Product Review: Trail Rail Adjustable Cell/GPS Cradle

I first came across the Trail Rail Adjustable Cell/GPS Cradle last year at Interbike and immediately thought of its application for mountain biking and adventure riding.  This mount is a solid way to secure your iPhone or Android device to handlebars for navigation, shooting photos/video and for easy access taking calls or messaging.  What makes this mount so stable and virtually indestructible is the cradle, platform and all components are machined from solid 6061-T6 Aluminum billet.

I ride the fatbike on every type of terrain so I figured it would be the best test of durability for the Trail Rail Adjustable Cradle.  I have used it to secure my Samsung Galaxy S4 (on the Adjustable Cell/GPS Cradle II) to my bars for navigation and ride tracking on gravel roads, through the Minnesota River Bottoms and on area singletrack mountain bike trails without ever having to worry about the cradle coming loose or losing my phone.

Rock gardens, logs, fast descents and the occasional crash did not interfere with Trail Rail's ability to keep my phone securely in place.  In fact, it held it so secure that I could see this mount being used on ATV's and motorcycles, too.

The cradle is adjustable to provide the best viewing angle.  By changing out individual components such as the C-Link adapter and Platform (Diamond), the orientation of the phone can be changed to a landscape view for shooting photos and video.

Here is a short video I shot using my Samsung Galaxy S4 in the landscape position on the Trail Rail Adjustable Cradle while riding at the Minnesota River Bottoms.

While the video quality may seem shaky, it is not because of the Adjustable Cradle but rather the vibration and shock from the bike on rough terrain.  I do like having the option to shoot 1080p video and take photos with my smartphone while on rides and the adjustability of this cradle allows me to do so easily.

My favorite thing about the design of the Trail Rail Cradle is the easy access that it provides while riding.  I can quickly glance down at a map, check my ride stats or view a newly received text message.  All of the button functions (volume, power and home) are available without the cradle getting in the way of them and I have full responsive touchscreen functionality.

The adjustable cradle fingers and spacers provide a custom fit on phones with cases.  I have an Otterbox Defender Series case on my Galaxy S4 which increases the phone size significantly and it was easy to get the right secure fit.  There are two neoprene strips that apply onto the face of the cradle to prevent scratching of the phone and dampen vibration.

This is a high quality phone mounting system that delivers security even on the roughest of terrain.  The only negative that I came across using it was not being able to quickly remove my phone from the cradle.  Removal does require the use of an allen wrench to loosen the cradle fingers.  Trail Rail does however sell Thumb Screws to avoid this, making phone removal tool-free.  Quick cradle removal can also be done by implementing the new UV Quick Release Mount.

With a number of Individual Components available for the Trail Rail system, mounting options are many and can be customized to your liking.  Contact Trail Rail for questions regarding components and cradles for mounting for your device.

The original Adjustable Cell/GPS Platform I was designed for use with the iPhone but can be used with smaller Android phones and is available for $119.99.  I have used this cradle with my old HTC One S.  The newest addition to the Trail Rail line, the Adjustable Cell/GPS Cradle II is ideal for larger phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4 & S5 and is available for $139.99.  Since last year the price for the Trail Rail phone cradle system has come down significantly from its original $200+ price tag.  These mounts are more expensive than most on the market but are very high quality and built to last unlike plastic mounts.

Each system comes in MIL-STD-8625 Class II, Black & Sealed finish and the Adjustable Cell/GPS Platform I is also available in several anodized colors.  All Trail Rail products are made in the USA.

Both Systems Include:
(1) C Link Adapter
(1) Platform Adapter
(1) Adjustable Cell/GPS Cradle
-19mm (.750")
-25.4mm (1.00")
-30.1mm (1.187")
-31.8mm (1.252")
-32.4mm (1.275")

Disclosure:  Trail Rail provided the review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review. 

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