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Verdict: 
Funky way for regular public hire bike users to quickly attach a smartphone to a handlebar – just pray it doesn't rain
Weight: 
22g

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.

  • Pros: Simple to use, should work with every bike and phone, comes with free cycle-nav app
  • Cons: No waterproofing, not really a permanent solution, there are more secure mounts for the same price

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).

finn_transparent_phone_holder_-_detail.jpg

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.

finn_transparent_phone_holder_-_on_bike.jpg

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.

finn_transparent_phone_holder_-_unfolded.jpg

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.

> Read more road.cc reviews of phone mounts here

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.

Verdict

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.

BC says:

For every smartphone

 

Fits any handlebar

 

Fits in every pocket

 

Made of high quality silicone

 

Solid as a rock

 

Made in Austria

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Nicely made.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

It holds the phone securely but it does wobble a little in reaction to the road surface. Also, there's no weatherproofing.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

It seems very durable but I suspect one day that silicone will have had enough.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
10/10

Superlight.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

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

Simple design.

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.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 6'0  Weight: 16 stone

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

5 comments

Avatar
rjw [53 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

I had one of these, it snapped after a few months. Not the most durable of items.

Avatar
Colclimber [4 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

I bought it a while ago, I didn't use it much, and it snapped a few days ago.  I now use a similar holder from halfords, and it's a lot more robust and only cost £3. https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bike-accessories/bike-bags-baskets/halfords-phone-holder

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [2499 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Or you can but a fully enclosed zipped pocket with QR ratchet clamp that takes less time to fit and also has a safety cord for £5/ Oh and you can fit it to stem, bars and rotate the orientation.

Avatar
janusz0 [174 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Or you can but a fully enclosed zipped pocket with QR ratchet clamp that takes less time to fit and also has a safety cord for £5/ Oh and you can fit it to stem, bars and rotate the orientation.

Now that's a worthy alternative to a Quadlock with "condom" (but no lanyard).

www.roswheel.com shows a 15$ version.  Where did you get yours for a fiver?

Avatar
TheHungryGhost [63 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Ebay

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/160942909164?chn=ps

 

Just ordered one.  

 

I've also got a Finn kicking about somewhere, that I stopped using because it was a bit of a faff to get in on, especially in winter with full gloves.