There is no category of gadgetry that I get more manufacturer e-mails on than phone accessory junk. Which is somewhat ironic considering I can’t even remember the last time I reviewed a phone-specific thing. Still, once you get on some PR mailing lists, they all try and eventually pitch you something phone related.
Ironically enough it was not a pitch, but rather necessity that led me to this review. See, despite my general dislike for using my phone as a cycling head unit (yes, I know, some of you like it nonetheless), I do occasionally have uses for putting it on my handlebars. Most notably – testing out drones. It just makes it a lot easier to see what’s going on when the unit is hopelessly trying to follow me.
And in fact, that’s how I returned to buying a Quad Lock mount. Two actually. See, Shane Miller and I were busy crashing drones into trees out in the mountains off-roading on road bikes. Out of his random stable of gear in the car, he pulls out a Quad Lock mount, which…immediately made a crap-ton of sense for what we were doing.
So a week or so later I walked into a nearby bike shop and bought a couple. Almost two months later, here’s how that’s worked out.
What’s in the box:
There’s a few different variants of kits you can buy, but more than likely you’ll buy the standard cycling one which includes the phone case and the mount. There’s also an armband and just the cases themselves. In my case I bought two kits: One for my iPhone X and one for my iPhone 7. I tend to use a second older iPhone 7 for recording secondary things like mic audio, preview screens, etc… So I wanted the flexibility to use either phone depending on the circumstances.
Both boxes are virtually identical, so here’s the iPhone 7/8 variant.
Inside you’ve got a box of parts including the mount itself, along with both zipties and industrial strength rubber bands. I went with the rubber bands, since I like to move it around, but I could see if you were doing more mountain biking that zipties might make sense.
To the left you’ll see the phone case, which includes a clear rain cover to keep the watery goodness away from the phone.
You’ll also find the phone case itself there of course, that’s the black piece.
And…well, that’s it. Except for the manual of course, which is pretty darn straight forward.
Oh, and that beautiful red glow is from the gigantic red wall behind the desk/table in my rental house in Perth. Sorry, I don’t entirely like it either.
Size & Weight:
I don’t have a lot of cases and such to compare to, so this section will be rather limited. Instead, we’re going to go with a more simplistic version. Here’s the weight of the mount by itself with the two rubber bands – coming in at 22g:
For context, the plastic Barfly mount is 42g:
Next, here’s the iPhone X phone case by itself – 36g:
The phone with the case is 212g.
To compare an iPhone with and without the case, here’s the two side by side on a flat surface:
As you can see, there’s a bit of stack height increase, but I don’t notice it anymore (and barely did that day). For context, I weighed in my previous $6 iPhone X case from Anker, which came in at 22g (versus 36g for the Quad Lock variant).
Riding with it:
I’ve tested this in two core ways: Road riding and mountain biking. Further, in both the horizontal and vertical orientations. And not to sound obvious, but the general goal here is pretty straight forward: Don’t fall/break off.
Road riding might sound easier, but that’s not necessarily true. In fact, where I’m staying right now in Australia there’s a set of rail-road tracks that I ride over almost every day, and usually a few times a day. Except, these aren’t normal rail-road tracks. Instead, they are what happens when the city neglects to maintain said tracks and the pavement curls up, forming ‘waves’ of nasty concrete against the tracks. It’s like taking a baseball bat to the bike frame.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The first thing we’ve gotta do is connect the mount to my bike. This takes two rubber bands and about 9 seconds. Not 10 seconds, not 8 seconds…but 9 seconds. That is unless you’ve managed to slice off a chunk of your thumb using a cheese slicer thingy 3 days prior, in which case it’ll take about 37 seconds because you’re desperately trying not to snap your finger under the bands. Just sayin’ for a friend.
Once you’ve got that oriented, it’ll look like the below.
Meanwhile, you’ll need to put your phone in the case. The last time I tried a Quad Lock case about 6 years ago, the phone to case hookup was a bit wonky, but for both my iPhone X and iPhone 7, it’s quick and simple and like basically all other high quality cases. It takes a few seconds to put on or off.
Then, along the bottom you’ll see the connector piece. It’s this part of the case that is clearly the hardest plastic material (compared to the edges of the case which have a bit more bounce to them).
Simply align the phone atop this connector at a 1/8 turn angle, and then it’ll find it’s little friendly home.
Then rotate either to the vertical or horizontal position.
