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In our 6-year quest for the best bike phone mount, we've tested almost 30 models and bought 10 of this year's top options for our latest round of side-by-side testing. We rode with these mounts for hundreds of miles on our daily commutes, across smoothly paved surfaces, and over rough off-road terrain. We checked out how they could handle water and dust, then mounted them on mountain bikes for strenuous tests of vibration and durability. To our surprise, and your good fortune, some of the best performers in many situations turned out to be among the least expensive models.
The case doesn't work well with universal car magnets
The Peak Design Universal Bar Mount stands out for how easy it is to remove and replace your phone with one hand. Once you learn the easy technique, you can remove the phone with one hand similarly as the Quad Lock and Rokform mounts. The difference between the competition is when you put the phone back on the bar: you only have to get the phone reasonably close to the mount, and the magnetic field grabs and locks it securely in place. By comparison, most of the competition is much harder to put the phone back, especially if you are riding. This mount is easy to swap between bikes and goes onto just about any bar width, including grocery carts, strollers, or your favorite workout treadmill. It is very secure in bumpy terrain. The case (sold separately) is slim compared to the competition and just looks good.
While the Peak Design Universal scored way higher than any other mount, it has some drawbacks. You are required to buy a specific case for your phone which nearly doubles the price and makes this among the most expensive mounts we tested. This is the heaviest case and mount combo that we tested. Most people won't notice the extra weight, but anyone looking to shave grams might be better off with Quad Lock. Unless your bars have a long stem, you won't be able to center the mount. Road cyclists, who might want the phone to be perfectly centered or out front, may prefer the Peak Design Out Front Bike Mount described below. While the case is slim enough for everyday use, it does not stick well to standard "register style" magnetic car mounts. To use the case effectively in a car, you have to buy the specific Peak Design car mount, which is expensive and can't be easily swapped between cars. To be fair, we have not found any case that works great on the bike bars and in the car. All those cons aside, this case is streamlined, secure, and our favorite option for everyday commuting and hard-core long mountain bike rides.
If you mainly use one bike and want your phone out front, the Peak Design Out Front Bike Mount is our top choice. It has most of the pros of the Peak Design Universal Mount with the added benefits of a more streamlined setup. It's just as easy as the Universal to remove your phone and place it back on the magnetic pad. Like the Universal Mount, it "sucks" to the bar mount when you get it reasonably close and is very secure on bumpy terrain (with some caveats listed below).
This scored lower than the Universal Mount because it is not fast to install or swap between bikes. While it comes with adapters, it does not work perfectly on all bar widths. For example, the extra bar inserts were too big for our test mountain bike. But without the inserts, the mount became loose and slipped off on bumpy terrain. We fixed the issue by wrapping the bar with some tape, but this is not the most aesthetic or simple solution. This mount is also more expensive than the Universal and, like the Universal, requires a case specific to your phone. The case does not work well on standard magnetic car register: it is not "one case to rule them all." This is a great mount if you mainly use one bike and take the time to dial in the setup. But most people will be better served with the Universal mount.
As one of the most affordable mounts on our recommended short-list, the VUP Silicone Mount is a great budget pick. It performs nearly as well as the Nite Ize in nearly every metric and is only around half the cost. The VUP stands apart from the crowd as being the easiest mount to set up. It was intuitive and only took 5 seconds to install on our handlebars. Our testers found this mount to be satisfyingly simple to use. Another great feature is that the mount can rotate to both landscape and portrait orientation. The VUP also excels in being versatile: it can easily transfer from bike to bike, or from bike to stroller. It is also very light for those counting grams.
While the VUP mount is user-friendly and performs relatively well due to its simplicity, there are some downsides. Compared to its similar competitor, the Nite Ize, the VUP mount is not nearly as stylish. It also doesn't have quite the size range compatibility as the Nite Ize. This is especially an issue if you plan to ride in weather (like our testers who bike-commute to work most days) and want to use a weatherproof case on your phone. These differences made the Nite Ize stand out, but the VUP is close in comparison and at almost half the price. At the end of the day, the VUP is a good choice for the rider on a budget or someone who only uses a bike phone mount occasionally.
