Several people have either seen my face-level camera mount and asked how the video turns out, or they’ve seen the video and ask “How did you do that?”
For this video, I attached a steel pole to my bicycle downtube so my GoPro Hero camera sits suspended about face level in front of me. Because the camera is fixed relative to the bike, you don’t get the jittery motion typical of handlebar and helmet mounted cameras.
You can see the rider’s face clearly, but you also see the surrounding action because of the GoPro camera’s wide angle view.
- Use a stiff metal pole. I’ve used PVC pipes and wooden sticks, but those wobble too much. The post shown here is a curtain rod.
- To protect your bike frame’s finish, wrap a length of bicycle inner tube where the post contacts the frame.
- I attach the post by wrapping an inner tube around post and frame together, then wrap it up with tape. Make this as tight as possible — otherwise, your entire assembly will rotate around (note how the video here is slightly crooked) and droop.
- On this bike, the pole interferes with my handlebar, allowing only large radius turns by preventing more than about 20 degrees of rotation. This hinders my maneuverability more than I would’ve thought, so take care.
- Ensure your attachment work doesn’t interfere with your cables. This bike is a singlespeed, but geared bikes typically have cables routed under the downtube.
- You have a steel post sticking nearly three feet out from the front of your bike, so be careful not to jab anyone!
- The first couple of times you do this, your natural inclination is to stare at this object fixed in front of your face. Watch where you’re going, instead.
Later on, I’ll try to angle the pole a little higher to get it up above head height so you can see behind me more clearly.
Limiting your steering like that is very dangerous. If you bend the pole (and possibly reinforce it) so that it attaches along your fork blade, rather than your downtube, it will be much safer!
Yep, the danger is real – I *have* lost expensive camera gear and some skin while shooting and riding. To be honest, though, I’m not sure attaching objects in close proximity to the spinning front wheel is any better.
The entire point of this exercise is to keep the camera fixed in relation to the bike frame and rider. Attaching a long boom to the fork or handlebar exaggerates the slightest wobble.
In any case, the limited steering isn’t a big deal for slow rides like the bike party. A better option I’m considering: attach boom to top tube and bend it so it doesn’t interfere with steering.
i’ve seem people ride bike party sans brakes… (on bikes with freewheels)