Words & photos: Wil Barrett
Todays mobile phones are smarter than ever. In fact, they’re probably smarter than the average human. With the ability to send and receive emails, capture high quality photos & video, provide you with instant access to the internet, and to help you find your way with GPS functionality, it’s a wonder why these things haven’t taken over human civilisation……yet. For the everyday rider, there’s a lot of in-built potential in the latest crop of smartphones, whether it’s racing against your mates on Strava, mapping out a new section of trail with the GPS, or simply recording your riding km’s and heart rate data. Compared to bicycle-dedicated computers and such, it’s simply the rapid rate of advancement of smartphone technology that has made them the better choice for many riders out there.
With all this clever functionality comes the need to better integrate the smartphone with your bicycle. While there are (average) ways around this, Melbourne-based designer Chris Peters decided that there must be a better alternative. An avid cyclist himself, it was when Chris relocated to Sydney when he realised just how useful using Google Maps on his iPhone was for getting around his new digs. After trying existing car mounts and cradles, Chris developed the Quad Lock concept to create a slimline and stable mounting system to fit is iPhone onto his handlebars. Realising the potential in the idea, Chris teamed up with his business partner Rob Ward, and in late-2011 they launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowd-fund the Quad Lock’s production. Not only did Chris & Rob reach their funding target, they well and truly smashed it by raising over double their required funds. Shortly afterwards they put the Quad Lock into production, and it has since been flying off the shelves and finding its way onto bikes all around the globe.
We recently received a couple of Quad Lock Bike Kit’s to review for Enduro Magazine. The Quad Lock design is available in several different sizes to suit both Apple iPhones and Samsung smartphones too. Quad Lock have also since released arm bands for joggers, car mounts, and wall mounts. If you want to know more about how the system works, read on below for our first look of this ingenious product.
Quad Lock state that the main difference between their solution and other smartphone mounts is the case based system. Your phone simply clips into the half-case, and it is the underside of this case that interlocks into the Quad Lock bar mount. This means that you’ll have to ditch your existing phone case to use the Quad Lock, which may present a minor inconvenience for those who are emotionally connected with their phone accessories. For those who don’t care, the guys at Quad Lock have worked had to make it a stylish and slim protective case that works well when it isn’t attached to your bike.
Given that the Quad Lock case is likely to see some bumpy off-road riding, it has to be secure. The patent-pending four key mount is what gives the system its security, as it provides a 2-stage locking mechanism. First you’ll have to physically push that blue collar down, then you’ll have to twist the phone 45-degrees to release it form the mount. This design ensures that there is zero chance of the phone derailing on its own, which should calm nervous mountain bikers who are hesitant at strapping their $700 phone onto their bars.
While the Quad Lock bike kit certainly appears to be built well, we’ll be putting it to the test over the coming weeks to see just how solid it is when riding singletrack. We’ll also be making use of various GPS functions and bike-related apps to see how convenient it is having your smartphone within easy reach, though chances are that if you’ve read this far, you’ll know just how useful it will be for you.