Quad Lock - A must-have phone mount for all riders
As it's called due to the four tabs integral to the patent-pending system, Quad Lock is a unique solution that allows you to securely and conveniently attach your smartphone to your bike, car, or arm, and that's just the start of the many mounting options available.
My journey and experience with Quadlock began when I rode my 125cc Mutt Mongrel from London to Horsham for my full-time job five days a week.
One time in particular that I vividly recall was on my way back from Horsham. I had stayed late and figured the traffic home would be light or even non-existent. Well, I got that completely wrong. A lorry had overturned, causing queues miles long. The Mutt Mongrel is a narrow machine that meant I could filter between cars pretty easily, but I soon realised that the road I usually took was completely blocked off. Now, I always considered myself to have a good sense of direction, go right here for x number of miles, go left there etc., and you’ll be back on track. That evening though, everything was against me. Every time I started to make progress, something would force me to turn around (usually a big hole in the road with no workmen to be seen - welcome to England where a pothole takes months to repair), and it got to the point where I would be pulling over every 5-minutes to check my maps on my phone.
By the time I got home, I was in a foul mood, so I jumped on Amazon and bought the first motorcycle phone mount I could find. It looked dreadful, and it held the phone in place with some rubber bands that went over the corners. It did the job and got me from A-B, but I was always nervous that one big jolt and my phone would be history. That actually happened to someone I know, and to make matters worse, the phone was plugged in and charging. When the phone slipped out of place, the charging cable swung it onto the tank, leaving a beautiful dent.
With this image burned into my mind, I figured it was time to invest in a state of the art product, and that’s where Quad Lock came in.
If you own a smartphone, you'll know how handy it can be to look up a location and be guided there with audio and visual directions. This is great when walking or driving, but what if you're riding a bike? If you've tried, you'll know it's challenging to pull the phone out of your pocket every time you need to check you're still going the right way. It can also be downright dangerous for your smartphone if you lose your grip in the process.
The first item that I purchased from the Australian based company was their Handlebar Mount. A simple and secure mount with an extension arm and dual-stage locking mount. Due to the bars' design on my Ducati, I couldn’t have the mount dead centre as I wanted, so instead sufficed with having it at an angle close to the right-hand grip. The dual-stage lock lets you have your phone in either a portent or landscape position, which is a nice little touch, so depending on what app you had up, you can change it accordingly.
The clever people at Quad Lock have done a great job with the styling, which works off a cased based system. This means that half of the mount has been built into the rear of a slim protective case. The case provides excellent everyday protection for your smartphone while also allowing the mounts to be tiny and discreet, so you'll barely notice them when not in use.
After several months of use, the first real test came when my girlfriend and I planned our first trip to the Cotswolds on the bike. I knew we would be encountering some pretty bumpy roads as we purposely chose the scenic route to avoid motorways, but the mount and case didn't falter once, whereas my old mount would have been a complete disaster.
The one thing I realised I was missing was a means of charging my phone while on the go. Unlike the 803cc Scramblers, the Sixty2 doesn't have a USB port. I had a battery pack in my jacket pocket with a wire running through to the phone. Not ideal. Thankfully, not too long after our trip, Quad-Lock brought out just what I needed, a motorcycle USB Charger that you wire into the battery with an SAE cable. What's really tidy is that the USB product mounts directly beneath the main lever, all you need is a longer screw, and you’re in business.
Everyone knows that electricity and water are a disaster waiting to happen, so the USB charger has an IP66 water-resistant rating, meaning it doesn't need a rubber cap. With that said, my charger corroded after a few months. As soon as Quad Lock heard about this, they sent out a replacement that arrived pretty much the next day, and this is where our collaboration started.
Since we have been in partnership, Quad Lock have sent me a fair few goodies, including their desk mount (that's right, they haven't pigeonholed themselves into a single market) and their Wireless Charging Head which is an excellent step up from the USB charger. I feel that it is their most incredible creation.
The Wireless Charging Head attached in the same way as usual to the mount and was powered by plugging the provided USB-C cable into the back of the charging head. The cable ran all the way from the head to your battery and connected with a USB-A adapter. There were, however, some issues.
If you live in a dry climate all year round, the only time you may run to this issue is when you give your pride and joy a clean. For us, English folk, where it rains most of the time, it was more pressing.
The charging head was designed so that part of it would still be exposed to the elements when the USB-C cable is plugged in. Over time, moisture could make its way into the port and inside the cable head, which would bring all manner of problems. For me, I noticed that the wire head had started to bulge, and before long, it was smoking. Not good. There are other people I know who had it must worse; their bike battery fried.
Another discovery people, including me, made is that modern-day smartphones are incredibly delicate. All the vibrations from the road being fed through the mounted phone can ruin the magnets in your camera. It got to the point that when I turned my camera on, it would be pulsing as if there was a T-Rex taking a walk around the block (think of the scene with the plastic cup of water in Jurassic Park). Quad Lock developed a straightforward yet effective solution to this problem in the form of a Vibration Dampener. The product comprises two layers separated by three air baffles and attaches between the mount and your phone case.
Quad Lock are one of those companies that, if it doesn't work the first time, are not afraid to listen to their customers, consider the criticism, go back to the drawing board and learn from their mistakes. After the reports concluded that the first wireless head was having significant issues, they attempted a fix by sending out a rubber grommet to everyone who owned the product. This would cover the exposed cable and should have, in turn, made it weatherproof. Unfortunately, it wasn't that easy, so they abandoned version 1.0 and, towards the end of 2020, released version 2.0.
In the short time that I have been using version 2.0, I have seen a vast improvement. At first glance, the charging head may look the same, but on closer inspection, you’ll find that the port for the USB-C cable now has shielding around it, unlike before. The USB-C has 3 layers of ribbing, so it makes for an excellent tight seal when the cable is inserted. I would be surprised if any moisture can get in there.
Thank you, Quad Lock!