There are numerous iPhone and cell phone bike mounting kits out there on the market today. They range in price from under $10 to nearly $1,000 (yup, really). Their capabilities, functionality an easy of use have just as extreme of a range.
I had first heard about the Quad Lock case on Kickstarter a while back. At the time, it seemed kinda gimmicky, and in some ways – that still holds true. The case is designed such that you can quickly lock/unlock it with a simple quarter turn and push of a collar operation. The idea being that you plaster these mounts all over creation and can then quickly attach your phone to it.
The generic mounts to me seem kinda overkill, but the bike mount is a bit interesting – and the area I wanted to focus on. As you’ll see, there are some important differences between the Quad Lock case and others on the market (some good, some bad), so without further ado, let’s dig into them.
As a note, the Quad Lock folks sent me out a unit to try out. Eventually it’ll either go back to them (apparently in Australia), or I’ll add it to the stash of stuff I’ve been meaning to give away.
The Quad Lock case comes in a pretty easy to understand box. It’s got far more text on it than it needs – looks a bit less open and airy than a typical iProduct, but, it gets the point across. There are two versions available, one with the bike mount (deluxe), and one without (not-so-deluxe)
Inside, its got a little window to let you see the goods.
Once you’ve managed to open the window and take the stuff out, it’ll look just like below. Inside you’ll have one iPhone 4/4S case (not compatible prior to that), one bike mount, two identical surface mounts, a pile of rubber bands, two zip ties, and a bunch of paper manual stuffs.
Let’s look at each piece individually. First up, is the flat-surface mounts. These use adhesive to mount to non-bike locations. I suppose you could put one of these on a bike too, but I doubt you’d find too many good perfectly flat locations for them on a standard bike.
Next is the bike mount itself. You can see the curved bottom to adapt to handlebars and/or stems. The blue collar piece moves up/down to release the case when attached.
Then we’ve got the case itself. On the back you’ll see the bump-out for the lock portion. Otherwise, it’s very similar to any normal iPhone case with cutouts in all the right places.
If you were to attach the case to the mount, it would like just like this:
And adding the phone, like this:
Next in the line of stuff inside is the rubber bands and zipties. The industrial strength rubber bands can be used to quickly attach the mount to your bike without the annoyance of zipties (cutting them namely, or removing them). But, if you feel less secure with rubber bands, two zipties have been included.
Finally, there’s the pile of paper junk:
With that, all the pieces are covered, and all the important parts are pictured below:
Mounting the Quad Lock:
There are essentially three components to the Quad Lock bike mount system. The case, the mount, and the rubber bands. That’s it.
The case attaches to your phone by simply snapping it in place (and it will snap).
The mount then attaches to the case using their ‘Quad Lock’ system, which means that you place it in at about a 45* angle, and then you’ll give it a turn the rest of the way to lock it in place. At which point, the collar comes up and locks the case securely in place.
To remove the lock, you’ll go ahead and simply press down on the blue portion of the collar, and it’ll release it easily. Here’s a brief video I shot showing you it in action:
Quad Lock Video
The mount itself attaches to any roundish part of your bike. I’d suggest the stem (that’s the thing that connects your handlebars to the fork). This is an ideal location since it’s a bit better protected there. Further, it’s unlikely you’ll be grabbing there during the course of normal riding:
Failing that location, the handlebars work fine too:
On a triathlon bike, you can use the aerobars to mount it as well. Though, unlike the slimmer cycling units, it would make things awkward for arm placement. Placement in between the bars could be accomplished in conjunction with any number of aerobar bike computer mount systems though.
The Quad Lock mount uses industrial rubber bands to hold it in place. It comes with two sizes: Smaller and larger. Use them as appropriate. Try not to break them, but don’t have them loose either since you’ll be putting your phone in jeopardy.
The bike mount doesn’t have a correct orientation. It can lock/mount the case in 90* increments (horizontal or landscape), so you don’t have to worry about mounting it wrong.
In addition to the bike case piece, there’s also these generic mounts for attaching it to random objects. For example, you could put it on a wall, the outside of your car, or on your significant other. Whatever floats your boat (or on your boat). I could see uses for them in other sports, though, none that I’ve tested.
