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advice for rigs on bikes

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#1 Jacob Aspler

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:12 AM



I came here to ask for advice.


I am beginning a project which would require me to record very smooth video from POV of a person ridding a bike.

The video would be captured via a gopro - but unlike the usual head / chest mounted setup, I am trying to lock the POV to the front wheel / handlebar orientation to the road. We are trying to eliminate any framing effects of moving body posture on the person on the bike.


The easy option is to mount the camera directly to the handle bar, but would a stability system make a big difference for post production as we also need the final footage to run smooth.

Also to keep in mind, we will be shooting A LOT of footage (100's hrs), so I need to factor this into cost - dose a custom / specialized system offset post production cost?


Thanks for your input.

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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:49 AM

Hi, we use real names on this forum so please change your name else the wrath of the moderators will rain upon you or more likely your post will be deleted.




Riding what kind of bike on what kind of surface?


A bicycle at speed is a giant gyroscope due to the gyroscopic effect of the wheels so you get some help on a MTB bike with suspension.  I've seen a few very clever extended overhead body / backpack mounted videos that would have easily fooled most anyone that it was a small drone copter until the video went for ten minutes in terrain and distance a copter could not cover.


I think if you watch enough YouTube or Vimeo videos you'll find your answer.


Good luck!



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#3 Neal Bryant

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:34 AM


As Robert said, please use your real name. :-)

I am an avid downhill mountain biker, and I spend a lot of time on different kinds of bicycles. For a while, I was sponsored and made videos on Youtube in exchange for product. I've mounted GoPros to just about every part of a bike that I can think of, and experience has shown me that any kind of handlebar mount is going to experience some kind of high frequency vibration, which is hard to eliminate in post. I don't know of any kind of Steadicam solution to this and you might not find much help on this forum, but can you be more specific? Are you planning on shooting this on a road or mountain bike? Will it have a suspension fork? How critical is it to have a rock solid shot?

To give you a basic idea, here's a video I did last year on my downhill bike. You can see 8 inches of suspension working through some really gnarly terrain, and there is a ton of vibration, but this is probably not what you have in mind.    

In any case, I would recommend checking the forums on pinkbike.com. People post unbelievably incredible bike videos there every day of the week and I think you will find more answers in a bike-specific community.

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#4 Martin Stacey

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:45 AM

You probably need to speak to Ed Oates on this forum.


I suspect this is what you are looking for.



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#5 Markus Kuballa

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:21 AM

Mounting the gopro on a Vibration plate and shooting at a higher frame rate (60fps) should eliminate most problems you get with the rolling shutter. If course there are limits to that solution.
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#6 Jacob Aspler

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 10:24 PM

Thank for all the feedback,


Robert, to your question, the bike's will be varied,

the majority of footage would be captured on road bikes on asphalt turf. A minority will be shot on MTB in off-road and trail terrain.


Neal - thanks for the video - definitely too shaky for our needs, but its good to see what the suspension is able to do (and what I cannot do)

the challenge here is to capture video that has the feel like a copter steadicam shot with footage running 75min to 90mins uninterrupted.

I'll go and check out pinkbike.com thanks for the website.


Martin - This looks like it may do the deed.

very cool - it reminds me of the kickstarter based ghost steadicam, but much more compact - this may be the ticket. 


Markus - do you know of any example video's with this setup I could check out? It still sounds like we're talking running everything through post or is a vibration plate able to remove all of the shake?

Edited by Jacob Aspler, 25 September 2013 - 10:25 PM.

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#7 Sam Morgan Moore

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:44 AM



I am not clear about the view you want..


Do you want the bike locked in the picture - or do you want the horizon locked with the bike wibbling about.


In the first instance a very hard mount will work


In the second instance - well that is a big challenge


A stabilised (PTR Pan Tilt Roll) head 3 axis wont know when to turn

A stabilised head (PRT) 3 axis wont stabilise XYZ (not PTR)

A stabilised head may break when exerted to XYZ forces - aka shake


Basically it has not been done ?


Not to mention other issues like gopro battery life or rigging power through a PTR head to a gopro..



Edited by Sam Morgan Moore, 30 September 2013 - 09:48 AM.

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