About cell phone mounts in a nutshell
- As soon as you use your cell phone, for example to navigate, call up performance data or make phone calls on the road, you need a suitable mount. Otherwise, the riding pleasure suffers and the risk of accidents increases.
- The decisive factor for the selection is that the cell phone mount is compatible with your bike or e-bike and your smartphone. Also important are the type of installation, robustness, a secure hold and ease of use. You can also get phone mounts with charging function and waterproof models.
- We recommend avoiding bargain buys and buying a high-quality mount. Good models come, for example, from Bosch, SP Connect, Fidlock and Quadlock.
As we mentioned in our article on Apps for e-bike riders, smartphones are well on their way to replacing conventional bike computers. With the right apps, your smartphone becomes a navigation system, fitness tracker and management centre for your e-bike settings.
To take advantage of all these benefits, you need a good smartphone mount. There are plenty to choose from, starting with a universal mount at bargain price. But as is often the case: Price is not everything. A good smartphone mount can do much more than just hold your smartphone while you pedal.
In this article, you will get an overview of the features of good smartphone mounts and the differences between various models. We will also introduce you to selected brands and tell you why we don’t recommend buying bargains.
Why a mobile phone holder for bike or e-bike is so important
There are two situations in which you don’t need a smartphone mount for your bike or e-bike:
- You leave your smartphone at home.
- You have it with you, but don’t need it during your tour. In this case, you can simply put it in your backpack, trouser pocket or other storage space.
Well, both cases are rare. Let’s be honest, who leaves their smartphone at home these days? In addition, it is becoming more and more common for an e-biker or mountain biker to use their smartphone app, such as Komoot or Strava, for navigation purposes.
When you use an app for navigation or fitness tracking, you need a good smartphone mount. Holding the smartphone in your hands or attaching it to your bike using velcro straps is simply not an option. By the way, this also applies to making phone calls.
What features make the best bike phone mount?
The following criteria are crucial for the selection:
- Compatibility: The decisive factor for any bike or e-bike smartphone mount is that it is suitable for your bike. Compatibility with your smartphone is also highly important. Many holders can only be used in combination with certain smartphone models.
- Installation of the mount: There are mounts for the handlebar and the stem. It is important that this space is not occupied by anything else and that you have a good view of the display while riding. If you have to contort yourself every time to check the route on your smartphone, riding enjoyment and safety will suffer.
- Secure hold: To keep your phone safe, make sure that the cradle and smartphone sit securely on the steering wheel or stem during the ride, without wobbling. Dampening protects your smartphone from damage caused by vibrations, which is especially important if you like to ride off-road.
- Ease of use: How easy is it to operate the smartphone while driving? Do you have easy access to the buttons you need within a few seconds? Does the cradle cover the display?
- Mounting of the mobile phone: Ideally, you can install the smartphone quickly and easily on the bike and remove it just as quickly and easily when you take a break. Some mounts can even be operated with one hand – at least in theory.
- Robustness: A bike smartphone mount should be not only suitable for everyday use but also able to withstand a lot. This is where the wheat is often separated from the chaff. While good models can withstand any trail without damage, inferior mounts sometimes fall apart after a few rides.
Apart from these criteria, there are smartphone holders with special functions. We will look at them in more detail below.
Bike phone mount with charging function
Worst case scenario: You use your smartphone for navigation and you run out of battery during the tour.
Ideally, you have a power bank with you so you can quickly recharge your phone. But with a bike phone mount that includes a charging function, you won’t need one because the power bank is already integrated in the mount. This means that your smartphone charges automatically while you are driving. Such holders are especially recommended if you like to go on longer tours. Some e-bike holders can even be connected directly to the battery.
Waterproof bike phone mount
More and more smartphones are waterproof. So there is a good chance that they will survive a rain shower while cycling.
But better for the feeling and also suitable for larger amounts of water are waterproof smartphone mounts. They don’t just consist of an attachment, but completely enclose your smartphone.
The advantage: you can even leave a smartphone that is not waterproof on the handlebars in the rain.
Tip: If you decide on a smartphone mount that is not waterproof, we recommend an additional rain cover.
Cheap bike phone holder: Why not just buy the cheapest one on Amazon or eBay?
If you’re looking for a smartphone holder, you will find a wide range of products. Especially on Amazon or eBay, you can find countless models at bargain prices.
Such offers might be tempting, but we advise you not to go for the cheapest mount. Because very often: low price means low quality.
These are some examples of how you can recognise a low-quality smartphone mount in practice:
- The holder for the smartphone is difficult to install and remove.
- While driving, the holder and smartphone wobble so much that you can’t read anything on the display. In extreme cases, your smartphone might even crash.
- There is no or insufficient cushioning to protect the smartphone.
- You cannot operate your smartphone during a tour or only to a limited extent.
- After a short time, the cheaply purchased holder “gives up the ghost”.
Such unfavourable characteristics not only mean that you can hardly use your smartphone on the road. But they also endanger your safety and increase the risk of damage to your phone.
