Best Bike Phone Mount of 2021
The Rokform Sport Series is the bike phone mount our lead tester likes to use on a daily basis. If you need a magnet design for bumpy terrain or if you have an Android, this is our favorite setup. We found that even on rocky terrain, this mount is relatively secure and streamlined. Unlike the Morpheus Labs M4s, the phone does not jiggle over bumps. It's a good setup for a reasonable price. You have to pair this mount with a Rokform case — we chose to use the Sport Series Mount with the Rokform Crystal Case instead of the Rokform Rugged Case. The Crystal Case is less expensive and is protective enough for our needs. It can be a little tricky to install at first. (Tip: put the case on a narrow part of your bars and then slide it over to a wider part, and don't be afraid to pull hard.) If you're seeking a magnetic case and want to shave ounces, the Rokform is less than half the weight of the Morpheus Labs M4s.
Although the locking and release mechanism works, it's not nearly as easy to use as the Morpheus Labs M4s or the Quad Lock Out Front Mount. The setup is good, but it's not as refined as some of the competition.
The VUP Silicone Mount is a tremendous value that boasts some advantages over the similar design of the Ailun Silicone Strap. This mount's ability to rotate means you can place it on the stem or handlebar and orient it the way you like (the Ailun works on the handlebar in portrait mode only). It cradles larger phones better than the Ailun, and although it's a bit of a stretch, it can work with a six-inch screen fitted with a big waterproof case. You get to keep your current case and don't have to swap between phone-specific options. This case performed shockingly well on the bumpiest of mountain rides and rough pavement. It is also surprisingly durable; we attached and re-attached it nearly 100 times before finally breaking the rubber strap. Even then, it broke in a way that the mount was still usable, and there was never any danger of the phone falling and breaking.
The downside to this style is that it takes some time to secure and remove the phone. Although only a few extra seconds more, it means you're more likely to miss a fleeting photo opportunity. We raced ahead of friends several times to get a good shot, but by the time we got the phone out of the case and ready, the moment had passed. This is the big upside to other mounts that allow for one-handed operation. On this model, the rubber attachments are not that burly, so if one piece of the "spider web" breaks, you'll likely have to toss the whole unit. After roughly two years of very heavy use, we still have not broken it, but we can see the spider web starting to fail. One downside to the spider web design on this and similar mounts is that it interferes with access to the corners of your screen.
Though it is one of the least expensive bike phone mounts you can put on your bicycle, the Ailun Silicone Strap performs well. For many people, this may be an adequate solution for a fraction of the cost of the other mounts. It is simple to swap between bikes and does not require any tools. It stays close to your bar, unlike the Roam Universal model that sticks way up and is very bulky. Models like the Roam loosened up on bumpy terrain, but the Ailun stayed surprisingly solid, making it a great budget choice that holds up when things get rough.
It does have limited mounting orientations. When the phone is on the handlebar, you can only view the phone in portrait mode. If you use it on your stem, it is stuck in landscape orientation. This is the main advantage of the VUP Silicone Mount. The VUP can spin into whatever orientation you want. It's also easier to get 6-inch phones in and out of the VUP. When we put a bulky waterproof case on our iPhone 8 Plus, we could barely fit it in the Ailun. Although simple in design, this bike phone mount does its job well and can easily be used on a stroller, shopping cart, or motorcycle as well.
Not only is Morpheus Labs M4s our favorite mount for iPhones, but it's also the least expensive option that has decent one-hand operability. It's easier to switch between bikes and a good bit cheaper than the Quad Lock Out Front Mount. The case is the slimmest we tested and not that much thicker than a standard protective phone case. This impressive feat, combined with the presence of a built-in magnet, prompted one tester to make it their everyday case and not just a bike-riding convenience. Both the Quad Lock Out Front Mount, and the Tigra Fitclic Neo cases were bulkier and thicker than you'd want for every day, in-pocket use. Neither of those other cases has a magnet, and it's not easy to add one, so they're not great prospects for magnet-based car mountings. Morpheus does sell their CarMount, but almost any "air vent" mount will work. The Morpheus Labs M4s is secure and never loosened on us, even while on a punishing 130-mile mountain bike ride. It has a natural one-handed operation that rivals the Tigra Fitclic Neo for its ease of use. Where most competing cases require an Allen wrench for installation, the Tigra is relatively easy and fast to swap between bikes and bars without using tools.
