If you want to navigate using a satnav app on your smartphone, you need a secure and practical way to mount the device. Quad Lock provides the solution.
Designed in Australia, Quad Lock started life in the cycling market and has since branched out to include product variations aimed at runners, car drivers, and motorcyclists.
The two key components of the Quad Lock system are the twist-lock mount and smartphone case. The mount is available in handlebar and mirror-stem versions (I’ve tested the handlebar one), cases are available for all iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models, and there’s also a weather resistant ‘poncho’ phone cover.
In testing the Quad Lock, I wanted to answer six simple questions:
Is it easy to fit? Is it easy to adjust? Is it robust enough to protect the phone while riding? Is it practical to use? Does is keep the phone secure from thieving hands? Is it worth the money?
The short answer is a resounding ‘yes’ to five out of six.
The Quad Lock case is a tough ‘snap’ style case, moulded with the female half of the twist-lock system. The weather resistant poncho slips over the top of the case and, as you’d expect, is a snug fit. It’s easy to put on and take off though.
There are three main parts to the handlebar mount: the handlebar bracket; an extension arm; and the twist-lock mount itself. Also in the box is an allen key and a selection of rubber spacers to enable the bracket to be fitted to 22mm, 25mm, 28mm or 30mm bars.
Fitting the Mount
Yes, it’s really easy to fit and only takes a few minutes.
I chose to locate the bracket a little left of centre between the risers to make sure the whole assembly didn’t get in the way of the ignition. Select the right spacer, position the two halves of the bracket, and tighten the bolts with the allen key. Done.
The extension arm bolts onto the bracket and the teeth on both parts mean that once tightened it’s not moving anywhere. The twist-lock mount then fits onto the extension arm in the same way.
Adjusting the Mount
Yes, it’s really easy to adjust.
To make sure the phone display can be seen clearly at a glance, without having to move your head and without avoidable glare, some trial and error is needed to get the bracket tilt and extension arm angle just right. In both cases, it’s just a matter of loosening the bolts, repositioning, and re-tightening.
Twist, Lock and Ride
Yes, it’s safe as houses when riding.
Once the mount is fitted and the case is on your phone, turn the device 45 degrees either left or right to line up male and female parts of the twist-lock and then turn back to lock. You can lock your phone in either portrait or landscape orientation. Once it’s in place, the robustness of the locking system keeps the phone solidly in position. To remove it again, hold the phone, press down slightly on the coloured lever, and twist 45 degrees.
Yes, it’s a very practical to use.
The twist-on, twist-off action is quick (once you have the knack), and it’s easy to position your phone so you can see the display. The weather resistant poncho protects your phone from water and dirt, without interfering with the use of the touchscreen (assuming you wipe the rain off it first).
No, it’s not 100% secure.
If you’re stationary at lights in the middle of a city, the Quad Lock won’t stop a determined (and informed) phone thief from snatching your device. The simple twist-on/twist-off design is a weakness from a security point of view, as much as it’s the great strength of the product in other respects.
I’m reliably informed by the UK distributors that Quad Lock are working on a solution to prevent (or at least reduce the chances of) opportunistic theft.
Value for Money
Prices vary depending on the smartphone you have and the kind of mount you choose. The combination I tested (iPhone 6s case + handlebar mount + poncho) costs £81.85 at the time of writing.
Spare mount levers (the blue part shown in the photos above) are available separately in black, white, and red at £7.95 each.
So it’s not a particularly cheap product, but in my opinion it’s definitely worth the money – especially if you haven’t already invested in a dedicated satnav.
Simple solutions are usually the best and the Quad Lock does exactly what it’s designed to do with simple elegance. I’ll be keeping the Quad Lock on the Benelli TRK 502 and using it every day. Highly recommended.
To view the full range of Quad Lock products and buy online, visit the Quad Lock website.
Review by Iain Harper.