Mountain biking is an extreme yet gratifying sport. I like how I can discover amazing views whenever I conquer uphill trails. The feeling of the wind gushing over my face when I’m going downhill is also a feeling worth cycling for.
But apart from the adventure, I personally like to take videos of my entire ride. This way, I can review how I performed on the trail and see which areas I need to improve. Using a GoPro while mountain biking also allows me to capture fantastic views to relive every adventure whenever I want to.
From my experience, filming with a GoPro while mountain biking makes the adventure better. But if you want to use a GoPro, too, you need to note that there are four best places to mount a GoPro for mountain biking.
- Seat Post
Filming your ride with a GoPro lets, you relive your best cycling experiences. So, you need to ensure that you know where the best places to mount a GoPro for mountain biking are.
Every GoPro mounting position provides you with different film angels. This way, you can get a clear shot of the path you are cycling on. Every mounting position also does its job of showing the action. As a result, you can give your viewers the chance to relate to the scene, resulting in an immersive experience.
However, such can only happen if you know where you can most effectively mount your GoPro.
The chest mount is the best for mounting a GoPro. It provides the best point of view for the viewer. This position also frames the shot with your arms and handlebars, providing a realistic view of the trail.
Strapping your GoPro to your chest also gives you an excellent angle for high-quality footage. Since the subject of the footage is ideally on the frame, you will make your viewers feel as if they are in the scene.
With your camera strapped on your chest and angled a little bit downwards, you can get a better sense of your speed. You will also show some action since you can film the trail ahead of you.
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The best time to mount your GoPro to your chest is when you want to show a clear view of the path ahead of you. This way, you can capture immersive footage since it will show the trail where you are cycling from your point of view.
It is also best to strap your camera around your chest when riding on bumpy trails. This position will prevent your camera from shaking too much, making your shots more precise and smoother.
Another instance when it is ideal for mounting your GoPro to your chest is when you want to film without worrying that your camera might hang up on branches. This position is also an unobtrusive setup. For this reason, you can comfortably conquer trails while taking videos of what is ahead of you. (source)
I had trouble using a GoPro chest mount the first time I had one. Since I was unsure how to set the whole thing up, the footage I took during my trail riding ended up pretty shaky. But since the chest is one of the best places to mount a GoPro for mountain biking, I did a trial and error of the tips from various mountain biking videos.
Your camera should be nearly pointing towards your chin when you are not riding your bike yet. However, remember to adjust the GoPro’s position according to the trail you are cycling on.
If you are cycling uphill, the camera shot should be downwards to capture the scene ahead of you. Meanwhile, make sure to angle your camera upwards when going downhill. It is also ideal for placing the camera in a relatively high position on your chest area.
If you have extra arms for your GoPro, you can use them to extend your camera a little further away from your chest. This setup will make it easy to adjust the chest mount upwards or downwards.
Make sure that your chest mount is tightly positioned to get smooth footage. If you strap your chest mount loosely, the camera will shake, which may render your videos unusable.
I also like putting the sternum strap of my backpack under my chest mount. This way, I can ensure that my pack’s strap will not cover my GoPro’s lens. It also helps tighten my chest mount so my GoPro does not slip down my chest. (source)
DIY MTB Tip: With all the different models of GoPro’s its tough to pick which would be best for you. I’ve tried to summarize the different models in this article. Which GoPro for Mountain Biking
3 Tips for Chest Mounting GoPro
Now that your GoPro is tightly mounted to your chest, then you are ready to capture the scenes of your mountain biking adventure. You can capture your point of view at a great angle without worrying that the footage might turn out shaky. But did you know that there are three helpful tips to mount your GoPro to your chest better?
As mentioned, extra mounts will help you adjust your camera accordingly. But if you do not have these additional mounts, you can mount your camera upside down. This way, you will be able to tilt your GoPro upward to get the right filming angle.
You are wearing your chest mount for two reasons:
- to hold your camera securely without fearing that it might fall down
- to prevent the GoPro from shaking
You need to strap your mount around your chest as tightly as possible for these reasons. Such will result in steady shots.
A tight mount will also prevent the camera from bouncing on your chest. You will also reduce the chances of your camera sagging down. As a result, you will not have to stop in the middle of your ride just to reposition your GoPro.
