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How to use the GoPro at the bike park in your downhill MTB rides!

29 July 2014


In the making of a video with GoPro there are several elements to keep in mind some are related to the quality of the image, such as resolution and number of frames per second, others are more practical such as the use of mounts (supports for the helmet, position of the camera on the bike etc). Today we will deal with how to mount and position the GoPro by using 5 practical examples.

A preliminary remark it’s necessary and it’s valid for all positions where you want to mount the GoPro. The angle of the frame is crucial! It will be important to point the camera giving a view of what you are doing and the best way to do this is to give references to the observer. In the picture below I decided to keep the handlebars at the bottom of the frame and the sky in the upper part of it by using the GoPro original mount named Chesty. This way references will be given to the observer who will understands exactly where you are going and what you are doing.

Shot with chesty

Let’s look at some ways for mounting the GoPro starting with the most classic one: on the helmet. As mentioned above, giving references to the observer is useful so you need to show a bit of the helmet in the frame. At various times the background will appear blurry but the image of the helmet will keep stable and in focus. Helmet mounting has the great advantage of being very stable because our whole body will dampen the vibrations caused by the descent. In the examples shown in the photo, the GoPro is mounted centrally on the visor / helmet and at the side of the helmet, just above the goggle’s band.

GoPro Helmet front mount

Helmet side mount

The Chesty: when mounting the GoPro by using this elastic material accessory to keep the camers on your chest, try to tighten the straps as much as possible without choking! Doing this reduces vibrations and decreases the “washing machine effect” in your videos. When using the camera on the chest, therefore framing ahead of you, it is important to mount the camera upside down as shown in the picture in order to get the right shooting angle (UpD -up side down function- in the camera settings menu). Remember that riding downhill you are almost never cycling with your boby straight up as the tendency is to keep the pelvis in a backward position. The steeper and bumpier the trail is, the more you will keep back and for this reason the GoPro will need to point upward when you are standing on your feet off the bike.

GoPro chesty bikepark

A good indication can be the three-finger rule. Between the camera and our body there must be space enough for three fingers. The Chesty allows you to mount the GoPro also on the back, this option is very useful if you want to shoot videos of your friends lining behind you down the bike park trails. In this case are valid the same rules described for mounting the camera on the chest with one exception; UpD function must be turned off (use Up setting in the menu). Mount the GoPro as usual, not upside down.

GoPro chesty mount

The last scenary I will show you today is mounting the camera on the handlebar. In this position the GoPro will suffer most of the vibration due to the roughness of the terrain and the video will be blurry. A few seconds in video with marked vibration is not be a problem, but be careful not to exceed! The situation of the handlebar mounting is just a sample, you can mount your GoPro where you want, even on the seat tube or on the bike frame tubes, for example framing the suspension to show how much they “work” on the roughest terrain or out of a jump. To do this, on the market there is an especially designed GoPro mount therefore your imagination is the only limit!

Finally, remember that the GoPro is not only a videocamera but a photocamera as well and allows you to take pictures every 60 seconds, every 10 seconds or even every single second. With the right settings you will click up to 500 random pictures but among them all there will certainly be some epic shots, taken on a jump or perhaps even falling!

Now you just need to get out on the bike and try, remembering that you can hire the GoPro from Dr. Rent shop at Mottolino and use it all day long. On your return we will give you a DVD with all your movies and… if you liked it, being already in Livigno, you can take advantage of the favorable prices of the duty free area and buy your GoPro at the Galleria delle Novità! Have fun!

PS: in the videogallery here below you can find some videos 100% shot with GoPro in the bike park and during the Nine Knights MTB!