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Quad Lock Bike Mount System Review

May 9, 2019

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Quad Lock Bike Mount System Review

Quad Lock Bike Mount Kit
4.5

Summary

Overall, I think the Quad Lock bike mount kit delivers a lot of bang-for-the-buck.

It’s super easy to mount and use on the road or trail, competitively priced, anddurable. It protects your smartphone from the elements, keeps it within readh for quick use, all parts fit together seamlesslyt, and you can you other components in the Quad Lock universse for your car, while running, riding motorcycles, etc.

On the downside, the Quad Lock case is a little bulky, especially with the Poncho attached. It also blocks some of your front view (depending on its mounting location), which could impact your riding, depending on preferences and terrain and conditions.

And for 99% of my riding conditions, I’ve found the Poncho is overkill. Still, it’s nice to have when especially inclement weather strikes.

  • Price
  • Ease of Use
  • Effectiveness / Usefulness
  • Quality / Durability
  • Overall Value

Pros

  • Super easy to use
  • Competitively priced
  • A smartphone bike mount originator
  • Great firsthand experience
  • Durable
  • Keeps everything in place, except in some of the roughest terrain (e.g., singletrack)
  • Mounts to handlebars or stem (depending on shape)

Cons

  • Might not keep everything in place, especially in rough terrain (e.g., singletrack) without using zip ties
  • Can block front ground view, depending on mounting location
  • Larger and heavier design than many close competitors

 

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After using the Quad Lock Bike Mount System for more than a year, as well as several thousand miles, I talk about my experience and compare it with the competition—so you can make a more informed purchase.

About the Quad Lock Bike Mount

The Quad Lock bike mount is a three-part system that allows you to securely attach and detach your smartphone from your handlebars or stem in seconds.

Its super-strong case also features a wrap-around design that offers excellent grip and edge-to-edge drop protection and will hold your smartphone securely over the roughest terrain, while remaining slim enough to be perfectly pocketable when you’re off the bike.

As a result, Quad Lock says their bike mount provides easy access to your smartphone while you’re cycling, and it works as a great everyday case, as well. And its patented design means you can lock your smartphone in portrait or landscape positions, depending on your needs.

Together, they advertise their bike mount system as the strongest, lightest, and most secure available, and a perfect option for tracking your fitness, navigating your ride, and taking quick photos on the go, whether you’re road cycling, mountain biking, or daily commuting.

But, just because Quad Lock has more than one million customers, does this necessarily mean you should join their ranks? In this article, we’ll combine my long-term experience with details from the company to help you answer this very question.

How Does the Quad Lock Bike Mount System Work?

There are three core parts to the Quad Lock bike mounting system: its smartphone case, PRO mount, and Poncho:

Bike Stem Mount PRO

Quad Lock’s PRO mount measures 23.3 mm tall, 35.5 mm wide, and 50 mm long, fits tube diameters ranging between 25 mm and 40 mm, and requires around 50 mm (2 inches) of space to mount. You can use the included zip ties or o-rings, depending on your specific setup.

You can attach Quad Lock’s mounting system to your stem or handlebars, using included o-rings or zip ties.

Once installed, the mount holds your phone about 25 mm (1 inch) above your handlebars or stem, so it’s essential to make sure you have enough room for rotation.

The mount is constructed from glass-filled nylon and polycarbonate with stainless steel fasteners, along with a patented, dual-stage lock system with a four-leaf-clover-design. This involves a central shaft, outside of which is a spring-loaded sleeve that moves up and down and attaches directly to Quad Lock’s secure case interface.

This makes it compatible with all of the company’s cases and universal adapters—not just their bike system.

Secure Case Interface

With simplicity as the key to its overall design, the core ofQuad Lock’s case is also constructed from a tough polycarbonate, along with an impact-resistant TPU outer shell. It features a sleek, black matte finish.

Except in the instance of iPhone 5/5s/SE, the case also features a soft microfiber lining that helps prevent scratching and is similarly compatible with all Quad Lock Mounts.

Simply slide the bottom section of your smartphone into the case, and press down on top of your smartphone until it clips into place. Then, attach the case by holding it at a 45-degree angle to the mount, pushing down, and twisting left or right.

Removal involves pushing down on the mount’s blue collar, twisting your smartphone left or right, and pulling up and forward.

