Helmet or Bar Mounting?

Pross Posts: 40,416
edited January 2014 in Road general
I got an AEE Magicam as a Christmas present which is very similar in design to a Go Pro. It came with a head strap but that isn't really ideal for cycle use whilst wearing a helmet. Therefore I'm trying to decide whether to buy a bar mount or a helmet mount. I prefer the idea of having a helmet mounted camera as it will pick up what I am looking at and if the camera was a similar shape to a Contour I would definitely go down that route. However, I'm never quite sure about the 'Go Pro style' camera on a helmet as it seems rather bulky.

I'd be interested in hearing from those with Go Pros (or, better still, the Magicam) to hear how you choose to mount them. If you do use a helmet mount what is the best position for them e.g. right on top of the helmet, on the front or on one side? It will mainly be used on the commute to provide back up should the worst happen but I don't intend turning into one of those commuter bike warriors who post every 'near miss' on You Tube!

BTW I'm not looking for this to turn into a debate on the merits of the Magicam v a Go Pro, I am more than happy with the footage I have got so far from my camera. It may or may not be better than a Go Pro but I don't care, it is perfect for what I need.


  • For commuting I'd go for the helmet, or post mount it so it's shooting what's happening behind, that's if your after video evidence for insurance claims?? doesn't really do much for deterring broken legs unless you also mount an A1 sign to your helmet that states "Motorists I'm recording you"

    Better would be a chest mount and record something awesome
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    For evidential purposes - really you want a helmet mounted spy camera, as it not ideal having the camera visible.

    Something like this:

    For videoing fun with the gopro - I use an ebay £5 bar mount:

    The only problem with bar mounts is my aero bars are in the way:
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    You really need 2 or 3 cameras - bar/stem mounted, helmet mounted and rear facing camera...

    I've got a bar mounted GoPro - it's fine for "documenting" a ride, but it's fairly boring. My little brother has helmet mounted one for a ride or two and that's interesting for a bit - but the head turns can get a bit much - especially in traffic!
    Neither camera will show a vehicle about to pass closely or, more importantly the look on the face of the cyclist you've just scalped.. or if you're riding with a mate, the only sustained shots you get of your mate will be of his backside ... so you need a backward facing camera too.

    For simplicity I'm sticking with a bar mounted gopro - it doesn't look as bad as a helmet mounted gopro! But it's probably worth getting one or two of those keyfob cameras for different shots to break up the footage.
  • lawrences
    lawrences Posts: 1,011
    I've used a bar mounted hero 3 black go pro and it picked up quite a bit of buzz even on smooth Dartmoor roads.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    when you say buzz do you mean noise - if so try the waterproof/high speed case back.
  • I bought a £50 'Sport DV' off ebay. It does 1080p and 720p.

    The mounts that came with it were not so good.

    So I bought a handlebar mount for a Go-Pro... £7 from china and a 99p 1/4" adapter for the same. It mounts round a brace between 2 vents in the helmet. It looks like my head would feel the underside of it but once you tighten the mount up completely it sinks into the foam padding and conceals itself. If I want to point it backwards I simply undo the mount and swing it round.

    I think £8 for a mounting solution is good money... since I can stick it on the bars of any other bike any time I like.

  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    If the camera is wide angle then some of the reason for mounting it on your head goes away. Also, it's possible to post-process the video to remove jitter caused by a bar mount.
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  • I rode the Cheshire Cat with a GoPro on my helmet, in 2012. It's heavy, makes your neck muscles ache (well, after 100 miles it did) and I'm sure I looked like a plonker too.
    After that, I bought a K-edge bar mount, which is rock solid.
    But - you need a decent smooth surface or the footage will be quite shaky. Head mounting obviously provides built in shock absorption.
    The sound will also suffer, as you'll just get bike rumble. I end up ditching the soundtrack from most sections of my GoPro movies, and using a music soundtrack instead. Nobody wants to listen to bike rumble.

    You can use software to smooth out some wobbliness, but in my experience, it depends on how bad the original is. The results can often be quite nausea inducing as the technique can involve automatic zooming in and out to compensate for the vertical and horizontal variation in the motion. I'd regard it as a last resort rather than an essential part of the workflow, but then maybe I haven't discovered the best anti-jiggle software yet.

    Anyway, here's a movie I made from my bar mounted GoPro, at the Wild Wales Challenge last August

    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk/2013/09/wi ... 013-movie/

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  • ricky1980
    ricky1980 Posts: 891
    definitely helmet if you want watchable footage, else you will have a lot of "clank-bang" noise polution and a video footage that had been taken in the hands of a parkinson disease sufferer - no bigotry meant!
    Road - Cannondale CAAD 8 - 7.8kg
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