The main drawback to this model is that it only works with iPhones; Android users are out of luck. This bike phone mount is also a bit bulky and not as streamlined as the Quad Lock Out Front Mount. It weighs 2.5 ounces, which is more than an ounce heavier than the Quad Lock or the Rokform Sport Series. Depending on the size of your stem, it can also be difficult to center the mount on your bike. The case jiggled around more than we would've liked, and therefore we would not recommend this mount for aggressive mountain biking with larger phones. Despite these negatives, this is our favorite mount for iPhones unless you are riding a lot of bumpy terrain.
The Quad Lock Out Front Mount is the sleekest mount for both style and wind drag. It's fast to get on and off if you need to remove your phone or take a quick photo. The case is not much thicker than a standard phone case (but thicker than the Morpheus Labs M4s or Rokform Sport Series). It can be either effortless or a pain in the butt to center the mount on your bars, depending on your bar size. There are two options for how to attach it to your bike: the Out Front Mount (reviewed here) and or the Handlebar/Stem Mount. The Handlebar/Stem Mount required zip ties once the included rubber bands broke, and these zip ties can loosen over time. The Out Front Mount is sleeker but does not fit all bar widths. If it does fit, it's very secure for mountain biking and rocky terrain.
The biggest downside to this mount is the cost. Not only is there a high upfront cost, but if you have multiple bikes that you switch between, you have to budget for the cost of additional mounts. If you use a magnetic mount in your car, you either have to change to a different case or add a magnet to this case, which can be very clunky. We found the case among the hardest to get the phone in and out. This is where the Rokform Sport Series and Morpheus Labs M4s systems excel: one case works in your car, on your bike, and in your pocket. With both the Out Front Mount and the Handlebar/Stem Mount, installation can be tricky depending on your bar size. It's hard to keep the mount tight with zip ties, and you will need to adjust them often. During our tests, the mount loosened in rough terrain. Our phone flipped to face the ground, and the screen was cracked by a rock. That was a bummer.
The Rokform Pro Series bike mount definitely requires the most permanent installation in our round-up. You must replace the top cap of your bike's 1 ⅛" threadless steer tube (and make sure your bike has one of these) with the sleek all-aluminum mount, screwed in tight with the included Allen wrench. Though involved, this process takes only a few minutes, and the mount is ready to go in no time. Narrow and streamlined, we loved that this mount did not take up any space on our bike's handlebars and kept our phone secure and centered for easy access and viewing. The magnet and twist-lock system are incredibly strong, and we were in no way nervous that our phones would launch off the mount, even on the washboard dirt roads near our house. The mount also comes with a lanyard that you can keep on your handlebar for extra security, which is a thoughtful touch to avoid a lost or broken phone.
You must buy a Rokform case with the built-in twist-lock and magnet securing systems, but this case is slim enough to use as an everyday case and makes one-handed use of the mount a breeze. Since the lock mechanism is so secure, it takes some time to get used to unlocking your phone from the mount with one hand, and you must take care not to force it too much because the plastic tabs can easily break if forced enough over time. This case and mount system is also the most expensive in our round-up, but if you like to have nice tools to go with your nice bike, this secure and attractive system will be great for everything from quick and easy everyday use to long, bumpy trail rides.
The Tigra FitClic Neo is our recommendation if you are mainly concerned with one-handed operation and durability. The powerful magnet sucks it onto your bar as soon as you are within a quarter inch. The release mechanism has a small learning curve, but once you figure it out, it becomes one of the easiest to use. To remove your phone for photos, this is the easiest and fastest mount. The case is super burly and comes with an optional screen to provide weather resistance. This mount securely attaches with a broader range of options than any other mount we tested.