Easy to transfer to stroller, treadmill, or other bikes
REASONS TO AVOID
Not the most secure for mountain biking
May not easily fit extra-large phones with beefy cases
Versatility, ease of setup, and low price make the Nite Ize Wraptor one of our testers' favorites. The Nite Ize is tied with the VUP for being the easiest and most intuitive to mount on your bike. No tools were required, and it fit on every bike handlebar we tested. When mounted, the Nite Ize can rotate into whatever orientation you want: landscape, portrait, or something in between. Additionally, the Nite Ize seamlessly transferred onto strollers for walks and shopping carts for grocery store runs. While this mount is made of plastic and rubber, it is one of the sleekest mounts in the lineup - our testers were impressed with its design.
The Nite Ize may not be the best choice for you if you plan to solely ride singletrack; the mount is surprisingly stable, but if you miss putting a corner entirely on, your phone is at risk of falling out. Because it is a universal mount, it takes a few seconds to get your phone on and off the mount. Also, this mount does not provide weather protection alone. For mounts like this, we recommend using a weatherproof case for your phone if you plan to ride in inclement weather. A potential issue with this mount is that an extra-large phone with a beefy case may not fit in the straps. For most people, the Nite Ize would be a great mount at a fraction of the cost of other high-performing mounts.
Though involved, this process takes only a few minutes, and the mount is ready to go in no time. What we love most about the Rokform Pro Series is its security on varied terrain. If you are a mountain biker or an avid gravel-rider this mount could be the one for you. It is expensive, but spending the money on this mount may be worth it if you don't want to risk your phone flying off while on bumpy terrain. Another feature that our testers love is the ease of access to your phone. The twist-lock mechanism makes it extremely easy to take your phone on and off the mount for photos or calls. Also, the mount has a built-in magnet that not only provides additional security but also helps to guide the phone into the correct mounting position. It takes some practice to mount or remove your phone one-handed, but it is a cinch once you get used to it.
While the Rokform Pro Series performed very well across many metrics and is the most streamlined mount in our lineup, it comes with some drawbacks. You are required to buy a specific case or case adaptor for your phone to twist-lock into the mount. The case is slim enough to use as an everyday case, but if you seek weather protection, you may want to consider buying a case adaptor to put on your weatherproof case. Another potential limitation is that it can't be used on strollers or workout treadmills, unlike other award-winners such as the Nite Ize or the VUP. If you would like to mount your phone to your car you must buy a separate car mount that is compatible with the Rokform case or case adaptor. This mounting system is the most expensive in the lineup, but its streamlined, secure, aluminum build is great for everyday commuting, speedy road cycling, and hard-core mountain bike rides alike.
The Wild Man Bike Phone Mount Bag is an affordable option if you're looking for a bike phone mount with extra storage. This bag was easier to set up than the RockBros Waterproof Bag because its velcro straps and loops are larger and placed more conveniently. This mount protects your phone from all kinds of weather and is very secure on your bike, despite that it jiggles a bit. As a bonus, the bag has enough storage space for extra gear like a wallet, keys, or a snack.
On the downside, the bike bags are big and take up most of your bike's top tube. Meaning, it's hard to stand over the bike while the bag is installed (especially if you're a smaller person on a smaller bike frame). Also, the plastic that protects your phone simultaneously makes it harder to use. Decreased touchscreen sensitivity and phone screen glare make this mount score poorly in our Ease of Phone Access metric. Also, some users found that their phones overheated on hot days in the bike bag. If you want a bike bag that is weatherproof and has ample storage, the Wild Man bag is a good pick.
Why You Should Trust Us
Hailing from Western Montana, Madison Botzet spends her time trail running, mountain biking, and uphill skiing. Her hometown is teeming with miles of trails and gravel roads straight out of her backdoor. She commutes to work every day via bike (not a small feat when it's snowing) and has made a pact not to drive anywhere less than 5 kilometers away. Being a youth mountain bike coach and having interned as a bicycle-infrastructure planner, she has the experience to understand a bike mount's functionality. In short, Madison spends a lot of time on two wheels and loves it.