The Quad Lock case:
I love the sleekness of the Quad Lock case from a day to day use standpoint. My wife however, she hates it. Not because it’s sleek, or because it’s durable, but because she knows that I can’t get the darned thing off the phone most of the time. Instead, I defer to her and all her womanly magic to break apart the bond that the phone and case seem to have.
Once you slip your phone in that thing, it’s not coming out without a fight. Why would I take it out? Doing as much travel as I do, I’m often on overnight international flights with days of battery life needed, so I use an iPhone charging case a fair bit (I also have a pluggable version for generic USB devices, but that’s not as great for your pocket). So when I have to swap cases, it’s a bit of a pain.
Now, I do actually really like the case itself. It feels durable, it’s super-thin, and doesn’t block any of the ports (headphone, Apple connector) or buttons (volume/power/silence). There’s really nothing to complain about in that area.
The actual locking mechanism is on the bottom, and about as thin as you could imagine. It doesn’t (or at least hasn’t yet) catch on anything that I’ve seen, so no concerns there.
How well does it secure to your bike:
I’ve often said in the past that the mount system used on the Garmin Edge cycling computers is strong/secure enough that if I got hit by a bus, the unit would likely still be there attached to my mangled bike handlebars.
In the case of the Quad Lock, I think it’s much the same, if not even stronger. In short, there’s no way in heck the case itself is separating from the mount. Once it’s locked, it’s locked.
Now, separation of the bands holding the mount to the bike is a different matter. I actually broke one of them trying to put it on this bike. But, to be fair – I was probably overstretching it a bit. In my experience with the industrial strength bands, once you get them on the bike (without breakage), they generally don’t go anywhere.
Across bumpy roads, potholes, a little bit of Euro-cobblestone, and everything else along the way – it hasn’t fallen off or broken apart yet.
Who the case is really for:
The reality is though, as an endurance athlete – I wouldn’t use this case on any of my training or racing bikes.
Well, it doesn’t protect my phone in any way. Nor does it help with the battery issues that I would find trying to use it for that long (other bike cases do help here). On the protection issue, if I’m out for a 5-7 hour, the weather can (and often does) easily change. The start of the ride may be sunny, but it could be dumping like a circus elephant two hours later. Sure, I could put my phone in my jersey pocket, but that won’t protect it in a downpour. Nor will it help me navigate and/or display data related to my ride.
For those purposes, I highly recommend one of the other options out there. Both Wahoo Fitness and iBike make good solid (and waterproof/water resistant) cases that are designed for endurance athletes. They’ve got versions with and without ANT+ connectivity for sport sensor connectivity, and they’ve both got versions with supplementary batteries that lock onto or into the cases.
(Above, the Wahoo Fitness case)
Now, with endurance sport uses out of the way – who is this for then?
Well, the average bike commuter or ride around town person. For that, it’s flippin’ awesome. You’re likely going to know what the weather is over the course of the sub-1hr trip. And you’ve likely got some other bag/pocket that you can slide it into should things go awry (for a few minutes).
Take for example this past weekend. While navigating to/from the bike shop in Paris, I didn’t have the slightest clue how to get there. With this, I was able to easily clip the phone onto the bike in under 1 second and get directions.
Inversely, when we stopped along the way at a bakery (it looked good!), I was able to to unclip it within 1 second and take it in with me. No haggling with the more complex aspects of most of the endurance sport mount systems. Nor, does it look like a bulging burrito on my bike (again, like most of the endurance sport systems).
So – as a bike mount for day to day use, it’s awesome. I can quickly pop it on/off for directions and navigational support. But for endurance…not so much.
There are literally hundreds of apps out there that cater to monitoring progress or fitness on a bike. I’ve previously outlined the top apps I’ve used in this post (Top 7 iPhone Apps), as well as written a series in Bicycling Magazine about them. But, as I alluded to in my top-apps post, the reality is that for quick point to point trips within the city, the iPhone maps app is usually your best bet.
The reason being that most of the other apps don’t have the ability to quickly change origin or destination information. It ends up being more than the two button presses that the default maps application requires. And since I’m cycling, I’d prefer to avoid complex button presses.
Unlike much of the iJunk out there today, I think I’ll actually buy one of these for my commuter bike after I send this one back. It’d be useful to me, and the price point is reasonable enough. I won’t use it for racing or training, since neither afford the phone the protection it needs to ensure it doesn’t get killed with a random thunderstorm. But for city riding – it’s good stuff.