This case requires an Allen key to install, and it takes some time to transfer it from bike to bike. There is a way to install it with just rubber bands, but the attachment becomes much less secure, which worsens its performance on bumpy terrain — the main advantage of this case. However, our primary gripe is the bulkiness of the case; it's really too bulky for everyday use. Even though the case has a magnet, it did not work well on car mounts. This model is best for people who regularly ride bumpy terrain.
Although we're not fans of this mounting style, the Ibera Top Tube Bag is one of the more affordable and robust options we've encountered. It protects your phone and has enough room for repair tools, sunglasses, a light windbreaker, and a snack. Just about any phone will fit in here.
The major problem with this mount is the usability of the phone. The plastic is so thick that it lessens touchscreen accuracy. We usually just took the time to remove the phone from the bag to use it, which is a pain and defeats the whole purpose of a bicycle phone mount. Specifically, we had a tough time getting the home button to work on our phone. There are some workarounds, but none that are great. As with any top tube bag that is wider than the top tube, depending on your bike's geometry, your knees may graze the bag. Overall, this is a cheap bag that could fill some bike needs, but the inferior screen interface compromises its performance.
The Ubegood Phone Bag is a good option if you want storage on your handlebars. Installation is relatively fast and easy, and it keeps the phone in your field of view. The space it supplies is adequate for most biking essentials, and since it's positioned off the top tube, this bag won't hit your legs when pedaling.
Like the Ibera above, the thick plastic makes controlling the phone's touchscreen difficult. We were frustrated most of the time and usually just removed the phone from the case to handle anything but the most basic operations. The bag creates bulk on your handlebars and limits your field of vision. This bulk can make you look like somewhat of a bike tourist — if that is what you're going for, mission accomplished!
While we initially thought this model was a contender for the best value, we grew to dislike its style. There are some upsides: it's inexpensive, it works with any size phone, and the spider-web-like rubber parts are replaceable. The bar attachment was more durable than some other models that broke when tightened (we did not list any of those models in this review). The drawbacks, however, outweighed all of the pros.
First, it sticks out on your bars and is very bulky compared to some other models. Secondly, after many miles or when going over rough terrain, we discovered the mount had loosened. We then had to stop and retighten the mount, which became annoying because so many other mounts we tested did not have this issue.
Why You Should Trust Us
Lead author Chris McNamara bikes to work over 200 days a year with a phone on his handlebars. Many days he is able to bike comparing two or more different mounts side-by-side. The standard commute involves everything from smooth bike paths to rugged trails. He also tests these mounts in all conditions, from rain and snow to high heat and glare. In addition to testing these for commuting applications, our team tests these on 50+ mile bike rides — we generally prefer to use a smartphone with a handlebar mount instead of a bike computer. We have tested these on the 130-mile Lake Trail around Tahoe as well as the 203-mile Tahoe to Mammoth ride. We also test the magnetic cases while driving around the Western United States on large road trips.
Analysis and Test Results
Below are key variables to consider when choosing a bike phone mount. We describe why each variable is important and how each model in our test performed.
Ease of Accessing The Phone
The most important consideration for most people when buying a bike mount is how easy it is to access the phone when you stop riding. If you want to snap a photo quickly, every second counts, or you may miss the moment. Phones with locking mechanisms performed the best here. The Morpheus was the easiest phone to get on and off the bars. The one-handed operation was a cinch. The built-in magnet helps guide the phone onto the bars, and then you have two levels of security, depending on how locked you want your phone. The runner up was the Tigra FitClic Neo. The Quad Lock also performed well, as did both Rokform models.
The bar bag style cases performed the worst in this metric. While these bags are inexpensive, work with most phones, and have plenty of storage, they are hard to use. The main challenge is touchscreen usability. The plastic sheet may keep you from accessing your phone's Home button, making using the phone difficult. There may be a workaround, but even then, 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.
In the middle of the pack were the universal bar mounts like the VUP and the Ailun. It takes a few seconds to remove your phone and then put it back on. If you are someone who frequently stops to take photos, this is a pain.
