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  1. #1
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    Biking and Cameras - how to carry and protect gear

    I have done several searches and have not found any discussions on the topic of carrying photo gear when biking. My apologies if I missed it - please direct me.

    Also, not sure the best place to post this. I can't find something directly related, so I am posting here since this covers the area I live in.

    I am looking to better combine two hobbies - (casual) bicycling and photography. My main concern is how to carry a DSLR (Sony A55 with lens) on a bike.

    The considerstaions are - the should be easy to get to, and somewhat protected if you go down. Any extra gear would be carried in a saddlebag or somesuchlike,

    Carrying the camera around your neck, or on a side sling, does not seem to make sense. There are double shoulder strap setups that will carry the camera on your front and are great for hiking, but I am not sure they would be comfortable for long when biking.

    Has anyone else tacked this? Suggestions, ideas, etc?

    Thanks in advance!
    Robert Fielder
    Brampton, Ontario, Canada

  2. #2
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Maybe a frame bag or bento bag would work (depending on size of camera). That way it would be easily accessible, possibly even while riding. I carry a compact, relatively cheap camera and/or my cell phone whenever I ride so I can get pics when the mood strikes me. I take a fair amount of my pics while rolling.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  3. #3
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    I carry my Nikon P100 over my shoulders
    using the strap. Like a messenger bag,
    so the camera is actually resting on my
    back. I ride bent over a bit on my roadbike.
    I've ridden like this many times, a few
    hours at a time with no problems. In this
    video you can see me taking photos while
    riding, I just slide the camera/my arm back
    to front when I'm ready to take a shot; then
    do the reverse when I'm done. No stopping
    required


  4. #4
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    I have tried two bags -- a rackbag like this one (http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...kpack-2-rt.jsp). It sits on top of the rear rack -- making the camera relatively accessible. I also usually carry a longer telephoto lens in the bag in addition to the camera with a short lens attached. There is potential for carrying a tripod being strapped on top as well but I have never really done this.

    I also have a waist pack (http://products.lowepro.com/product/...l-1,1980,7.htm) that I have used biking (especially if there is likely to be hiking involved as well)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianSullivan View Post
    I have tried two bags -- a rackbag like this one (http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...kpack-2-rt.jsp).
    Neat - thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianSullivan View Post
    I also have a waist pack (http://products.lowepro.com/product/...l-1,1980,7.htm) that I have used biking (especially if there is likely to be hiking involved as well)
    I have the Lowepro Inverse 200, but it is not geting any use. Mostly because it does not work well - the smaller version (Inverse 100) is small enough to stay snug to your body, but the 200 droops and bounces and is generally uncomfortable. I tried biking with it and gave up. Tried just walking around with it, and about the only thing I can do with it is sell it!

    Just did a search on Henry's and B&H, and neither seem to carry the Off Trail 1. Amazon.com says it is out of stock and they don't know when it will return, and there seem to be zero available on eBay.
    Robert Fielder
    Brampton, Ontario, Canada

  6. #6
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    A solid and well-padded-though you can work on the latter yourself-handlebar bag will do well if you are working with a short to standard length lens. I have carried my dslr (canon 20D) there for a touring trip as well as for day rides. Easy to get at, and if you get a bracket-mounted handlebar bag, you can easily take it in when you stop for a meal, etc.

  7. #7
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    I have a nicely padded rack trunk that can safely hold my DSLR with up to a 70-300 mounted. If the main point of an outing is photography, I take this. Though I don't normally like to use a kickstand, keeping the bike upright does make getting the camera in and out much easier.

    Galveston by Yo Spiff, on Flickr

    When I'm riding my road bike, which doesn't have a rack, I use a Canon G11 which fits nicely in a jersey pocket. It takes very nice shots, though nowhere near what the 50D can do.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotooutdoors View Post
    A solid and well-padded handlebar bag will do well if you are working with a short to standard length lens.
    Thanks!

