“WARNING: The following bike video is high-quality and packed with adventure and excitement.”
Sound familiar? We’ve all seen them… amazing videos of mountain bikes traveling through all sorts of weather and terrain. And these clips are shot from all sorts of different camera positions and angles. So… how can YOU choose the best mounting option for mountain bikes to create your own high-quality content?
It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Do you want to record your buddy who’s riding behind you? Maybe you’re trying to film the rider in front of you. Or just looking to film that wicked-awesome trail you’ve been testing out? Whatever the situation, we have solutions that will work for you. We’re here to help you create action-packed videos that will get your audience excited. Just check out our easy-to-follow guide.
This article is split into 2 sections. First I’m going to address the best mounting options and after that, I got a bunch of tips on how to shoot great videos. So first let’s see which camera mounting options are available;
Finding the Best Mounting Option for You
It’s time to make a video of your mountain-biking adventure. But first things first. You’ll need to choose how to mount your camera. Search through this handful of options to find out what will work best for you.
Please keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution here. Be sure to give some thought into what kinds of videos you plan to create. Once you’ve found your best fit, be sure to stay tuned. We have more useful filming tips waiting for you at the end.
Are you trying to capture a clean video of the trail? Looking to record some of your bike’s parts in action? If so, then the handlebar option may be just for you. You’ll have nothing blocking the view of your camera when it’s mounted right up front.
Keep in mind that your handlebar will do a lot of moving throughout your travel. So you should expect a bit of movement in your video as well. And along with that, you won’t be able to record your own movements during your ride.
Tip: If you plan on using this mounting method, look into camera-stabilizing accessories. Seriously, your viewers will thank you for the clear-and-steady footage. And that’s hard to get from the ever-moving handlebar.
Are you trying to film your journey from your own point of view? Mounting your camera to your helmet may be the best option for you. You can do this in a couple of different ways.
First, you could mount the camera directly to the top of your helmet. Want to capture the action in front of you? Just face your camera forward. How about the rider(s) behind you? Just face your camera backward. We don’t recommend this option if you’re riding solo.
Why is that? It’s because you can run into a perspective problem in your video. You won’t be included in the film, and neither will your bike. This can make it tough to figure out the size of the objects in the video.
Second, you could mount the camera to the side of your helmet (facing forward). This option is fairly equal to the top-mount if you’re riding with others. But if you’re riding solo, you’ll want to mount your camera on the side of your helmet.
This way the side-mount will capture part of the helmet and bike in the video. Now your perspective problem is fixed. Your viewers will now be able to have a good idea of what’s going on in your solo-riding video.
Tip: Consider purchasing a full-face helmet. You’ll have all sorts of new attachment options available for your camera.
Do you want to be included in the video of your mountain-biking journey? You’ll be highlighted in the video with the chest mount. You won’t run into a perspective problem with the chest mount. This is because YOU and YOUR BIKE will be included in the filming. This option works well, whether you’re riding solo or riding with others.
Many have argued that the chest is the best place to mount a camera on a mountain bike trip. This is a good mounting option if you’re looking to improve your form. How are you braking? Is your steering up to par? You’ll be able to see everything that your arms are doing. Whether you’re a beginner or just an old pro looking to improve… the chest mount will help.
Tip: Consider placing your camera upside down when mounted to your chest! Your camera is likely to fall forward if you’re riding hard. That problem is solved when you flip your camera upside down. You’ll be able to adjust your footage when you edit it later.
Have you always been curious to see what happens behind you when you’re riding? If so, consider the seat-mounting option (facing rear). This option is BETTER than a helmet mount if you’re trying to catch some back-side views. Why though? It’s because your seat is more stabilized than your helmet. And this is especially true if you have good shocks on your bike. So you can expect a video that is less shaky when you mount to the seat.
But what about perspective when it comes to the seat mount? Well, you will have no problem with perspective. Your rear tire will be caught in the action. So that will give some perspective to the rest of the objects in your video.
Tip: Curious about how your suspension handles changes in the trail? Just point your camera towards your shocks. You can turn this into a learning experience. The camera is in a perfect position to capture this moment since it’s right by your tires.
20 Tips for Improving your MTB videos!
Have you figured out where you want to mount your camera? If you have, then it’s time to move forward. Hopefully, we were able to help you figure out which mounting is most suitable. Now that you’ve got the big part out of the way, it’s time to move forward. Follow us as we explain how to increase the quality of your videos and stay on top of your game throughout your entire journey.
1. Make sure that your camera angles are properly set
We know it seems obvious. But there are countless videos out there that just have bad angling. Your audience doesn’t want to stare at only but a tire throughout the video. We recommend viewing a few sample clips of your footage before embarking on a big filming journey.
2. Spice up your video by changing the view
Don’t get into the mindset of thinking there’s only 1 best place to mount a camera on a mountain bike. It’s completely up to you on how to do this. But you have plenty of options for pulling it off. For example, just stop pedaling for a while and show us what kind of bike you’re using.
Take a moment to record the beautiful landscape that you’re traveling through. You could even just change the way you have your camera mounted. This will keep your videos interesting. The options are endless, so try mixing it up.
