you guys are the model for other people who want to run a successful project with satis ed backers. You show how much complexity there is even in what superficially appears to be a simple project. And you do the best job I have experienced in keeping backers informed. Best wishes on this and future projects. I’m eagerly awaiting delivery of my mount.
So it seems the passion has shone through to the product and it’s a well thought out and well made item, I love mine and have plans to order more for my other bikes and my wife’s as the other mounts now seem a little basic and poor by comparison. Well made, easy to fit, and aero. Nothing more needs to be said!