Mounts for Cell Phones
Sometimes a device based on space-age technology fails due to an old-fashioned engineering issue. Or to put it another way, you still need good engineering no matter how advanced the technology. This brings us to the mount you need for your smartphone when it’s used to provide navigation as you bike along, and don't have to worry about getting lost.
There are literally hundreds of mounts to choose from, and you may decide depending on budget, convenience, and yes even fashion. We can’t list every model, but will feature two, a basic model and a more sophisticated one, so you can hopefully meet your needs without extensive research or shopping. You could chat with other riders who have a phone mount and learn about that device's pros and cons. You also need to think about handlebar real estate and make sure there's room; you may need to move things around.
There are many basic models available, we present one that caught our attention. The Roam Universal Premium Bike Phone Mount is available on Amazon for $16.98 as of this writing. It’s a universal fit for all phones and reviewed as sturdy. The mount attaches to the handlebar with a simple bar clamp, and the phone is held in place with rubber grips that stretch over it. This is an inexpensive, basic model that works. We caution that the rubber grippers have to be firmly in place or your phone could go flying when you hit a bump. You should check the specs if you have an especially large phone.
The Quad Lock is a more advanced mounting system. The base is secured permanently to your bike, your phone is enclosed in a case, and the case snaps onto the base. The complete system is about $70 either on Amazon or from the company. We recommend the base which moves the phone forward for better visibility. Members who use this product consider it a worthwhile investment. Installation is easy and the phone stays put even on rough roads. Note that the phone case adds thickness and weight but offers an added measure of protection. Also, the case is specific to the phone and will have to be replaced if you get a new phone of a different size.
Some members recommended solutions that worked for them like a mount that also provides storage.
Inertia Designs Tri Phone Bag The phone is protected by clear vinyl and sits on top of a storage bag. It’s about $24 and available from Walmart and bike shops.
You may wish to review our prior article on battery backup, as the information there is related. Our plan is to update the website with information on mounts and other accessories associated with using a cell phone for navigation. editor [at] crw.org (Let us know) if you found a solution that works well for you.