FAQs - DIY and Third Party Mounts

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FAQs - DIY and Third Party Mounts

Postby GraemeL » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:55 pm

Mounting FAQ’s - DIY and Third Party Mounts


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Related information about cameras and mounts, can be found here:


>>>Camera Listings<<<

>>>Camera FAQ's Here<<<

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Part One

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Mounting FAQ’s


1) Q: Is there a preferred place to mount a camera on the rear of a bike?

A: It’s just a matter of finding the right place, so it is not obstructed by a bag or light etc. You also need to have the camera mounted so your leg doesn’t knock it while pedalling. I find its better to mount it down low on the rear seat stay. I feel this gives a better view of number plates. You would need to have the camera in a case though, just in case any debris or water is thrown up by the wheel.

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2) Q: I have a GoPro and used one of the stick on mounts. I put it in the wrong place though and want to remove it. Is there an easy way to get them off?

A: Yep, been there, done that. When they stick, they are stuck. Use a blow dryer on hot and medium flow. Warm it up for approx 3 or 4 minutes, then pull on one side...slowly. Once it starts to pull away use the blow dryer for approx another 30 seconds. Then pull and repeat until it comes off. If the sticky 3M stays on just pull it very slowly off. Then by touching it as little as possible put it back on the mount. Now you can remount it and it will be just as strong. As an added security I always use a lanyard.

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3) Q: I notice with my video footage, things tend to look to further away than they actually are?
A: Calibration will depend on a lot of things. Something you would have to take into consideration are, the height of the bike, width of the bike, size of camera, where the camera is positioned on the bike, resolution of recording and lens angle etc.
The simplest thing I have found is to mount the camera so that part of the front or rear wheel is in the footage, this will give a better indication of how far away a car is.

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Calibration
Credit: Marto
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Forum member Marto has done a very good calibration, you may be able to use this information to come up with your own calibration four your particular bike and camera.

Calibration of video cameras on bicycles for car passing distance

It is hard to know or even guess how close a car passes a bike, even with a camera recording the incident. It has been stated in this forum that calibration of bike videos is needed to be more certain how close a car passed. I couldn't find any calibration description, so I made one up.

I recorded with a handlebar mounted video camera whilst passing a stationary car at marked distances. These distances were: 0.25m, 0.4m, 0.5m, 1m, 1.5m and 2m. These were marked out with sticky notes (photo below shows markings for 0.5m, 1m, 1.5m, and 2m).

Image


I did all this on a street looping through a property development at early stages. The camera was an Otek 126, mounted on the handlebars 6cm right of the midpoint of the handlebars, 89cm from the ground. The videos were not cropped or zoomed, but they were resized.

I took snapshots from the videos at the point where the rear wheel of the car is lined up with the right hand edge of the video frame. A few features may be used as a measure of distance to the car. These ones immediately apparent are: where the bottom right corner of the video frame passes on the car (i.e. wheel arch height/half way up the car wheel); and the proportion of the right hand edge of the video frame is filled up with the car. The most consistent dimension among cars is the wheel+tyre size. Most car wheels are 15-16 inches with 60 aspect ratio tyres. The car in these pictures has 16 inch wheels, and 55 aspect ratio tyres (lucky me!). The wheel+tyre height is 62cm, and the wheel arch is 68cm at its highest point.

To compare with calibrated images, the video camera has to be in the same position and angle as it was when making the calibrated images, and the resulting video shouldn't be cropped in any way.

My hope is that cyclist may use these photos (where appropriate), or make up a set for their own camera or other vehicles (ie: Commodores, utes, or trucks). Then in our day in court, or in a police report, we can make a good estimate of passing distance based on a calibration of the video system. This gives more credibility (I hope).

I want to put videos up of each calibration distance (running forwards and reverse), but I need to learn to remove (ie blur) the number plate of the vehicle used...

You can see in the following snapshots where the bottom right corner of the video passes on the car.

25cm pass (handlebars touched mirror (very slowly!)

Image

40cm pass:

Image

50cm pass

Image

1 metre pass

Image

1.5 metre pass

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2 metre pass

Image

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4) Q: I have tightened my mount as much as I can, but the footage still seems shaky, like the mount is loose.

