Launched last fall, F3 Cycling unveiled the FormMount and crushed their Kickstarter campaign. It also drew a lot of comments and interest, so we had a closer look. The design is unique in that it attaches with your stem cap bolts and uses two round arms to reach the computer mount. The length is adjustable, with shorter arms available separately, giving you a wide variety of fitment options. Run it high, low, or even reversed so it sits on top of the bar. With all of that versatility virtually hidden once it’s installed, not to mention a complete lack of visible mounts on the bar itself, this might be the minimalists’ dream mount…
INSTALLATION & WEIGHTS
The standard FormMount package runs $59.95 and comes with the long arms, a black insert, flush-mount lower shell, and long and short bolts with spacers. Available separately are the shorter arms for computers under 3″ in length ($9.95), colored inserts ($4.95 each), and the GoPro-style mount to replace the bottom section ($14.95).
Installation is straightforward, but it does take a little work to get it lined up correctly. I tested it on three different stems (3T, Easton and FSA). On all three, I chose to place it on the bottom bolts so the top of the computer was flush with the top of the stem. Here’s how it went.
Unbolt the top and bottom sections (three bolts total) and place the arms as far in or out as you want. Even with the largish Wahoo Element, I was able to run it a few notches in on some setups.
On the Easton, mounted to a Niner RLT9 gravel bike, and the 3T, mounted to a Felt FR2 road bike (shown directly above), installation was straight forward. Just remove the bolts, select the right slots for your computer and stem’s faceplate thickness, and reinstall with the spacers placed between the arms and the stem.
Between the two arm lengths and the wide range of slots inside that lock them into place, you can snug your computer right up to the faceplate, or push it out all the way. I opted to keep it closer in on some installs, and all the way out on the Felt.
To ensure the best connection, they provide two bolt lengths and suggest you use the one that ends up having about the same amount of thread showing as matches the length of the stock bolt. Between the two bolts and three stems I tried it on, all installs were within the recommended +/- 1mm range. It’s worth noting that all of the stems I used had the threaded holes opening out of the back of the stem’s head, so I could run the longest bolts on all three…which I’d personally recommend because why not.
Weight for the shortest combination of arms and bolts without the GoPro mount is 40g. The longest combination with GoPro mount is only 4g heavier.
The tricky part of any install is getting the two arms to mirror each other. Once you start torquing them down, they want to rotate along with the bolt, which ends up lifting one side and dropping the other. The simplest solution I found was to loosen the top bolts a couple turns, then get the lower bolts as snug as you can without rotating them, then snug the top bolts to recommended torque specs. Assuming the gap between faceplate and stem body is about the same top and bottom, you should be good to go. Just double check by bouncing your weight on the bars to make sure they don’t rotate, and triple check it with a torque wrench. (This is my method, and it worked on all three installs, but use your judgement and take responsibility for your own actions.)
For the FSA stem, the bend at the back of the arms seemed to interfere with the pronounced shape of the face plate. To avoid putting undue stress on any part of the system, I simply flipped it, which set the computer a little lower…and its body juuuuust cleared the bolts with the long arms set all the way out. So long as your stem’s bolts point straight forward, chances are pretty good you’ll find a way to use this mount. Check our original coverage for more ways you can do it.
Compared to most out-front mounts, the two cylinders look, well, lesser. F3 Cycling’s Michael Scalise provided the following materials and testing information to put my mind at ease:
- ARMS: 40% Carbon Filled Nylon with 316 SS bolt support sleeves
- CRADLE BOTTOMS: 40% Carbon Filled Nylon
- TCMI: 20% Glass Filled Delrin
- WAHOO/GARMIN INSERTS: Nylon 6/6
- BOLT HARDWARE: 316/A4 Stainless Steel
- TESTING: Rigorous FEA, G Force, Vibration and FMEA testing performed in partnership with Lezyne.
On the road bike I was least concerned about it breaking, but that’s where I was most able to notice slight vibration. Not anything I’m worked about, but I’d probably stick to using that GoPro mount for lights rather than a camera if I were concerned about shaky footage. The interface between computer and mount isn’t the tightest I’ve felt, but it’s plenty secure, and probably not likely to wear down your computer’s tabs at all.
I wanted to test the FormMount off the pavement, too. I moved it from the Felt FR2 over to the Niner RLT9 and hit the dirt roads and paths, looking for any and all ribbles, roots, rocks and rough sections I could find. Even with that Fox AX fork set to the firmest setting, the computer didn’t budge.
Then I put it on the Pivot Mach 4 SL and hit the trails. Same deal, computer remained intact just fine. And look at that cockpit…so clean. The cable and brake hoses did like to kip off the GoPro mount, so minor line adjustments might be necessary on your setup to avoid rubbing.
The verdict? Once it’s mounted, it’s easily the cleanest looking solution you’re going to find. And if your handlebars flare into an ergo/aero shape just outside of the stem, this might be the only option that’ll fit. No longer concerned over its strength, the only other question I had before trying it was whether it would securely hold the handlebar in place. So far, everything’s stayed tight. And they seem to have done their homework. Even on the road bike I was trying to weight the hoods and hit potholes just to see if anything slipped. Fortunately, nothing did, and I’ve still got all my skin and teeth. So, whether your stem’s warranty likes it or not, the FormMount worked for me and looked darn good doing it.