Best GoPro for mountain biking

Which is the best GoPro for mountain biking ? Depending on your particular style, choosing the right GoPro can be a big task. Nowadays you can barely see a rider who does not carry some type of recording equipment either mounted on the bike itself of on their helmet. However,been able to choose from so many models can be a haunting task.

It all comes down to your own personal needs, still it is needed to check the available features of each camera so you get exactly what you need or are looking to purchase ensuring that you will get the most out of your brand new equipment.

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In addition you need to learn the proper way for mounting the camera either to yourself in the helmet or chest or directly onto the bycicle allowing you to be at ease as the camera will not fall during the riding experience.

How to choose the best model for your needs, getting the best for your budget?

The GoPro name has been around now for many years, and their success has allowed them to grow to become one of the leading brands available on the market, things such as smart stabilization software, up to 4K video resolution and the ability to stabilize pictures.

For these and many other reasons GoPro is by far the preferred brand when shooting in extreme environments is needed. Here are our top picks out of the many models the brand has.

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1. GoPro Max

best gopro for mountain biking

GoPro has always striven to come up with new and advanced features with every new release. As a result, the GoPro Max incorporates features like 360-degree camera, this has taken video shooting to a whole new level. Although not new in this field (GoPro had released the GoPro Fusion back in 2017 which took fantastic footage but was very questioned as it was a bit too complicated to operate) and for that reason GoPro made sure that the GoPro Max was much simpler to use. Its tie-in feature on the app makes everything very easy to use. Only need to shoot the 360-degree video and instantly share it on the desire platform.

Then you can access the app and with the click of a few buttons the app will do the rest for you automatically. You can also:

  • Shoot at 6k resolution on 360-degree view.
  • HERO style videos and single lens shoot available.

In addition to all of what’s mentioned above, this camera has an outstanding 6 microphones for capturing surround sound or 360-degree sound. Its stabilization feature is claimed to be the best in the market and it sure lives up to its claim, you can capture fast motion videos with an outstanding crisp and clarity, for all of this the GoPro Max is the best GoPro if mountain biking is what you love.

2. GoPro HERO 8 Black

GoPro HERO 8 Black

GoPro really made a difference with the GoPro HERO 8, and update from the long acclaimed HERO 7.

Ever since GoPro came up with the HyperSmooth system on their cameras, each time they improve more and more and with its latest addition, the HyperSmooth 2.0 you will definitely see the difference with its new best in the industry built-in stabilization on the market.

So this is a great camera for mountain biking specially for those who do not have much experience with cameras or video shooting on trails as usually the video will end up very shaky. With the HERO8 you also get distortion-free super-view, wide and narrow lenses.

With this camera the rider will be able to take trail videos on all kinds of angles. The time warp option allows for automatic speed detection which basically translates to being able to speed up or slow down the video footage. Its waterproof feature (of up to 10m deep without external housing) along with its robust construction makes this camera one of the best choices when MTB footage is wanted.

3. GoPro HERO 9 black

GoPro HERO 9 black

One of the most versatile cameras GoPro has ever made is the GoPro HERO 9. It features a brand-new front display that much differentiates from its previous versions. For that reason, this is one of the best cameras for MTB.

In addition to this front screen, the other feature that performs extremely well with this camera is its new 23.6MP sensor capable of shooting video on up to 4K resolution. More detailed videos and still shots can be taken than its predecessor the HERO 8. The electronic stabilization works just beautifully under shaking circumstances.

Ever since this new feature is available it has shown the brand’s best ever yet video stabilization when in motion, especially in rocky trails in shooting mode. It has even a schedule recording feature that allows for complete automation on when and for how long the shot needs to be, this also helps with the battery span which was improved from last camera versions.

This camera also allows to capture action that happened 20 to 30 seconds before the shutter is pressed. This is an amazing feature as you don’t ever miss any of the action.

4. GoPro HERO 5 session

GoPro HERO 5 session

If good price is what you are loooking for, then the GoPro HERO 5 session might just be the best choice for you. Its 4K resolution allows riders to get the most detailed images and videos from trails and surroundings while the video stabilization software allows for a smooth view under shaky circumstances. Brightness and crisp on still pictures are also quite decent. It comes with a built-in 1000mAH battery.

