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:
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
(Yes, it does have a striking resemblance to the GoPro!)
Update: A reader has recommended the SJ4000 version over the one we have featured here..
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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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.