    I have a Sony A55, and the main lens for daytime is the Tamron 18-270mm zoom. Both of these are pretty compact.

    I like your idea. However, I have not seen any such handlebar bags for a while. Will have to look to see what is available, 'specially given the number of cables on handlebars these days (brakes, shifters, bike computers, whatever).
    Robert Fielder
    Brampton, Ontario, Canada

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
    I have a nicely padded rack trunk that can safely hold my DSLR with up to a 70-300 mounted.
    My bike has a rack on the rear, and I have saddlebags that go on either side fo the wheel. I will be looking at bags that go on top of the rack, like yours. When I looked before, the nicest ones were a kit, with the rack and the bag made to fit together.

    Maybe I will have another look at those. Have to buy a rack for my parter's bike anyways, and I can always give her mine.

    Thanks!

    For a compact camera, I went with one of the weatherproof Panasonic units, a decision I regret. It has great specs, but provides not very good image quality. Will be using it for xcountry skiing, and we will see how it handles the cold...
    Robert Fielder
    Brampton, Ontario, Canada

  10. #10
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    I've got an Ortlieb standard handlebar bag that I use on my Cannondale T1 for my Pentax K-200d, and it works great. I've just got a lowe pro DSLR case inside for protection, but I know that Ortlieb makes a specific insert for DSLRs as well. But it's completely waterproof, and easily accessible. The handlebar bag itself mounts without affecting any of the cables, on my bike at least. I rode to Argentina with it, and never had an issue...

  11. #11
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Here's how my 50D fits in my rack trunk. The dividers and padding were taken from some leftovers from other camera bags. The trunk does come with dividers, but I put them on the bottom to provide extra cushioning. If I want to take the 70-300, then the grey divider behind the camera body comes out. As you can see, plenty of room to spare.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  12. #12
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    I have a Tamrac Velocity 6 slingpak I am no longer using.http://www.tamrac.com/5766-cls-K-M.jpg
    I used it for about 1 year and upgraded. It is sitting in my closet. If you think you could use it please PM me.

    Cheers,

    Brian J.
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  13. #13
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    The Ortlieb camera insert will fit a variety of handlebar bags - not just their own.
    http://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-115.htm

    If you really need to take the litchen sink, then Case Logic makes a variety of camera specific bags including camera equipment dedicated backpacks with completely configurable interiors.
    http://www.caselogic.com/search/inde...=4011+20026019

  14. #14
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    Thanks to everyone for the replies so far!

    Got out for the first ride of the (early) spring yesterday, did a bit of the Elora Cataract Trailway. Took an old camera case with the Sony A55 and 18-270mm zoom, and used a couple of bungee cords to hold them on. This was more of a test to see how this works than anything else.

    Only real issue is that the small MEC bag attached under the seat had to go - it was in the road of the camera bag. That was OK, everything went into the camera case anyways.

    It worked very well! Clumsy to get the camera out thanks to the bungee cords, but that would not be an issue with a proper clipon case.

    Found one that looks interesting at the Brampton Cyclepath store - luggage rack and case that work together. Might be the way to go, need to go back and get the exact model number, open up the case and see the size, and see who else offers something similar.

    Yo Spiff - you don't mention the brand of the bag you use for your camera, or how it is held onto the rack. Could I get that information?
    Robert Fielder
    Brampton, Ontario, Canada

  15. #15
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfielder View Post
    Yo Spiff - you don't mention the brand of the bag you use for your camera, or how it is held onto the rack. Could I get that information?
    Oh, it's a TransIt, which is the Performance house brand. here's a link to the product page on their site. It's held onto the rack by velcro straps at the 4 corners, so it fits on most racks as long as they are of a reasonably standard design. Also has shoulder strap hooks for use off bike. Plenty of room for other essentials, which is good, because it does not leave me any room for a seatpack.
    It's also sold under the Nashbar brand.
    Last edited by Yo Spiff; 03-20-12 at 10:00 AM.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

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