The Quad Lock is available in two forms, one with the bike mount ($69) and one without ($39). As noted before, I don’t see a ton of value in the other (non-bike) version – though there are certainly use cases for it.
As always, thanks for reading! And feel free to post any questions below, happy to try and get them answered.
Now they just need an armband option. 🙂
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As a kickstarter backer I was excited when I finally got mine in the mail… so far the flat sticky mount for the car works perfectly! I haven’t yet used it on my bike as I don’t do too much city riding (mtb or road racing) so I would worry about the sweat/etc. I can imagine a simple clear drop over hood like thingie that you could put on to block sweat/etc. You couldnt be able to interact without taking it off but maybe that might work … who knows … overall its been fun watching this product go from idea to high quality product on kickstarter!
Now onto the Timex Cycling review!!!! 🙂
Take a look at lifeproof. Water, dust, mud, snow proof. Plus they also have a bike mount. Their sit shows a woman bowling her iPhone .
Interesting to see a Kickstarter project that delivered as planned. It’s a fascinating funding model.
Some fail and I’d love to be able to bet against this one which the Quad Lock guys have bought into and has raised a very impressive $10,000,000.
My friend just got one of the Pebbles and loves it! Pay up!
Thanks for such an in-depth review of the Quad Lock mounting system. Please keep this case as for either a prise or your own personal use. Some product released i the next month included the Poncho for riding in the rain and a universal mount for use with other cases like the Life Proof or Otter box, a tripod mount and an iPad 2/3 case. Once again thanks for such a great review.
What screen protector, if any, do you recommend if using this case?
Rob, you might want to fix the URL your name points to. You need to add an ‘s’ to the word ‘case’ if you want people to find your site.
Too bad I don’t have an iPhone.
Here’s the correct address for the website http://www.quadlockcase.com
Hi DC Rainmaker!
Have you been able to a hold of their Poncho? If we can have this rainproof, it could be great for training. They have an iPhone 5 version out soon too.
You might want to rewrite this review a bit, they released a cover for the phone which makes it waterproof and suitable for everything :
link to quadlockcase.com
This will greatly enhance it’s use for training and even a race imo. I just ordered the mount incl. poncho, can’t wait to try them out! It’s quite rainy here in Holland so 😉
As for the strength, check out this video! : link to player.vimeo.com
There’s no an iPhone 5 version out and it looks even better. Come with a weather resistant cover too. link to quadlockcase.com
I’m thinking of getting the iPhone 5 version, as there is also a car mount option available. As for the battery life question, I was planning to get this Topeak Mobile PowerPack to mount on the top tube. There is now a rain poncho for the Quad Lock Case, though I wouldn’t be able to use it at the same time as the PowerPack. But it never rains in Southern California, end of story. 😉
This mount is nice, but more for city riding. If you want the actual protection while you ride, which is important to me on the trail, get this mount instead: link to bike2power.com.
Highly recommend it!
Anyone tried the Topeak Ride Case 2? It’s half the price and gives you an optional cover.
I also like that you don’t have to worry about rubber bands snapping, and you can bring the iPhone a couple inches closer. I just bought it on Amazon. I’ll post how I like it.
The difficulty in getting the case off is ad dal breaker for me, I don’t want that bulky looking bulge in the back on my iPhone.
I have the iphone 5 version and the case comes off easy enough to swap.
Switch the iPhone for a Sony Eperion Z1 or Eperion Active mobile and you’ve got built in ANT+ for all your sensors and it’s waterproof anyway and dustproof. Couple it with a IPBike & the Quad Lock and it’s a pretty cool set-up. I’ve sold my Garmin Edge since switching to this set up.
Seems as though the ultimate option here is to buy Quadlock’s Universal Adapter which can then be mounted to any flat-surfaced device (or indeed phone case). That way you can choose whichever case you like (LifeProof Nuud for me), and have the reassurance your device is protected from all elements versus settling for Quadlock’s own case. I hear the adhesive is very strong on the Universal Adapter so I wouldn’t think it’s going to fall off the bike in a hurry. I’m about to find out though as I’ve just ordered the relevant parts.
My 2 cents.
