What is the best camera for cycling?

The best cameras for cyclists are both a fun and practical thing to get.

Having a helmet or handlebar-mounted camera is a great way to capture dynamic footage, particularly if you’re into mountain biking or competitive cycling.

You can stitch together quick clips of your most exciting moments, or even record a time-lapse of a long-haul cycle.

But cameras for cyclists have practical uses too, particularly if you’re a road cyclist.

If you are looking for your first camera, then our list of the best cameras for cycling might help you.

Cycling Camera Comparison

The Best Cameras for Cyclists

We’ve picked cameras for cyclists across a broad price range, with everything from budget to premium, so let’s get started!

GoPro Hero cameras have been top of the hill for so long that they’ve hit their tenth iteration!

The GoPro Hero 10 Black is no reinvention of the formula, not too dissimilar in physicality to the original GoPro Hero that started it all.

It is the best GoPro for cycling. However, this is an action camera that’s absolutely  crammed with tech, capable of shooting 5.3K video at a frame rate of 60p.

And with faster wired transfers and 5GHz WiFi, it’s easier than ever to export your footage.

The battery life is only okay, it’s the same battery as was in the Hero 9, and the increased functionality of the camera means it goes down faster.

Our advice is to make sure you have a power bank or a spare battery along for the ride.

Pros:

  • Both portrait and landscape orientation is accessible
  • 23MP can capture a detailed and vivid image even on burst mode
  • Best image stabilization feature, ideal for recording your cycling tricks
  • Built-in GPS
  • Waterproof without a case
  • Improved Audio

Cons:

  • Batteries not compatible with Hero 8 and previous models
  • Expensive

 

While there are plenty of cheap action cameras out there, it’s worth doing a little research to make sure you get one from a reputable manufacturer.

Akaso is one such name, having carved out a niche with its affordable range of budget, GoPro-lite cameras that still boast pretty impressive functionality.

Case in point – the Akaso V50 X, which can capture 4K 30p footage and has built-in stabilisation, but can be picked up for less than $100.

So, it is the best budget helmet camera for cycling.

The battery life is pretty decent too, and while the video is noticeably softer than that of, say, a GoPro, it’s still decent enough.

One thing to be aware of is that Akaso don’t make their own helmet or handlebar mounts, so you’ll have to pick up something generic. Fortunately there’s plenty of choice out there.

Pros:

  • Adjustable viewing angle between wide, super wide, narrow, and medium
  • Comes with two 1100mAh rechargeable and long-lasting batteries
  • Features a distortion calibration that improves image distortion
  • Durable and offers waterproof depth is about 30-meter (with included case)

Cons:

  • Updating firmware is a big issue
  • Poor quality in low-light
  • Distortion and enhanced EIS can not be used simultaneously
  • No audio when used with the case

We were waiting a long time for the successor to the DJI Osmo Action, and the eventual result didn’t look exactly as we were expecting.

The DJI Action 2 is not just another GoPro-like, instead it’s a small cuboid with magnetic mounting, clearly designed to be the center-point of a modular system.

It captures great-looking video in 4K at a frame rate of up to 120p for super slow-motion, and it’s so light you can mount it basically any which way.

It’s easy to control either via the OLED touchscreen or using the Mimo app, and battery life impresses too .

DJI says you could probably squeeze up to 160 mins out of it if you don’t use stabilization and we believe them.

Pros:

  • Selfie screen
  • Comes with a lot of mounts and accessories
  • Waterproof without a case up to 30 feet
  • Amazing image and audio quality
  • Can mount filters

Cons:

  • No GPS
  • No live-streaming
  • No stabilization in HDR mode
  • Mobile app needs work
  • Battery life could be better

 

The 2020 Sony FDRX3000 could ultimately be really the best waterproof action cam for cycling!

Zeiss lens, 3x Zoom, splashproof and waterproof up to 60m with the case, stereo audio and noise reduction, GPS and more cool features.

It is equipped with the ZEISS Tessar lens. You can choose from 3 different viewing angles as per your requirements.

You are able to capture fast-moving objects and a multiple burst mode setting is accessible.

It has an inbuilt microphone that records hi-quality stereo audio without any wind noise.

It is a combination of NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity. These allow you for direct connection and control with your smartphones.

