Review: Review: Quad Lock iPhone5 Mounting System
A sturdy way to mount and access your iPhone5 to your bike – perhaps a touch pricey 7/10
I always like gadgets, little bits of technical stuff that can make my life easier or simpler. So I was intrigued when I saw the Quad lock iPhone5 holder from Annex Products, a recent Kickstarter success story.
The gist is simple; you can attach your iPhone to the stem or handlebars to use it with apps like Strava or Runkeeper whilst also allowing you to see who is calling during a ride – allowing you to answer if needed.
Now some purists would say that you should leave the phone at home and just concentrate on the ride, but as lovely as that sounds it’s not always practical to do so – babysitters, work or clients all demand attention and having a daytime ride involves compromise, so this seems like a good way of call screening without stopping.
Annex, designers of the Quad Lock have developed a nifty little mounting mechanism for the phone, super simple in operation and safe in use.
The iPhone sits in its case, the case is quarter-turned onto the mount, which is attached to either bar or stem via industrial bands – along the lines of a Garmin mount – and like a Garmin mount, once it’s attached it seems determined to stay there!
The case itself comes in 2 parts, the black base unit in which the iPhone itself sits. It is rubberised and goes all the way around the bottom and the edges of the phone, leaving open the required bits of speakers, jacks and power cables. At the sides it is slightly raised above the glass to protect the screen little – a nice touch.
The case itself attaches to the mount with a quarter turn operation, and it’s released by pressing down on the blue collar and again doing the quarter turn – make a note that if you forget to press the collar it won’t release, rather it will simply snap the rubber band mounts…..
The Quad Lock can also come with a ‘Poncho’, a durable clear rubber case – that’s water resistant to keep your phone safe but still allow you to use the touch features of the phone itself.
So how does the Quad Lock iPhone 5 case work?
I think it very much depends on what you want to use it for.
Will it replace the Garmin on your handlebars? Potentially it could, but that may not be the best use for it!
For me, the biggest issue with electrical devices on rides is the need for power, so if you are wanting to use the Quad Lock to use as a cross country satnav device then you will be disappointed, as the extra power consumption of the GPS in an iPhone will cut the usable time down by several hours.
HOWEVER, if you are using it to get from A-B in a city or a town, to find a venue, or a shop etc. then its ideal, the large screen and ease of use of Apple/Google Maps make it a perfect way to find where you need to go – unhindered by any longer duration battery issues.
The rubber base unit does have slots in it to allow for charging, so if you have a mounted battery then that may be an option, but the Poncho doesn’t – this could be an issue on longer wetter rides where the battery life will come into play.
The Quad Lock system is rated as water-resistant, which is probably my biggest gripe with the whole package – for something which is to be on a handlebar I would ideally want more security than resistance – I want full-on waterproof! Having said that though, I’ve used the phone in the Poncho and not had any water ingress in the hour or so I was out in the rain with it – but it’s just a little nagging feeling I have in the back of my head.
All in all its a really simple way of mounting your phone to your bike, and whilst it may not replace a dedicated GPS unit, it certainly matches it for navigation purposes. It also frees up some space in your pockets, so you can take that quick shot, and share it to your desired social network without having to mess about with rear pockets.
It’s available for a few pennies shy of £50 so it’s not cheap, but the build quality, design and ease of use don’t suggest a cheap product either. You can get it here from www.lead-out.co.uk
It won’t get you across Europe on a charge, but for day to day usage for maps or navigation it is super handy – being able to remove it from the bike in 2 seconds is great and when you have it in your pocket the bumper makes for a great case as well!