As a friend said to me the other day, you know you’re dominating your market when other people start making accessories for your product. And a quick glance around my weekend start line indicates that Garmin is becoming the computer of choice for racers. So it’s no surprise that there are some aftermarket mounts available to replace Garmin’s rather rudimentary mount (no to mention a ton of homemade versions too). Here’s a quick comparison of the Barfly and the Quarq.
Both mounts move the computer ahead of the bars, where it's more visible, and safer in a crash. The Quarq (lower shot) holds the computer flush with the top of the bars for a cleaner look. You can also angle it up for better legibility – angle the Barfly up and it really starts to stick out there.
The Quarq's bracket (left) is offset wider, which is great if you're running that monster Cavendish stem. The Barfly is beefier, but both hold the computer vibration free and easily legible. And since there are hopeless weight weenies out there, the Barfly is 19g, Quarq 14g, and Garmin's mount 6g.
The Quarq is a prototype that required some tape between the bracket and the bars (that's what's sticking out the side). The final product, due this summer, will not. The tape interface made it a bit tricky to get the computer perfectly straight and brought out the OCD in me. Hopefully the final product will plop on perfectly aligned like the Barfly does.
From an aesthetic standpoint there's no question that the Quarq's swooping lines are prettier. That faceplate actually serves to keep the computer in place, though it seems like a sneaky way for Quarq to usurp Garmin's branding. Neither click and center the computer as smoothly as Garmin's mount.
And the Winner is...
The Quarq is lighter and holds the computer in a better position. The Barfly works with all Garmins, not just the 500. The Barfly's $40 price tag seems high to me (I got in on the original production run, when it was $30), but apparently not to most other people. The Quarq's price is as yet unknown. And of course, only the Barfly is available right now.