The latest evolution of the Quad Lock is a convenient mount and protective case for your iPhone 6/6s which you can use both on and off the bike. The Quad Lock story stretches back to December 2011 when Australians, Rob Ward and Chris Peters, launched their iPhone 4/4s case and mount on Kickstarter. After successful funding and fulfilment of orders, demand continued and Rob and Chris have continued to add new smart phone cases to the Quad Lock lineup along with accessories.
This review tackles the iPhone 6/6s case and follows-on from earlier reviews of the original Quad Lock for iPhone 4/4s and the Quad Lock for iPhone 5/5s. For super-sized iPhone users, there is also a 6/6s Plus version available. We look at two new accessories, the out-front mount and the GoPro adapter which lets you connect a bike camera onto the out-front mount.
In our previews reviews, the Quad Lock system proved itself as a high quality solution. This trend continues and the case is now even more refined. Thanks to the very slim format of the iPhone 6/6s, the attention to detail for the case design to makes it integrated, as opposed to simply encasing the smart phone.
In comparison to the predecessors, this new case follows the contours of the phone more closely and the bevelled edge which meets the screen is smaller and elegant. As a form-fitting case, only the mounting mechanism on the rear protrudes. The 7mm thick smartphone is 11mm thick with the case and 13mm thick in the middle with the protrusion for the mount. I still find it to be a very compact and convenient all-round protective case.
A welcome addition is the felt lining inside the case which will ensure that the back of your phone remains scratch-free. The case has holes for access to the microphone jack, charging port, silent-switch as well as for the camera lens and microphone. The volume up/down buttons as well as the on/off switch are covered and these buttons are marked out on the case and I was able to operated them without any issue.
On the bike, the mount is just as reliable and stable as ever. The Quad Lock relies on the original design of the mount this and fits on the bars or stem and is fastened with O-Rings.
Going Pro with the Quad Lock
Thankfully, Quad Lock have now succumb to the ‘out-front’ trend of mounting electronic devices in-front of the bars, rather than on-top of the handle-bars. There are two main advantages, firstly it clears the handlebar and stem of devices and secondly, moving devices forward makes them easier to read which cycling.
The out-front mount is an accessory that I would recommend. I found the ease and speed of setting this up to be excellent, it has a nice hinge and also a rubber spacer to suit handlebars with a smaller diameters. Coupled with a sports app such as Strava, the iPhone can virtually replace a Garmin Edge cycle computer now, particularly with the ability to connect to low energy Blue Tooth sensors.
The process of attaching your smart phone case remains the same for the out-front mount, at 45 degrees press the case down onto the mount, turn and it then locks securely into place. Removing the device from the out-front is. however. different. Instead of a collar, the out-front mount has a broad blue tab; press down, then twist the phone and it releases – just as easy.
Smart phones, such as iPhones, have a few limitations compared with dedicated cycle computers. For example, smart phones can’t connect to ANT+ sensors (without an adapter), the apps may have few features, the smart phone battery can drain faster and phone are usually not waterproof.
Quad Lock has approached the waterproof issue by including a ‘poncho’ which is a transparent cover that provides splash protection. Chris Peters says “Our poncho is designed for two purposes. To provide protection from light rain, dirt/mud etc and to provide extra impact protection. The poncho is weather resistant but is NOT a waterproof solution.”
The poncho can be massaged onto the phone and generally would only be used while cycling. The poncho have a tendency to ‘stick’ to the screen so ‘micro-dots’ have been moulded into the poncho to reduce this ‘sticky’ effect as much as possible. General operation of the phone through the poncho works quite well.
For riders who demand a completely waterproof case but still want the convenience of the Quad Lock mounting solution for cycling, Quad Lock have a universal mount available which can be fastened to other brands which have robust waterproof cases. For my purposes, my iPhone goes straight into a sealed vinyl sleeve (then into my jersey pocket) at the first hint of any moisture.
The Digital Cyclist – Camera Attachment
For digitally tuned cyclists who love cycling with a bike camera onboard, the GoPro camera adapter is a nice accessory which fits into the out-front mount. The adapter is connected to the bottom of the mount and from this you can attach any camera or device with the GoPro style mount. I tried a longer style camera but there was no space to actually mount it because of the gear and brake cables. Boxy style action cameras such as the GoPro will however fit comfortably. If you have a longer bodied camera, 3rd party extenders can be used to position the camera further away from the cables.
Long bodied bike cameras suffer from a lack of space
Original GoPro Hero 1 proves that this mount works well.
The overall convenience of the Quad Lock makes it a useful smart phone case and mounting solution. I appreciate it as a good every day protective case for the iPhone, using it on the bike is a bonus. Other Quad Lock mounts will let me mount my phone safely in the care or on a wall.
The Quad Lock online shop sells Bike Kits for the iPhone 6/6s, iPhone 6 Plus/6S Plus and iPhone 5/5S for $79.95 and include the case, a regular Quad Lock mount and the poncho. The out-front mount retails for $49.95 and the GoPro adapter (which fits on the out-front mount) costs $9.95.