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Best cameras for cyclists in 2022 to record your biking adventures

Best cameras for cyclists: DJI Action 2
(Image credit: DJI)

With the best cameras for cyclists, you have both a fun way to record your rides, and an extra safety feature. Having a camera mounted to your helmet or handlebars is a fantastic way to capture exciting, dynamic clips, particularly if you're into mountain biking or competitive cycling. 

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For road cyclists, meanwhile, having a camera recording everything you're seeing means that you have an extra layer of insurance when it comes to incidents on the road. An unscrupulous driver might well lie about responsibility if there's an altercation, and in such a case, having a camera on your side can be a real blessing.

We've compiled a list of the best cameras for cyclists available right now, with a few criteria in mind. If you're new to cycling cameras, these are the key specs it's worth thinking about when making your pick:

Resolution: The more resolution you have, the better quality your video footage or stills. More pixels means more detail, which means video that's clearer and sharper, with more detail and vibrancy. In terms of video resolution, the minimum you want is Full HD 1080p, though if you want a little extra quality it's worth looking for a camera that will shoot 4K. Just be aware that 4K videos take up a lot of storage space, so you'll need a big hard drive or generous cloud account. 

Stabilization: Cycling footage tends to be a little bumpy. Many cameras come with built-in optical stabilisation, which compensates for the juddering and bouncing of footage shot on a bike, resulting in smooth video. Just be aware that cameras with this option come with a higher price tag. 

Helmet mount: Cameras won't just stick themselves to your helmet (or your handlebars, for that matter) – you need a bespoke mounting solution. Some will come with their own, while others will require you to buy a generic one separately. If it's the latter, check compatibility and dimensions before you buy.

Battery life: You won't be charging your camera while out on your bike, nor hot-swapping your batteries. As such, you want a cycling camera that isn't going to be prone to dying on you and will last for a good few hours. Though spare batteries and a power bank are good things to pack as well!

We've aimed to pick out cycling cameras across the price range – so some will be packed with features, and others will be simpler, but cheaper. For alternative suggestions, take a look at our guides to the best helmet cameras (opens in new tab), the best action cameras (opens in new tab), and the best 360 cameras (opens in new tab) if you're looking to create truly immersive video. We also have a guide to the best phone mounts for bikes (opens in new tab), which can be handy as many of the cameras on this list have advanced app integration.

The best cameras for cyclists

(Image credit: GoPro)
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The best camera for cyclists available right now

Specifications

Max video resolution: 5.3K 60p
Stabilisation: HyperSmooth 4.0
GPS: Yes
Battery life: 1720mAh (estimated 1-2 hours recording)

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous high-resolution footage
+
Bespoke GoPro helmet mounts

Reasons to avoid

-
Worse battery life than Hero9
-
Relatively expensive

GoPro Hero cameras have been top of the hill for so long that they’ve hit their tenth iteration! The GoPro Hero 10 Black is no reinvention of the formula, not too dissimilar in physicality to the original GoPro Hero that started it all. However, this is an action camera that’s absolutely  crammed with tech, capable of shooting 5.3K video at a frame rate of 60p, and with faster wired transfers and 5GHz WiFi, it’s easier than ever to export your footage. GoPro also offers its own helmet and handlebar mounts, so you can be sure the camera is secure.

The battery life is only okay – it’s the same battery as was in the Hero 9, and the increased functionality of the camera means it goes down faster. Our advice is to make sure you have a power bank or a spare battery along for the ride.

Read more: Best GoPro accessories

(Image credit: Insta360)
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This tiny wearable camera still produces high-quality footage

Specifications

Max video resolution: 2K QHD 30p
Stabilisation: FlowState
GPS: No
Battery life: 210mAh (optional charging case adds 1,100mAh)

Reasons to buy

+
HDR and stabilisation
+
Good waterproofing

Reasons to avoid

-
Short battery life
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Only 9MP stills

The little Insta360 Go 2 may be dwarfed by a lot of other action cameras, but it still packs a punch, with the ability to record impressive 2K (QHD) video at up to 30p frame rate. It even finds room for the FlowState stabilisation system and HDR capability, which really expands your options when it comes to bike-mounted footage. Insta360 produces its own bespoke mounts for cyclists including a helmet mount, and the impressive level of waterproofing on this little camera means it can handle a sudden downpour without any options. Just don’t forget the charging case – without it, you’ll find the battery drains before you’ve covered many miles at all!