A: Make sure you only use a THIN piece of rubber, between the bike and the mount. If it is too thick it tends to allow the mount to move or flex. You could always use some electrical tape to protect the paint and small strips of rubber from an old tube to help with grip/dampening. Also check the connection between the camera and mount. If you are using normal Velcro, try using some 3M Dual Lock instead.

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5) Q: Does it matter if the mount sticks out a bit?

A: if you are using something like a Ram Mount, it should be fine. If you are not, then you need to keep the mount short, having any type of long arm etc on the mount will introduce vibrations because it will flex too much. Another thing to keep in mind is the position of the mount. If it sticks out and is too close to your leg, you will knock the camera when pedalling.

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6) Q: I have a Carradice bag on my bike, so I can't mount it to the seat post.

A: You could always use a Ram Mount, these things are really sturdy even when they are completely straight. You could attach it to the V section near the seat post at top of the rear seat stays. This will allow the camera to go under the bag. It will also be tucked in quite nicely, so you wouldn’t be knocking it when pedalling.

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7) Q: Is there anything other than rubber I can use to protect the paint when mounting the camera?

A: You could use some electrical tape or insulation tape instead of rubber. This will protect the paint work on your bike.

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8) Q: I have GoPro mounts and I find the little dome nuts keep falling out and I am worried I will lose them.

A: Put a small dab of super glue on one edge of the nut or hole, and pop it back in, let it set, it will hold the nut firmly but will still allow you to take it out if needed. I also do the same for the bolts, take the bolt out of its plastic casing, then apply a dab on the head of the bolt, put the bolt back in and let it set.

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9) Q: I have a rack on my bike, is it ok to mount the camera to that?

A: If the rack is one that is fixed properly to the bike then it should be fine. If you have one that attaches to the seatpost, then I wouldn’t recommend it, because it will probable flex too much.

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10) Q: I have a Jumbo 808, what mounts are there for it.?

A: There are a few DIY mounts for the Jumbo and also the MD80 in the DIY and Third Party Mounts section. I suggest you have a look there for ideas.

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11) Q: If I have the camera mounted low down on the rear, won’t it get caught on things.

A: No it will be fine. I have mine down low and haven’t caught it on anything as yet. It also needs to be a short type of mount and not something that sticks out on an arm.

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12) Q: Which is best, helmet mount, bar mount or rear mount?

A: It depends. I find that having the camera mounted on the helmet allows me to record where I am looking. But I find that the footage is too jerky because of all the sudden head movements.
Having it mounted to the helmet may have its advantages. Things like capturing your head checks, hand signals and possibly braking. It can be a little harder to line the camera up properly if you don't have a preview screen or are using a camera with a narrow field of view. Especially if you ride a road bike and move into the drops, you might find you are only recording the road directly in front of the wheel.
As for bars or rear, both are good options. Before I had two cameras, I mainly used it on the rear, because I figured I could see what was ahead of me, but didn't always know what was going on behind me and in the event of an accident it may at least be caught on camera.

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13) Q: I have a cheap camera that has no case, I want to try and weather proof it. Is there anything I can do?

A: There is a DIY and third Party Mount section. I suggest you have a look at that for ideas.

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14) Q: The Velcro I am using on my mount does not stick very well and the camera still seems to be a bit wobbly.

A: Use 3M Dual Lock. It is far superior to normal Velcro. It will hold the camera really securely and there is no movement. It does not fray like other Velcro does after you have been using it for awhile. When you snap the two together, it holds extremely well with no movement.

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15)Q: I bought one of those external battery packs to use with my camera. How do you mount it?

A: Take a look in the DIY and third Party Mount section for some ideas.

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16) Q: I have a GoPro and can’t see anywhere to attach a lanyard to the case.

A: The GoPro comes with two back doors, one is water proof and the other has small section cut out of it. if you want to try and capture audio, use the one with the sections cut out. BUT remember to change the doors is you intend using the camera where it might get wet.
The back door can be a pain to try and figure out, it does come off quite easily, but it can be tricky the first time.
• This shows the locking lugs that are on the main case, this is where the back door bar snaps into. To remove the back door, hold the main body so the lens of the case is facing down open the door so it is straight up and down, gently apply pressure pulling away from the main body and it will pop off.

