Modifying a Fetha out front mount to suit a Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt
About a month ago, I picked up a Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt to replace my Garmin Edge 510, for no other reason than that my boss was getting one and I thought I would see what all the hype was about. While the ELEMNT Bolt is a nice upgrade from the 510, it left me with one complaint – the supplied out front mount did not allow for the ELEMNT to be centred with the stock Giant stem. It never affected the functionally of the device at all, however every ride I went on I would look at it and think how much nicer it could be if was central. The easy solution would be to reuse the Fetha out front mount that I was using for my Garmin, however mine was a older model, and Fetha did not sell a Wahoo compatible insert. This is where the fun started.
Upon noticing that the insert that K-Edge used for their Wahoo compatible mounts appeared to have the same layout, I ordered one of those and upon picking it up, it looked the goods. I went to install it in the Fetha mount, only to find out that it’s outside diameter was too large. Five minutes and a Dremel later, I had ground down the insert and that problem was solved. After installing it on the bike, a slightly larger problem was found. I’ll let the below picture do the talking:
It was rotated 90°! After a bit of Googling and looking closer at the mount, it was obvious that I missed that the Wahoo insert had mounting holes at 9 and 3, whereas the Garmin insert was at 12 and 6. At this point, I had three options:
1. Set it back up as it was before and continue living with the slight offset.
2. Buy a new Fetha mount, which is drilled to suit both Garmin and Wahoo.
3. Modify the current mount I had.
After a whole second of thought, I decided on the third option, as worst case I could replace the Garmin insert and we would be back to square one. So, the question now was, do I modify the insert (a $10 part) or the mount (a $70 part). As modifying the insert would most likely interfere with its function, I decided that I would tap two new holes in the mount, in the correct positions, and then screw the insert in as per usual. This was easier said than done.
The first step was to mark out where the centre of the holes would be. After mucking around for a while with the calipers, I realised that placing the insert in the mount and scoring the centre of the holes would be the easiest route. The only problem with this was that I had to get the position of the holes spot on, otherwise the ELEMNT would be skewed, which would have been even worse than the slight off centring that was there previously. After finding what I though was the correct positions, I marked, drilled and tapped the threads. (2.5mm drill bit, M3 tap). As this was done on my desk, the holes were not the squarest, however it turned out close enough that the heads of the bolts do not interfere with the mount. Yay!
The only problem was that the left hole was slightly higher than the right. This was resolved by enlarging the holes in the insert until everything lined up. A bit later I noticed that if you looked from a shallow angle, the holes for the Garmin mount were visible and there was a notable protrusion from the insert, and lining these up got it spot on. This would be my preferred method to line the holes up if I had to do this again.
After installing it all back on the bike, I was quite happy with the result, as it not only looked better (the important part!) but everything was quite solid and the engagement of the mount seems stronger compared to the stock mount. At the time of writing this, it has seen three rides, and each time I haven’t looked at the mount and thought it looked off centre or skewed, so I’d say it was well worth the half an hour or so to make the modification. If I was to do it again, I would aim to use the aforementioned method to align the holes, and then use a drill press or similar method to ensure that the holes went in square.
If anyone has any comments on how I could improve the mount, or if you are considering doing this to your mount and have any questions, feel free to leave them below.