You can hardly ignore the cool and tough movies of mountain bikers who tear over trails and challenging courses. YouTube is full of them and new videos of mountain bikers who go mountain biking with a GoPro or action cam appear daily on other social media.
Those videos are of course very nice and beautiful to watch, which may make you want to record your mountain bike adventures on video. An impulse purchase is often not far away. Still, it is advisable to think carefully about purchasing a GoPro or other type of action cam.
In this article we list the pros and cons for you. If you are still not sure whether using a GoPro or Action cam while mountain biking is something for you, we hope that this article will finally help you make the decision.
Buy a GoPro or action cam or not? I asked myself that question 100 times before finally buying one. I will also give you my doubts, concerns, questions and considerations about whether or not to do it in this article, this could help you ultimately make the choice whether or not a GoPro or action cam is for you.
After all, a GoPro or action cam that is collecting dust in a cupboard after the first use is a waste of money.
The pros and cons of a GoPro or action cam
Later in the article we will discuss the pros and cons of a GoPro or action cam during mountain biking and all your other sporting adventures. Maybe you are not a fan of reading articles and you just want to know the pros and cons right away, so you get them listed right away:
Memories and achievements are immortalized and can always be revisited
Editing videos can be fun and you get better at it
You can film many different sports and adventures with it
Inform, inspire and motivate other people with your videos
Always evidence on the picture for the nonbelievers
Editing videos takes (a lot of) time
Need a good computer and (expensive) software
A lot of hassle if you want different camera angles
Know in advance what and whether you are going to do something with the videos
A good action cam or GoPro is quite pricey
Why NOT buy an action cam or GoPro?
While you are open-mouthed watching videos of other mountain bikers, you may sometimes think to yourself: “wow, I want that too” or “that looks very cool”. What you may not know is that before the video you just watched could actually be viewed, it was preceded by an entire (production) process.
What many do not realize before they get a GoPro or action cam is that recording your mountain bike rides on video is only step 1 of a whole process. With a GoPro or action cam, you can start recording your adventures right out of the box, so to speak, but that doesn’t mean your video is on YouTube or the “failed” recordings have not yet been cut out…
In addition to the above, there are other drawbacks and reasons not to buy a GoPro or action cam. We go over them point by point so that you can decide for yourself whether these are a major issue for you or not.
Editing videos afterward can take a lot of time
Have you had a challenging mountain bike ride and shot a lot of images of the coolest trails, singletrack, and the environment? You probably want to show that to everyone or even put it on YouTube. Good plan.
You still have some work to do to convert all the images you shot along the way into a beautiful video. When you take a GoPro or action cam with you, you will most likely make a lot of images and your SD card will be well filled afterward.
If you want to get rid of it easily, you can paste these images together in their entirety and upload them in their entirety to YouTube. The question then becomes who will watch your video if the less tough trails and paths or the somewhat worse and failed shots have not been cut out…
So keep in mind that filming your mountain bike adventures is just the beginning. The more images you shoot while mountain biking, the more work you have afterward.
Good computer and ditto software needed
If editing all your shot images doesn’t scare you, then we come to the next point that is often not taken into account before buying a GoPro or action cam.
To paste the images together, cut out pieces, and edit the images if necessary, you need video software and of course a decent computer.
When you are going to record your mountain bike rides with a GoPro or action cam, you naturally want to have the best possible images. It is therefore recommended to film in a high or even the highest image quality and resolution.
The disadvantage of this is that the files are quite heavy so a normal PC or laptop is often not sufficient to be able to edit the images smoothly. The software you use must also be of good quality so that you can edit the images smoothly.
Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to purchase that software. With iMovie from Apple, which is installed by default on a Macbook or iMac, you can do a lot. If that is not enough, you can purchase software, but you should take into account that professional video software can be very pricey.
A lot of hassle if you want to have different camera views
When you attach your GoPro or action cam to your handlebars or in a chest mount while mountain biking, your images will always be recorded from that point of view. That in itself is not a bad thing and such movies can be quite beautiful.
Certainly, the images via a chest mount give a realistic feeling and it will seem, while re-watching the videos, as if you are back on the mountain bike yourself.
Would you like to film from a different angle or perspective or see yourself driving over a cool trail or obstacle in its entirety? That is possible, but then you need some extra mounts such as a tripod (to put the cam somewhere) or a gorilla pod (to attach the cam to something).