Quad Lock’s mount features a four-sided attachment mechanism that locks securely to the underside of their case, shown here. Credit: Annex Products PTY LTD

When combined with their PRO mount—cumulatively known as their ‘dual-stage lock system’—the company advertises the bike kit is tested to lift up to 150 pounds, so you can rest assured that your smartphone isn’t going anywhere while you’re riding.

Quad Lock’s smartphone case also remains compatible with wireless chargers and retains full access to all ports, buttons, and switches.

Quad Lock Poncho Cover

Quad Lock’s Poncho is made from a tough, weather-resistant TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) the company advertises can help provide your screen and ports with extra protection from “rain, mud, sweat, dust, extreme weather, or impact.” And all of this while maintaining full touchscreen, home button, and Touch ID functionality.

To use, simply slide the Poncho over the top of your smartphone, pull down on the cover, and clip its corners over the adjacent edges on your case. When it’s no longer needed, you can simply slip off the Poncho and stow it away without damaging it.

Important: Keep in mind that optimal functionality could be negatively impacted if you use the Poncho in combination with an aftermarket screen protector.

After installing the case, you can also slide Quad Lock’s Poncho over the top to provide extra protection from the elements. Credit: Annex Products PTY LTD

My Experience With the Quad Lock Bike Mount Kit

I’ve used the Quad Lock Bike Mount Kit with my iPhone 8 Plus for more than a year, primarily on my gravel bike. I prefer seeing as much of the ground as possible while riding singletrack, which is why I typically just pocket my phone on my mountain bike.

The PRO Case’s edges slip on and off my phone easily—as long as I follow the manufacturer’s installation recommendations.

At the top, the microfiber lining featured inside Quad Lock’s smartphone case, while the bottom images outline its four-sided mounting system.

I can continue using my phone’s touchscreen with the Poncho in place, although I first have to take off my full-finger gloves.

Considering our brief spring and summer showers on Colorado’s Front Range, though, I typically just keep it at home and put my phone in my pocket, or Camelbak Skyline LR10 as inclement weather approaches.

Quad Lock recommends installing the Poncho while your phone is mounted. I prefer doing so un-mounted since it keeps an extra had free for faster installation. I haven’t noticed any humidity buildup underneath when it rains.

The mount is super easy to attach to my handlebars or stem, especially if I use the o-rings. However, zip ties give me a much more secure mount, depending on the terrain I’m riding.

Important: The bottom section of Quad Lock’s mount—the part that makes contact with your bike—is rounded. As such, keep in mind that it might not fit well on modern, square stems.

Quad Lock’s namesake is its rounded, four-sided, mount that attaches securely to a similarly shaped inlet on the back of the smartphone case. It works using a simple—but durable and practical—spring-loaded mechanism.

The mount’s four-sided, spring-loaded mechanism (hence the “quad” in Quad Lock) easily clicks into corresponding inlets on the underside of my case.

I just have to align the case at a 45-degree angle, press down, and turn left or right, depending on whether I need landscape or vertical viewing (I almost always use vertical). Here’s a brief video mash-up of how the process works:

Although I’m happy with Quad Lock’s overall performance, if I nit-pick, I’ll admit I occasionally find it’s difficult to line up the case and the mount. However, if I relax for a second and purposely turn the phone at 45-gree angle, it typically locks into place quickly.

As repeatedly emphasized on the Quad Lock website, I’ve found it holds true that insertion isn’t about the force I apply, but about the technique I use.

Quad Lock’s four-side locking mechanism keeps everything securely in place and is generally easy to use, although I’ve found that lining everything up with the proper technique can prove challenging on rough terrain.

Once in place, though, the Quad Lock bike mount retains a strong bond with my iPhone, regardless of the terrain. If using O-rings, though, it will rotate on very rough surfaces (e.g., singletrack), though.

Another potentially minor complaint is that when using two hands to remove the phone from the mount (one to pull down the outer sleeve, and the other to twist the case at a 45-degree angle and lift it away), if I’m not careful, I find that my sleeve hand can get stuck underneath the case if, leading to me forcefully—and unexpectedly—yanking my handlebars in one direction.

It hasn’t caused any crashes yet, but it’s certainly led to my fair share of ‘pucker moments.’

Finally, It’s my experience that the raised portion on the back of Quad Lock’s case (the section that fits over the mount) makes it wobbly when placed on flat surfaces like tables, countertops, and so forth.