Image

• Attach your lanyard to the metal bar on the back door, make sure you centre it and keep it away from the lugs on the main body. Put the back door on the same way you took it off.

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• This is what it should look like once you have it back together.

Image

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17) Q: Do I have to mount the camera facing the right way up?

A: Well most people seem to think it needs to be the right way up. But if you can’t get the camera into a decent position, you can have it on its side or upside down. Some cameras will have a setting that will allow you to have the camera on its side or upside down. If it doesn’t, then you just need to rotate it inside your editing program.

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18) Q: I have a GoPro and can’t seem to get rid of that rattling sound.

A: That rattling can be caused by different things. It maybe the camera is moving slightly inside the case, it maybe the quick release mounts or the little screws on some of the quick release mounts might be loose.
To stop the rattle when using the Chest Mount, start by making sure the screws are tight, slide the bracket off the chest mount and tighten the screws.

Image

• The buckle on the chest plate rubs against the plate and this can cause it make a little bit of noise. Adding some padding will stop this, make sure you add the padding under the buckle and also along the outer edge.

Image
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• You should also have a Quick-Release/Vibration Plug. Use this on all of your quick release mounts. It stops the two parts rattling against each other.

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• Slide the ring over the thumb bolt.

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• It should look like this when it's installed correctly.

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• If you are still having problems with rattling noise buy some of those really small stick on Silicone or Felt pads. I have used two Silicone pads and one Felt pad to make sure there is no camera movement inside the case.

Image

• The pads are available from Bunnings for a few bucks

Image


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19) Q: I notice there is a lot of road/bike noise in my footage. It seems to be coming through the mount even though I have used some rubber to try and dampen it?

A: Make sure the camera or case is not touching any other part of the bike except the mount. It depends a lot on the microphone used in the camera and It will also depend if it’s in a case or not. If it’s in a case, check how the camera sits inside it, if there is any movement, you could try using those really small stick on felt or silicone bumps, they are used to stop things scratching furniture etc. Place enough inside the case so the camera is sitting firmly and without any movement.
You could also try the DIY wooden mount, in the DIY and Third Party mounts section. I have found this to work pretty well. It seems to dampen most of the noise.

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20) Q: I know there are lanyards for cameras, but I find these are too thick or too long and besides they just look awful. Are there any other ideas for a short lanyard?

A: Just use some fishing line, if you only have some that is thin, you just have to cut 3 lengths and plat them together, or use some thicker line. This way you can have whatever length you want and it doesn’t stand out like a normal lanyard does.

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21) Q: I have a GoPro and I am worried I’m going to break the case clip one day, because it’s hard to get it closed.

A: You just have to hold the camera with both hands and squeeze the case and the back of the clip with your fingers and palm. You will find the clip will close without touching it. After you have done it a few times it becomes habit.

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Part Two

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DIY Mounts and Third Party Mounts


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The following is a collection of various DIY mounts that I have made or come across on the internet and also from other forum members who have contributed.
Mounts are a crucial part of the system, because they can introduce vibrations that can ruin a video.
Cheaper cameras tend to have cheaper mounts. These are usually just cheap plastic things that can flex. They may not allow the camera to be secured tight enough or may break after some use.
You may find one of these mounts suites your needs. Or you may be able to modify them to suite. Either way it will give you some ideas to come up with the right mount.

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Generic Tripod Mount

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Mount 1
Tripod Mount
Credit: Graeme
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This mount can be used with any camera that has a tripod mount. I have this mounted to the MTB, but it is just as good on a road bike.
It consists of 1 x Small flat L shaped bracket, 1 x Small Ballhead, 1x Small hose clamp, a thin strip of rubber to go under the hose clamp and a nut and bolt to fit a tripod thread.

Image

Here is some footage showing the DYI mount and also the Ram Mount.




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MD80 Mounts

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Mount 1
MD80 Rear Mount
Credit: Graeme
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While the MD80 comes with a few different mounts, they are not that flash, they are just cheap plastic, and they will more than likely break after some time.
This mount is designed to attach to the Rear Seat Stay. I have taken a couple of those mounts and converted them to make one, so it can be used on an old light mount.