In addition, there is the practical side that you have to take into account if you want to film from other angles and perspectives. Initially, you have to place your camera in the desired place. Then you have to drive back so that you can take the clip by driving past the camera.
That is of course still not finished because you have to pick up your GoPro or action cam again. You have now done the trail several times and in different directions and you have also had to stop a few times.
So you have to make some effort to eventually have a shot of a few seconds. This also interrupts the flow of your mountain bike ride several times. If you are not the type that likes to and often stops along the way, then this point is definitely something to keep in mind.
What will you do with the clips and the final video?
This is a question that you should really ask yourself at the very beginning. Why do you want to make clips from your mountain bike rides and what are you going to do with them afterward. If you don’t have a predetermined plan or ready-made answer, it might be better to wait a little longer before purchasing a GoPro or action cam.
Recording your mountain bike rides or other sporting activities is great fun, but if you just leave the images on your SD card, the fun ends quickly. To make new clips, the previous clips will also quickly disappear from your SD card. An idea or plan of what you will eventually do with the images is, as you can read, really a must.
Another question you can ask yourself, in this case, is the following and with that, we also round off this part of the article:
Is a GoPro or action cam an added value for my mountain bike adventures?
A bite out of your budget
Like all other electronics and gadgets, an action cam or GoPro is quite a bite out of your budget. Jet is certainly not cheap. If you go for the latest models, you know that you will pay a lot of money for that. Often it doesn’t stop with the camera alone.
Of course, you need at least one mount to attach your action cam. In addition, you need an SD card with enough volume to store your images and you can only go on the road if you have several batteries with you.
If you then add everything up, it might be a bit of a squeeze. So keep in mind that spending money doesn’t stop with the action cam alone.
Why you should buy an action cam or GoPro
Now that you have been able to read the disadvantages and downsides, it is of course also important to find out the advantages and fun sides of using an action cam or GoPro. Only if you are aware of both the pros and cons can you ultimately make the best decision. For example, the worst disadvantage might not outweigh the best advantage. The other way around is of course also possible.
Fun and immortalized memories
The digital age has changed a lot and that’s a good thing. While you used to make holiday movies with a gigantic-looking video camera, the devices, action cams and GoPros are often only a fist big these days.
The videotapes have since been replaced by SD cards. What we want to say with this is that capturing your vacation, adventures, and mountain bike rides on video has never been as easy as it is today.
How often did you rewatch the holiday movies? With us, that was immediately after the holiday, after which they ended up in the closet. When you post your mountain bike video on YouTube or on the computer that you use every day, you will certainly watch it extra or more often.
That way your friends and family can also give you a look at your holiday or cool mountain bike adventures. It’s also great fun when you’ve had an epic adventure, to be able to enjoy it again afterward.
In short, when you make images of your mountain bike rides, sporting challenges, or vacations and place them on YouTube, your memories are immortalized immediately because the internet will not disappear immediately. Your offspring, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren can also relive your adventures in this way.
Editing videos can be a lot of fun and you get better at it
If you like working with video software, if you want to improve yourself or learn new skills, a GoPro or action cam is definitely for you. If you consistently edit videos of your adventures, you will notice that you will get better and better at it. Watch your first videos again and compare them with your latest videos, there will definitely be a difference.
You will also become handier with the programs and editing itself, but over time you will also know better how to film exactly, how long your clips are best, and which extra functions of your GoPro or action cam you should or should not have. use and so on.
Once you have gone through the beginner phase, it becomes more and more fun and pleasant to work on your videos. Keep in mind that, depending on your current skills, this can take some time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?! In any case, you will have to put less time and effort into the editing process over time.
You can really film and capture anything with it
In addition to making clips of your mountain bike rides, you can use a GoPro or action cam to capture just about any activity that involves movement and adventure. A hiking trip, parachute or Benji jump, kayaking, skiing, rollercoaster ride,… The sky is the limit if you have a GoPro or action cam with you.
Especially when such adventures are things that you don’t do on a daily basis, it is always nice to have cool movies of them so that you can look back on them again afterward with a good feeling.
Do you need to record every move you make? Of course not. Choose the best moments and capture them. That also saves you a lot of editing work afterward.
Informing, inspiring, and motivating other people
Perhaps informing, inspiring, and motivating people is not the main goal of your videos. Yet and certainly when you share your mountain bike videos on YouTube and other channels, you unconsciously inform, inspire and perhaps motivate other people to also ride your challenging rides.
