If you examine the cyclists around you closely, you’ll see that many have jumped on the bandwagon and fixed a bike camera on their helmets or handlebars. They have done so for good reasons too, either to capture their escapades or simply record events to use as proof in case of a road accident.
After all, without concrete proof, investigations would come down to the word of one person against another. So, to avoid the entire “He said, she said” fiasco in the first place, it is a wise idea to mount a cycling camera for video evidence.
Now, since there’s a heavy demand for bike cameras, reputed manufacturers have started flooding the market with a wide array of cycling cameras. Navigating through the options and choosing one among the sea of bike cameras can be a daunting task.
Fortunately, I have you covered. I have done the homework and compiled a list on some of the best cycling cameras around. These shortlisted cameras are portable enough for your long journeys and sharp enough to capture even the faintest of smiles.
Without further ado, here are 6 of the best cycling cameras you can get your hands on!
- At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Cycling Cameras
- Top 6 Best Cycling Cameras 2020 – Our Reviews:
- What to Consider When Buying a Bike Camera?
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Cycling Cameras
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the cycling cameras that most people buy).
- AKASO V50 Camera Top Pick
- APEMAN A80 Camera Runner-up
- GoPro Hero-7 Camera Runner-up
Top 6 Best Cycling Cameras 2020 – Our Reviews:
1. AKASO V50 Camera
Planning to purchase a high-quality camera without running your pockets dry? Well, the AKASO V50 camera is a reliable option for the budget-conscious.
Boasting a 20 MP camera capable of recording at 4K resolution with a 30-fps image, the AKASO V50 will make an excellent companion on the roads.
An attractive feature that the camera has includes a highly-responsive touch screen interface that enables you to customize settings and preview the videos and pictures. The AKASO V50 also largely benefits from its improved EIS feature that allows you to capture a steady shot or video while on a bumpy trail.
Like all the best action cameras on the market, the AKASO V50 also has an inbuilt WiFi connection. This feature allows you to share your adventures on your social media platforms with minimum fuss.
What more could you ask for from a budget camera?
- Has one of the best battery life
- The viewing angle can be adjusted
- Water-resistant to around 30 meters
- You may have trouble while updating its firmware
- The video quality is not up to the mark in low-light
2. APEMAN A80 Camera
If you prefer cycling light, the APEMAN A80 camera will suit you just fine. This camera features dual 1050-mAh batteries, enabling you to shoot 1.5 hours of footage completely uninterrupted.
What really surprises me about the APEMAN A80 is its outstanding ability to produce smooth content. Despite being priced on the lower end of the scale, this camera doesn´t compromise on its quality as its 20 MP camera records at 4K resolution with a 24-fps image.
You can also carry your APEMAN A80 camera along with you on a rainy day as it features a waterproof case capable of withstanding water pressure up to 40 meters! Also, since this camera has a dash-cam mode, you can even install it in your car.
Considering all its features, the APEMAN A80 offers the best value for your money.
- Phenomenal image stabilization
- Has a WiFi feature and an HDMI output
- Comes equipped with a water-resistant case
- Noteworthy zooming features
- No GPS
- Low audio quality lets you down
3. GoPro Hero-7 Camera
It would be an injustice to talk about action cameras and not feature a GoPro product. Although GoPro Hero 8 is out already, I’m sticking with GoPro Hero 7 here as I don’t think the upgrade is worth it.
Hero 8 has similar specs to Hero 7, with marginally better audio and image stabilization. However, it is bulkier and doesn’t use filters, and is thus not worth the extra dollars.
The GoPro Hero 7 camera has all you need, really. It is waterproof down to 33 feet, is GPS enabled, has WiFI and Bluetooth features, and is capable of shooting quality 4K videos at 60-fps.
The super slow-motion feature is also worth praising as it can record full HD 1080p at 240-fps. When you purchase this product, you are also provided with an accessories kit filled with an extra battery and micro-SDHC 32-GB U3 memory card.
Who doesn’t like freebies, right?
- Can capture high-quality pictures even on burst mode
- Portrait and landscape modes available
- Outstanding image stabilization feature
- WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS enabled
- You could encounter firmware problems
- Case is rather flimsy
4. Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
If money is not an issue and you don’t want to compromise on anything, get yourself the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30.
This camera can be controlled entirely with your voice. Additionally, it also has inbuilt GPS and external sensors capable of gathering performance data such as heart rate, elevation, G-force, and speed.
Boasting a 1.75-inch highly-sensitive touch screen interface, you can scroll through your images and videos on the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 as you’d do on your smartphone. The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 also allows you to capture footage underwater at Ultra HD 4K at 30-fps, owing to its exemplary waterproof casing.
Best believe, this bad boy is an excellent choice for adrenaline junkies as its 3-axis image stabilization ensures that the video output is always smooth.
Several accessories such as a micro-SDHC 32-GB U3 memory card, floating handle, anti-fog kit, and chest harness come along with the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 package.
