The Bike Citizens Finn universal smartphone mount fits pretty much any phone to any bike with its impressively simple design. However, although it works – yes, it holds your phone to your bike – it's also a bit basic and certainly not weatherproof.
The Finn really couldn't be much simpler. It's essentially a massive and fairly extravagant silicone strap that you first wrap around your handlebar, then hook over the corners of your smartphone to keep it in place. No tools are needed, there's no massive faff to set it up, you can even keep your phone in its existing case, and it seems to hold everything reasonably securely (at least on an immobile bike in a garage).
Of course, the only way to test such a contraption fully is to potentially sacrifice your own prized piece of digital devicery. So it's a case of into the breach, dear iFriend.
On the bumpy streets of South London, the Finn still managed to hold my phone quite happily and there didn't seem to be any danger of it falling off. In fact, it actually seemed more stable in use than when dismissively flicking and wobbling it when stationary. That said, pinpoint finger placement on the phone was at times hard when on the move (not that we necessarily approve of using your phone while riding, but you might as well make it as easy as possible). I also tried fitting the Finn around the stem and using my phone in landscape mode, but that seemed a little more wobbly.
One problem with the Finn is that it needs a phone attached to truly keep it in place. One end of the Finn slides through a slot in the other, offering some self-generated friction to keep it around the handlebar. But without a phone there, I'd be worried that the two ends would work themselves apart and your Finn is away. It's certainly easily stealable.
The only alternative, if keeping the Finn on your bike permanently therefore seems a slightly risky option, is to always have the Finn about your person. So for regular riders that's another thing to add to your off-bike supply pack of lights, helmet, lock key, mitts...
Quite obviously, the Finn also doesn't offer your phone any kind of waterproofing. In time, as more and more phones come with their own splashproofing technology, that might not be a problem. But right now, if the heaven's open, it means keeping most smartphones somewhere dry and therefore out of sight. Rain may be a rarity if you ride the streets of Barcelona or San Fran; less so if you're Manchester-based.
Another thing I noticed is that the impressive simplicity of the Finn's design is also something that could be easily replicated far more cheaply with household items. For example, occasionally, instead of turning their brains to mush watching grown men play children's video games, my kids click on YouTube videos called 'life hacks'. These have at least some redeeming qualities and show, for example, 100 ways you might want to use a Coke bottle for something other than holding drink.
When I saw the Finn, I immediately wondered if I could effectively make a similar contraption with a couple of hair bands. It turns out, I could. By hooking diagonally opposite corners of my smartphone using two hair bands that went around the underside of my handlebar, it's possible to knock out a far cheaper Heath Robinson-esque faux-Finn.
OK, the Finn is much sturdier and should have a far longer active life than most hair bands. It also comes with a voucher code to download the Bike Citizens cycle sat-nav app (worth £3.99), with details for 350 cities across the world. So there is some added value. However, equally valid is the fact that the Finn's £12.99 RRP would set you well on the way towards buying a more stable and fully waterproof alternative – such as Topeak's simple but excellent Smartphone Drybag.
So the Finn does what it sets out to do, and that's to offer a simple way to attach your phone to almost any handlebar. As a quick emergency measure it's fine, and for regular hire or public bike share users it's perfect. Riders who own their bike, though, will probably want a smartphone mount with a little more ability.
Funky way for regular public hire bike users to quickly attach a smartphone to a handlebar – just pray it doesn't rain
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bike Citizens Finn universal smartphone mount
Size tested: Fits any handlebar
Tell us what the product is for
Attaching any smartphone to any bike's handlebar.
Bike Citizens says, "The universal smartphone mount for every bike.
"Made in Austria.
"With Finn you can safely and easily mount your smartphone to any handlebar. Thanks to its simple design and high quality silicone material, the mount withstands whatever you throw at it."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
It's a fairly simply item, made out of one piece of silicone.
For every smartphone
Fits any handlebar
Fits in every pocket
Made of high quality silicone
Solid as a rock
Made in Austria
It holds the phone securely but it does wobble a little in reaction to the road surface. Also, there's no weatherproofing.
It seems very durable but I suspect one day that silicone will have had enough.
OK value – although, for the same price you could get a different style of phone holder with better performance.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It was quick and easy to use, and it held a phone on the bar securely.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It didn't really provide the kind of performance I would like from a smartphone holder.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not especially.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a clever and very simple design, and an OK price, which garners it a 7. I'd say it's best for using in emergency circumstances or on something like a hire bike or public bike share.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking, leisure