You will need the following: 2 small nuts & bolts, an old light mount that is designed to fit a rear seat stay and the MD80 bracket with the clip attached, also the magnetic plate that has a stand plate attached via a plastic ball joint as well as a small piece of rubber to use inside the light mount.

First you need to cut the plate off the magnetic stand base, be sure it is flush on the ball joint side. This will be used to slide into the light bracket. This will only fit one way, so you have to connect the bracket to the side the ball joint was on. Next remove the clip from the bracket this will be used to hold the camera onto the mount.
Line up the bracket on the piece you just cut off the magnetic plate and drill two small holes.

Attach the bracket using two very small bolts with nuts, the bolts have to have a flat head or the camera won't fit into the bracket.
They also cannot protrude past that indent or it won't slide onto the light mount, I just cut them off flush. I didn't line up the holes properly when I drilled them so it is a bit lop sided. Put the rubber strip inside the light mount to protect the paint

Here are the parts I used and a shot of the camera mounted to the bike.

Image

Here is a video of it mounted on the bike, the clunking you hear in the video is the wife trying to find the right gear. But it's quite stable and you can read plates if they are close enough.



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Jumbo 808 and 808 #11 Keychain Camera

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Mount 1
Weather Resistant Case for Jumbo and External Battery
Credit: Graeme
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This can be used with the External Battery pack and the Jumbo 808 Camera.

To mount this on a bike, you will need a bracket that has a 3m Dual Lock Velcro base. Use some 3M Dual Lock and attach some to the underside of the case. The Dual Lock will hold it really firm without any movement, unlike other types of Velcro.
The battery and camera do not move once the lid it put on properly. You may also need to put some small holes in the bottom of the case, to allow heat to escape and stop the lens fogging up.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ySavCPyAVQ&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

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Mount 2
Weather Resistant Case
Credit: Graeme
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This one is made from a large size TicTac box. It is slightly wider than the Jumbo but it works perfectly. If you have 3M Dual Lock already one the camera base, it should not need any packing. If not then you will need to add some small strips of old foam to keep the camera steady inside the case.

The hole for the lens could have been done a little better, but I was going to glue some Perspex over it anyway. When you look at the TicTac box, you will notice it has a raised circle on the inside at the lens end. This stops the camera from sitting nice and tight against the end and the lens didn't line up with the centre of the circle, so I just cut the whole thing out.

With the Perspex glued over the lens hole and the lid on, this should enough to make it weather resistant. You could also use something like a Microscope Slide, instead of Perspex. I doubt any water will enter the case. You may also need to put some small holes in the bottom of the case, to allow heat to escape and to help prevent the lens fogging up.
If you want to add a lanyard and still want it water tight, then you could drill a hole in the lid, run a lanyard through the hole and seal it using silicone, that way you are able to attach it to the bike, just in case.

It fits nicely onto the wooden bar mount I made for it (info further down).
Here is a video showing the parts needed and how it is made. I also included some footage showing the difference with the Perspex on and off the case. I was worried that the Perspex would distort the image or introduce sun flare, but it works perfectly.
I have also closed the case completely as it would be when riding. I wanted to see how the audio was when it was sealed. It works very well. The camera can be operated properly while it is inside the case, so there is no need to take it out to turn it on or off.

Footage:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwNCMGe014w&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

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Mount 3
Weather Resistant Case
Credit: Graeme
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This one is an Eclipse Mint Tin. I did this fairly quickly, but if you wanted to take some time and put more thought into it you will more than likely come up with something better.
The metal is very thin and it doesn't take much to bend it. It is possible to use the shutter button while the camera is inside the tin, so you don't have to take it out to switch it into standby mode.

The camera won't fit straight into the tin, it has a small lip at the front, you have to flatten this lip and splay the opening a little bit. The camera sits loose once inside the tin, so I used some old tube, two pieces cut to length and glued together is just enough to stop the camera from rattling around inside.

