Ready to film your next ride? In this guide to GoPro biking, you'll learn the tips, settings and gear you'll need to capture your full adventure. We also cover the best GoPro for both mountain and road biking – and the best GoPro mounts for each sport. Let's do this!
Are you more of a motorcycle person? Check out our GoPro motorcycle guide.
GoPro Biking Guide: Tips, Settings, Gear
Whether you’re into mountain biking or road biking, throwing a GoPro into the mix can make the experience that bit more enjoyable.
You can capture all the excitement and incredible views whilst mountain biking, and relive the adventure all over again just by watching back over your footage. And if you’re road biking it’s the perfect chance to use your GoPro and shoot some cycling footage that’s blissfully smooth.
This post is divided into three sections:
- Best GoPro for biking: mountain and road (jump to section)
- 12 GoPro biking tips (jump to section)
- 7 GoPro mounts and accessories for biking (jump to section)
But first, here's a taste of the type of GoPro footage you can get on your bike. Watch Danny MacAskill on an insane journey across the rooftops of Gran Canaria (mountain bike).
Watch on YouTube
And here's a great video showing the full descent of Sa Calobra in Mallorca, Spain (road bike).
Watch on YouTube
Amazing videos, right!? But if you need some advice on how best to capture quality biking footage with your GoPro, here are 13 GoPro biking tips.
Choosing the Best GoPro for Biking
There are so many different GoPros out there now, so it can be hard to know which one to go for. But for road cycling or mountain biking, you ideally want one that has a great battery life, is easy to mount in lots of different places, and can shoot in high resolution at a good frame rate.
So which GoPro ticks all those boxes?
Mountain Biking: If you’re planning on filming some fast paced mountain biking action, the GoPro Hero6 Black is the best one for the job. This is mainly because it’s the only GoPro to shoot in 4K at a frame rate of up to 60fps. The Hero5 and Hero4 can both only film 4K footage when the frame rate is set to 30fps or less. So if you want smooth footage that you can potentially slow down, without losing quality, then the Hero6 is your best bet.
Road Biking: The Hero6 Black is also a good choice for road cyclists, because of its impressive image stabilization. The less shake in your video, the more professional it’s going to look. Even if you’re not going to be cycling on particularly bumpy roads, you’d be surprised at how much even the slightest shake can affect your video.
Here’s a video showing just how much difference the image stabilization in Hero6 can make:
Watch on YouTube
What about the GoPro Session? However, if you were looking for a slightly more affordable GoPro to take on your biking adventures, the Hero5 Session is also a good choice. With advanced image stabilization you can create professional looking videos without using a gimbal.
One thing to bear in mind though if you plan on going for the cheaper Session camera, rather than the Hero6, is that the battery life can be shorter, and you can't swap out the battery with a fresh one – it's a sealed case. So you may have to be a bit more selective with what you choose to film.
Here’s a mountain biking video that was taken using the Hero5 Session:
Watch on YouTube
13 GoPro Biking Tips (Road and Mountain)
1. Make use of a few different mounts
When it comes to biking, there’s no one mount that you should be using. There are so many different mounts, and angles that make for great biking footage, so why stick to only one mount? Our advice is to make use of a few different mounts, so that you capture your journey from a few different perspectives.
Head and chest mounts are great for capturing point of view shots, but on-bike mounts like the handlebar or seatpost mount are great for getting unique angles. You can also angle the GoPro so that you capture the movement of your bikes parts. Mixing it up with shots like this will make your overall cycle video a little more interesting.
If you’re mountain biking, mounting your GoPro on a tripod on the ground can also make for some interesting footage. You’ll get to zip past your GoPro, and capture your journey from a distanced perspective. Just remember to go back for it!
2. Mount your GoPro upside down when using a chest mount
The chesty is a great mount if you’re looking for that classic point of view angle, with the handle bars framing the picture. But any regular biker will know the struggle of accidental crotch shots when the GoPro inevitably falls forwards. No matter how tightly you secure it in place, any big bump or jolt has the potential to send your GoPro flopping downwards.