Back when I did not have extra mounts to use for my GoPro, I created a DIY spacer utilizing a piece of foam. If you want to try this tip, trim the foam smaller so you can place it between your GoPro and the chest mount’s bracket.
With this simple tip, you can change the angle of your camera to the proper position. (source)
While there are four best places to mount a GoPro for mountain biking, my chest is the ideal place for me.
GoPros are generally lightweight, but some models are heavier than usual. The camera I use when mountain biking is a little heavy, so it does not feel comfortable when I mount it on the handlebar or my helmet.
But apart from the excellent angle and the scenes captured, positioning my camera on my chest gives me a better weight distribution for better comfortability. This way, I can place the extra weight precisely at the center. This position will not add drag that can potentially affect how you maneuver your bike.
Your chest also remains steady no matter how you swerve or sway. For this reason, you can get smooth footage of the views you pass on.
You can only see the benefit of your chest being one of the best places to mount a GoPro for mountain biking if you have an excellent chest mount. With the proper support, you can ensure that Your GoPro stays secure while you conquer technical, bumpy trails.
When it comes to GoPro chest mounts, my pick is the Amazon Basics Adjustable Chest Mount Harness for GoPro Camera. This mount perfectly holds my GoPro Hero and the cameras in the GoPro line. The straps are adjustable to wear tight around your body.
But what I like the most about this chest mount comes with mounting accessories, which made my purchase even more worth it. This way, you benefit from more than one item in a single purchase. (source)
Another place where you can mount your GoPro is your helmet. This spot comes next to your chest in the best places to mount a GoPro for mountain biking. The reason is that your helmet is a stable area to hold your GoPro.
Additionally, helmet mounts for GoPro are great when mountain biking as the camera’s position is not intrusive. So, the GoPro will not disturb you while you are pedaling, unlike when you mount it on a handlebar that may affect the way you drive.
The high positioning of the camera lets you capture the view more than the trail you are cycling on. For this reason, mounting my GoPro above my helmet is something I do whenever I go trail riding on high terrains with incredible scenery.
Your helmet is a stable position for your camera. When you move your head, the camera goes with you. This way, your camera can record whatever your eyes see.
There are countless ways to secure your GoPro on your helmet. Some of these positions will even give you unique angles.
However, I find that mounting my camera directly on the top of my helmet is the best choice. The reason is that I can get solid footage of the trail with this position. The top of the head is also the most stable location to mount a GoPro.
Moreover, you can also mount your camera under your chin using a full-face helmet. This position gets similar footage as when you mount your camera to your chest. The only difference is that you can turn your head left and right to shoot side views. (source)
Mounting your GoPro on top of your helmet will give you excellent shots. But that will only happen if you have mastered using this position to shoot videos. That said, here are four tips for mounting a GoPro on a helmet.
You can get a more secure grip on your helmet if you use a mount with a rounded base. The mount’s curve ensures that its entire surface area is sticking to the base of your helmet. This way, your GoPro will remain safe even when you take on bumpy trails.
Mounting your camera on a helmet with a visor is not ideal. You might instinctively raise your visor, forgetting that you have your GoPro mounted on top of your head. Such can lead to damage to your GoPro.
Mounting your GoPro directly below your chin will add more weight down your face. As a result, it may drag your head down, which can be uncomfortable. It may even ruin the quality of the video you are taking.
For this reason, it is ideal to mount your camera on the side of your full-face helmet.
Your GoPro’s position at the top of your head means that it has nothing to support its back part. So, the camera may shift due to the gushing wind. To prevent this dilemma, ensure that the bolts are installed tightly.
Warning: Be Careful it’s easy to catch stuff on a helmet-mounted GoPro. With your GoPro on your helmet, it can smack branches and get tangled in vines and leaves.
Installing your GoPro on top of your helmet is entirely safe, especially now that mounts have waterproof, strong adhesives. As long as your camera is not positioned too close to your face, you will not have problems mounting your GoPro on a helmet.
Additionally, your helmet will protect you from your camera and its accessories in case you crash. (source)
I like using the Sametop Helmet Adhesive Sticky Mounts Flat Curved 3M Mount whenever I mount my GoPro on top of my helmet. This product is a curved mount, which gives excellent adhesion to my helmet. It also comes with three flat mounts that come in handy whenever I mount my GoPro on my full-face helmet.
