Helmet cameras for cyclists – our pick of the best

Helmet cams are an increasingly popular cycling accessory. Recording your rides gives you the ability to edit, chop and create great films so you can show friends and family what you’ve been up to – and it also gives you ammunition should you have to prove your version of events in the case of a collision.

Cyclists like choice. Though the sports action camera market is far from saturated, there are a lot of options out there to choose from.

Here’s a look at some of the best:

Go Pro

GoPro lead the market in sports cameras, and they make some amazing quality equiptment. There are many options, the newest and most expensive being the Hero3+ Black, at £290. There are silver and white editions, white being the most affordable at £199.

(Apparently a new GoPro is due to be released in the next 3 months or so, so it might be worth holding out until then).

From GoPro, you’ll get good quality images via a 12mega pixel camera, quality battery that lasts, a WiFi remote in most cases, so you can control it in comfort, and an array of mounts available, plus plenty of spares such as extra waterproof cases.

GoPro sponsor trials rider Danny MacAskill, and his video ‘Imaginative’ was filmed completely on a GoPro Hero3 camera:

Contour

Contour cameras are also going to set you back a few bob, the Contour Plus is currently listed on Amazon at £309.

Again, Contour promise good quality, and they get one over on the GoPro by being a more helmet friendly, narrow shape, meaning you don’t look quite such an alien when kitted up.

Conveniently, my other half has one of these, so I can share some footage to show you what it’s like – here’s a short video from my (first ever!) attempt at riding off road – please excuse my wobblyness (I’m a roadie), but hopefully you can see how clear the video is:

Garmin virb

The Garmin Virb is unique because it combines it’s 16 mega pixel video footage with all the other features you’d expect from Garmin – GPS tracking, speed, elevation, and heart rate and power if you choose to use Ant+ pairing.

I had the opportunity to use one of these for a few weeks when it first came out, and the extra features really set it apart. At around £265, it’s a real investment purchase, but it does allow you to play back not just images, but to also see what your body was doing – how much that hill slowed you down, what that sudden drop did to your heart rate – it’s good fun for data geeks.

test-virb

Veho Muvi

If you’re after something a bit more affordable, Veho might be for you. The ‘’No Proof No Glory’ bundle will set you back about £50.

The Muvi is a different beast to the GoPro, Garmin Virb and Contour cameras – the quality will never be the same, but it’s also a great deal smaller, at just 1.9 cms high (obviously it’s a bit bigger in the case). This camera only has 1GB of storage, has a 2mega-pixel camera, and the battery lasts 45 minutes.

If you’re after a small, convenient camera to pop on your handlebars as a safety assurance to back you up in case of an accident, the Veho is a perfect option.

$_12

Full HD Wifi Cam

Another affordable option is the Full HD, which comes from China and is available on eBay. The Wifi camera can be mounted on the helmet, or bike, and comes with a remote control, waterproof case and all the mounts required for just £58.99.

At 5 mega pixels, this won’t stand up against market leaders in terms of visual quality, but will be more than adequate if you just want to share a few rides, or an accident-proving accompaniment to your ride.

Garmin virb

 

(Yes, it does have a striking resemblance to the GoPro!)

Do you use a camera to record your rides? What did you go for?

P.S. This video from Vimeo will make you chuckle!

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16 Responses to Helmet cameras for cyclists – our pick of the best

  1. Alex 05/05/2014 at 1:10 pm #

    On a related theme, just ordered a Fly6 from fly6.com It’s a rear facing camera+light that was developed on a kickstarter. Some of the example videos (footage of unaware drivers sat in traffic) are funny, although rather unsettling…

  2. Rangjan 08/05/2014 at 3:49 pm #

    Drift Ghost is a great camera too.

  3. Andrew 08/05/2014 at 4:04 pm #

    I’d steer clear of Veho products. I have their Muvi Micro camera and Pebble recharging pack. Both are, frankly, complete rubbish.

  4. Kate 08/05/2014 at 4:47 pm #

    I also have a Fly6 on order from Oz as it seemed such good value for money being a rear light too.

    After having a nasty encounter with a vicious BMW driver recently I am also considering getting a helmet cam and will probably go for the little known Mobius. It gets really good reviews from Techmoan (Youtube review guy) esp if you don’t want the GoPro/Contour price tag.

    Mobius have just brought out a waterproof case for it so it’s only recently become a viable cycling cam. All in I think it totals about £90 including the bike/helmet mounting kit and waterproof case.

    Definitely a better option than a Veho ;)

  5. kris 08/05/2014 at 5:12 pm #

    U cant really beat polaroid xs 100 waterproof camera for around 100 quid included all kind accessories for handlebar, helmet, car and more in same box.. It has got 16mb sensor. Waterproof up to 10 m i think…

  6. andy 09/05/2014 at 10:26 am #

    The future of helmet cams. 360 degree field of view. http://www.centrcam.com/

    I use drift ghost. OK, but dodgy batteries. Good field of view, and alright in low light conditions. Why cant anyone create a handlebar cam with 4+ hours of battery without the need to bring a portable power pack?!

  7. SteveP 09/05/2014 at 11:33 am #

    I bought an earlier GoPro but found it unintuitive to use and with proprietary mounts that just aren’t that good.