Reuben after doing some research this looks like my preferred solution to my LifeProof Case + mounting situation. Apparently the LifeProof ‘LifeActiv’ mounts are crap.
Any update one year on? Would you do it differently or any problems?
Big issue I’m sure everybody has and few will admit it’s a valid point: who, who have an expensive phone without a protecting case ? Then it’s for you. For all others of us, we dont want to fumble with remove/reattach a case; heck, we dont want to leave our valuable second-soul unprotect, so while I understand the manufacturers have to start with some design and they cant cover every kind of different case out there, the need stands: give me some attachment that I can put my phone WITH its protecting case and it stays.
It’s the same issue with armbands: rarely you find one that will accomodate the protecting case.
Finally, you guys thing these electronic devices (phones) are indestructible ? Nope… all that vibration does horrible things to the soldering and motherboards inside.
Do yourself a favor: buy a cycling computer as they are made to withstand vibration and weather; and keep your valuable second-soul protected in your pockets ! Ah, they dont make shorts and shirts with decent pockets either……..
You can get adhesive adapter from QuadLock. It is like reverse adhesive mount: it sticks to your phone or case and fits any QuadLock mount. So go ahead and use any phone with any protective case – as long as there is flat plastic area at back, you can fit QuadLock.
No cover for the front? Does it collect alot of sweat?
Do you know if it is possible to just get a male side of the garmin quarter turn mounts? When I’m on the wahoo kickr I’d love to have my phone where my bike computer is. I figured I could just take a cheap case and glue the male side on the back?
Look for a post I did about the TrainerRoad iOS app about in September, it has a mount there that’s perfect. Instructions on their blog.
too bad Wahoo has no plans for an iPhone 6 case. I was a fan, now I’m shopping,,,,
You can get an indoor version on eBayfor £20
link to ebay.co.uk
Here you get a 10% Discount for your Quad Lock Case order: link to quadlock.refr.cc
Montage van de Quad Lock is that for every telephone possible? What is the total price for all that things?
A cheaper but indoor only version can be found on eBay for £20
link to ebay.co.uk
or iPhone 6
link to ebay.co.uk
Ray, you should review the M4 case from link to morpheus-labs.com
Have you considered doing a review of the iPhone as a bike computer. When you retire that iPhone from this review you are sitting on the most powerful bike computer there is. No data plan required. I run an iPhone 5s with the Strava app. I ride mostly CX and road. It is amazing. With my setup the downside is rain and limited battery at times since display has to be cranked. Bluetooth for my Stages power works like a charm. I’m an avid Strava user and this eliminates all the Garmin crap. After being off of Garmin for 6 months I thought I’d take my 810 for a spin. Live segments sucks compared to the Strava App and the workflow for just uploading a ride to Strava really is quite silly as compared to hitting save in the Strava app.
Rather than go the expensive quad lock route I knew this phone was strictly going to be a Strava KOM stealing recording device. I bought a SRAM mount off amazon for $6 and removed the Sram adapter side to make it flat. BOOM!! There is no device lighter, the screen is unmatched, and it is simple. 2,000 miles of mostly cyclocross and this thing is solid. Fear not that epoxy is legit.
What material is the back cover of your phone ?
Hi, can anyone recommend a case for a HTC 10 so I can use the cycle mount. Can’t find anything. I even mailed quad locks and they couldn’t help.
when I go on quadlockcase.com I notice there are different versions of this mount depending on the phone you own. So I currently have an iphone 6 and if I buy the one compatible for that, when I eventually get the iphone 8 whenever it releases, the mount I purchase for the iphone 6 will be obsolete, or am I wrong with this thinking? any help is greatly appreciated, thanks
I have been riding with QuadLock iPhone out front mount for 4 years, but never been really happy with the lack of aero of the current version.
Thus, I was excited when QL announced the out front pro version. Unfortunately, it is not as pro as it should be (in my opinion), since the arm remains too short to have the phone in level with the stem.
QL, to my knowledge are the only manufacturer offering a secure case for iPhones why I have to stick QL as I use Cyclemeter as my bike computer.
It leaves with few options. Either to accept the lack of aero or find an adapter QL male to ie. Garmin Edge male or others with a REAL (aero=level w. stem) pro out front mount.
Can you advice any good solution and/or secure adapter?
Warm regards /one of your greatest fans