How to

Choose a Bike Camera

Below is a synthesis of almost 70 camera reviews from our bike community.  Bike Lane Uprising does not endorse any specific camera.  Bike Lane Uprising may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.   

How to Choose a Bike Camera

Summary compiled by Bike Lane Uprising contributors Elizabeth Foster & Brian Wray

Bike cameras are amazing tools for recording bike lane obstructions, but trying to choose a bike camera can feel overwhelming, even if you know all the jargon - and a lot of us don’t. 1080 HD or 4k? How many fps? Do you need bluetooth? Voice activation? What about ANT+*? What kind of memory card can you use with this thing, and is it one you already have or will you need a new one? Do you actually need to spend $200+ on a fancy camera that also folds your socks and peels your potatoes, or will a $50 knockoff do you just fine? 

 

*ANT+ is how your bike camera can talk to your Garmin, if you’re the kind of humanitarian who worries about your Garmin’s social life, and/or you like to remote-control the camera.

Pros To

Bike Cameras

While bike cameras might not be the right choice for everyone, many cyclists are turning to them.  Here's why:

Continuous Recording

No passing up potential submissions because you're in too much of a rush or it's too cold/rainy to pull out your phone. No need to stop and dig out a phone every time - just let the camera record for you and go back for the stills later. When things are happening fast, you won’t waste precious seconds fiddling with your camera app.

1.

Reduced Confrontation

While some cyclists like to make their recordings conspicuous to drivers, some cyclists prefer to opt out of unpleasant or scary encounters with drivers by using a camera. Pro tip: cyclists with audio enabled cameras like to call out plate numbers and other details as they ride by so they can submit the obstruction later.

2.

Evidence

If you have a close call or crash, you have a record of it for insurance claims, police reports, and doctors.

3.

Pros to Bike Cameras

While bike cameras might not be the right choice for everyone, many cyclists are turning to them.  Here's why:   

Different Riders

Need Different Cameras

You can filter through the raw reviews yourself at the bottom of this page  - but first, based on our reviews, a few tips for different types of bikes, riders, and requirements:

Long Commutes

If you have a long commute (over an hour or so each way), battery life should be a priority. A few reviewers had good things to say about the battery life on the Cycliq cameras, and one reviewer raved about the Drift Ghost X. Meanwhile, a lot of reviewers commented that the GoPro and Akaso models had unimpressive battery life.  

Ease of Use

If you need it to be easy, the Cycliq Fly12 and Fly6 earned high marks for ease of use and low fussiness/fiddliness. GoPros got kudos for compatibility with aftermarket accessories that simplify mounting.  Cycliq cameras double as lights, which may be why some users found them so convenient.

Best Image Quality

If you need really great photos, GoPro, Akaso, and Garmin cameras can all go up to 4K resolution, and many GoPro users gushed about the image stabilization.  Example of a clear photo from a GoPro.

Bargain Hunters

If you're on a tight budget, the Akaso EK700 4K and the Crosstour CT8500 are both just $60. Reviewers found they did the job well enough. Some reviewers also bought refurbished cameras to save on big brands. Will photos from the Akaso win the National Geographic Photo Contest? Probably not. But it’s decently clear, and you can enlarge the original enough to see the license plate number.

Best in Show

If you want the best, the GoPro Hero 7 and Cycliq Fly6 / Fly12 both earned 10/10 ratings from at least one satisfied reviewer. The highest-rated brands on average were DB Power and DJI - although each of those only had one rating. Not that more money always equals better quality, but average ratings did get steadily better as the price of the cameras went up. 

Shorter Riders

Shorter riders noted they had to get creative when mounting rear cameras like the Cycliq Fly6. If you're a shorter rider and interested a rear facing camera, you might want to double check you have enough space to mount a rear facing camera.

🚲 / 🛴  Shares

It's against the terms of service to attach anything to most bikeshare/scootershares. If you use a share service, try a wearable camera or a helmet cam. Reviewers liked the Akaso V50 Pro (mounts to the strap of your bag) or Drift cameras (helmet mounted). Several reviewers mounted GoPro cameras to their helmets but the weight bugged other users. Also consider camera integrated helmets like Cyclevision.  Cycliq cameras (all of which mount to the bike itself) might not be a great choice.

Severe Weather

If you ride in all weather, you need a water-resistant camera that can handle temperature. The GoPro brand had the greatest number of reviewers who used it successfully over the winter - a few reviewers found that GoPro cameras lost battery power more quickly in cold temperatures, but that happens to all batteries. For rain, several brands (Akaso, Crosstour, Garmin) came with a waterproof case, which reviewers report works well. 

Mounting Methods

Not sure where to mount your camera?  Check out these photos for some inspiration. For more info regarding the mount or camera you can locate the raw camera review at the bottom of this page.  

Video Examples

Many reviewers highlighted it's harder to make out plate numbers at night or in bad weather. Below are recordings from different cameras.  There are duplicate recordings from each camera to show how time of day can effect the same camera.   

Raw Camera Reviews

Below are reviews we received from real cyclists (and a 🛴rider).  Desktop users, filter results by the criteria you find the most important.  

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