Over the course of the past 2 months, I’ve had the joy of thoroughly testing and using a GoPro HD Hero while biking around New York City. For those who haven’t heard of the GoPro camera, the GoPro is a durable and super-small camera that’s used primarily in high-impact sports where a camera must withstand a good beating during the course of an event. You may have seen GoPro cameras installed on the roof or the sides of a car or on the tips of snowboarders and surfers’ boards. These GoPro cameras have been around and are trusted for getting the best viewing angle that a TV chopper or a ground crew just can’t match.

Before having the GoPro, I tried recording video of my bike rides using a make-shift compact camera mount on my handlebars and found the quality to be absolutely terrible. Not only is it unwatchable because of the constant vibrations going through my bike frame and into the camera but the constant rumble of the streets just wasn’t doing anything good in terms of keeping my compact digital in good shape.

That’s when GoPro was able to reach out and send over one of their GoPro HD Hero cameras with a helmet attachment, a seatpost attachment, and handlebar attachments. Each of these comes optional when you purchase a GoPro camera and each of these proved to be really handy when filming my trips from different angles. Swapping out the different mounts is as easy as using the hand-tighteners provided — and once you know how to do one, all the others are the exact same thing.

The GoPro HD Hero camera by itself comes with 5 video recording options (see below) as well as a still-capture option, a still-capture sequence option, and a timed-capture option. The stills are taken at 5MP and the videos can be taken at up to full 1080p HD quality.

  • 1080p = 1920×1080 pixels (16:9), 30 fps, 15 Mbit/s data rate
  • 960p = 1280×960 pixels (4:3), 30 fps, 12 Mbit/s data rate
  • 720p = 1280×720 pixels (16:9), 60 fps, 15 Mbit/s data rate
  • 720p = 1280×720 pixels (16:9), 30 fps, 8 Mbit/s data rate
  • WVGA = 848×480 pixels (16:9), 60 fps, 8 Mbit/s data rate

The camera takes SD cards and is able to capture a little over 2 hours of constant video recording in HD mode using it’s built-in rechargeable battery (which recharges via USB).

In real-life use, the camera worked like a charm. With just a small bit of a learning curve, I was able to fully operate the GoPro camera with ease and start recording videos in full 1080p with a 270-degree viewing angle (thanks to the GoPro’s wide angle lens). The wonderful thing about the GoPro is that it comes with two kinds of backs — one that allow the camera to take in full sound at under 100mph and another back cover that turns the GoPro camera into a waterproof device. The GoPro was able to handle the bumps of New York City pavement very nicely even on a bike with NO SHOCKS whatsoever.

For what it’s worth, the GoPro is highly recommended by me if you want an affordable motion-capture device that will give you smooth videos regardless of what type of ground or track you’re on. It’s seriously the best option I’ve come across yet in terms of recording video on a bicycle. The image stability on the GoPro works wonders and makes city-riding on a road bike an entertaining thing to watch (especially weaving in and out of NYC traffic).

Check out this compilation video I put together and then head on over to either the GoPro website or Amazon.com to pick up this wonderful camera (make sure you select the right mounts for your specific needs)!

You can also view more GoPro videos here.