A simple solution to this particularly annoying problem, mount your GoPro upside down! This way your GoPro doesn’t have a fight against gravity, and you shouldn’t have to adjust it after every little bump.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean your footage is all going to be upside down. Before you start your GoPro rolling, adjust the orientation in settings, or flip it after while editing.
3. Go biking with a friend, rather than alone
Biking with a friend is always safer, especially if you’re taking on tricky trails, but it’s also going to give you more filming options. Rather than juggling mounts and GoPros on your own, and trying to capture decent footage of yourself, you can take turns filming and capture footage from different angles.
Get your friend to wear a head or chest mount backwards, and cycle in front of you. This way you’ll get footage of you cycling towards the camera. Shots like this are going to make your videos look truly impressive and professional. Even straight forward shots often look more interesting when there’s more than one subject.
4. Keep your GoPro filming
Biking is fast paced, whether you’re cycling on the road or racing through mountain bike trails, so if you want to capture all the best bits, keep your GoPro filming. You never know when you might come across a path, jump or sight that would make a great video, so to avoid missing anything, keep your GoPro rolling constantly.
If you plan on being out and about on your bike for a while, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got plenty of spare batteries. If you’re using a Hero Session camera, you won’t be able to replace the battery, but you can always take a power pack, or a a car charger so that you can film more than one battery’s worth of footage.
5. Use stabilizing accessories
Ideally, you want your footage to look as smooth and stable as possible, but if you plan on cycling down any bumpy path or road, you’re probably going to have some issues with shake. But believe it or not, with the right accessories it’s possible to get the smoothest video on even the bumpiest of cycle paths.
The Hero6 advanced image stabilization is good for combatting shake, but sometimes your GoPro needs a little extra help creating smooth footage. This is where stabilizing accessories come in. Handheld stabilizing gimbal grips like the GoPro Karma grip are quickly becoming must-have pieces of kit for anyone serious about capturing smooth action videos.
6. Try capturing some aerial shots
Drones are a great way to add variety to your biking videos.
When you’re biking a tricky route, you need to have both hands on the handlebars, and you don’t have time to worry about angling your GoPro properly. So sending your GoPro up into the skies on a trusty Karma drone is one of the best ways to get incredible footage with minimal effort.
With smart features like the ‘follow me’ mode, you can film hands free from above. The drone will follow you, keeping the camera locked on you as you bike over mountain biking paths.
The Karma drone also comes with the Karma stabilizer grip, so even on a breezy day your aerial footage is going to be smooth and silky.
In the following video you’ll see just how incredible drone footage of mountain biking can be:
Watch on YouTube
7. Always have duct tape (and zip ties) handy
Even if you’ve got a whole range of mounts to try out, duct tape is always good to take along on your GoPro adventures.
If you forget your GoPro screws, or want to try attaching your GoPro somewhere without a mount, duct tape can be the perfect solution to a lot of common problems. Think of it as an unofficial GoPro mount that can stick your GoPro to almost anything.
Duct tape can even be used in addition to your other GoPro mounts to dampen the vibrations and reduce shake.
Zip ties are equally as versatile – they can mount a camera to a branch, sign post, railing or even back onto you handlebar (if your original mount breaks).
8. Use a GoPro Smart Remote
The GoPro Smart Remote is perfect for filming while biking. You can attach it easily to your handlebars or your wrist, and control your GoPro without having to fiddle with the screen. It’s ideal for those times when you’ve mounted your GoPro out of reach, or duct taped it solidly in place, as you’ll have all the controls you need right at your fingertips.
You’ll be able to start and stop recording, turn the camera on or off, and even adjust the settings, all without actually touching or even seeing your GoPro.
And if you’re shooting some serious footage, using more than one GoPro, you can use the Smart Remote to control up to 50 cameras!
9. Use sun filters
More often than not, when you’re out and about cycling, the sun is out and shining bright (unless you particularly enjoy cycling on rainy days). Sunny weather can make for the perfect bike ride, but glaringly bright sunlight can interfere with the quality of your footage.