So, while it’s convenient to use with other mounts in the Quad Lock universe, I don’t prefer using it on an everyday basis, outside of cycling.

Are There Other Smartphone Bike Mounts Like Quad Lock?

There is a handful of third-party bike mounts competing with Quad Lock, most of which also promise to install in seconds, feature lightweight and easy-to-use designs, durable construction, and the ability to keep everything in place across a variety of terrain.

Here’s how the top options compare:

Quad Lock vs. Other Bike Mounting Systems
Brand MSRP System Dimensions/Weight Mounting Location(s) Notes
Quad Lock Kit (iPhone 8 Plus) $69.95 4.13” x 1.97” x 7.28”, 4.8 oz Handlebars, stem (same mount) Unique spring-loaded  4-sided entry mechanism, plastic, can also mount PRO Case to other accessories for cars, motorcycles, etc., plastic construction.
Rokform Bicycle Stem Mount $59.99 6” x 4” x 1”, 1.75 oz Stem (replaces the top cap of your bike’s 1 1/8″ threadless steer tube) Magnetic, made from CNC machined 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum, wrist lanyard for added protection, can tilt your phone between -20° and +55°.
SP Connect $29.99–$79.99 2” x 0.8” x 2.8”, 3.52 oz Handlebars, stem (requires different mounts) Attaches to stem cap, also features other systems (armbands, automotive, motorcycle, etc.), Weather Cover available.
Ram Mount $29.99 5” x 3” x 4”, 4 oz Anywhere Universal rubber ball and socket system, spring-loaded holder for shock protection, adjustable sizing.
Topeak RideCase $42.50 5.7” x 2.9” x 0.55”, 1.47 oz Anywhere (with strap mount) Polymer/rubber exoskeleton, full angle adjustable, integrated flip stand for easy viewing off-bike.
Lifeproof LifeActiv QuickMount $39.99 3” x 3” x 2”, 2.7 oz Anywhere Polycarbonate/ABS & nylon construction, magnetic/mechanical closure, compatible with all Lifeproof cases

As we can see from the data above, Quad Lock isn’t necessarily the smallest or lightest option compared to competing smartphone bike mount systems. In fact, its combined weight makes it the heaviest of the bunch, and it’s fairly large compared to relatively diminutive options like SP Connect and Lifeproof’s LifeActiv.

On the other hand, Quad Lock’s o-rings seem to offer the most straightforward installation process, although a couple of competitors also provide the ability to attach via zip ties.

Along these same lines, you can attach the Quad Lock and SP Connect mounts to your handlebars or stem, although appropriately equipped Ram Mounts, Topeak RideCases, and Lifeproof LifeActivs can fundamentally mount anywhere on your bike—as long as it meets the measurement requirements.

At the other end of the spectrum are Rokform and SP Connect’s mounts, which only affix to your bike’s stem, and only after removing its cap. Although this could be considered relatively simple, it’s still more involved than Quad Lock, Ram, Topeak, or Lifeproof’s systems.

The Ram Mount’s price also comes in the lowest, although it doesn’t include a special case or weatherproof sleeve to protect it from the elements. It uses whatever case you already have, or your bare phone, if you choose.

Pulling all of these details together, the Quad Lock bike mount system comes with a competitive price, the ability to utilize other systems in the company’s lineup, many years in business, and a mostly positive online reputation among cyclists.

Does this necessarily mean that you should go ahead and buy, though? We’ll wrap everything up in the next section.

Bottom Line: Is Quad Lock the Right Bike Mounting System for You?

It’s not necessarily the smallest or lightest option available, as advertised by the company.

But, based on my long-term experience, Quad Lock’s bike mounting system delivers a solid combination of ease of use, reliability regardless of the terrain, competitive pricing, and protection from most of the elements encountered during normal riding conditions.

Depending on which factors you emphasize most, though, it might not be as secure as competing mounts that screw directly into your bike’s headset, or as quick and easy to mount and remove as options that use magnets.

>> Keep rolling: Must-Have Bike Accessories for Beginners

Derek is an avid cyclist with more than two decades of experience in the sport, and currently resides in Denver, Colorado. He enjoys all types, including road, MTB, cyclocross/gravel, commuting, and touring. When he's not writing reviews and guides related to bike accessories, parts, and gear for TreadBikely.com, he's riding, talking about cycling, or thinking about bikes he can't afford. #rolloutblissout
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