It’s time to level up your bike commute and get your phone mounted on your bike handlebars. New routes of many twists and turns will require less memorizing, less stopping to pull out directions, and more fun biking to your destination! If you’re going to bike to everything, it’s nice to have a phone mount setup to make new routes just as easy and accessible as the ones you do every day. And you don’t want just any phone mount, you want one that makes your ride easy and still lets you snap a quick photo while you’re out riding. Let’s get you a really great bicycle phone mount mount so getting somewhere by bike is even easier than getting somewhere by car!
Side Note: If you ever drive a car without a phone mount, the best one is definitely the iOttie Easy One Touch. It works very well on ALL phones with ANY case and it’s the kind of ease-of-use I want to see when picking a bicycle phone mount too. Anyway, back to bicycles…
I’ll mention all the best & budget bicycle phone mounting options, and for more details you can read further below.
The Best Bicycle Phone Mount (Any Phone Case Works!)
This phone mount will hold any phone securely and with any phone case! It has a simple and easy one-handed operation, so you can pull your phone out while riding for a photo or some other need. Finding this phone mount was the reason I wrote this post, since it seems no one is recommending it for bicycles just because it has the world “motorcycle” in it. The handlebars are the same size! You can also swap out the connection point to be a quick release. Read more on my experience below.
The Best Bicycle Phone Mount (Specific Case or Adapter Required)
If you don’t mind using a special phone case or adapter, these phone mounts are less bulky and usually have better, simpler, one handed operation than phone case independent mounts. I like having my own phone case, but I do hope these companies start selling more varieties of cases and I may eventually switch. Once you get the case, you can find all sorts of different mounts and attachments to extend the back of your phone, giving you lots of extensibility options.
All of these options have simple and easy one hand operation, but Mous & Peak Design are a bit better on the ease-of-use.
$ – Mous Intralock Bike Mount & Phone Case (no adapter)
My top pick is the Mous Intralock ecosystem (new as of 2022). They are selling their Magsafe compatible phone case AND the mount together for less than the price of competitor’s mounts. $45 total at the time of this writing, and they’re just as good if not better. Since Mous is primarily a phone case company and has been around for a while, I’m hoping that eventually we’ll see a larger variety of cases with their Intralock tech…which might even get me into it.
Mous currently doesn’t sell adapters so you have to use their single phone case, which doesn’t have the most sleek feel.
If you want a tried and true option, the Quad Lock has been around the longest and is therefore more tested for it’s durability and reliability. However, I often fumble to try and get the phone back on the mount and the Quad Lock isn’t Magsafe compatible. Quadlock does sell adapters to stick onto any phone case, and they have a new adapter that is also Magsafe compatible. I’ve written more on my experience with the QuadLock below.
If you have a bigger budget and want a sleeker looking phone case and mount, Peak Design has a nice bike phone mount but it’s a bit pricer. Peak Design cases are Magsafe compatible and they have a stick-on adapter if you don’t want to use their phone case.
I do like the Peak Design Universal Bar Mount which seemed super easy to swap around to other bicycles and things with bars to wrap around. It uses the same kind of silicone strap connection as cheap bike lights, so it’s very easy to take on and off even though it may be less solid and secure.
Budget Bicycle Phone Mounts
If you want to get the cheapest possible phone mount for your bicycle, there are some good options that could work just as well as my other recommendations if you’re not as concerned about durability.
Any Phone Case! One-handed Operation! – Budget Picks
Specific Phone Case or Adapter Required – Budget Pick
The Mous phone case & mount is already inexpensive for what you get, but if you want to sacrifice quality for budget you can go cheaper. The Spigen Gearlock Mount is $20 and includes the mount AND the attachment adapter that can stick on any phone. This is pretty cool, and lets you kinda keep your current phone case, but the mounting system is more like Quad Lock probably not as easy to use as Mous or Peak Design.