The tricky part was drilling the hole in the correct position. The lens hole is open to the rain, but you could always use a Microscope Slide or Perspex and glue that over the hole. You may also need to put some small holes in the bottom of the case, to allow heat to escape and stop the lens fogging up.

Just a word of warning , be careful when removing the camera from the tin. If it's a tight fit on the sides, the memory card may eject from the camera and trust me, it flies out a long way and would be hard to find it you weren't paying attention.

Here is a video, with the instructions and also includes the tin mounted on the bike footage of it being used.

Footage:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5JIQgGiqOQ&feature=player_embedded#![/youtube]

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Mount 4
Weather Resistant Case for Jumbo and External Battery
Credit: Graeme
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Here is yet another weather resistant case for the jumbo, but this time it’s for the external battery as well. It is designed to sit on a mount via either Velcro or 3M Dual Lock.
It is two large TicTac containers. You may also need to put some small holes in the bottom of the case, to allow heat to escape and help prevent the lens fogging up.

Here is an animation showing how it’s done.

Image

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Mount 5
808 #11 Keychain Camera
Credit: Fingy
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This is my current setup, I removed an unused light from its handlebar mount and some double sided tape to hold it all together. I also used some insulation tape for good measure. The LEDs are quite bright too, for a battery it makes a pretty good headlight.

Image
Image
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Image
Image

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Mount 6
Wooden Bar Mount
Credit: Graeme
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I decided to see how a wooden mount would hold up. It is made for the handle bars. I also wanted to see if it would help reduce the bike noise that a lot of mounts seem to introduce. It works really well, so much so that I made some more for the other bikes.

Footage:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMN6pCNVve8&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

And more footage here, showing how it handles rough surfaces



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Mount 7
Rear Seat Stay Mount
Credit: Graeme
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1 x Rear light bracket
1 x Flat piece of plastic (I used the base of the magnetic stand from the MD80) or an old light mount to use as a base to fit snugly into the light bracket
1 x Small piece of thin rigid flat metal, cut to fit the plastic base above, this is used to lay the camera on.
2 x Tiny bolts and nuts to hold the metal and plastic base together. You could glue them if needed
1 x Small piece of Velcro, stick one side to the metal base and the other to the underside and to the rear of the camera
1 x Small Velcro strap, the ones that have a small buckle and attaches to itself
1x small piece of ribbon or fishing line as a lanyard.
Once you have everything done, attach the camera to the Velcro on the plate making sure it is firmly in place. Then wrap the strap around the camera and bracket base, so it's nice and tight. Don't forget to tie the lanyard to the bike.
UPDATE: if you use 3M Dual Lock you won’t need the Velcro strap.

Parts Used

Image

This is what it looks like attached to the bike

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And here is the footage of it being used on the bike.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w66uL18QzE&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

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Mount 8
Quick Release Mount
Credit: Graeme
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This mount was designed for those that don’t have room on the handlebars or don’t like having the camera mounted on the handlebars.
This mount attaches to the quick release, either the front or rear. Having the mount on the quick release means the camera is down low, it is in a prime position to capture plates as well as having part of the front or rear wheels in the footage. It also has the advantage of being a little more discrete and the camera can be easily removed or attached to the bike.

This can also be used for any camera that has a tripod mount, just leave off the wood and place a standard ¼ inch bolt into the L bracket. I used it to mount my GoPro and it works like a charm. You may want to brace the L bracket to give it a little more stability.

Things you will need

1 x 50mm L Bracket, it comes with holes pre drilled, but you will need to drill it out a little larger so the quick release spring fits through.
1 x Piece of wood approx 40mm wide x 65mm long x 15mm thick
2 x Small pieces of thin rubber
2 x Small screws
1 x Small piece of Dual Lock Velcro
Some black paint and some glue

1. Start by bending the L bracket slightly, this will allow it to clear the bottom of the fork properly.
2. Paint the wood black and glue the rubber to the L bracket, but leave enough room for the quick release.
3. Attach the wood to the L bracket using the two small screws.
4. Stick the Dual Lock onto the wood.
5. Attach it to the quick release on either the front or rear wheel.

Heres how

Bend the L bracket.

Image
Image

Paint the wood black and glue the rubber to the L bracket.