Of course, you can also do it all for yourself, your family, and or your friends, that is of course entirely up to you.
Imagine if no one would post videos on YouTube… If you want to go on holiday or go mountain biking a bit further from home, it is always nice to see on YouTube which trails other mountain bikers ride or in which environments the trails and forests are the most beautiful to be. If no one were to make videos, let alone share them, things would get a little more complicated.
Your videos subconsciously contribute to the pleasure of others, and that’s quite fun I think…
Pics or it didn’t happen!
“Pics or it didn’t happen” or “if it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen” you’ve probably heard, whether or not as a joke… With a GoPro or action cam, the first thing in every case of the past.
How often do you find yourself in a situation or something amazing happens while you’re mountain biking and then think to yourself: “wow I should have caught that”. If you look back on some mountain bike rides, such moments will probably have come to mind.
Now a couple making love (yep, you come across that sometimes) or a grandma peeing in public (yep, that too…) is funny but not very interesting in itself. A bird of prey flying in front of you, a wild deer crossing your path, or a herd of wild boars (at a safe distance) are all very nice and beautiful things to have on-screen.
The crash or slip (preferably without any problems) of your cycling buddy can also provide the necessary fun memories and hilarity afterward. Capture an epic and newly discovered trail and share it in a mountain bike group so that others can discover it too… All things that are not possible if you don’t have them on-screen by going out without a GoPro or action cam.
Do you, therefore, have to film every ride extensively? Nope, although you will sometimes swear at the beginning if you don’t have the GoPro with you and something cool crosses your path during that ride… Over time, lay. you agree with that of course. A visual reminder (just for yourself) can also be quite fun and valuable, after all, you don’t have to share everything…
Why I bought a GoPro
As you may already know or have seen, we also have a YouTube channel of Mountainbikevibes where we occasionally post a route video or instructional video. Hopefully, in the future, we will upload some more videos. You can already subscribe so that you are immediately informed of the latest videos in the future.
That being said, why exactly did I decide to buy a GoPro? I definitely want to share this with you, not to influence you or push you in a certain direction, but to show you the reason why I took the step to a GoPro after much deliberation.
In the summer of 2020, in the midst of the corona crisis, I bought the GoPro HERO7 Black after thinking about it for quite some time and weighing the pros and cons. My mountain bike plans from that year had fallen into the water due to the travel ban.
I was planning to ride the Stoneman Miriquidi in Germany. So that fell completely into the water. Luckily the Stoneman Arduenna had seen the light of day in the meantime and it wasn’t even that far from my front door, woohoo!
Now, prior to that ride, I was doubtful for a while whether I would actually buy a GoPro or not. All the points that we already mentioned in the article were also reviewed by me. An adventure like the Stoneman is of course something you don’t do every day.
A while before that, I spent a few days in the Vosges with some cycling buddies, where one of the comrades had made a movie of our rides. Fortunately, I’m quite happy with those memories.
So I really wanted to have such a lasting memory of my Stoneman ride. Still, I wasn’t quite sure if I should do it for that reason, because as you know by now, filming is only the first step in the whole process.
Editing and editing, can I do that?
Editing the videos in particular made me lean a bit towards the “don’t buy” side because I was a novice at video editing and because my computer at the time couldn’t handle such files at all.
However, that argument for not buying it was quickly crushed by my girlfriend. Because she regularly records videos for her YouTube channels, she naturally has the right computer and software to edit videos. After a short demonstration, the basics of video editing turned out not to be as difficult as I initially thought.
By pure basics I really mean the easy things such as cutting files into pieces, pasting them together, placing simple intros, transitions, and texts, and putting music under the images. I still don’t have advanced operations and skills to this day, but of course, you always learn something along the way.
So if you are, like me, a complete layman in the field of video editing and video software, it is of course useful if you know someone who knows about it. Of course, everything is also explained on YouTube and you can learn it that way.
Still, I found it useful that I could ask my girlfriend for advice on what edits I needed to make the videos in such a way that I was satisfied with them. Before you have found all the things you want to know in the 1000s of videos on YouTube, you are already several hours or even days further.
My intentions with and goals of the videos
As we told you before, it is important that you decide for yourself exactly what you intend to do with the recorded images before purchasing a GoPro. When I bought the GoPro myself, this website had already existed for several months, and posting a video with a route report is always an added value. In any case, this was already a plus for me and extra motivation to buy a GoPro.
Of course, not everyone has a website, but everyone can create a YouTube channel and post their videos on it.