One of the best features this camera has to offfer is by far its size and easy mounting anywhere on your MTB and one of its lowest points is battery life.

5. GoPro HERO 7 black

GoPro HERO 7 black

This camera was designed for action video, easily to chest mount or helmet mount it and with the great integration from the app the control is almost perfect. This camera as most GoPro models is waterproof of up to 10m.

Its image stabilization is outstanding especially when recording in 4K or Full HD which is the best way to go when fast and shaky footage is taken. This is the first camera with HyperSmooth image stabilization.

It does not come with auto-focus which can be a problem when tracking moving subjects.

Top 4 places to mount your GoPro when mountain biking

As soon as you receive your first GoPro, you feel ready to get out there and start capturing your best moments.

But before you head up for the mountains you must first have the right camera mounting set up so you don’t miss any of the action when you want to capture the full adventure.

This next list comes from expert advise as well as personal advice having used all of them in several occasions. These are the top 4:

  1. Chest
  2. Helmet
  3. Handlebar
  4. Seat post
  5. All

Chest and helmet mounts are amongst the most desirable places to mount your GoPro. Most people creating biking content on YouTube and other video platforms usually go for either or these as it captures the essence of the whole experience.

But why is it exactly that there are so many ways of mounting your GoPro camera when riding?

To start each individual camera angle depending on the position can be very unique allowing viewers to have an immerse and dynamic view of the ride.

Take these into account when bikers ride with GoPro gear on.

  • The handlebars are visible.
  • Most if not all the trail is visible at all times.
  • Most of the time best shots are taken when shot from the chest.

There is a reason behind this logic as to why these types of videos are so much fun to watch.

To begin with, having a fist person view of the action allows you to have an immerse experience like no other, specially if edits on the video are done correctly.

In addition to this, the trail that the bikers are following is really easy to see. The wide frame option on GoPro{s is just outstanding so this helps to not only capture really in detail the trail but also its surroundings. The landscapes and nature when mountain biking are one of the top reasons as to why riders love the experience hence the importance of GoPro’s camera in every rider’s MTB recording set up.

Best place to mount your GoPro when mountain biking

Usually helmet and chest mounts are the obvious choice, correct? Well, think again. Not always either of these two options does not guarantee a good footage. Before you make up your mind as to where the best place to mount your GoPro is, first you need to take into account things such as what is the purpose of the pictures or video you are taking, what kind of angles should you use depending on the story you want to tell so that you can mount your camera accordingly and provide the viewer with an immerse experience.

I will break down the top 4 places to mount your GoPro from least used to most used and I will also throw a few tips and tricks for each one of them.

1. Seat-Post mounts

Although these mounts can be mounted facing forward, they are most used rear facing as it gives a perfect wide-angle view for great shots or the rider right behind you.
When mounted facing the rear from the seat-post, the back tire can add perspective of the steepness of a trail or the height of a jump, per instance. This of course can not be the only mount in case you only have one as it can get somewhat boring seeing the action from just this angle.
Even though you can get great angle shots there are only two options on these types of mounts either facing forward or facing backwards.
The best moment to use these types of mounts is when you have a rider behind you or when you have also other cameras mounted on your bike so that when editing you have more material as with this setup you are most likely to have to mount a camera upfront either on the helmet or the chest in order to catch the POV action. Some good shots can also be taken when facing forward as you can get great camera angles with the bike’s frame in the picture, this creates a completely different feel as the frame stays put throughout the video.

Pros:

* Easily low to the ground and rear facing angles.
* You can somewhat create great angle shots.
* It does not distract whatsoever when riding.

Cons:

* Limited view of the surroundings.
* Not very stable as it dampens the frame’s vibration.

Tips when using these types of mounts:

* As mentioned earlier since these mounts dampens the bike’s vibration, shots can be somewhat shaky so usage for short timed shots is recommended.
* Usually works best when riding with two or more people especially if you have at least one rider behind you.

How to mount your GoPro setup on your seat-post

This mount is very simple as it only requires one clamp and your GoPro case that comes along with it.