Extensive field testing occurred with each mount to assess phone protection, ease of access, and security while riding fast on roads, flowing on single-track, and making quick commutes. We also strapped our phone mounts to strollers and treadmills to uncover which ones are well-rounded and versatile. Additional testing included timing the setup to report on those which were easiest to install.
Analysis and Test Results
To help separate some of the close competitors, we tested all the bike mounts across five different metrics. Below are key variables to consider when choosing a bike phone mount. We describe why each variable is important and how different models in our test performed.
Many of the bike phone mounts performed relatively well across a variety of metrics, but they vary quite a bit in price. Our testers considered the best-performing mounts relative to their prices to help you find the best bang for your buck. Keep in mind that some phone mounts require you to buy a case specific to your phone which can more than double the cost.
Catching the attention of our testers was the Nite Ize Wraptor for its outstanding overall performance and relatively low price. Another value pick with one of the lowest prices in the lineup is the VUP mount, which is simple to install, versatile, and easy to use. This mount performed better in some metrics than its high-end competitors and at a fraction of the cost. Though it is the most expensive phone mount, the Rokform Pro Series is made of aluminum and is a good investment because it's built to last.
Ease of Accessing Phone
One of the most important considerations for people when buying a bike mount is how easy it is to access the phone when you are out on a ride. Every second counts if you want to stop and snap a photo quickly. Phones with locking mechanisms performed the best here. We also considered whether we were able to tilt the mount to get a better view of the phone while riding and if the screen was fully visible.
Both Peak Design models were the easiest to remove and put back by a pretty big margin. They feature a big "magnetic target" that you only need to get reasonable close to before the phones is "sucked in" and securely locked. The Quad Lock and Rokform Pro mounts were almost as easy to remove, but take more time and precision to replace, especially if you are biking. All four require a specific case or universal adaptor to work in their twist-lock mechanisms. These make them more expensive, and it's annoying to buy a new case when you upgrade your phone, but the trade-off for ease of use is worth it if you bike regularly.
The Wild Man and RockBros bike bags performed the worst in this metric. While these bags are inexpensive, work with most phones, and have plenty of storage, they make it harder to interact with your phone. The main challenge is touch screen usability. The plastic sheet may keep you from accessing your phone's Home button, making using the phone difficult. Phone usability is prone to errors and usually much slower. It takes a little time to remove the phone when you reach your destination or if you want to take a photo. There is no one-handed operation.
Surprisingly, the Rokform Sport Series did not perform well here either. The velcro strap did not tighten enough to provide the stability needed to twist your phone off the mount. Often, the mount would twist instead of the phone - making it a challenge to remove.
Performing in the middle of the pack were the universal silicone mounts like the Nite IzeWraptor, the VUP, and the Ailun. Getting your phone on and off is not difficult, it just takes a little bit of time and is a two-handed process. If you stop to take lots of photos, this can be a nuisance.
Security on Bumpy Terrain
The other metric that people clearly care most about across our research is phone security. A phone is a pricey investment that no one wants to see fly off the mount and become lost, cracked, or broken. We assessed how much the phone moved within the mount and also how much the mount moved on the handlebars.
Semi-permanent mounts and bike bags performed best in this metric. The Rokform Pro topped the pack since it is semi-permanently installed over the bike's steer tube and is less inclined to vibrate or move at all. This mount is well suited to bumpy gravel rides or singletrack. The Peak Design and Quad Lock also performed well on bumpy terrain when securely installed.
The Wild Man Bag and the RockBros Bag are also secure because your phone won't fall out of the closed bag. These bags wouldn't be great for mountain biking, because they tend to wiggle a lot and can get in the way of you standing over your bike. If your primary concern is keeping your phone safe from flying out of the mount and you want extra storage, then these bags are a good pick.
