A cycling camera is very handy. It can keep visual evidence of a collision or an accident. At the same time, the footage can also document all of the beautiful scenery that you went through on a particular trip.
Plus, cycling cameras a fun way to show off all the stuff you’ve been doing on the open road and trails.
Many consider the GoPro Hero 9 the best cycling camera, and for a good reason. The video quality is top-notch, and it’s built to work in unfavorable conditions. It’s even survived being dropped from near space.
Check out our recommendations below to find the best cycling camera for your needs.
1. GoPro Hero 9
The GoPro Hero 9 is, by far, the most powerful and most versatile cycling camera out there. Naturally, it’s also the best cycling camera for many as well.
The latest version of the GoPro Hero line is far more streamlined and pocketable than ever. It’s also got built-in folding fingers that make swapping mounts easy and convenient.
Not to mention, it supports a wide range of mods for better lighting and audio. It even supports mods for getting yourself an additional screen.
Really. There’s not much that the GoPro Hero 9 can’t do than a cyclist will ask it to.
It can capture high-resolution videos and has a great slo-mo feature. It also offers multiple levels of stabilization that pretty much guarantees clear footage regardless of how rocky the riding surface is.
On top of it all, the Hero 9 is relatively lightweight at just 158 grams.
- 5K video with 20mp stills
- HyperSmooth 3.0
- Long battery life
- Scheduled captures
- Plastic-free packaging
- GoPro Hero 8 offers better value
Easiest to Use
If the GoPro Hero 9 is 1A of the best cycling camera, the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Aviation In-cockpit Bundle is 1B.
The action cam alone weighs just 88 grams. It makes it just half as heavy as the GoPro Hero 9. Sure, it weighs significantly more since it has the in-cockpit bundle.
The total weight rounds up to around 500 grams. However, the bundle does add a lot, and on its own, the Ultra 30 brings a lot to the table.
For example, it has a built-in GPS tracker. This allows you to add your riding metrics as an overlay to your videos.
Using this, you can show friends just how fast you’ve been going on your downhill rides. You can even add in cadence, power meter, and a heart rate monitor using the ANT+ or Bluetooth functionality.
The aviation in-cockpit bundle adds G-Metrix. This allows you to capture in-flight video at a maximum of 4K resolution at 30fps with image stabilization.
All in all, the Virb Ultra 30 is an excellent choice. You could argue that it’s perfect already. Except, well, the battery life leaves a lot to be desired.
- Waterproof chassis
- Built-in GPS
- Needs case for waterproofing
- Very short battery life
3. GoPro Max
Best for Multi Features
Just in case the GoPro Hero 9 is not enough for you, the GoPro Max is a worthy upgrade.
The Max is the more versatile version of the Hero. It still comes with the option to shoot angles like a traditional GoPro. However, it can also do more.
It might come with only two lenses just like every other 360-degree camera. But, because of its digital lens function, you can up it to 4. This allows you to shoot four directions with ease from four different angles.
Thanks to its front-facing display, live-streaming is no problem with the Max. This makes it the best bicycle camera for vloggers.
This cycling camera also comes with Max HyperSmooth, Max TimeWarp, and Max SuperView.
All three combine on top of its robust manual controls and user-friendly app to make this expensive camera worth the investment.
- Easy to use and edit
- Unparalleled stabilization
- Captures up to 6K resolution footage
- Very, very expensive
Best Budget Helmet Camera
The common notion is that cycling cameras have to cost an arm and a leg. The AKASO Brave 4 4K 20MP WiFi Action Camera is proof that isn’t necessarily true.
Selling for well below $100, the Brave 4 is the best helmet camera in terms of value. It can shoot up to 4K resolution at 24fps or 2K resolution at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps.
It’s also got a 20-megapixel camera for stills. You can also choose the viewing angle between 70-degrees, 110-degrees, 140-degrees, and 170-degrees.
To make sure that the image is stable and clear, the Brave 4 has anti-shaking and image stabilization features.
The 2-inch IPS screen means that you can check out any of the footage and stills you’ve captured right away. It’s also fairly easy to share and edit videos using the free app.