Ease of Setup and Transfer from Bike to Bike
The simplest mounts to set up are those with rubber straps like the Ailun and the VUP. No tools are required for these two mounts. The VUP can be set up securely in just seconds, while the Ailun takes a little longer but is still easy to set up. The next easiest is the Morpheus. For most bar widths, no tools are required, and it is fast and secure to transfer from bike to bike. Right behind was the Rokform Sport, which requires no tools and is quick and easy to switch once you figure out one trick: you need to put the mount on a narrower part of the bar and then aggressively slide it to a wider part of the bar. Most other bar mounts required an Allen key every time we switched it between bikes. If you never switch your mount, this not a big deal. If you switch your mount often, this takes a lot of time — or you'll have to spend money on multiple mounts for each bike, which can get expensive fast. The slowest to install and transfer were the Tigra FitClic Neo, the Quad Lock, and the Rokform Pro, with the Rokform being better suited for semi-permanent installation.
Security on Bumpy Terrain
Almost all of the bike phone mounts perform great on smooth surfaces. However, when we introduced rough terrain, we noticed big differences in performance. The most secure mounts were the Rokform Sport Series, the Rokform Pro, the Tigra FitClic Neo, and the Quad Lock Out Front Mount. All of these mounts are suitable for mountain biking and rough roads. The Tigra performed well with small phones, but bigger phones jiggled a lot. The Rokform Pro is installed on the steer tube and seems less prone to vibration than models that mount directly on the handlebars.
Two of the universal bar mounts we tested, the VUP Silicone Mount and the Ailun Silicone Strap, were also surprisingly great on rough terrain. Both strap down tight on your handlebars and the silicone wraps tightly around your phone for a stress-free riding experience. The bags were decently sturdy but tended to shake around and jiggle a lot. The universal mounts that tighten with a screw performed very poorly. This is a big deal as often these mounts would loosen, flip upside down, and cause us to lose and damage our phone. This is the main reason we don't recommend the Roam Universal or any mount that attaches in the same way, and why we liked the Rokform Pro and its secure, steer tube installation so much.
One Case Solution and Integrating with Magnets and Car Phone Mounts
We give big points for mounts that can integrate across the three main uses: on your handlebars, in your pocket, and in your car. The top choices here are the Rokform Crystal Case for both the Rokform Sport and Rokform Pro series, and the Morpheus.
Both cases have great magnets that will integrate with your car mount magnet seamlessly and are still thin enough to slide into your pocket. Between the two, the Morpheus is more refined. The magnet is in a perfect spot, and the case is slim. The Rokform is a little bulkier, and the magnet is not centered, which can cause the case to twist 180 degrees when driving. The Tigra Fitclick Neo and the Quad Lock Out Front Mount did not perform great in this category. Both cases are bulkier, and neither have great magnet integration for use in your car. The VUP Silicone Mount and the Ailun Silicone Strap are both nice because you can choose your favorite case and not be constrained by the relatively narrow choices of bike phone mount cases, and can fit different sizes and models of phones.
Here the top tube bags score well because the phones are fully enclosed under plastic. Most of the bar mounts can also be made waterproof if you add a plastic case. Some mounts come with a specific waterproof cover, like the Tigra FitClic Neo and the Quad Lock Out Front Mount. But keep in mind that every plastic cover we tested greatly reduced screen usability. Usually, we had to remove the phone from the case to type anything successfully. So, the covers are really only useful for following a map or seeing who is calling or messaging you.
The Morpheus and Rokform models do not come with waterproof cases, so if the weather gets bad, you'll have to tuck your phone away. If you bike commute in a particularly rainy environment, these might not be the best choices for your daily use or prepare to have to tuck your phone away if it starts to drizzle. The VUP Silicone Mount and the Ailun Silicone Strap don't come with cases at all but will easily accommodate a phone with its own waterproof case, making them some of the most versatile options.
If you have the money and ride your bike often, the locking style cases are the way to go. However, they take some fidgeting and require changing every time you switch phones. For many people, the universal bar mounts are more than adequate for their needs. They are very inexpensive, fast to install, light, and low profile. If you store things on your bike, the universal cases can be handy, but don't count on great touchscreen functionality.
— Chris McNamara & Miya Tsudome