DIY MTB Tip: I’ve had the best luck with GoPro Brand accessories. Here’s a link to a COMPLETE selection on Amazon – GoPro Accessories
While the original GoPro mounts are better than this one, reviews say that these mounts work excellently in holding cameras securely. The price is also half of the original GoPro mount’s price, so you can get a good product without having to pay for much.
Moreover, the mount’s 3M adhesive holds firmly and is waterproof. So, your camera will not come off even when it hangs up on branches or when the rain suddenly falls. (source)
Installing your GoPro to your handlebar gives you the view in front of the bike. Unlike mounting a camera on the chest, your arms and the handlebar will not show on the footage, so viewers will only see the trail in front of you. This position is perfect if you want to know how you perform on the trail, as it gives you a clear view of the entire path you rode on.
A handlebar is a good place for a GoPro as it does not add weight to your body. This way, you can ride comfortably while focusing on the trail.
Positioning your camera on the handlebar is ideal for taking selfie shots. It lets you capture creative videos to add to your front-facing images.
Additionally, your GoPro on your handlebar allows you to see how close other MTBs get to you. This way, you can see the license plates of the vehicles ahead of you, which you can potentially use for legal purposes.
From my experience, the handlebar is the most convenient and accessible place of installation. I can easily reach my GoPro whenever I need to operate it without stopping pedaling. (source)
The seat post is the most uncommon area for mounting a GoPro. But what makes it a good position is that it lets you take footage of your friends riding behind you. Such makes a perfect shot if you want to show your group’s adventure when climbing steep trails.
Even better, mounting your camera on the seat post is excellent for descents. It gives a perspective of how you actually went downhill. Additionally, this position shows how steep the trail you came from is. (source)
GoPros can take wide-angle shots. You can show what exactly you are doing along with where you are. So, make sure to remember these tips from the GoPro action camera’s manufacturer when aiming your camera:
- “When your GoPro is capturing from your POV, like when it’s mounted to a helmet, be sure to aim the lens about 6-7 feet in front of you. This will make the video feel like it’s from your eyes without parts of your body getting in the way.” (source)
- Tilt the camera downwards when recording selfie videos. While it may seem strange, this angle will ensure that your GoPro captures both you and the scene in front of you.
- Play with the angles to find the best camera position. (source)
Getting B-roll footage may seem impossible if you do not have a mount to hold your GoPro while mountain biking. But the thing is that B-roll shots are essential for giving your viewers a context of what your video is trying to convey. Such footage also builds the visual tension of your videos.
But you can still capture your adventure even without the necessary mounts by using a tripod.
- Setup the tripod on the angle you want your video to have.
- Install your GoPro on the tripod, ensuring that the bolts are tight.
- Press record and go cycling until you have enough footage length.
- Check your shot and repeat the process if necessary. (source)
From my experience in taking B-roll footage using a tripod, the JOBY GorillaPod Action Tripod worked best to meet my needs. This flexible tripod holds my GoPro securely, so I don’t have to worry about it falling. It is also lightweight, so I don’t have any problems carrying it during my rides.
This tripod can tilt up to 90 degrees and pan 360 degrees, allowing you to find the best angle for your B-roll footage. It even comes with two easy-to-release clip mounts to support any action camera. (source)
Shooting great shots is easy if you know how to capture the right images. That said, here are five tips for making a better mountain biking video.
- Add movement to your shots – this tip lets you highlight the movement of your subject.
- Shoot from a low perspective – lets you capture the entirety of the scene while highlighting your subject’s speed.
- Try changing your perspective – changing your perspective lets you get creative shots.
- Keep your shots steady – helps you get stable and controlled clips.
- Include details – details can make your video look professionally made. (source)
Mountain biking is an adventure worth capturing. For this reason, it is essential to have your GoPro mounted in the best positions. The proper positioning will allow you to take good footage that you can use when making a mountain biking video.
But to get good shots, not only will you need a great position, but you will also need a high-quality mount. This way, you can ensure that your GoPro will not make unnecessary movements when shooting the trail or the scenes around you.