Its built-in Wi-Fi capability has a range of up to 10 meters. You can also connect it with other displays using an HDMI port.
Further driving up the value of the Brave 4 is it comes with a lot of accessories. This includes a waterproof case, 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries, and a remote control wristband. It also comes with a kit containing 19 accessories.
- Packed with useful accessories
- Excellent waterproofing
- Above-water camera performance is lacking
Best for Dual Screen
Taking their expertise in the drone market, DJI created the Osmo Action.
In a nutshell, it’s a slightly more affordable dual-screen alternative to our top pick, the GoPro Hero 9.
In terms of durability, the Osmo Action won’t leave you wanting for more. It has a robust exterior built tough. It doesn’t need a casing because the body itself is temperature-resistant with a water-tight seal.
It can withstand depths of up to 11 meters and can work even in cold environments. The body even comes with a hydrophobic coating.
As for the camera, the Osmo Action can shoot footage up to 4K resolution at 60fps. It takes care of any stability issues via DJI’s own RockSteady technology.
This smooths out any kind of turbulence and vibration. Meanwhile, the responsive rear touchscreen makes setting up footage and stills very easy.
As a bonus, the video mode will automatically detect faces to adjust exposure. This makes it an ideal choice for people who like taking videos of themselves.
- Reasonably priced
- Video stabilization
- Dual screen
- Easy to use
- No GPS
- No mobile app
Best for those on a Budget
Dragon Touch is far from the biggest name in the action camera market. However, the Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera is more than capable of doing big things for a small price in the right hands.
A 16-megapixel camera lets you capture high-resolution stills. You can also zoom in on your footage or your photos up to 4X. You can choose to shoot footage between 4K and 30fps, 2.7K and 30fps, or 1080p and 60fps.
While these are all par for the course for action cameras, what isn’t is the wireless wrist remote control.
The remote opens up a wide slew of possibilities. Like, for example, how you can take photos or videos underwater even if you’re on your boat.
Also, with its 2-inch screen, previewing any footage taken is easy. You can also share any footage taken with your smartphone easily as well. The WiFi signal can reach up to 33 feet.
At this point, it’s just a bonus that the action camera comes with 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries and a waterproof case.
- Low, low price
- Wireless remote control
- Loop recording function
- Wi-Fi functionality
- Ugly UI
- No Bluetooth
Best for Multiple Purposes
The Crosstour Action Camera 1080p Full HD is an affordable solution for those who want more than just a bike helmet cam.
At 14 megapixels, the camera isn’t going to wow anyone. Not even the 170-degree wide-angle lens will make you think that it’s the best camera for biking.
However, both are above average. Plus, the strength of this cycling camera lies in how you can use it for purposes other than cycling.
Outside of using this on your bike, you can also use it as a webcam and even as a dashcam. It’s also waterproof for up to 30 meters or 98 feet.
This makes it a good choice for watersports and underwater use. Finally, you can operate the camera via your smartphone using the “BH10 DV” app.
- Comes with a lot of accessories
- Average camera performance
- Limited user guide
Best for 4K/60fps on a Budget
4K/60FPS usually comes at a premium price.
We say usually because the APEMAN A87 Action Camera Touch Screen 4K 60FPS exists.
This cycling safety camera lets you capture better-looking footage with more options for editing in slow-motion. It also comes with an 8X zoom lens.
This allows you to capture footage more closely for more possibilities. In addition to this, it has 6 professional modes available. It has the ability to record in Continuous Loop, Time Lapse, and Slow Motion.
The 2-inch touchscreen display is extremely responsive. It comes in handy when you want to do some quick shooting or preview a shot. You can also use it to play footage to check if it’s all good.
For better footage quality, the A87 is equipped with electronic stabilization and gyro stabilization. This effectively neutralizes any instability.
You can also correct what’s known as the Fisheye Effect using the Lens Distortion Correction (LDC) function.
Other important features include a waterproof case that can withstand up to 40 meters and remote control. This action camera also comes packaged with a bike and helmet mounting kit with two 1050mAh batteries.
