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:

quickview

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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