Surprisingly, the Rokform Sport Series performed relatively poorly because the velcro strap could not be tightened enough to stop the mount from shifting on the bike.
The worst performing mounts in this metric are the Roam Universal and the Lamicall. These mounts tighten with a screw and thus can easily loosen. Also, these mounts are the clunkiest and more prone to vibrations. These are potential issues because it makes it possible for the mounts to loosen and flip upside down, causing you to lose your phone. We do not recommend these designs if you are riding on any kind of bumpy terrain.
Ease of Setup
People want a bike phone mount that is easy to set up, with clear instructions and the required tool(s) needed. We timed the setup of each mount to support our field tests to determine which ones were easy, and which ones were a pain.
The easiest mounts to set up are those with velcro or silicone staps like the Peak Design Universal Mount,Rokform Sport Series, the Nite Ize Wraptor, and the VUP. The VUP and Peak Design took only a few seconds to install and was incredibly intuitive. The Nite Ize and Rokform Sport both only took a few seconds longer than the VUP and were equally as intuitive to set up. None of these mounts require tools.
In the middle of the pack are the Rokform Pro Series, Peak Design Out Front, and the Quad Lock because of their semi-permanent installation. Though not difficult, they took a few minutes to install (versus a few seconds for the strap mounts).
The Lamicall and the Roam mounts were the hardest to set up. These mounts have multiple finicky parts that need to be adjusted to fit properly. Our testers found these mounts to be the most frustrating to install.
While the bike bags were relatively easy to set up, our testers found that the Wild Man was slightly easier than the RockBros bag because it had bigger, more convenient loops to put the velcro straps through.
Our testers took into account that some people are dedicated enough to ride their bikes in the rain, sun, dust, and snow - and want to keep their phones protected from the elements while doing so.
In this metric, the bike bags scored very well because your phone is fully enclosed in water-resistant material. However, the drawbacks of the WildMan and RockBros bags are that they reduce touch screen usability and could lead to your phone overheating on warm rides.
Most of the other mounts alone provide no weather protection, so their protection performance will depend on the user's phone case. We would recommend a waterproof, shock-proof case in these mounts if weather protection is a concern. The Nite Ize Wraptor mount can fit a wider variety of phones than the other universal mounts.
If you have a very large phone and beefy case, your phone may fit precariously in some of the silicone mounts. It may be best to go with a semi-permanent mount or bike bag if this is the case.
To use the semi-permanent mounts, such as the Rokform Sport, the Rokform Pro, and the Quad Lock, you need either a specific case or a universal adaptor to twist-lock onto the mounts. We recommend buying the universal adaptor for these mounts and putting it on a weatherproof case for your phone.
Some users enjoy being able to transfer their bike phone mount onto multiple bikes, strollers, treadmills, shopping carts, or cars. Our testers considered how easy they were to transfer as well as how accommodating the mounts were to different sizes and shapes of bars to install onto.
The Rokform Sport Series performed best in this metric because of the ease of transferability and the long strap lengths that can accommodate the handlebar shapes of strollers, shopping carts, and treadmills alike. The case or universal adapter that works for the Rokform Sport is also compatible with a car mount, but you must purchase it separately. The runner-up in this category was the Nite Ize Wraptor because it's easy to transfer but is slightly less versatile due to a shorter strap length.
The VUP and the Ailun are good picks for users who want to transfer their mount to multiple bikes or strollers. These mounts are easy to transfer but are more limited in their versatility due to their shorter strap lengths.
Bike phone mounts are a useful tool if you want to track your ride, listen to music, use navigation, or have your phone readily accessible for photos or phone calls. If you have the money and ride your bike often, the locking style mounts are the way to go. However, they take some fidgeting and require changing every time you switch bikes. For many people, the universal bar mounts are more than adequate for their needs. They are very inexpensive, fast to install, lightweight, and low profile. If you store things on your bike, the bike bags can be handy but don't count on great touchscreen functionality. Whatever your needs might be, we hope that this comprehensive review will help make your decision that much easier so that you can get out on the road or trail.
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