(Image credit: Jon Stapley/Future)
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Stabilisation and impressive resolution for a budget price

Specifications

Max video resolution: 4K 30p
Stabilisation: Yes
GPS: No
Battery life: 1,350 mAh (about 3 hours recording time)

Reasons to buy

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Terrific value
+
Uncropped 4K 

Reasons to avoid

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Awkward, fiddly menus
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Occasional dropped frames

While there are plenty of cheap action cameras out there, it’s worth doing a little research to make sure you get one from a reputable manufacturer. Akaso is one such name, having carved out a niche with its affordable range of budget, GoPro-lite cameras that still boast pretty impressive functionality. We've reviewed the Akaso Brave 4 Pro, and despite its budget price, it's a capable little action camera that can deliver good footage at impressive resolutions. It's noticeably softer than you'd get from a high-end action camera like the GoPro Hero 10 Black, but, well, that's why it comes at about a quarter of the price. Akaso packs the camera in with a big selection of mounts and accessories too, so you've got the option of a helmet or handlebar mount.

(Image credit: Insta360)
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A 1-inch sensor puts this versatile cam ahead of the competition

Specifications

Max video resolution: 5.7K 30p
Stabilisation: FlowState
GPS: Requires separate smart remote
Battery life: 1190mAh

Reasons to buy

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Modular lens options
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RAW photos and 100Mbps video
+
Lots of mounting options

Reasons to avoid

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Comparatively expensive

Tempted by both a high-quality 4K camera, and a 360-degree camera that records everything around you? Well, why not get both! The Insta360 ONE R TWin edition is a clever modular system with multiple lens options – you can swap out the 4K module and the 360-degree module at will. And under the hood, you’ve got a 1-inch sensor to play with, which is larger than the 1/2.3-inch sensors found in most action cameras, and will give you noticeably improved dynamic range and image quality. While all this tech does make it more expensive than other options, you do get a lot for your money here – and can make use of Insta360’s bespoke biking kit for easy mounting.

(Image credit: DJI)
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DJI redesigns its action offering from the ground up

Specifications

Max video resolution: 4K 120p
Stabilisation: RockSteady 2.0
GPS: No
Battery life: 580 mAh (1-2 hours)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent stabilised video
+
Incredibly light

Reasons to avoid

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No GPS
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No 5.3K video

We were waiting a long time for the successor to the DJI Osmo Action, and the eventual result didn’t look exactly as we were expecting. The DJI Action 2 is not just another GoPro-like, instead it’s a small cuboid with magnetic mounting, clearly designed to be the centre-point of a modular system. It captures great-looking video in 4K at a frame rate of up to 120p for super slow-motion, and it’s so light you can mount it basically any which way. It’s easy to control either via the OLED touchscreen or using the Mimo app, and battery life impresses too – DJI says you could probably squeeze up to 160 mins out of it if you don’t use stabilisation and we believe them. 

Best cameras for cyclists: Garmin Varia RCT715

(Image credit: Garmin)

6. Garmin Varia RCT715

The clever bike camera with rearview radar

Specifications

Max video resolution: Full HD 30p
Stabilisation: No
GPS: Yes (with companion app)
Battery life: 4-6 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Handy radar alerts
+
Reliable, high-quality recording

Reasons to avoid

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Poor app experience
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New, therefore expensive

Squeezing some extra functionality into a bike camera, the Garmin Varia RCT715 adds a rearview radar into the mix. It keeps an eye on what's behind you, and can provide visual and audible alerts for anything approaching within 140 metres. Also, with light that provides daytime visibility of up to one mile, motorists have no excuse for not being aware of your presence. The battery is rated to last up to six hours, or four hours with radar, which should do the job for most rides, and the Full HD footage is of good quality. The only real downside is that the app experience is somewhat lacking, with poor clip navigation that can make it difficult to find the exact footage of an incident.

(Image credit: Sony)
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7. Sony RX0 II

The premium option, with a premium price tag

Specifications

Max video resolution: 4K 25p
Stabilisation: No
GPS: No
Battery life: About 1 hour

Reasons to buy

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1-inch sensor
+
Up to 960fps slow-mo

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive
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No stabilisation or GPS

In terms of raw image quality, it’s hard to do much better than the Sony RX0 II. The second of Sony’s premium action cameras, this fearsome unit can shoot impressive 4K video, and also capture slow-motion footage at frame rates as ridiculous as 960fps. The lack of stabilisation will hurt it for the really rough bikers, but if you’re generally cycling smoother routes, you’ll be really impressed by the quality of footage you get. A 1-inch sensor really does make a difference when it comes to image quality and dynamic range (indeed, footage from the RX0 II appears to have been designed to offer as much latitude as possible for a digital grade). 

How we test cameras

We test action cameras like the best cameras for cyclists in a mix of real-world shooting scenarios and more controlled conditions in order to assess how well they perform. Our expert reviewers subject the cameras to a number of different shooting scenarios to see how well they perform, and how their actual performance stacks up to the manufacturers' claims. For cycling cameras, we focus on battery life, resolution, frame rate and any additional features like GPS, app connectivity and waterproofing. See more about how we test and review on Digital Camera World (opens in new tab).

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