- Hands-free navigation
- Inbuilt GPS
- 3-axis image stabilization ensures smooth video output
- Comes with a variety of accessories and mounting options
- Editing software needs some work
- Battery life is not up to par
- Heavy on your wallet
5. DJI Osmo-Action Camera
DJI has a glowing reputation largely because of its production of premium commercial drones.
How does it fare in the action camera department? Well, pretty damn good!
Its DJI Osmo-Action camera gives all the major brands a run for their money. Featuring not one but two LCD displays, the DJI Osmo-Action Camera holds the distinct honor of being the only action camera with a selfie display!
Like all high-quality action cameras, the DJI Osmo-Action Camera also has terrific electronic image stabilization. Plus, with specs capable of recording shake-free 4K videos at 60-fps, ensuring your footage always captures the intensity and essence of the moment, the DJI Osmo-Action Camera is truly worth the investment.
Lest I forget, this camera also boasts the super slow motion feature you can find on GoPro Hero 7.
- Unique selfie-display
- Fantastic audio, video, and image quality
- Has the ability to mount filters
- Best for newbies
- Poor battery life lets it down
- Not GPS enabled
- Doesn’t have a live-streaming feature
6. MADV Xiaomi camera
No matter how rigorously you search, you won’t find a 360-degree camera as wonderful as the MADV Xiaomi camera.
Boosted with the tech of 6-axis electronic image stabilization, you can rest assured that the MADV will capture fast-moving events with smooth accuracy. If you are looking for cinematic shots, you can count on the MADV Xiaomi as its 24 MP camera is capable of recording footage at 5K resolution!
More often than not, we are let down by the poor battery life of cycling cameras.
Thankfully, the MADV Xiaomi doesn’t disappoint us with its 1600 mAh battery. With a full charge, you can expect to capture around 1.5 hours of HD videos.
Moreover, since MADV Xiaomi has WiFi settings, you can even operate the camera from your phone.
Lastly, this 360-degree camera allows you to capture everything around you, literally!
- Has one of the best EIS systems around
- Laudable audio, video, and image quality
- Gives you the chance to share your pictures and videos directly to your social media handles
- Offers the best value for money
- Heavy WiFi usage drains battery life quickly
- Not water-resistant enough for heavy rainfall
What to Consider When Buying a Bike Camera?
If you’re still confused with your options, allow me to shed light on some critical factors you should consider before purchasing a bike camera. As you go through these factors, you’ll be able to identify the features you would want your cycling camera to possess.
Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. If you are willing to shell out big bucks, you will get a bike camera with unmatched video quality.
For those planning to watch their footage on a 4K monitor, you can splurge on a bike camera that captures videos at 4K resolution. However, if you intend to view your footage on your smartphone or your laptop, a bike camera with 1080p will suffice.
When determining the frames per second, don’t go for anything less than 30 fps. Also, check to see if the camera has special features such as time-lapse and slow-motion.
Electronic Image Stabilization
When purchasing a cycling camera, look for the electronic image stabilization feature. This feature enables the camera to capture fast-moving objects or events smoothly.
With this feature, you won’t have to worry about shaky video content. Even when you ride through rough terrain, you can expect smooth video footage.
F.O.V. (Field Of View)
For a cycling camera to be worth the purchase, it must have a FOV of 120 degrees at minimum. A camera with a FOV of 120 degrees will capture everything 60 degrees around the lens.
The higher the FOV, the more the bike camera captures.
If there’s one thing that is lagging behind in this digital age, it is battery life. Compared to other advancements made in the technological field, our batteries simply haven’t made the jump to greater heights.
With cycling cameras, the best you can expect is around 2 hours of footage capture. The trick is to consider a bike camera compatible with user-replaceable batteries.
Connectivity features such as Bluetooth, WiFi, and ANT+ simply make our lives easier. Having your camera supported by these features will help you with your cycling sessions tremendously.
With these features, you’ll be able to share your images and videos on your social handles, and live-stream your adventures on the fly. Some bike cameras even come equipped with sensors capable of gathering performance data such as heart rate, elevation, G-force, and speed.
There are two primary ways you can secure a cycling camera. You can either mount it on your helmet or your handlebar.
A handlebar mount will offer a stationary experience. Plus, you’d have to shift the handlebar to a specific direction in order to capture a shot that is out of the frame.
Meanwhile, a helmet mount will give the viewers a more immersive experience. However, keep in mind that heavier, larger, better bike cameras will not adjust well to a helmet.
It is also best for you to check the storage capabilities of a cycling camera.
While some work with micro SD cards with large storage space, others only operate with limited sizes. Some may also only be compatible with a select brand of memory cards, while others are more flexible.
The general rule of thumb implies that your bike camera must, at the minimum, be compatible with 128 GB micro SD cards.
Selecting the winner among the options available here is equivalent to choosing your favorite parent. It is really tough as all of the bike cameras have their very own special features that help them stand out.
Ultimately, what you end up with will eventually depend on your budget and intended use.
If you’re working with a tight budget, the AKASO V50 is the best option for you. Those willing to spare no expense in acquiring the best cycling camera can purchase the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30.
However, if you want to capture everything around you on your journey, consider the 360-degree cycling camera, MADV Xiaomi.