Best Cycling Cameras – GoPro and Action Bicycle Cameras

A look at the best cycling cameras to take on your next bike tour. Includes tips on what to look for in a GoPro and other action cameras for cycling.

Cycling with a GoPro camera

What is the best cycling camera?

In this bicycle camera guide, we'll go over what to look for in an action-cam so you can choose the best video camera for bicycle touring. Here's a quick list of the top 10 bike cameras for cycling:

Using a video camera for bike touring

I first started using a bicycle camera in 2014. It was a GoPro Hero+3, and at the time I thought it was amazing.

Although I'm proud of the way it recorded various bike tours (including a vlog a day when cycling from Greece to England in 2016), it's obvious now that it had its limitations.

Old School GoPro action cameras for bike touring

Of course technology has changed since then, and the cycling cameras today are of much higher quality. Even a budget action camera will most likely have specs that are higher than that old GoPro.

I've since upgraded a few times, and now tend to buy a new action camera once every couple of years when the technology has changed significantly enough for me to justify it to myself!


What to look for in an action camera for cycling

Over the last 6 and a bit years of using bicycle cameras, I've noticed that there are certain features which separate the best cycling cameras from the average ones. 

These are also the areas that bicycle camera brands tend to improve year on year as new models are released.

As such, you'll probably want to achieve a balance between the following key points when buying a GoPro or other camera for cycle touring.

  • Price
  • Video stabilization
  • Video quality
  • Sound quality
  • Battery life
  • Accessories
  • Is it waterproof
  • Size and weight
  • How it attaches to the bike, helmet or elsewhere

If there were two key features I suggest you should consider to have the absolute best of, it would be video quality (the new GoPro Hero 9 now offers 5K!), and stabilization.

Remember, you can't go back and ride your tour again, so record it in the best quality you can!

Video Quality

A quick word on video quality. It's often commented that 4k is only any use if your TV is 4K etc etc. My opinion, is that if you want to future-proof your action camera purchase, you want a camera with at least 4K nowadays.

You really can tell the difference, and let's face it, image quality is only to get better in the future not worse. It makes sense to record in as high a quality as possible.

Also, who knows what other technological developments may happen in the next decade? Perhaps a 4k quality bike touring film could be converted into holo-film for example. Ok, it might seem far fetched now… but watch this space!

And photos

Most cyclists will tend to use action cameras to make videos when touring. You can take photos with them as well though, and come up with some nice effects.

I wouldn't suggest considering the action camera as your one camera for taking photos though. A good phone camera (The Samsung s+10) or a dedicated camera is always going to be a better option.

Consider any still-photo capabilities your cycling video camera may have as an added bonus, but not a primary reason for buying it in the first place.

Action Camera Battery Life

If you're planning to take your cycling video camera on a bike tour, you'll want one with the best battery life possible. Failing that, you'll want a bike camera that you can use spare batteries with, or that charges quickly.

I've found the best way to keep all my electronic gear topped up on a bike tour is by using a Powerbank. The new generation of Powerbanks which includes fast charging is simply amazing, and their storage capacity is huge.

Anker Powerbank for Bike Touring

I currently use an Anker Powercore+ 26800 Powerbank for keeping my bicycle video camera and other gear charged when bikepacking.

Waterproof Cameras for Bike Touring

I personally prefer a waterproof action camera. This isn't because I like filming when cycling in the rain – actually, I don't like cycling in the rain at all if I can help it!

What I do find though, is that a waterproof action camera has great versatility when off the bike. I've taken a GoPro when swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, and whitewater rafting.

Photo taken of Dave underwater by a GoPro Hero 5 action camera

This photo was taken on my GoPro Hero 5 when snorkeling off Kapas Island in Malaysia.

Waterproof action cameras fall into two broad categories. The cheaper ones tend to have an additional waterproof casing that needs to be attached. The higher end ones, such as a GoPro, have a waterproof design with no need for anything extra.

Helmet or Handlebar Camera?

One of the things you'll need to ask yourself before you buy a camera for bicycle touring, is do you want to attach it to the handlebars or a helmet? Perhaps you might even consider a chest strap.

Where you attach it may make a difference as to which model of video camera for biking you opt for.

Cycling camera on a helmet

In addition, handlebar and helmet camera attachments both have their pros and cons. For example, attaching a camera to a helmet may actually invalidate the safety aspects of the bike helmet according to some studies. 

It might also be nice to mount the camera on different parts of your bicycle for more unique spots. There are countless GoPro accessories available to help you do just that – something that the cheaper action cams may not have.

Are GoPro the best action cameras?

GoPro have a great backstory, and were first in the field of action cameras. More importantly though, they are also constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries.

GoPro may not offer the cheapest cameras, but you will find features on their newer models not available elsewhere. They're also incredibly well built and reliable, surviving months of bike touring around the world.

I'd be unlikely to look elsewhere for an action camera, unless another company really started to stand out from the crowd. That's not to say you shouldn't of course – there's plenty of action cameras out there to choose from!

Best cycling cameras for bike touring

More bike touring gear

Looking for more bike touring gear reviews and guides? Take a look here:


Cycling in Mexico with a Bob Yak trailerDave Briggs
Dave is a travel writer and adventurer from the UK, currently living in Greece. Passionate about outdoor adventure and bike touring in particular, he has cycled from Alaska to Argentina, England to Cape Town, and Greece to England. When he's not riding a bike, he's creating travel guides to encourage people to see more of this beautiful world around us.
Follow Dave on social media for travel and adventure inspiration:


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