Saturday, June 2, 2018

Quad Lock Phone Mount - Galaxy S8 Bike Kit

When I go on bike rides, my mobile phone is usually mounted onto the bike. If I put the phone into my pockets, I always worry that it will drop out during cycling. The alternative is to place the phone into my backpack, but I don't always use a backpack, and I might miss important calls or messages as I can't hear my phone when it is in the backpack.

In order to protect the phone from rain, the phone is always placed inside a Topeak Smartphone Drybag, which is sealed and is rainproof. It has worked well for me for many years.

One downside of this is that if I need to operate the screen on the phone, it is difficult to use it properly through the transparent plastic cover. Also, if I want to take a quick picture, it is also troublesome to remove the phone from the pouch before I can take a picture.

Recently I came across this new mounting from Quad Lock. I think it has been available for a few years already, but I have not come across it before. The feature that interested me is the mounting method. It is similar to how a Garmin is mounted, just twist and it is locked in place!

After testing it with my friend's Quad Lock sample, I was sold on the idea of using this mounting kit. Let's take a closer look at this.

Quad Lock bike kit for Samsung Galaxy S8 phone. It has a phone casing that is specific to your phone model. In this case it is the S8.

It comes with a phone casing that you attach to your phone. Your phone will now be compatible to the mount.

The bike mount can be fixed to many places, using either the rubber bands or cable ties. In this case, it is mounted to the stem.

It is advertised to be super secure, as it has an additional spring latch, on top of the usual Garmin-type twist lock design. Once your phone has this Quad Lock casing, you can also attach it to other Quad Lock mounts.

This is the hard rubber casing that you attach to your phone

Quad Lock mounting profile at the back of the casing

Quad Lock mount, comes with rubber bands and cable ties for mounting.

4 tabs which is used to lock the phone casing to the mount

When you push down on the phone casing, the blue part (which is spring loaded) will move down, allowing you to twist the casing into place.

Before the 4 black tabs of the mount is engaged with the phone casing...

...after twisting the casing into place, the blue part will lock into place and prevent the casing from twisting free!

It is practically impossible to remove the phone accidentally, as you need to push down the blue part, while simultaneously twisting and lifting the casing off the mount. Unless you have big hands, you will need both hands to remove the phone from the mount.

Mount weighs 23 grams, including two rubber bands. For weight weenie info.

As mounted on the Java Freccia mini velo. The mount just manages to fit on the 80mm stem. If the stem is any shorter, the mount cannot fit.

The mount protrudes quite a bit, not the best looking mount.

From this view, it seems that the Quad Lock profile on the back of the casing is really slim and does not protrude much.

However, this view shows that the casing itself is really thick, which is meant to hide the depth of the Quad Lock mechanism.

This casing is thicker than normal casings, which means that the phone is a bit bulkier than usual. This extra bulk is not a problem. However, the increased thickness means that inductive charging does not work when this casing is used! This is a downside for me, as I like the inductive charging feature of the S8 phone. When this casing is on the phone, I will have to charge the phone by plugging in a USB cable.

Landscape orientation, probably useful for navigation?

Portrait orientation, for normal usage, and also to avoid interfering with the holding of the drop bar at the top area.

As I plan to use this phone casing and mounting across more than one bike, I also got the additional bike mount to install onto a second bike. This was a free gift which a friend passed to me, which is really nice.

Additional bike mount kit

Phone casing not included in this kit

The other bike that I wanted to mount this Quad Lock kit on was the Canyon Endurace road bike. However, the blue coloured mount does not match the red frame at all! It looks too out of place. Therefore, some DIY work was required, to improve the appearance of the Quad Lock mount on the Canyon Endurace.

First, the mount was disassembled, so that the blue part can be sent for spray painting. This is the post-painting picture, where the blue part (centre) has already been painted black.

Assembling the whole unit back together was a bit tricky, due to the spring force and the alignment required. However, it looks much better and stealthier in this all black edition!

As you can see, the black mount matches the black handlebar and stem well. It still sticks out quite a bit, but I can live with that.

Advantages of Quad Lock:
1) No additional phone pouch required for attaching the phone to your bike.
2) Quad Lock casing is strong and durable for everyday use, even when not attaching it to the bike.
3) Super secure mounting, no worry of it flying off accidentally.
4) Relatively easy to remove the phone from the mount, for taking quick pictures or answering phone calls.
5) Easy to use the phone even when it is mounted, as the phone screen can be touched directly.
6) Versatile mounting options available, you can use Quad Lock for your running armband or in your car if you want.

Disadvantages of Quad Lock:
1) Unable to use inductive charging for your phone as the casing is too thick.
2) Unable to use your favourite phone casing or cover.
3) Bike mount sticks out too much from the stem, which does not look nice.
4) No waterproofing compared to using a sealed phone pouch.

One big downside of using this Quad Lock as compared to a phone pouch is the loss of waterproofing ability. However, as the S8 is already waterproof, this is not a concern for me. If your phone is not waterproof, and you are worried about rain damaging your phone, you have to use a sealed phone pouch.

Depending on your phone usage and whether you use a phone cover, this Quad Lock may or may not work for you. For me, it works well as there are many advantages, which outweighs the disadvantage of not being able to use inductive charging.

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