As more and more trail/gps apps come out (OnXOffroad, COTREX, AllTrails, etc) to help off-road enthusiasts find new spots to ride, we need to find new ways to securely hold our phones. Though some of us might put our phones in our pockets or pouches once at a trailhead, others enjoy the comfort of knowing they’re on their planned route. To start to understand this phone mounting ecosystem, we picked up the RAM Mounts Quick-Grip Phone Mount to get the riding party started.
The spring loaded phone holder is made from a high strength composite. It has yet to show any wear from the many crashes and layovers I have put it through. It comes with a multitude of screws for different sized phones, bluetooth speakers, or GPS units, which I didn’t know was possible when I ordered (time to be that annoying rider on the trail jamming to some tunes while everyone one else is trying to enjoy nature). The Handlebar U-Bolt Double Ball Mount comes with two U-Bolts for .5″ – 1″ and 1″ – 1.25″ rails. The ball mount RAM utilizes is extremely adjustable, allowing the rider to place their phone in whatever spot works for them and their cockpit setup.
Installation of the Quick-Grip Phone Mount
Installation of the Quick-Grip Phone Mount was easy, only needing a phillips screwdriver and a 10mm socket. You’ll need to figure out how your device fits in the spring loaded phone holder, making sure the side mounts keep your buttons accessible and not depressed. The ball mount attaches to the back side of the phone holder with two phillips screws. The amazon kit came with a few different sizes. My guess is because this ball mount can be used with a multitude of RAM products.
My Astra handlebars used the u-bolt for 1″ – 1.25″ rails. Since the size and external taper they have is similar to other dirt bike handlebars, I’m sure most full sized dirt bikes will use this u-bolt as well. I found a spot that I thought would work and tightened the Nylock Nuts. From there I attached the short length B size RAM double socket arm to the handlebar ball and then the phone holder to the other end. I used my then working left hand to tighten down the double socket arm. We’re ready to rip.
Quick-Grip Phone Mount On The Trail
As luck would have it, the position I chose for the phone mount worked out. I could easily view the phone, and the map, while ripping through the aspen single track above Montrose. At the speeds we were going though, I don’t know that I would be able to make quick decisions on which direction to head at a major fork in the trail.
When at Peach Valley, Morgan would take his phone out of his pocket to quickly make sure we were headed in the right direction (this was due to timing, not a lack of awareness of the area). This got me thinking about the true need for a handlebar mounted device. As dirt bike riders, we need breaks, and the time it takes to verify where your group is on the trial is just the right amount of time to sip some water, snag a bite, or pray for better cardio.
The only adjustment I had to make on the trail was to the u-bolt. I didn’t tighten the Nylock Nuts enough, and as they loosened the system worked its way up the taper of the handlebars. During one of the group breaks I mentioned, I whipped out a wrench and tightened the nuts. The handlebar mounted phone setup stayed in place and did the job it was purchased to do.
Other Motorcycle Phone Mounting Options
The RAM Quick-Grip Phone Mount was my first choice to start testing due to my past knowledge of RAM mounts quality and ease of use. One interesting topic that came up after talking to more riders though is vibration dampening. A few riders mentioned their phone camera seeming to work less effectively after using it for long periods of time in a static phone mount holder. The cameras in our phones these days are extremely good, and that’s in part to the hardware tucked into them. This sent me down the rabbit hole of phone mounts that have a vibration dampening feature, or add-on. I’ve added some notes and links below so we can all start learning, and testing, the other phone mounts on the market.
Quad Lock Motorcycle Handlebar Mount
If you already live in the Quad Lock mounting ecosystem, they have a few handlebar mounting options motorcyclists can utilize. Other bike enthusiasts, like my sister, use the Quad Lock phone case, which allows easy switching between their mounting options (car, bike, marine, golf, etc). So if you’re already using a Quad Lock mount or case, this Quad Lock 1″ Ball Adaptor Mount looks like it will work seamlessly with the RAM Handlebar U-Bolt Base. The RAM base looks a bit more robust than the Quad Lock base. This might create a stable phone holding platform, including vibration dampening to help keep your phone camera safe.
SP Connect Moto Bundle
The SP Connect Moto Bundle looks like another viable handlebar phone mount. SP Connect offers their own phone case, which allows you to live in their ecosystem just like Quad Lock. They offer vibration dampening and wireless charging attachments, which as stated above, we need for long days on the bike! Where SP Connect differentiates itself is with their Bar Clamp Mount Pro. This bar mount clamp screws into the handlebar mount, taking the place of one of your stock bolts. This mounting option helps keep the handlebar empty and the cockpit less cluttered.
Mous Evolution Moto Kit
There is little information on the Mous Moto Kit at the moment, but they say it’s in the works. It looks very similar to what Quad Lock and SP Connect offer in their base motorcycle mounting kit. If you live in the Mous Evolution Case ecosystem, this is a mounting option to look into.
Quick-Grip Phone Mount Final Thoughts
While riding my normal trails in Texas, I do not think I will keep the phone holder on the bike. As you can hear in some of the videos on day two in Montrose, when there isn’t a phone in the holder it makes a lot of noise. I found that noise distracting, pulling away my focus from the trail.
The setup is super simple, which I think is good for many reasons. I also think the ball mount/socket arm RAM utilizes allows for almost infinite adjustability. I’m going to try to rotate the handlebar ball mount on the underside of the handlebar. I want to see if this is going to lower the phone to be on an equal plane with the top of my handlebars. I did hit the phone a few times while bouncing down the trail. I feel that it’s a matter of time before my helmet/GoPro/chest protector catches on the mount as I get back up to speed.
I wonder if using your phone with a GPS app is a better option than running a dedicated GPS system on the bike. Trail Tech makes the Voyager Pro, which looks like an amazing piece of hardware and GPS software. Not buying a Voyager Pro kit saves you at least $650, but then you run the chance of breaking your phone, or losing it on the trail if you crash like I do. For the few weekends I plan to use a GPS, I think using my phone and an app is the way to go. If I were to one day have a dedicated dual-sport bike for adventures in the backwoods, adding a Voyager Pro w/ the protective dashboard seems like a no brainer.
If we don’t get a chance to see you on the trail, we’ll see you on the internet. Enjoy #GettingSeattime and tag us in your riding adventures!
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