2. Handlebar mounts

The handlebar mounts are the most underrated places to mount your GoPro setup. It might be because the video can turn up somewhat bumpy for a long scene but if capturing exactly the trail is what you are looking for then you might be in for a surprise to see how good this angle is for such a purpose.
This can be a great option if you only have one to choose from but like I mentioned earlier it can be a bit bumpy for long periods on the same shot, reason why it is recommended that you have another camera filming as well.
You can also get very creative if you know how to use well your handlebar and are able to aim the camera at yourself when doing jumps. This will definitely give you a great perspective when getting to those extreme angles when jumping.

How to mount your GoPro to your handlebar

GoPro’s handlebar mounts are the way to go for this setup. You can get creative and face it backwards to get self-shots and never miss on the action going on in the back.

When is best to use this type of setup

If you are looking to capture a particular detailed trail or just a front facing action this would be the best way to go.

Pros:

* Great way of capturing the trail.
* Easily mountable.
* Self-shots on great angles.

Cons:

* The video footage might be a little shaky.
* If you are looking for longer shots this might not be the way to go.

Tips when using these types of mounts

You can use the handlebar location in order to get great angle shots. It’s mount is easily adjustable and ready to install in no time.

3. Helmet mounts

This is probably the most used place to set your camera setup when riding MTB. Either these mounts are used or the chest ones for capturing the action in first person view.
There are several ways of mounting your GpPro on your helmet, a few of these ways can give you come really interesting angles.
The most stable place is right on top of your helmet, as it captures the action just as you see it when moving your head around. When using a full-face helmet, the camera can be easily mounted on your chin although this place can be sometimes a bit tricky specially when doing jumps. The helmet mounts can be very versatile and are usually the preferred option on MTB riders.

How to mount your camera onto your helmet

There are just too many ways where you can set up your camera on your helmet, it all comes down on how creative you want to get. Getting several angle shots is easy either facing rear or forward.

Pros:

* Easily mountable.
* Great first person POV.
* can get very creative when searching for great angles.
* Great views of the surroundings specially on a wide-frame camera setup.

Cons:

* Can be a bit uncomfortable if used on the chin of the helmet.

4. Chest mounts

The chest mount has become the most popular place to setup your video gear when riding MTB. The versatility of these mounts along with its easy installation makes it a great versatility mount to shoot the trail and even the rider on the footage.
Once the Gimbal was introduced, the chest gear became the most popular as it can easily carry on the extra weight it carries.
One thing to consider is that on this setup, the camera is out of the rider’s way at all times, allowing for great maneuvers on air and such. Do get a good quality chest mount as there are going to be a few straps strapped around your chest.

When is best to use these types of chest mounts

Virtually all types of riding techniques are great to have a chest mount, like I mentioned before using these mounts allows for perfect movement as the camera is never on your way. Make sure to use a wide angle setup so the trail and surroundings are very visible.

Pros:

* Great POV.
* This probably gives you the best immersion experience.
* Not as shaky as the handlebar mount.
* Unobtrusive.

Cons:

* Somewhat uncomfortable.
* Shakier than handlebar and helmet mounts.
* Limited POV specially when turning.

Tips when using a chest mount:

Just make sure you are pointing at the right angle as sometimes you can easily end up shooting the ground of your knees. Also make sure all straps are tightened enough.

Conclusion

As you can see from the article there is not really just one best place to set up your recording gear when riding MTB, a mix of two or several mounting locations can get your experience to the next level once properly edited.
Story telling is what riders are looking for when trying to capture these moments, the more creative you get as to where and how to place your mounts will definitely give the viewers an exceptional POV of the whole experience.
You can use the helmet and chest mount for the longest parts of the ride, and the seat-post mount for example to get great angles when jumping or doing stunts.
If keeping it simple is what you are going for, then the chest mount is the way to go for this endeavor.
All in all, despite having these 4 places to set up your GoPro when MTB riding, there is plenty of room to get creative as to other places either on your body on places such as your legs or arms or even other places on the frame of the bike in order to get angles that otherwise would be impossible.

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