I am always on the lookout for a way to merge my bikes with being a geek. Since I have the Interfone F4 bluetooth kit in my helmet, (FYI, there is an F5 model now), I have used my iPhone for satnav, podcasts and music/calls on the move. Finding a good motorbike mount for the iPhone though, has been a challange. I have had one in the past for the iPhone4, but it will not fit the newer model.
Enter the recently released Kickstarter project, the Annex Quadlock. In a geek-biker chat I am a member of, a colleague mentioned this upcoming release so I contacted them and asked if I could have one to review. This Australian company obviously focus on pushbikes, but the design looked compatible with multiple size bar-frames. Yesterday, I got this in the post from down-under (disclaimer: they have not charged me and I will return the product).
Opened, it consists of a rugged polycarbonate iPhone5 casing with a mounting fitting built in, the bike handlebar mount and wall mounts (if you fancy mounting your device to a wall). The wall mount doesn’t interest me, so lets look at the phone casing.
I like the casing. It feels tough and secure. There is a bump on the back side where the mount attaches. About 2mm increase in size in the centre point, which means the iPhone does not lie perfectly flat in this case. Power and volume buttons have polycarbonate covers for pushing, but all options in the phone are available. The only issue I have is that the Apple Lightening to 30-pin converter (to attach to older device cables) cannot connect anymore to the device due to the covering. It’s a minor gripe. A real Lightening cable works fine.
The bike mounting comes with rubber O-rings (2 sets of different sizes) and tie-wraps. You put the mounting on the handlebar and attach using the O-rings. If you wish, you can also use the tie-wraps.
Assembly takes all of 20 seconds and then it is fixed to the bike. Attaching the phone is a simple twist/release mechanism. Here are some pictures of the mount, and the phone attached to my Ducati Monster. As you can see, the mount is not obtrusive when not in use.
Just using the O-Rings, I took the bike out on an 80 mile spin, over country roads. It was secure at all times. When stopping at a station, it was a simple twist/click remove to take the phone with me. All in all, I am impressed with this product and would recommend it to bikers looking for a handlebar mount. My only reservation is with trusting the O-Rings for a period of time. I could remote/attach the mount when not in use, but I do think some sort of handlebar mounting attachment (like on the GoPro or SwannCam Freestyle) would be a better option. However, the super-rough trip I took with the mounting yesterday was no issue to the mount, at any speed). The pricing is reasonable and the company has been very responsive. Recommended.