One accessory that’s transformed bike tours over the last few years is the smart phone – it can plot you route, record your stats and video your progress. You could just carry your phone in a pocket or pannier, but it’s so much more convenient to have it available all the time to check the map or record a particularly stunning section of the road – which is where a phone mount comes in.
A mount needs to be quick and easy to use, hold your phone securely and then give you options such as acting as a camera mount or providing a waterproof cover. Quad Lock Mounts makes it to our top bike cell phone holder for their ruggedness and lightweight features. It’s also one of the most secure phone mounts with its exclusive dual lock feature.
This article would outline what to consider when choosing a bike phone mount for bike touring.
Aside from the mount’s features, one thing you should look out for is the phone mount that matches perfectly with your bike setup. If you can, it’s a good idea to go a test run to decide how best to use your phone mount. Here are few things to consider when choosing a bike phone mount.
You don’t just use a bike cell phone mount for aesthetic reasons but mainly to safeguard your phone while using it on bumpy rides. It’s safe to say that not all phone mounts would guarantee the safety of your phone.
There are mounts that have safety features like silicone straps that help to hold the phone firm on the bike. They wrap on the phones and ensure they don’t fall off even when doing a 90 on a freeway (LoL). For instance, the Syosin phone mount comes with a shock-absorbing silicone strap that protects your phone. The silicone holder is soft so no sharp edges to potentially scratch your phone.
Some bike mounts are made with a sponge holder rather than silicone. This offers reliable protection in an accident of the phone drops, during biking and ensures your smartphone. The GUB Bicycle & Motorcycle Phone Mount comes with a sponge clamp that helps to hold the phone firmly.
Ensure to have the correct dimensions of your phone before getting a holder, as this would help you get a matching mount. And if it fits snugly, then it should protect your phone even in an accident.
You may think all phone mounts would fit your smartphone if you get the right dimensions, but that’s not always the case. Make quite sure that the mount works for your make and model of phone – and will support it in your preferred orientation (portrait is normal, but some riders prefer landscape mode).
For the best fit, go for a mount that is specifically made for your phone model; some mounts can adapt to different size phones but you’ll generally get a better fit if it’s made for a specific model.
You may, however, want to go for a universal mount in case you change phones. Some phone mounts can be adjusted to hold a range of phone models. The Nite Ize Handlebar Universal Smartphone Bar Mount is one of the universal phone mounts out there. It can support a range of phone sizes.
When it comes to phone holders for cycles, there are three main types.
The major reasons that should inform your choice of phone mounts include favorite cycling discipline, the mount’s choice position, and the phone model.
Case mounts are specific to the phone style and model. Thus, if you have, for example, an iPhone X phone, you’ll should go for a mount that’s designed specifically for the X phone. And if your phone has a bigger than normal screen, for example the Samsung ‘S’ series with its longer screens, you’ll need to get a matching mount.
With a custom rather than universal phone mount you should also check that you can orientate your phone horizontally or vertically and that there’s the ability to quickly insert and remove your phone – most mounts use a twist and click locking mechanism.
The mounts can be attached to the stem or handlebar of the bike, Quad-Lock Stem Handlebar Mount is one of the best-case mounts on the market. Its simple twist and lock system makes it easy to fit and remove your phone before or after a ride. It has a dual-stage lock that helps to hold your phone without worries. It is attachable on a stem or handlebar with either a landscape or portrait orientation (though most route apps are designed for portrait mode).
This type of mount uses a universal mounting system that attaches to the handlebar or stem of the bike. One main advantage of the universal mount is that it goes with many phone styles. This feature avoids you having to buy a mount each time you change your phone.
A good option is the Roam Universal Bike Phone Mount. It comes with a changeable 3.5 inches width that fits a wide variety of phones like iPhone, Blackberry, ZTE, Google, and Nokia. You can either get silicone, plastic, or metal material. It can also fit on any bike’s handlebars of a mountain, road, or touring bike.
Frame bags come with a little extra storage space for your essentials like keys and credit cards. It also gives you the chance to access your phone through the transparent part of the bag. The other part of the frame bag conceals the other items while leaving a clear space for your phone screen.
These kinds of mounts don’t usually attach to handlebars, although some models do. But if you get a frame bag that doesn’t hang on the handlebar, it leaves that space open.
This makes it a bad idea for those who may want to use the GPS on their phones while biking. The bag hangs below your immediate sight and can be fatal if you keep removing your eyes from the road.
However, the top tube phone mount type is one of the best bike cell holders for extra protection from rains and dust. One of our favorite is the ROCK Bros frame bag which comes with a highly sensitive touch screen cover that keeps your phone waterproof but makes it easy to operate. It has a large space for other items like your money to fit in. Besides, it’s water-resistant, which gives an edge for bike touring in the rain. It’s a great choice when you’re touring with your phone, keys, and other sensitive items.
There are different mounting techniques that come with using phone mounts. Some are attachable to the handlebar with a strap. Others may come with one point of attachment that you fit around the handlebars and tighten with an allen key like Roam.
A bike mount is not a one-size-fits-all accessory, and this is why you have to ensure that a prospective phone bike is compatible with your bike. Your answer to the following questions would give you an insight into the kind of phone mount you need.
What is the size of your stem? Is there an accessory mounted on the bike stem already? Do you mind glancing left or right to view your phone? Is your phone for navigation purposes? Do you want to view your phone looking down? Do you want a top tube phone mount?
The answers to these questions would help you streamline your choices. If the purpose of your phone is navigation, then placing it in front of you is ideal, so it becomes easier to view it while riding
It’s advisable to always check the exact model before buying a mount – most bike phone mounts are ‘about’ 7 inches in length and 3.5 inches wide, but if you’ve got an unusual model of phone, so you should be careful in checking out these specs. Or go with an adjustable mount, like Rockform Universal mount that helps ensure the mount fits on any phone.
Installing a smartphone mount on your mountain or road bike should be an easy, straightforward process. If it requires a complex installation procedure, then it is probably not for you. It is advisable to go for mounts with a quick-release feature for easy clip on and off.
Bike phone mounts are essential for you to enjoy your biking. If you’ve not plotted your route with a cycling app, you’ll find it a revelation after a paper map… plus you get real-time stats about your speed, gradient and more. Most apps also store your route so you can scroll back through your archives and even link them with photos or videos taken during the ride.
Install your route tracking app for your phone, select the right phone mount and then a bike tour from our list of tours and enjoy your ride !