    I wanted something eay to use, with decent quality and that would mount on the bike, not on my helmet (just looks idiotic, IMHO).

    I settled on a Wingman HD for ease of use. It has a standard tripod socket built in and an LCD screen so you can see it is functioning. I think the video is better on the latest GoPros, but then the video from my Canon 6D is fantastic :-)

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/r3/delkin-wingman-hd/review.htm

  8. Rob 09/05/2014 at 12:25 pm #

    One word of warning against the vehu, I had an almighty head-on with another cyclist who decided to suddenly cut across me on a dual direction cycle path (cheers mate!). When I went to review the footage (the plus side to these encounters, getting to review the gory details!), it had been wiped by the impact. So, in short, it was remarkably good at getting mr taxi man or m van man to get back into his vehicle once they had hopped out to give some abuse (Carry on mate, I’m recording. Oh, what’s that? Change of heart? Well, have a nice day then!) but I wouldn’t want to rely on it in any serious incident. Also, 45mins is a bit short.

    This Thursday Aldi are selling a load of camera kit, including, a Looks-Like-A-Go-Pro set for about £45/£50 quid. I would highly recommend that option if looking for a bike mounted camera. UK based, physical outlet, 60day money back etc. Not sure I’d wear it on my helmet though(nor a GoPro proper). Seems to be asking for trouble if you were to take a blow to the head region.

    There are also some glasses (sunnycam) which can record in hd and can be found for around £100ish. These seem ideal to me for a front facing set-up. I’m going to be looking into this option a great deal more!

    Finally, I looked at the Fly6 rear unit. Looks pretty decent but what put me off was half the year I’m cycling in the dark and I’m not sure I can justify the cost having purchased an expensive rear (vis180) already.

  9. Mark 09/05/2014 at 2:53 pm #

    ive been thinking about it for a while and im finally going to take the plunge and get a budget camera as recommended above . simply to record my commute across central london in case of a crash and i need to prove it wasnt my fault.(touch wood it never happens!) -

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Full-HD-1080P-Waterproof-Bicycle-Bike-Helmet-Sport-Wifi-Camera-Cam-DV-Camcorder-/161282578199?_trksid=p2054897.l5658

    one question though. IF i wanted to upload to the internet, how do i crop the video? no one wants to scroll forward 20 minutes to “get to the interesting bit” do they!

    NB i dont want to be spending hours at home tarting it up and adding “zoom ins” and text etc. just literally crop the 3 or 4 minutes of “good footage” to make the file smaller and easy to upload online…..

    I dont want to have to pay for or use highly technical software. just something really quick and easy, otherwise i wont bother doing it (my evenings are too valuable!)

    thanks for any advice

    • Andreas 09/05/2014 at 5:34 pm #

      Good question – are you on a windows or a mac? Both have free built in software that allow you to edit video quickly. Windows Movie Maker and iMovie on a mac.

      • Mark 15/05/2014 at 8:51 am #

        hi Andreas, Im running windows 7, does it have windows movie maker?! i’ve never seen it before, i must have missed it when i upgraded from xp to 7. thanks!

  10. Rob Skinner 09/05/2014 at 6:07 pm #

    I love my GoPro. Clever piece of kit, although I agree with the comments that it’s not very intuitive to use.

    Andreas: iMovie is great for quick edits, but you may want to look at my tips for getting it to work with GoPro footage. http://robskinner.net/2013/12/31/how-to-use-gopro-hero-3-with-imovie/

  11. TOM 09/05/2014 at 6:53 pm #

    when I looked at GoPro’s (admittedly a couple of years back) , they had no LCD review screen , 1980′s looking menus on a tiny data window and expensive.

    There weren’t so many to choose from back then and I settled on a Kodak PlaySport zx-5.
    It’s water proof to 10 feet depth , has interchangeable SD memory card slot (I carry a 16gb card in it and have never filled it) USB rechargeable, shoots stills , drop resistant , color LCD display , standard tripod socket, sound , a comprehensive menu system, zoom and lots of cheap accessories.

    I got the fisheye addon lens for it for $25 MSRP. When mounted on the bars of my roadbike, the field of view is so wide that both brake hoods are in the picture.

    http://www.amazon.com/Kodak-PlaySport-Waterproof-Pocket-Camera/dp/B004FLL5BI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399657831&sr=8-1&keywords=kodak+playsport+zx5

  12. David 11/05/2014 at 5:12 am #

    As it happens, I bought a Wi-Fi Cam a few days ago (from JB Hi Fi here in Oz). Half the price of a Go Pro. I haven’t fully tested it yet, but so far everything works, and the free app gives a good remote viewfinder/control. I think the app also allows basic trimming of the clip and deletion of unwanted shots in-camera. I will do some tests and report back. I should add that I was on a budget, otherwise I would have gone for the Go-Pro.

    • David 11/05/2014 at 9:00 am #

      Oops! I put the wrong retailer in it should read Jaycar. Only mentioning g the retailer in case it helps someone in Oz track down the camera.

  13. Dave Leach 11/05/2014 at 9:10 pm #

    Veho Muvi – worked for about 10 or 12 rides, and then never worked again. :(

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