To stop glare from ruining your footage, try using sun filters. You can buy filters that fit between the GoPro and the housing (if you’re using an older GoPro), or for the newer models you can find lens filters that simply snap on to the lens.
10. Best GoPro settings for biking: frame rate and resolution
If you have a GoPro Hero6, you can make use of the 4K resolution at 60fps, as this frame rate is perfect for fast paced sports like cycling or mountain biking.
If your GoPro is an older model, and is only capable of filming in 4K up to 30fps, then it’s worth dropping the resolution to 1080p in order to film at 60fps.
At 60fps, your videos should be both smooth and sharp, and you’ll have the freedom to slow them down if you want to.
11. Use a waterproof housing
If you don’t have a GoPro Hero5 or 6, you’ll want to tuck your GoPro safely into a waterproof housing to protect it.
Even if you don’t plan on biking in the rain, mountain bike trails are likely to involve both mud and water splashes, and the last thing you want is for a skid stop to result in a broken GoPro.
The waterproof housing may interfere with the sound quality of your footage, but if you plan on putting music to your video anyway this shouldn’t matter too much.
12. Get some close-ups of your bike, not just the journey
If you’re going to share your video online, you might find that your audience is interested in your bike as well as the trails. Try getting some close-ups of your actual bike when you’re on the move to satisfy the bike enthusiasts out there. It will also mix up your video a bit and give you some technical footage to add.
Try mounting your GoPro on your bike’s crossbar, looking back at the wheel. This way you’ll capture some unique footage of your suspension in action, and the mud spraying up from your back wheel.
7 Best GoPro Biking Accessories
Mounting your GoPro for a bike ride might seem fiddly at first, but once you’ve got the right accessories, it’s super easy to set up your GoPro and get going.
Here are some of the best GoPro accessories for cycling and mountain biking.
1. The GoPro Chesty
The Chesty is GoPro’s chest mount, and it’s perfect for cyclists. This mount is what’s going to give you a classic point of view shot, with your handlebars framing the picture. So it’s an essential bit of kit for anyone who’s going to be filming while biking.
This is also the mount you’d use if you wanted to film someone trailing behind you on their bike. You can simply wear the chest mount backwards, and you’ll be able to film your fellow bike rider from the front.
2. Helmet Front and Side Mount
The helmet mount is the second best mount for filming point of view footage. It’s a swivel mount, so you can easily capture different angles from the mount, and you have the choice to wear it on the front or side of your helmet.
It’s second to the chesty because the view you can get from the helmet isn’t quite as smooth, unless you’re using a stabilizing accessory. Because the mount is positioned higher, you’ll also miss out on the handlebar view, unless you position the GoPro to look down rather than straight ahead.
3. GoPro Karma Grip
It can be hard to capture smooth footage when on a bumpy trail, but with a stabilizing accessory like the Karma grip, you can capture professional-looking, silky smooth footage on the roughest of trails.
The grip is wearable, so you can wear it on your helmet, or even on your rucksack, leaving both your hands free to control your bike.
4. Drone: Either GoPro Karma or DJI Mavic Air
If you’re mountain biking, the Karma Drone is one of the best accessories for capturing outstanding footage. You can effortlessly capture professional footage of you tackling challenging mountain paths, from a birds eye view!
The follow-me feature of the drone makes it the ideal accessory for those that want to focus on the journey, knowing that the filming is already taken care of.
5. Handlebar / Seatpost Mount
It features a rotating base, with 16 secure positions, so that you can change the angle every now and again, and shoot both front and rear facing footage.
6. Extra Batteries
Remember that the GoPro Session doesn't have removable batteries, it's built into the camera body.
7. GoPro smart remote
So even if your GoPro is out of reach, you can quickly and easily stop and start recording, and adjust settings.
Here are a few final tips with GoPro athlete Aaron Chase:
Watch on YouTube
What's your favorite GoPro biking accessory or tip for road or mountain biking? Share by joining us in the comments.