Looking for More Mountain Biking Video Tips
- Looking for the right GoPro for biking? Read what I found out in GoPro for Mountain Biking
- Okay, you’ve got an action camera, now what settings? Read -> GoPro Settings for Mountain Biking
- Sometimes getting a video from a higher view point captures the moment best. In those cases a helmet mount works great. Read all about the helmet options in this article -> Bike Helmets with GoPro Mounts
- Want to try videoing in the dark? You need a light compatible with a GoPro mounts. Here’s the answer -> Bike Light with GoPro Mount (Night Ride and Video)
- Okay, action cameras can be expensive. I reviewed what I think are the Best Budget Action Cameras for MTBing
- Wondering about the options for mounting a GoPro? I’ve got all the options (including DIY) in this article -> Places to Mount a GoPro on a Bike
- Read about the “Must Have” GoPro accessories -> Essential GoPro Accessories for Mountain Biking
- Carucci, GoPro Cameras For Dummies. USA: John Wiley & Sons, 2017. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=bLbPDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA49&dq=where+to+mount+my+gopro+when+mountain+biking&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjfgYHynZv2AhWyGaYKHdtGA48Q6AF6BAgHEAI#v=onepage&q=where%20to%20mount%20my%20gopro%20when%20mountain%20biking&f=false.
- Jason R. Rich, My GoPro HERO5 Camera. Que Publishing, 2017. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=rrfLDgAAQBAJ&pg=PT128&dq=How+to+Adjust+a+GoPro+Chest+Mount&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj27MSWnpv2AhWB4GEKHW6kCAkQ6AF6BAgJEAI#v=onepage&q=How%20to%20Adjust%20a%20GoPro%20Chest%20Mount&f=false.
- Using a GoPro chest mount, any tips? Singletrack World. https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/using-a-gopro-chest-mount-any-tips/.
- Amazon Basics Adjustable Chest Mount Harness for GoPro Camera. Amazon. Accessed February 25, 2022. https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Chest-Mount-Harness-cameras/dp/B01D3I8A7A/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=X13YYND4CH25&keywords=chest+mount+for+gopro&qid=1643935607&s=electronics&sprefix=chest+mount+for+gopro%2Celectronics%2C71&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyRFpZTVFEODIzSDRRJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwOTA4MTA4M0MzNlI1N05LNFhETCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwODg2MTkyMkY0N01YNFlMMk4xTCZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=.
- Jordan Hetrick, GoPro HERO 5 BLACK: How To Use The GoPro Hero 5 Black. Kaisanti Press, 2016. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=wm1iDgAAQBAJ&pg=PT108&dq=Is+it+Safe+to+Mount+a+GoPro+on+a+Helmet?&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi2renZnpv2AhUEIIgKHeOvCLMQ6AF6BAgEEAI#v=onepage&q=Is%20it%20Safe%20to%20Mount%20a%20GoPro%20on%20a%20Helmet%3F&f=false.
- Sametop Helmet Adhesive Sticky Mounts Flat Curved 3M Mount Compatible with GoPro Hero 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, Session, 3+, 3, 2, 1, Hero (2018), Fusion Max Cameras. Amazon. Accessed February 25, 2022. https://www.amazon.com/Sametop-Adhesive-Compatible-Session-Cameras/dp/B0126KX9UY/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2FKSW9CAAO8DX&keywords=helmet+mount+for+GoPro&qid=1643935325&s=electronics&sprefix=helmet+mount+for+gopro%2Celectronics%2C78&sr=1-3.
- Your Point of View (POV), GoPro Starter Tips To Take You From Zero To Hero (blog). August 2, 2016. https://gopro.com/en/us/news/gopro-starter-tips-to-take-you-from-zero-to-hero.
- Your Own Adventure, “How To Film Mountain Biking With GoPro (Without Chest Mount).” Youtube video. 10:28. Posted by “Your Own Adventure.) July 23, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLvgyGrwQCA.
- JOBY GorillaPod Action Video Tripod (Black and Red). Amazon. Accessed February 26, 2022. https://www.amazon.com/JOBY-GorillaPod-Action-Video-Tripod/dp/B00GTZJA7Y/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2LTJQ5MOBYDJO&keywords=joby+gorillapod+for+gopro&qid=1643929480&sprefix=joby+gorillapod+for+gopro%2Caps%2C104&sr=8-2.
- Session Media, “5 Tips For Better Mountain Biking Videos!” Youtube video. 0:54. May 8, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMCwt03sh7Y.