I’ve used a camera on my bike for a few years now. Initially, I had a Garmin VIRB Elite, and a few months ago, I swapped this for a GoPro Hero 9 Black. Here are some accessories that I’ve found invaluable.
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Spare Battery & Charger
There’s nothing worse than running out of power, or discovering that your GoPro is flat when you go to use it. An extra battery’s always handy to have, especially in colder weather, or for longer shoots or rides. GoPro’s dual charger includes an extra battery and charges both batteries using USB-C (are you listening, Garmin?). A full battery gives about 2 hrs when shooting 4k, and about 90 mins for 1080p.
A tripod adaptor lets you fit the GoPro’s twin fold-out legs to standard ¼“ tripod thread. It’s handy for both a full-size tripod when you need maximum stability, and also for a mini model for use on the road. I use a Manfrotto PIXI mini tripod which fits perfectly in my bike bag. They’re handy for shooting timelapse videos and for when you want to shoot a ride or run-past.
There’re a few adaptors on the market, and you’ll probably be able to pick one up quite cheaply on Amazon or eBay. It’s also worth looking at the official GoPro one, though, as it lets you use the slide-in mount that used on the chesty mount (amongst others) to quickly move the GoPro between the tripod and chest mount. The GoPro one also comes with a mini tripod, which stands about 11 cm tall.
I’ve mostly used a camera on my bike mounted on the bars. When I got the GoPro Hero 9, I got a chest mount as well. It’s something I’d wanted to try for a while, but the shape of the Garmin VIRB means that it couldn’t be used with a chest mount. The chest mount gives a different perspective to the bar mount, and it’s less susceptible to vibrations when used off-road.
The GoPro Chesty mount is well-made, and comfortable to wear. It’s also easy to put on, once you work out that the harness can be unclipped at the mount point!
Garmin + GoPro Bar Mount
If you’re using a camera on your road bike, then mounting it either on the bars, or your helmet is the best options. Personally, I mount my GoPro on the bars. There’s a number of mounts available for this, either as stand-alone camera mounts, or in combination with a bike computer mount, such as Garmin, Wahoo or SRM.
I use a LifeLine combined Garmin & GoPro mount from Wiggle, but there are loads of different ones on the market. If you can’t find one to suit your particular combination of computer, GoPro and handlebar, RaceWear (http://www.racewaredirect.co) will design and make a custom one for you.
Unlike my Garmin VIRB, my GoPro doesn’t mount directly on my Mac like USB drive. To get the video files off it, you need to use Image Capture, which is a bit of a faff. If you also want to use your GoPro as a webcam, you need to be continually switching it between MTP and GoPro connection modes.
A card reader makes it much easier to get to your video files. I bought this Anker one (I’m a big fan of Anker’s products) from Amazon, but there’s loads of different ones available.
The Missing Accessory – Remote Control
One item missing from GoPro’s lineup is a remote control for the Hero 9. I love the remote for my VIBR – it lets me stop & start recording and take stills while cycling without fiddling with buttons on the camera. The current GoPro remote doesn’t work with the Hero 9 – according to the posts in the GoPro community forums, they’re working on a new one.