- 4K/60fps on a budget
- Clear image and footage quality
- Waterproof case seals well
- Expansive accessory set
- Camera gets hot quickly while in use
The YI 4K Action and Sports Camera was an excellent value years ago when it was first released. It’s still a great value proposition now.
Although, if it had been updated, it would’ve really given the GoPro Hero 9 a good run for its money.
As it is, it’s still a very capable offering. This POV camera has a fairly large touch screen and a low price point. It’s also got 12 megapixels with 4K/30fps video capabilities.
In fact, it can record 4K videos at 30fps for up to two hours and records 1080p smoothly at 120 fps. More importantly, it’s relatively lightweight at just 94 grams.
What we’re saying is that the Yi 4K Action and Sports Camera remains an excellent choice for budget-conscious cyclists.
The fact that it comes from a reputable brand is a huge bonus.
- Smooth and detailed footage
- Highly responsive touchscreen
- Voice control
- Respectable battery life
- Not waterproof without a case
- Limited supported memory list
10. Insta360 GO
Best Bike Rear Camera
The Insta360 GO understands its market. It knows that minute-long first-person videos just aren’t going to work. At least, not long-term.
This is why this tiny bike rear camera can shoot smooth 30- and 60-second clips all at a relatively simple press of a singular button.
On top of it all, the AI-powered FlashCut makes it easier for you to find and edit your best shots at a whim.
At just 18 grams, the Insta360 GO weighs just about a quarter of most action cameras. It’s also magnetic. This means that you can pretty much mount it anywhere.
You can mount it on your clothes, bike, and even your helmet if you want. But, despite being so lightweight and easy to mount, the build is solid enough to withstand a lot of abuse.
If you’re the sort to not want to be bothered by anything longer than 15 seconds, this is for you.
- IPX4 water resistance
- Comes with a charging case
- AI-powered FlashCut for editing
- Perfect for Hyperlapse footage
- Doesn’t have a “live view”
- Storage isn’t expandable
Cycling Camera Buying Guide
Finding the best cycling camera is more manageable when you know what you’re looking for.
If you’re shopping for a cycling camera, put these factors at the top of your priority list.
Keep in mind, most manufacturer’s claims are an average. This means that the battery life of the camera can be longer or shorter.
It all depends on use. Count on it being the latter, just to be safe. Even better, look for a cycling camera with user-replaceable batteries. This way, you can bring multiple battery packs with you for longer sessions.
Ideally, the cycling camera should have a waterproof housing. If it doesn’t, it should at least have waterproof cases available for purchase.
Of the two, buying a waterproof case for a non-waterproof camera is more economical. Waterproof cases aren’t really all that expensive. However, waterproof cases add a lot of weight and bulk, which can affect ride quality.
There’s always going to be some inherent rattle while you’re riding your bike. That’s natural. However, camera manufacturers know this. This is why they try to equip their cameras with some form of built-in stabilization feature.
The better the stabilization technology, the better your picture and video quality is, regardless of the terrain.
Most if not all action cameras today will have the option to shoot in HD. However, the better ones can record in 4K, with some even going as high as 6K.
In addition to resolution, you should also consider how many frames per second a camera can capture.
If we’re being honest, the best way to get quality videos from your cycling camera is to spend more.
Much like with picture and video quality, sound quality improves significantly with the price of the cycling camera.
If you’re spending mightly on your cycling camera, it’s a safe bet that the sound quality is good. However, to be safe, you’ll want to double-check.
Action cameras are built tough. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re bulletproof nor indestructible. This means that warranty protection will still come in handy.
Take a good look at the fine print and check what’s covered in the warranty.
The more extensive the coverage is, the better.
It doesn’t matter what you’re going to use the cycling camera for. It can be for showing off, vlogging, or for safety and insurance purposes. Either way, we’ve made sure to have the best cycling camera for you.
Just to recap, we are firm on our recommendation that the GoPro Hero 9 is the best cycling camera. However, if you insist on getting something better, then the GoPro Max might be better suited to your needs.
Outside of these four, the other cycling camera on our list caters to some pretty specific need.
Give them read, check out our tips, and find yourself the best cycling camera that you can have the most fun with.