Pros:

  • HDMI, USB, and microphone jacks are placed on the back of the camera for ease of connection
  • Inbuilt GPS
  • Great audio
  • Image stabilization couldn’t be better

Cons:

  • Short battery life
  • No screen
  • Very pricey
  • Not compatible with GoPro accessories

 

The VIRB Beach Camera has voice-control, built-in GPS and external sensors with connectivity to Garmin devices, able to capture performance data like speed, elevation, heart rate, and G-force.

It has one of the best bike camera displays (1.75-inch touch screen) and a bundle of included accessories that make most competitors pale in comparison.

You can record ultra-high-definition 4K/30-fps footage also underwater with the waterproof case.

It is equipped with three-axis image stabilization and a high-sensitive microphone also records clear audio. Which is why it is the best camera for Vloggers who are into cycling.

Your purchase comes with a SanDisk micro-SDHC 32-GB memory card, case, chest harness, floating handle, helmet/head strap, bike handlebar mount, anti-fog kit.

Pros:

  • Control it with your voice due to Sensory TrulyHandsfree technology
  • built-in GPS and sensors
  • Loads of mounts and accessories
  • Smooth and hi-quality video

Cons:

  • Quality of editing software is bad
  • Pitiable battery performance
  • The most expensive bike cam in this list

 

 

Types of Cameras for Cycling

Action Camera

If you are a cyclist who wants to take pictures while you cycle, you should consider purchasing an action camera.

Some of them do not have a zoom lens, but they can capture videos in high-definition.

The most basic action cameras are cheap and come with a basic feature set. But, if you’re looking for high-end options, you can choose an expensive model.

Hybrid Camera

Another type is a hybrid camera. These cameras allow you to take both still and video pictures.

Many have image stabilization to prevent camera shake, which can be a big advantage for riders.

Besides being waterproof, most action cameras are also shockproof.

There are also cameras that offer a lot of features. The APEMAN A80 is a lightweight camera that records up to 1.5 hours.

It has a back screen that is responsive and helps eliminate camera bumps.

The APEMAN A80 supports 4K/60 fps, slow motion, and custom exposure settings.

If you’re a beginner, a camera that can record in high-definition will give you the best results.

Things to Consider when Choosing Cameras for Cycling

Resolution

Quite simply the quality of your video footage or stills. More resolution (i.e. more pixels) means clearer, sharper video, with detail and vibrancy.

At the very least, you want a camera that can shoot in Full HD 1080p, which will be fine for most purposes.

If you want a bit more quality then it’s worth looking for cameras that shoot 4K, just be aware that this will create large files.

So, you’ll need to think about fast microSD cards and a storage solution.

Stabilization

Unless you’re exclusively riding the world’s flattest, smoothest roads, your bike-borne footage will likely be a little bumpy.

Built in optical stabilization will help smooth it out and create a more pleasant viewing experience, though it will add to the price of the camera you buy.

Helmet Mount

Some action cameras have their own bespoke helmet mount, while others will require you to buy a generic one.

If it’s the latter, double check that the two will be compatible.

Most helmet mounts will specify dimensions of cameras they can accept.

Battery Life

As you won’t be charging your camera or hot-swapping your batteries while you’re on your bike, it makes sense to look for a camera with a decent stretch of battery life.

Though we’d also recommend investing in spares and a power bank if possible.

Best Camera For Cycling Frequently Asked Questions

Why do cyclists wear cameras?

Cyclists wear cameras because this can provide effective evidential footage.

It is particularly good at identifying close pass vehicles, intimidatory tailgaters and is excellent at capturing incidents involving other cyclists riding behind.

Are cycle helmet cameras Safe?

Helmet cameras aren’t as dangerous as previously feared because helmet-mounted camera configurations may be mounted at all three impact locations without increasing the risk of head injury.

Therefore, cycle helmet cameras are definitely not dangerous in the right circumstances.

Conclusion

Recently action cameras have turned into the staple of mountain biking, many bicycle tourers and bikepackers went intensively into vlogging.

And even road cyclists are starting to use action cams, especially cycling safety cams.

Having a camera recording everything you’re seeing can be a great way of giving yourself an extra layer of insurance if there’s an incident on the road, and a dispute about responsibility.

Cyclists and drivers can lie, but your camera can’t!

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