My Favorite Bicycle Phone Mount: Tackform Motorcycle Mount
The Tackform Motorcycle Mount (chrome version) with its solid, one-handed operation that doesn’t require any special case makes it the clear winner for what I want in a bike phone mount. Don’t be fooled that it’s marketed for motorcycles. The bars on a motorcycle are the same as a bicycle, and this mount includes the attachments to fit super well on all bicycles. $60 at the time of this writing is not cheap, but if you look at any of the other “best” one-handed operation phone mounts they are more expensive, as they require you to buy a new case for your phone too! Or stick something to your phone case that now you have to carry around with you everywhere even when you’re not biking. Not cool!
NOTE: Unless you are riding often on bumpy terrain or mountain biking, you likely don’t need the vibration dampening version. This is mostly important for a motorcycle when the engine is vibrating the handlebars. A pothole or two is unlikely to effect your camera.
Now, everyone with a custom case, no case, or an attachment to the back of their phone like a pop-out, ring, wallet, whatever can rest easy that you can ALSO use your phone in a one-handed operation, secure bicycle mount. This is exciting news, as it opens up the possibilities for better navigation, music playing, and quick photos while riding. As a random bonus, I clipped on my JBL Clip 4 speaker to the mount just underneath the phoane and I had great jams happening too!
If you want to make this phone mount more portable, you can replace the standard bar mount with a quick release bar mount so you can easily move the mount to other bikes (or motorcycles, it does work there too!). You can also buy just the bar mount with the ball on top, and you can unscrew the phone attachment and move that to a different bicycle more easily than taking off the entire mounting system.
After using this phone mount for a while, I do have some notes about the one-handed operation. It works using a heavy-duty spring-loaded arm that you push aside with your phone. The spring is heavy-duty so it won’t release while riding, which means you do have to hold one of the bicycle handles while you mount or unmount the phone. I’ve found this to be a smooth process while riding, but if the bicycle is up on a kickstand I can’t release it without grabbing the handlebar with the other hand first. And watch out for your shoulder if you have an injury, that spring can be tough to move if you aren’t using proper form!
My Experience with the QuadLock Bicycle Phone Mount
In 2021 I decided to go all in on Quad Lock hoping it would solve all my phone holding problems. I got the fanciest Quad Lock Out Front Pro Mount and an iPhone case to go with it, totaling $90 at the time. Overall the Quad Lock mounts work well, but not well enough to justify the phone case requirement. I want to use a thinner case that isn’t all black, and I didn’t want to add their adapter to my case. So I end up swapping out cases when I wanted to use the Quad Lock, which is ok but not ideal. If you don’t care about an unoriginal black case with a little extra bump or hole, then you’ll likely be happy with the Quad Lock or similar system! I did find out Quad Lock sells a Ring/Stand to attach to your adapter when not in use which is cool, but personally not for me.
Here are my specific drawbacks about the Quad Lock system after a few years of use:
- It I can be surprisingly hard to get the system lined up in order to mount it quickly. Sometimes I found myself fumbling for quite a while trying to get all the pieces lined up right, even though it looks/seems easy. I’ve definitely gotten better over time, but it isn’t quite as easy as I expected.
- The mount seems to move a little bit on my bars. As I tap the screen it slowly moves down and I have to pull it back up every now and then. This may be because I have the Out Front PRO mount which has a longer extending arm (to get it closer to my field of vision I thought), but this longer extending arm means even if it’s super tight the leverage of the long arm means it still can move around too easily. Just a hypothesis though, I haven’t used the standard Out Front Mount.
- As I said before I dislike the requirement of a specific case or case attachment. That’s it.
One thing to note about these drawbacks is they are specific to the Quad Lock system. Peak Design came out with their SlimLock system right as I was buying my Quad Lock mount, so I haven’t tried it yet. Mous came out with their Intralock system even more recently as well. Both of those systems seem to work better than the Quad Lock system and have nicer cases, but still not enough phone case variety.
