We’re a group of 4th year university students currently undertaking a Product Design project. As part of the project we have been approached by a company who believe that an opportunity exists to allow an easier method for cyclists and mountain bikers to take video clips whilst cycling in a safe and easy manner. The opportunity exists to either design a mount for a standard digital camera or a complete product encompassing camera and mount.
We would be interested to hear your views on such a product and if it is something that would interest you. Also if you could complete our short questionnaire that would be greatly appreciated it should take less that 4 minutes.
To complete the survey please go to www.advancedsurvey.com and enter 21603 in the Take a Survey box on the right hand side.
If there was a bike mount that absorbs shock, is lightweight, durable, snap-on-able, interchangeable, I would buy it instead of spending days building and weeks fixing a wooden one I made. Here's a pic of it. If you get lots of $$$, remember to give me discounts on your product
Some of the things I considered:
A helmet mounted one wouldn't be comfortable for the neck but is best for shock absorbsion and also allows the cyclist to direct the filming. But the jerkiness also gives a "home video" feel, which may not be what is desired.
A handlebar mounted one can affect steering and all the steering can destroy the continuity of the filming - hard to see anything when video slides from left to right 60 times a minute.
Fork mounted ones are great but are limited in viewing area. It should be used only if a higher from the ground camera is also installed.
Problems with mine:
Takes up lots of room around the top tube. Nowhere to dismount myself.
Highly specialized - probably only fits my camera to my frame.
Seals out controls - no way to change settings on the camera when installed.
Hard to take anything off. Takes about 5 minutes to properly set the camera up. I just wish I can snap off/on the top, put it in the bag and walk to the bathroom once in a while.
Knees can hit the mount if it goes lower.
Hmm, quite a number. But the pluses...
Very nice shock absorbsion, but still not good enough for really rugged rides. Videos here.
Ability to tape my handlebars as well. It's more entertaining to see gear shifting, braking, and the cyclocomputer than just around the bicycle.
This follows point above... if the mount is as flexible as a camera tripod mount, with the ability to pan in 3 dimensions, that will be awesome.
Did I mention swappable?
If I had the expertise I would just saw off a tripod and make a cage like my mount that holds a camera in the center, with the cage mounting to the sawed-off tripod through the screw. The stem of the sawed-off tripod can be mounted on a side of any tube on the bike, so even the height is adjustable. Then 3 parts can be sold separately depending on the mounting point and camera type/shape - cage, stem and tube mount.
Thanks for the help and also thanks to those who took the time to do the survey. We'll still conducting the survey for those who haven't yet.
Any thoughts on the product, good or bad, are greatly apprciated, so if you think it useless and not something you'd use then feel free to say. Likewise if you think its something that would be of great use to you.
As for the guy saying this is SPAM I'm not sure what makes you think that. We're 4th year design students at Strathclyde University in Scotland. Advancedsurvey is just a website that makes it quick and easy to make online surveys.
I guess a chest mounted camera would be best for perspective, and if it was fastened on with straps and etc, it might not move around much. I tried filming with my camera around my neck with the strap, but when I would pedal, it tended to move around a lot.
I've tried fastening the camera onto handlebars... didn't work well at all. Bounced around so much the video was basically unrecognizable, etc.
Maybe a carbon fiber (or even active suspension) mount attached to the stem would work... combined with a camera with an image stabilizer.
I'd like to add that mechanical shock absorbers are an absolute must if the camera is mounted on the bike. I've destroyed a camera before. You wouldn't believe the amount of shock the bike has to handle even on normal paved roads.
Also, the in-camera electronic image stabilizer is not needed when using mechanical shock absobers. In fact, EIS tends to blur the video (on my Panasonic PV-GS200, which does not have a reputable EIS system). A mechanical image stabilizer however should be useful. But I doubt any consumer grade cameras have that...
I have made a digital camera mount for my handlebar out of a steel bike rack mounting bar and a plastic reflector clamp.And the screw from a broken tripod. It works OK for still pictures on a smooth surface only. I also have taken a few digital movies while riding my bike and holding my camera. This takes care of the shock problem, but the movies still are not very good.
The last two cameras I have owned had the microphone on the front and the wind ruined the sound.
The quality of my $400 digital camera movies is not good enought to really be worth the trouble unless it is very bright outside and there in not much action. Even then it's not very good. I think on a camera at this price and quality level a customer would be unhappy with the best camera holder in the world.
I am on a dial up connection, I can't succesfully email my movies either. (mpeg)