That’s why we recommend to look for quality even when it comes to bike accessories, such as the mobile phone mount. After all, even good models from renowned brands are affordable.
Tip: There is no shortage of smartphone holder tests on the internet. Unfortunately, many tests are not very reliable because they are pure affiliate marketing. This means that the authors of the tests primarily want to earn money by selling the holders. But how do you recognise such unreliable tests? Please follow the tips in our article “Best GPS tracker for bikes: Test 2021 – how to find the best device for you”.
Review of the best bike phone mounts for e-bikes: comparison of manufacturers
We don’t want to limit ourselves to theory. That’s why in the following section, we will look at selected brands from which you can get high-quality bike phone mounts for e-bikes.
Mobile phone holders for e-bikes from Bosch are called COBI. They are available in three variants:
- Cobi.Bike Sport
- Cobi.Bike Plus
At first glance, you might notice the high price. It starts at around 250 euros. That’s about 10 times as much as a bargain solution from Amazon costs.
However, COBI is not a simple phone holder, but a smartphone hub that connects your smartphone to your e-bike via the COBI.Bike app that comes with it. This automatically turns the mount into a control centre for navigation, fitness and more. You can operate it comfortably by pressing your thumb on a handlebar remote control and a charging function is also integrated. With COBI.Bike Plus you even get a front and rear light.
A sophisticated solution for all those who are not only looking for a smartphone holder, but also a control system. Each COBI can be easily exchanged with the Bosch Intuvia or Nyon on-board computer.
The only disadvantage besides the high price: COBI only works with Bosch e-bikes. Of course, the mount is not suitable for a normal bike either.
- smartphone hub with COBI.Bike app
- includes charging function and other extras depending on the model
- with handlebar remote control
- mature technological solution
- only suitable for Bosch e-bikes
The Fidlock Vacuum bike or car mount is characterised by the combination of magnets and suction cups and consists of two parts: a case and a base. One hand is enough to mount the holder on the bike and it holds perfectly even on demanding terrain.
What’s more, you can use the Fidlock system not only in different places on the bike or e-bike, but also in the car or on the office desk thanks to different bases. And the price is more than fair. Unlike COBI, however, this product is “only” a mount. Moreover, the cases are only suitable for certain smartphone models. So if you have the “wrong” phone, you have to switch to another holder.
- innovative, very flexible mount
- good hold
- easy to use
- fair price
- no “additional” functions
- only available for certain smartphone models
The Quad Lock bike phone holder is based on a patented two-stage lock and can be attached to the handlebar as well as the stem. The kit consists of a holder and a custom-fit cover for the respective smartphone model. Those who own an iPhone or a smartphone from Samsung, Huawei or Google will quickly find what they are looking for. But all others will have to be fine with the universal adapter. A rain poncho is also available as an option to protect the smartphone from rain.
In tests, this bike phone mount convinced with good usability and a good fit. At least this is true for the versions with a snug-fitting cover. The universal adapter should be used with caution on bumpy roads. Moreover, contrary to its name, it is not suitable for every mobile phone.
- practical attachment
- optional rain poncho
- firm fit
- universal adapter only partly recommendable
With SP Connect, you have the choice. The Vienna-based brand offers a wide range of holders and holder systems. The smartphone is fixed with a simple twist.
As with Quad Lock, in most cases the system consists of a holder and a case for your mobile phone. And similar to the competitor, there is a Universal Phone Clamp if no case fits your smartphone. A good alternative is the Universal Phone Case including a rain cover. There are also models which get attached to the handlebars or stem of your bike.
The quality is consistently high. However, it is important to find the right mount for your needs. For example, SP Connect offers a mount with built-in damping especially for mountain bikes or customised solution for racebikes called Road bike Bundle. In addition, some models only fit handlebars with certain dimensions. So be careful when making your choice.
The Wireless Charging Module from SP Connect is worth discovering. It works in the same way as other mounts of the brand. In addition, you can connect the module to a power source, such as the battery of your e-bike. And then your mobile phone charges during your tour.
- very large selection of different mounts
- functioning universal solutions
- available with charging function
- thorough selection required
Good bike phone mount makes a difference
The more the development moves away from the classic bike computer towards the smartphone as the control centre, the more important a good bike phone holder for e-bikes or bikes becomes. Because only if the smartphone remains securely in place and operable can you successfully use modern e-bike apps for navigation or route tracking. In addition, there are valuable extras such as a rain cover or a charging function.
Whether you choose a smart system like the one from Bosch or a “simple” mobile phone holder for your bike is a matter of taste. In both cases, it is important to opt for quality. For mounts that you can get for a bargain price on eBay or Amazon, the old saying “If you buy cheap, you buy twice” applies. In the worst case, your phone might crash and you will need a new one. With a high-quality phone mount, on the other hand, you can enjoy all the benefits of good cycling apps without compromising your safety or that of others.