Phone Mounts You Don’t Want
Tedious rubber phone mounts (you don’t want these)
Beware of mounts that wrap rubber around each corner of your phone. Not because they don’t work, but because they’re incredibly inconvenient. It’s just not worth it considering the better mounts available. Unfortunately these are also still the best kind of phone case independent mount if you want a portable mount you can travel with or use with bikeshare.
These kind of mounts require lots of handiwork that you don’t need to do, and once your phone is mounted it takes similar effort to get it unstuck. Not to mention these mounts usually have rubber covering the corners of the screen, which can make it difficult to use your phone while it’s mounted. Even if you are continuously riding on extremely bumpy terrain, the other phone independent bike mounts on the market will likely hold your phone just fine.
Wirecutter seems to recommend this Nite Ize Wraptor bike phone mount as their budget pick, but I’d rather pick up one of the other budget one-handed phone docks available that I’ve discussed in the other sections above for better ease-of-use.
One tedious rubber phone mount I do rarely still use is this ultra-portable piece of rubber. This one fits through the small hole and around to mount your phone in an extremely insecure fashion…but it works in a pinch and is very portable. I’ll take with me when I want something just in case. It’s hard to find them these days since better bicycle phone mounts exist, but I did find some on Aliexpress that are the same price as before…about $1.
This piece of rubber is also one of the first phone docks I ever used. Ever since, I’ve been searching for more, but I’ll always remember my first love.
Top Tube Frame Bag Phone Mounts (you don’t want these)
Another kind of phone holder I used once was one of those frame bags that sits on top of the top tube near the head stem. It’s nice as a bag if you want to use it for that, but it was immediately a failure as a phone mount for multiple reasons:
- The plastic covering over the phone screen made the phone completely unreadable. The sun reflections in the day and streetlight reflections in the night made it useless.
- The location of the bag on the top tube is just not in the right position to easily look at the phone. I had to look way down and it wasn’t easy while riding.
- Of course your phone is deep inside this bag, so getting the phone out is even more annoying than getting it out of those rubber strapped tedious cases.
It was immediately a no go for me and I returned it.
The Best Portable & Removable Bicycle Phone Mounts
If you’re often using bikeshare bikes or riding different bicycles, it can be useful to have a phone mount that easily moves from bike to bike. Portability is why I mentioned the rubber strap mount as something I still have and sometimes use because it’s so incredibly portable.
I’m still searching for the most portable bike mount that I can take while traveling or on the go and don’t want to carry around a full size phone mount. If you know of something, please let me know!
For now, the most portable option is the Peak Design phone case with the universal bar mount. You can’t get much smaller than that mount, and it makes sense the most portable option would include a specific phone case as part of the deal.
Other mounts with a simple silicone straps will also be mostly portable, which usually means they are also tedious to use but end up being some of the best phone case independent bike mounts for travel and portability!
One quick, easy to use portable mounts is the Nite Ize Unversal Bike Mount. It covers a lot of the screen, requires two hands to attach and detach, and is difficult to use your phone much while using it, but like the small piece of rubber it does work and is reliable.
Similarly the Nite Ize Wraptor bike phone mount also works for portability and covers just the corners of the screen.
If you got this far and are still interested in the Tackform, they sell a quick release bar mount that makes it easy to move the mount to other bikes, but it does take some time to switch and it’s bulky to travel with.
Now you’ll be able to pick not just any phone mount, but the best bike phone mount for you and your bicycle situation. I still have bikes without phone mounts where I just memorize the directions before I ride (which is always a good exercise to sharpen your geospatial skills), but sometimes new rides are dynamic and complicated, making a bicycle phone mount a great addition for an easy, accessible, and therefore more likely bike commute!
I hope to have mounts on all my bikes soon so I can easily navigate new streets without having to stop and pull out my phone.
Now get your eyes off the phone and enjoy the views! Happy biking!