Not so Quick Fix for Broken Joule GPS Mounting Tabs

17 03 2016

So I finally rendered my Cycleops Joule GPS un-mountable. I could always just toss it in my jersey pocket before rolling-off, but then I’d have to fish it back out if I needed to look at the display. And that’s kind of a PITA. I suppose the tab yielded to my abuse and decided to break. On the other hand, maybe it’s about time. I mean, the thing’s almost six years old. Then again, I’ve no stats on the expected product life span of this gadget. Additionally, I’m not the only one to have broken tabs happen. Other users experienced the same thing. It’s perfectly functional except for not being able to mount it on my bars. What to do?

Yeah, well, fix it. That’s what to do. The first thing I did was to call the folks at Powertap, and ask them for a replacement back cover. No such luck. Furthermore, they offered $150 to replace a mostly functional unit, that its, the back cover is not replaceable.

Irritated, I scoured the internet and found an article that showed a new tab “plate” attached to repair a Garmin unit. This gave me an idea: I already have a Garmin 810; is there a replacement tab part for their device? Kind of. I found plenty of Garmin back covers on Ebay. You pay about $25 USD for a Garmin 500 (or 800/810) back cover and lithium battery, plus you get to wait while this thing ships from China. Mnnnah— nope. More irritation. I kept looking, and good thing to because I found this little jewel:

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Figure 1. The Solution (Cheap, like $7 USD)

This is SRAM’s Quickview Adapter Mount. I thought, “Cool. I can use this to make a new mount.” How would I attach it? Yeah, I’m not putting screws into the body—not a good idea because I don’t know what’s behind the back case. (This would be a different story had I been able to get the back cover removed to inspect.) Anyway, “Maybe I can glue it.” So the question is now: What materials are involved here? A call back to Powertap reveals that the back casing is made of polycarbonate, which reminded me that I haven’t had much luck with before on the glue situation. This little SRAM adapter’s made from nylon/glass composite. Again, more materials complexity.

More searching around on the internet shows that one of the top company’s for different adhesive bonding scenarios is JB Weld. Note that this is not a shill for the company, but I have used their usual two-part epoxy for a bunch of stuff in the past. Their “plastic bonder” product, as confirmed by the tech. rep. that I talked to, seemed to be the perfect adhesive for this project. This project was starting to look better.

Quick steps:

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Figure 2. Grind the lower half of the adapter flush

 

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Figure 3. The flip side

 

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Figure 4. The broken tab and the sanded surface ready for adhesive. The new mounting tab plate adjacent.

At this point, make sure that you assemble the quarter-turn tab plate in the correct orientation. In this case, the mounting tabs place is at the 3 and 9 o’clock locations (not shown.)

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Figure 5. The repaired Joule GPS mounted in out-front style

 

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Figure 6. Not much stack height increase

That’s pretty much it. I’ll add a longevity comment later-on once I’ve completed a few races and/or significant rides using this setup. I’ll be watching how vibration affects this rig.

Thanks for reading!

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A Quiet Start to the 2016 Season

17 03 2016

It’s pretty quiet. At least from my perspective; the months and weeks of off-season training gave way to the first event: The Ridge Circuit Race and Time Trial #2. I finished well, not having bonked, or experienced a mechanical or flat, or having bumped elbows or shoulders with another in the bunch. Maybe this was karma from having completed a preemptive commuter crash during an evening return from the super market (read: got it out of my system.) Or maybe it was ’cause everyone in the pack was super cool and not real nervous. (Most of us were Cat 3 masters.)

This was a first-time event site for me and I found the experience a positive one overall. The venue was well-organized, had plenty of parking (paved or gravel,) and the Motorsports park environment a nice change from courses run on public roads. The weather was typical northwest overcast with occasional rain, and the ~9 mph wind was out of the WSW. The course was already wet. I hoped more rain would stay away for a while.

Bird's eye view of the race track

The Ridge – Bird’s eye view

The pop-up awning went up and this time I staked it down…if it rains, no problem, I’m ready. At earlier events, not tying down meant that the wind would blow it over and crumple it like tissue— no worries right? I’ve repaired the thing twice so far. Got the gear bags, trainer, and stuff laid-out. Race prep as usual.

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Figure 1. On the straight-away into the Finish, looking toward the downhill “S” turn

 

Figure 2. The Finish seems farther than it is…

I learned a couple of things this day…one, fix that front-end high-zoot skewer (the one that keeps loosening.) two, tweak the TT position to bring the elbows in more, three, even though the pop up awning might be braced-down, the wind can STILL blow it down. As was the case when I returned to my car after the circuit race.

 

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Figure 3. Circuit race. I’m (hidden) drafting the guy with the yellow frame

The circuit race was without mishap, no bumping, bar-ends getting tangled or any such nonsense, just a clean race. A good start to the season. At any rate, round and round we went. Into the wind and out of the wind. The “selection” for the last lap was decided at the top of the descent before the corkscrew, and I made sure that I was in the right place at the right time. Kyle (the rider in red, Figure 3,) was first into the corkscrew. I was second. I feathered my brake too much and watched him get on-the-gas out of the last turn. Even on the top of my gears and out of the saddle; I wasn’t able to close the gap.

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Figure 4. Out of gears and out of time…approaching the Finish.

A fun race and venue, and an easy drive. I’ll look forward to next year’s opening. Thanks for reading and good luck with your race season!

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Figure 5. 3rd place for the Circuit race this day.








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