Alternatives to helmet cameras

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
David F
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Alternatives to helmet cameras

Postby David F » 12 Feb 2015, 7:23pm

After trying for a long time to avoid going down the camera route, an incident this week persuaded me to give it a go. I was passed far too closely by a car transporter on a road which was quiet, and wide enough for me to have been given ample room. I sent a very non-confrontational e-mail to the relevant company detailing what had happened, and asking for cycle awareness to be stressed in its driver training/refresher courses.Apart from an automatically generated acknowledgement, I have had nothing back. I might well have not had any more of a response if I'd been able to show the relevant camera footage, but it would have given my complaint a bit more substance.
My problem is that I don't wear a helmet and, for my own reasons, I don't wish to start wearing one. So, has anyone any recent experience with a camera attached to a hat or, admittedly less satisfactory, fixed on the handlebars? I'm not very clued-up about electronic gizmos, so any tips about makes, models and suppliers would be very welcome.

Thank you,

David F

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Re: Alternatives to helmet cameras

Postby Mattyfez » 12 Feb 2015, 7:31pm

The problem with cameras is that they bounce a lot, the benefit of a head mounted cam is that the entire body acts as a shock absorber so the will tend to get better images.

If you have a solid frame bike with a cam mounted to the frame you will get a lot of shake.

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Re: Alternatives to helmet cameras

Postby Vantage » 13 Feb 2015, 1:12am

Unless you are dead certain that you are going to be using a cam long term, it might be best to start off with something cheap.
I started off with one of these... ... action+cam
All the relevant mounts are supplied. Run time with an 8gig micro sd card is around 2.5 - 3 hours. The image quality whilst not up there with the likes of a Go-Pro and so on is perfectly adequate to capture any incidents and depending on the speed of the offending vehicle, able to capture its licence plate.
Vibration from most of these 'sport' cams is most certainly not an issue. Mountain bikers with the cams mounted directly to their bikes get perfectly good videos of their rides.
Personally, almost a year after I first started filming my rides, I got bored of having to switch the things on, recharging, downloading vid clips and eventually just took the cams off. Both front and rear now reside in the spares drawer. Glad I didn't waste £160 or whatever the best cams cost as it would have been money down the drain.

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Re: Alternatives to helmet cameras

Postby mjr » 13 Feb 2015, 10:40am

I use a cam similar to the one Vantage links (was £20ish from 7dayshop) on the handlebars. There's not much shake so I think it stabilises the image somehow. The sound isn't worth a damn any more, though: something rattles inside the casing. It records to micro SD card in a loop, deleting the oldest chunk when it needs the space.

Norfolk police have told me when I asked that they'd use footage for road rage but not for close overtakes. The main use for close overtakes is to shame commercial operators into reminding their drivers not to be roadhogs.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides
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Re: Alternatives to helmet cameras

Postby Cunobelin » 13 Feb 2015, 12:58pm

Never send the footage in at the first correspondence....

Usuallythe driver will deny the incident, make claims about your cycling standards and simply lie.

The Manager will then respond.

Sending the video at this point and asking why the manager has been misled is a sure-fire way of getting a result as the manager will be unhappy that the driver has made them look stupid!

I have had a couple of drivers sacked - not for the offence, but for the lies they told the manager

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Re: Alternatives to helmet cameras

Postby torquerulesok » 14 Feb 2015, 2:28pm

For such an incident a Fly6 rear-facing camera might be ideal. It mounts on the seatpost.

I picked up the old model recently on a close-out deal for £99 and am very happy with it.

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Re: Alternatives to helmet cameras

Postby Two_Trooper » 15 Feb 2015, 11:23am

torquerulesok wrote:For such an incident a Fly6 rear-facing camera might be ideal. It mounts on the seatpost.

I picked up the old model recently on a close-out deal for £99 and am very happy with it.

+1 on this, I have this unit, very nice and clear images. I also use a helmet camera called replay XD, comes with loads of mounts, I use a mount on the side of the helmet, works really great, it looks like a light, very discreet.

Two Trooper