While planning my first bikepacking trip not long ago I decided to bring along my GoPro Hero 7 Black to document the trip. I started researching some solutions to attach my camera while riding and finally came up with something that turned out to be just perfect.
To start off, this is what I wanted from my GoPro cycling setup:
- A good view of the surroundings
- A view of the bike to give the footage a more immersive feel
- Easy to dismount for off-bike handheld filming
- Not awkward or uncomfortable to wear
Let’s take a look at the options.
Helmet strap mount
As it’s very popular on the ski slopes, this might be the first thing you think off. The problem is that the camera will be too high up to capture the bike itself. That’s why the footage will look as if the camera is just floating through the woods which sounds cool but doesn’t make it very interesting to look at. Also, while it’s on your head, it’s quite difficult to check if the camera is on or not (unless of course, you’re working with a remote control).
While the helmet mounts for snowboarding usually work with strong adhesives, this one is a strap that can be rigged through the air vents in your helmet.
When you’re just looking for a way that’s cheap and provides you with some easy point-of-view footage, the helmet mount might still be right for you.
While it does fix the accessibility issue from above, the view of the bike will remain minimal to non-existent. Most of the mounts you encounter are made to be put on the handlebar itself. Another option is a screw-on stem mount. The upside here is that the camera is put a bit closer to your body which will bring the handlebars themselves into the picture.
The handlebar mount also gives you some extra options if you’d like to experiment with the shooting angle. By turning it around / upside down you can get a shot of yourself, the bike, your feet..
Well, now we’re getting close. The chest mount will probably give you the best possible footage you can get while riding a bike.
It points straight ahead of you, sits nicely in between your arms and the viewer will feel totally emersed. But, as a downside, the chest mount system is not easy to put on, it might feel awkward and to be honest, it looks kind of geeky.
If you are ok with the downsides, this might be the best option for you. The best possible videos on YouTube are created with a chest mount in combination with a gimbal (stabilizer). But this takes us way beyond the casual filming of a cycling trip.
Backpack strap mount (PolarPro)
This is the option that I chose and it was as good as it could get for me.
Let’s start off with the downside for this one. You do need a backpack. This of course is only a downside if you’re not planning on carying a backpack.
The footage is very interesting because you see your arms, hands, handlebars and the surroundings. When taking a break, you can release the GoPro in a second an put it back there when you’re ready to start riding again. A couple of times I even did this manoeuvre while riding, but when only using one hand, it’s quite tricky.
The issues I had with the chest mount are also gone. It doesn’t feel awkward nor does it attract much attention.
So yeah, people looking for a way to mount their camera on their next cycling trip, in my opinion, the backpack strap mount is the way to go (if you have a backpack).
This is the one I ordered: https://www.bol.com/nl/p/polar-pro-strapmount-backpack-mount/9200000046228232/
Of course, you’re thinking. Enough with the chatter, show me some footage. Well, here it is: