The best cameras for cyclists are both a fun and practical thing to get. Having a helmet or handlebar-mounted camera is a great way to capture dynamic footage, particularly if you’re into mountain biking or competitive cycling. You can stitch together quick clips of your most exciting moments, or even record a time-lapse of a long-haul cycle.
But cameras for cyclists have practical uses too, particularly if you’re a road cyclist. Having a camera recording everything you’re seeing can be a great way of giving yourself an extra layer of insurance if there’s an incident on the road, and a dispute about responsibility. Drivers can lie, but your camera can’t!
Here are a few things it’s worth thinking about when picking a camera for cyclists:
Resolution: Quite simply the quality of your video footage or stills. More resolution (i.e. more pixels) means clearer, sharper video, with detail and vibrancy. At the very least, you want a camera that can shoot in Full HD 1080p, which will be fine for most purposes. If you want a bit more quality then it’s worth looking for cameras that shoot 4K – just be aware that this will create large files, so you’ll need to think about fast microSD cards and a storage solution.
Stabilization: Unless you’re exclusively riding the world’s flattest, smoothest roads, your bike-borne footage will likely be a little bumpy. Built in optical stabilisation will help smooth it out and create a more pleasant viewing experience, though it will add to the price of the camera you buy.
Helmet mount: Some action cameras have their own bespoke helmet mount, while others will require you to buy a generic one. If it’s the latter, double check that the two will be compatible (most helmet mounts will specify dimensions of cameras they can accept).
Battery life: As you won’t be charging your camera or hot-swapping your batteries while you’re on your bike, it makes sense to look for a camera with a decent stretch of battery life – though we’d also recommend investing in spares and a power bank if possible.
We’ve picked cameras for cyclists across a broad price range, with everything from budget to premium, so let’s get started! If you're looking for alternative suggestions, then also check out our guide to the best helmet cameras, the best action cameras, and also the best 360 cameras if you're looking to create truly immersive video. We also have a guide to the best phone mounts for bikes, should want to use your smartphone for photography, maps, and more.
The best cameras for cyclists
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
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!
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. Case in point – the Akaso V50 X, which can capture 4K 30p footage and has built-in stabilisation, but can be picked up for less than $100. The battery life is pretty decent too, and while the video is noticeably softer than that of, say, a GoPro, it’s still decent enough. One thing to be aware of is that Akaso don’t make their own helmet or handlebar mounts, so you’ll have to pick up something generic. Fortunately there’s plenty of choice out there.
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.
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.
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).