Another reason to eventually get the GoPro was, as mentioned before, the entire Stoneman story that awaited me in 2020. Of course, I don’t drive such a ride every day, so I thought it would be nice to have images of it, on the one hand for myself and on the other hand for the followers of the blog.
Especially because the route was still fairly new, I thought it would be a good idea to visualize the route for those who would also like to do the ride. Being surprised by the course also has its charm, but it is also nice to get a sneak peek of what you can expect.
Have you already watched my video of my Stoneman adventure and do you want to know if the route might be something for you? Be sure to check out my extensive Stoneman Arduenna report on the blog.
In hindsight, I’m doubly glad I did this ride with the GoPro and shot quite a lot of footage. Editing and editing was a lot of work but it was really nice to be able to work on it because it is a very nice memory that I will cherish forever. Cherishing forever can be taken literally because once the video has been posted on YouTube, it will (normally) remain on it.
And to be honest, I have to admit that I regularly (partially) watch the video again. In the first place, the video helps me during the moments when “training” is less smooth. Watching the video again will bring you back into the flow of that particular day and eventually make you realize what you’re doing it all for. This is very motivating for me, and it might be the case for you too.
As you can see in the various videos on our YouTube channel, I mainly film with the GoPro Chesty, which is attached to my chest. In my opinion, you get the best and most stable images that way. You get to see the trails as if you were on a mountain bike yourself.
I will definitely continue to film this way in the future. I have experimented with different camera angles but this is really too much hassle for me. Since I like the pace and flow I don’t like to constantly stop to place the camera and pick it up again.
The above video of the Kepkensberg is such an example of a video in which I filmed from different camera angles. This was fun to do once and to visualize myself and the trails in a different way. As you can see in that video, it was quite warm at the time and stopping often was no problem. Suppose you have to do this in the winter, I would quickly catch a cold then.
Recently I received a nice message on my video from the Stoneman Arduenna. The comment went like this:
Well done!!!. A very good movie, it shows the route, not what you had for dinner ;-). Congratulations!!!
I couldn’t have said it better myself. In addition to beautiful memories for myself, I want to show the routes I drive with my videos. So what I do during such a ride, besides the cycling itself, you will not soon see in my videos because that is not my ambition. If I use a certain energy bar, I’ll write an article about it, but I don’t necessarily have to put it in my videos.
So I was really happy about this nice response (and everyone else too) because the people who watch and like my videos are completely involved with the story I want to tell or convey.
Getting nice reactions and questions with your adventurous videos is also very nice and also motivates you to capture the next adventure on screen. Although that does not have to be the main reason for purchasing a GoPro. Think of it as a nice extra.
You now know the story behind the purchase of my GoPro, now it’s up to you to fill in your own story. Only in this way can you make the right decision. During most of my mountain bike rides, the GoPro is in my closet at home, especially when it comes to regular training rides. If I go on a trip in an area that I don’t know yet or where I only come now and then, the GoPro is already on the road more often.
For epic day trips like the Stoneman Arduenna, I’m only too happy to carry the GoPro on my chest. By filming in this way I limit the number of delays along the way. Just changing a battery is the only reason I have to stop once in a while. You can of course operate the start and stop button (for filming) while cycling, or with the latest models, you can control the GoPro with your voice, handy right?
I don’t regret buying my GoPro and wouldn’t even want to miss it again, especially for those trips that are rarely or once in a lifetime. It is also useful for the website to be able to visualize a route every now and then. Soon more and more videos will follow on our channel, so keep an eye on it by subscribing already.
Even within 30-40 years, I will still be able to watch my videos on YouTube and think back to the beautiful moments of those rides. The latter in particular has been more than worth the investment to me. All other extras are a plus. In the meantime, I have become a bit handier with editing videos and I have learned a lot in a short time.
I would certainly not recommend a GoPro to everyone, but if you can agree in my story whether the advantages of this article are worth more than the disadvantages, then buying a GoPro or action cam might be something for you. I can’t make that choice for you, of course, you have to do it yourself.
Which GoPro or action cam should you buy?
In the meantime, if you are convinced that a GoPro or action cam during mountain biking is really something for you, then you still have to take the next decision; which GoPro or action cam will it be.
To help you with that difficult choice, we have already selected the best bicycle cameras for you so that you can immediately look in the right direction. So click on the link below and before you know it all your mountain bike adventures will be on YouTube!
Looking for the best bicycle camera? – Here they are!