3. Use editing software to clean-up your video
We get it, your entire ride was exciting. But few people have the time of day to sit through your entire 3-hour biking journey. There are many tutorials online that will help you clean up your footage. Use editing software to make your video a reasonable length. This leads us to our next tip…
4. Put only your BEST footage in the final-draft of your video
This goes almost without saying. People want to see the best you have to offer. What were the most interesting points in your mountain-biking trip? Was it when your friend stumbled over a log? How about the time when you were being chased by a bear? Include these kinds of moments in your video. This will keep the attention of your audience.
5. Skip the big title/introduction screen on your video
Let’s face it… we watch these biking videos because of the ACTION. Don’t leave your audience waiting. Jump right into the biking clips. You can always place your title anywhere on the screen. So just do this instead of devoting an entire screen to your title.
6. Consider using the sounds of the trails instead of music
There’s just something about being able to hear the sounds of your tires ripping through that tough dirt in the mountain-side. These sounds give your viewers that “real” feeling. This is completely up to you though. Not too interested in including the sound of the trails? That leads us into our next tip…
7. Set your music to the action in your video
This is something you will have to play around with yourself. Try switching clips right as the tone of the music changes. Grab some friends and get their opinions. If you can, try to include at least a little of the trail sounds in your clips. This will still give a “real” feeling to your viewers.
8. Try to create your video as if it’s a book
Here’s what we mean by this… give your video a plot. For example, show us the beginning of the trail before you begin your journey. Put your BEST footage into the body of your video. And THEN end your video by showing the exit of the trail. It doesn’t have to go exactly like this. But your video will be easier to follow if there is some sort of story behind it.
9. Bring some pals along for the ride
Not only will this make your journey safer. But it will also increase your filming opportunities. You’ll be able to film your pals on their bikes. And they’ll be able to film you as well. This added content is guaranteed to make your video more interesting. Be creative.
10. Keep that film rolling
Don’t turn that camera off. You never know when you might run into something EXTREME. You wouldn’t want to miss anything like that. And you WON’T HAVE TO if your camera stays on. Since you’ll be leaving your camera on, this leads us to the next tip…
11. Make sure you’ve got spare batteries
Just in case, of course. As a professional, you must always be prepared.
12. Try getting some footage from the skies
Ready to spice up your mountain-biking video a little more? Just add some footage of you from the birds-eye-view. You’ll need a drone to pull this one off. Look for the “follow me” mode which will enable your drone to follow and record you.
13. Carry some duct tape with you
Duct tape fixes everything, right? In this case, it can come in handy when filming some amazing mountain-biking footage. Want to try a different mounting method? With duct tape, you can mount your camera anywhere you want. Get the crazy view that you’ve always dreamed of. Duct tape can also reduce the amount of jolting from your camera. Think of it as a cushion.
14. Reduce the sun’s glare with camera filters
Odds are that you’ll be trying to capture a video sometime when the sun is blazing. Unfortunately, this can have a negative effect on the quality of your video. But don’t worry. Consider getting a sun filter to keep that glare out of your content.
15. Get a waterproof case for your camera
There’s a good chance that you will want to capture footage on a rainy day. And even if that’s not true, there’s still a good chance of running into wet parts of a trail. Don’t let water ruin your adventure. Invest in a case that will protect your camera from moisture.
16. Impress the bike-enthusiasts with close-ups of your bike
It’s true that some people just want to see extreme mountain biking. BUT many of your viewers will be bike-enthusiasts who are curious in your set of wheels. Take some time to introduce one of the main stars in your video. This can really beef-up the quality of your content.
17. Consider having multiple cameras rolling at once
So you’re recording all the action going on in front of you. BUT something super rare and exciting just happened behind you. If you have multiple cameras rolling at once, you’ll be sure to catch anything that goes on around you. Be prepared by having more than one camera going at a time.
18. Consider the 3rd-person view for adding some more intensity to your video
It’s likely that a lot of your videos will involve the all-famous POV. However, you may want to switch this up a bit. One idea is to mount your camera to a tripod. Record yourself in 3rd-person going over a jump or flying down a hill. This change of view will keep your viewers on their toes.
Don’t want to invest in a tripod? Just have one of your buddies record for you.
19. Create a fictional movie
This is your chance to get very creative. The possibilities are endless. Have a friend chase you on the trails. Pretend you are pedaling away from an enemy. Escape, or else! This is just an example. Really grab your viewers’ attention by adding your own touch of creativity to the mix.
Don’t let the video experience ruin one of your favorite hobbies. Keep the cameras rolling, but don’t focus too much on it. Just naturally have fun, and the great footage will follow right behind! Having fun is contagious. Try to include a jolly touch to your videos, and you’re bound to make some fans out of it.
I hope you’re able to find that sweet spot for mounting your camera. It’s also worth mentioning that different bicycle types may have better mounting options. So just be sure to look into your specific situation. What do you think is the best place to mount a camera on a mountain bike?
Whether your camera is mounted on your handlebars, seat, chest, or helmet… you’re bound to capture some amazing footage. Show them that you can be a rider and director.
What did you think of our extra set of filming tips? These extras are intended to really give you a jump start into creating exceptional content. We hope you have learned some things from this article. And don’t let your learning adventure stop here.
Be sure to do some extra reading to make sure you are fully prepared for your next filming adventure. And of course… one of the best ways to learn is through experience. So what exactly does that mean? It means that it’s time for you to saddle up, turn on that camera, and get ready to have some fun and create some amazing video content.