I recently did Hamilton this weekend, and was going to video my descent down the backside of Hamilton. The road is chipsealed, but I thought I’d take video anyways. The video was so bumpy and so choppy, I’m wondering if this has to do with the mount. Do any GoPro users experience the same thing? I probably should have taken the helmet mount instead … oh well
I’ve had my Contour video camera for a couple years now, and was experimenting with different points of view from the camera. Now I know most of you, who have a video camera for your cycling probably have a GoPro, and it has more flexibility, but I’m a hold out. I went with the Contour just because I liked the shape of it, and GoPro looked like a McDonald’s Happy Meal … but I may be jumping ship in the near future.
Anyhow, the most popular mount is probably the handle bar mount. Sometimes, this will give you a lot of noise from vibrations, and unless I drown it with background music, it can sound a little disheartening.
Now, with the helmet mount, obviously you won’t get the road vibration noise that you would get with the handle bar mount. However, if you are climbing, and you have the helmet mount, the challenge is keeping your head steady. As many of you know, especially while climbing, your head is hardly ever stationary, and will move up, down, left, right, constantly.
Another position I tried was at the headtube. This was a little tricky, because it’s not completely flat, and had to make some adjustments with spacers, and change the angle of view with the camera. That didn’t turn out too bad. It is a view seen from behind the drops of the handlebars. It’s actually how I film the majority of my rides.
Then, after some discussions on Google Plus, I decided to mount the camera at the crown of the fork. This is a pretty interesting point of view. At speed, the spokes seem like they are being warped. But it is pretty cool.
Now I have heard GoPro mount breaking on a few occasions, and the camera taking a spectacular tumble, but so far, I haven’t had that happen with my Contour. We’ll see what happens.
Other camera angles I have seen are with the camera facing the rear, mounted on the helmet … mounted on the seatpost, again looking to the rear. One thing I can’t do is the chest mount, which GoPro has … there is no chest mount for the Contour. In the meantime, I’ll keep experimenting.
I’ve been playing around with my Contour helmet cam for several weeks now, and came to the conclusion that it’s more fun to show the pain and suffrage of climbing a hill, rather than the fast descents (although that is a lot of fun too).
Actually, the inspiration for filming suffer videos is bikeforums member freighttraininguphill. I saw a few of her suffer festival uphill videos, and that got me thinking of filming my uphill adventures.
I got a lot of great feedback on my Potrero climb, from the Grand Tour Double.
I decided to climb Redwood Gulch, which had similar grades to Potrero … In other words, double digit grades (from 12-20% grades). I took this video with the handlebar mount, which picked up a lot of road noise … Kind of annoying.
Another steep climb is Moody, and I decided to film this with the helmet mount instead. This is a short but steep climb, and perfectly suited for a suffer video … And you can hear that suffrage too.
I went searching for a mother steep climb, and then I hear people talking about China Grade, so I looked this up …. Hmmm 10% grades for a little over a mile … Ok, I’ll go for that. As you can tell, this was on the handlebar mount.
I’m still undecided on which is the best way to film these. On the one hand, helmet cam won’t pick up all the annoying road noise, but on the other hand, I would have to concentrate on keeping my head up. On steep climbs, you tend to look down on the ground, so that’s where the handlebar mount would be handy.
I’ve had my eye on a helmet cam for a while now. I’ve been seeing so many youtube videos of wild descents bombing down a mountain, and there are so many times I wish I could take a video of my rides, so time to make the plunge.
Now I have read all the reviews, and yes, the GoPro HD seems to have better quality, and seems to be more prevalent. However, I just don’t like the form factor. It looks too boxy. I eventually decided to go with the Contour 1080p HD. I like the compactness.
The camera is really easy to set up. It has two laser pointers where you can align the angle of the lens so that you are horizontal. However, if you mount it on a horizontal or vertical surface, you shouldn’t have to calibrate it too much.
It’s got a big thumb switch, and you just slide it over, and it starts recording. How easy is that? However, they can make it as easy as they want, but this doofus will still find a way to screw it up. You have to turn it on in order to record. Gee, imagine that. Actually, what happened was I got a spare battery, so I went and charged it over night. I mounted but did not turn it on. I do the record thing, but I didn’t realize it wasn’t on. I should have known something was up when I didn’t hear a beep. D’oh.
Here’s a video I took on my inaugural ride into work on Wednesday. Short video while on the beginning of the San Tomas Aquino Bike Trail