Image

Attach the L bracket to the wood using the two screws.

Image

Stick the Dual Lock onto the wood.

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Now it’s time to attach it to the bike, this is what it looks like.

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Image

The rear has the GoPro attached using a standard 1/4 inch bolt instead of the wood.

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Video footage



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Third Party and Product Mounts

The following mounts are those that are available as an accessory through the camera manufacturer. Also third party mounts available from various retailers. The idea is to give you some information about the different mounts to help you decide what will work for you.


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Mount 1
MD80 Rear Mount
Credit: Nate
Available from: RigidMount http://www.rigidmount.com/
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RigidMount MD80 seat post mount
Image

Footage:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plB2GZv8ZyE&feature=player_embedded#![/youtube]


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Mount 2
Contour Strap Mount
Credit: DaveOZ
Available from: Contour http://contour.com/products/accessories
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Finally had a chance to give the Contour strap mount a run on the way home today. In short - it's brilliant, very light yet strong. It comes with two different length straps that allow you to attach it to any tube, although I think it would struggle with small diameter tubes like rear stays. The mount is very solid Contour have re-designed their rotating mount, it doesn't wobble now.

I tried the camera mounted on the down tube and quite happy with the results.

Image

Footage:

http://vimeo.com/30007777


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Mount 3
Ram Mount with Contour HD
Credit: Aushiker
Available from: Point of View Cameras http://pointofviewcameras.com/ram-mount ... t-kit.html
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This shows my Contour HD mounted on the rear using a Ram Mount. Because the RAM mount is a tripod mount system I have had to use my waterproof case, however you can buy an adaptor from Contour to adapt the camera mount to a tripod mount.
The Mount
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Side View
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Rear View
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Footage:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYfOUtAxIDY&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]


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Mount 4
Handlebar Mount
Credit: Aushiker
Available from: RigidMount http://www.rigidmount.com/
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Jumbo HD808 720 camera mounted to Nate's generic handlebar mount, the RigidMount Generic Handlebar Mount. I added the lanyard to the mount as I had one spare.
The camera is actually well mounted to the mount. I have had no issues with it bouncing off or anything like that. My riding with this bike, my commuter, is on roads and some rough path riding.

Image
Image
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Image
Image

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Mount 5
Torch Mount
Credit: Oxford
Available from: RigidMount http://www.rigidmount.com/
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I am using RigidMount Torch Mounts they are very simple to use. Everything I needed was included. I have only made one change, I had some knurled round nuts which I used so I can easily remove and replace the Cameras from the mounts. I also used one of my Basta stay mounts to mount a clamp on the Repco seat stays, much neater and cleaner.
The RigidMount clamps tuck the camera in and close, it is set back so it does not interfere with my legs. It looks very schmick and neat.
I was getting some twist on the seat stay and seat post mounted cameras, so made a rubber washer from a tube to reduce friction between the two pieces.

Front Bar mount.

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With Camera.

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Seatpost mounted.

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With Camera.

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Seatstay mounted using an old Basta Superflash leftover base mount.

Image

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Mount 6
Handlebar Mount
Credit: Graeme
Available from: RigidMount http://www.rigidmount.com/
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Well I have been testing one of Nate's camera mounts from and I have to say, they are GREAT!

I used my GoPro Camera with its tripod mount and the RigidMount is very easy to attach to your Handle Bars.
The wife and I went for a 45k ride today along a cycle paths, I wanted to ride on the paths because I find them a lot bumpier than the road and it is a good test for the camera mounts.
I have always wanted to have a camera facing forward and one facing the rear, but at the time I could not afford another camera.
So I attached the handlebar mount to the bottom of the drops. This way I could have the GoPro facing forward or if needed, I could quickly turn it to the rear.

This is what I mean...

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Footage:






If you have any information that would be helpful and would like it posted here, send me a PM with the details.

I hope you found the information provided here useful.

I would also like to thank those members that have contributed to this article.


Graeme
***Looking For Information About Bicycle Cameras ***

* Bicycle Camera FAQ's *** Mounting FAQ’s & DIY Mounts *
GraemeL
 
Posts: 1290
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:47 pm
Location: Perth

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