And that’s it, you’re done. The sleeve will then slide up and lock in place, disallowing any further rotation or movement.
In the event you want to remove the phone, and/or change orientation, simply pull the sleeve down.
The above photo does visualize the single downside to the case though: Its height.
The sleeve that makes it so secure is also like having Empire State Building atop your stem. Ok, it’s not that bad, but it’s a fair chunk for certain.
And thus is everything you need to know about the Quad Lock mount. Actually, a few more things. First, I had zero issues using it both mountain biking and road biking. In the case of mountain biking I actually ended up putting it on the top-tube of my borrowed bike over the course of three rides, merely because the stem wasn’t big enough for it.
While I’m hardly an expert mountain biker, no amount of rocks or small drops did any damage here. Of course, if you’re a more impressive mountain biker than I, then it’s likely you can find a way to break your phone/mount/body/bike/water bottle. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Meanwhile, on the road bike front I did a crap-ton of riding with this, especially on both road and compact dirt conditions. No issues.
In fact, if I circle back to the ride that started it all – Shane Miller and my off-road but with road-bikes foray, we had zero issues there too. In fact, you can watch the entire video here of the return back up out of the canyon. However, rather than show you a picture of it on Shane’s bike, I’m going to show you the tree that the drone hit…about .25 seconds before the drone hit it. That’s Shane down there (almost precisely dead center) with the Quad Lock mount on his bike and the phone attached to it. The drone is supposed to be following him and the phone.
A second later:
See those green things against the blue sky? Those are tree branches that have been severed:
See, that was more interesting, no?
As for waterproofing, the case does come with a little raincoat of sorts as I mentioned earlier – the clear plastic protector:
But alas, it somehow hasn’t rained once since I arrived to Perth nearly two months ago. Thus, no practical testing out on the road. The bathroom sink however tells me that I can place water atop it, I can still roughly utilize my phone. It’s no longer perfect, but it does the job and I can navigate around apps.
I would caution though that I found even a bit of water running along the edges will get pulled back up into the case a little bit. So if your phone isn’t actually waterproof, I’d use caution. Also, this shouldn’t be seen as a ‘waterproof’ solution. Rather, just a way to keep casual water off the screen.
I wouldn’t recommend doing this for large bumps, as it got a bit loose when I hit the railroad tracks (but it didn’t fall-off). And realistically if I just put a thick rubber band around it, it’d hold the phone and controller nice and snug.
The next thing I’ve found it moderately useful for is using the Zwift Mobile Link (err…Zwift Companion App as of today). It’s just a simple place to stash my phone, sweaty fingers be damned.
And not to mention also found it useful on the running stroller too:
Finally – I’m happy to report that this past Saturday the phone in its Quad Lock case had a near-death experience. Near being the most important word here. I had the phone charging in the car while driving. After getting home and parking the car I grabbed my phone, not realized it was still connected to the cable. I made it about 1 meter away until the cord reclaimed its properties…partially. This rebound sent the phone flying a remarkable distance and landing precisely on it’s side edge on the hard garage concrete. It then rebounded to hit the side my bike on a trainer, after which it landed on the trainer mat.
Thankfully, neither the bike or the trainer mat was injured by this flying phone. Oh, and the phone was perfectly fine too.
I seriously don’t know why I didn’t buy these earlier, as it’s made my drone related video shoots a million times easier. No wonky rubber banded setups required anymore (I once repurposed an original Wahoo ELEMNT box to hold a phone and controller together on my handlebars….it was highly suspect).
Actually, to be fair – I do know why I didn’t buy it earlier: I was annoyed with the company and how much they spammed my existing reviews years ago with various links. It was incessant and annoying, on countless posts of mine that had anything to do with any sort of mount. And not helpful spam, but just straight spam-spam advertising their products. So I mentally blocked them as a solution until I saw just how well it worked with Shane. Thankfully, I haven’t seen any such spam in the past few years, so perhaps they changed marketing firms or direction or something. So I’ll consider that water under the bridge.
Thus, at this point if you need a way to attach a phone to your bike for whatever purpose you’ve got, be it Zwift, a drone, or Strava, then this fits the bill perfectly. And, it makes for a nice phone case otherwise. The case hasn’t left my phone since I bought it, and I don’t think I’ll take it off anytime soon, even when I might have periods I don’t use the mount as much.
With that – thanks for reading!