BikePGH!

Should a helmet cam be considered for safety?

This topic contains 53 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by  ericf 2 mos, 1 week.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)
 
Author Posts
Author Posts

ericf

Private Message

Nov 30 2013 at 4:12pm #

Is a camcorder becoming necessary as a safety item, akin to blinky lights and bells?


Drewbacca

Private Message

Nov 30 2013 at 7:33pm #

I think it’s debatable whether it is *more* necessary now as opposed to some point in the past.

It does seem like a necessary item for daily commuting in the city. I haven’t felt the need for one, but then, most of my riding is on low traffic roads and not in the city. Still, I’ll probably pick one up when budget allows, having seen some success with them by others on this board.


Vannevar

Private Message

Nov 30 2013 at 11:20pm #

I’ve really never seen a geegaw I didn’t want to strap onto myself or the bike, but I’ve suppressed the helmet-cam so far mainly because I can’t decide which way to point it (fore/aft) and I’m hoping that somebody will produce a double-ended one, like the red Sith light-saber.


ericf

Private Message

Dec 1 2013 at 7:06am #

I have read that some of you here use(d) them. What are your experiences? Any recommendations?


StuInMcCandless

Private Message

Dec 1 2013 at 8:24am #

I got a low-end camera in early 2012 through woot.com. My biggest problem, then and now, was where to put it. I hung it sideways off my helmet, which made for a lot of sideways videos (generally not a problem if you can tip a laptop or cell phone sideways). Sample

Operationally, if it’s handlebar mounted, you get a lot of vibration (sample); if it’s helmet mounted, you get a lot of head movement.

Positionally, I found it more useful to point backward, as it showed intent more than effect, and if I could shout out the license plate of an offending motorist, that came across loud and clear, as in this video. (ffwd to about 4:00, look for red sedan)

The battery in mine craps out when it’s cold; I’m lucky to get 30 minutes running time if it’s sub-30 out. Replacement batteries all seem to come from the same manufacturer. But even on a warm day, it dies at the least opportune moments. In the above Station Square vid, for example, the lady who passes me at 5:50 asked me for directions not 15 seconds after the camera shut off, and we ended up having a wonderful 10-minute conversation about moving to Pittsburgh and how to get around on the trails. (She’d just moved here a week earlier and was learning the trails.)

The camera does come with a waterproof mount, but in doing that, you lose a lot of sound. Minus the case, the mike in mine works pretty well. Like this, Marcel addressing the Flock back in June.

Short version: I’d recommend getting a lower-end one to get some experience, so you know what to do better when you decide to spend some serious money.


edmonds59

Private Message

Dec 1 2013 at 8:50am #

FWIW, I don’t use one. I don’t consider them a primary safety device. They are very useful if a person *regularly* experiences negative traffic altercations that might result in harm to their person, or outright violence. People have put them to extremely good use in terms of “driver enlightenment”, (ajbooth).
Personally and for reasons I am completely unable to surmise, I don’t regularly experience the kinds of traffic interactions that cause me to feel one would be useful (knock on Columbus tubing). Once in September of 2012, going uphill on Steuben Street in Crafton, wideass street, room for everybody, I had a guy honk and put his palm skyward in a kind of “wtf?” motion, but that’s the last incident I can recall.


srpit

Private Message

Dec 1 2013 at 9:35am #

I bought one this year mostly out of nervousness after all the hit and run incidents. I wanted documentation for my family just in case.

It does take nice video. I don’t really know how helpful it is but I only actually use it sometimes. I’ve been more inclined to use it when I’m on the roads rather than the trails since I basically want it to document bad things. I guess I look at it like an insurance policy where I figure if I have it then the chances are better that I won’t need it?

What I’ve found is that even when I don’t have it turned on, the presence of it on top of my helmet seems to elicit more polite drivers in many circumstances. Don’t know if that’s my imagination or just a coincidence. Often people will comment on it though. We’ll be stopped at a red light and a driver will ask if it’s a camera – sometimes they seem surprised. Some will wave – obviously aware that they’re being taped.

The battery life is an issue. I get maybe an hour’s worth before I have to change it. Certainly enough for someone commuting, but we tend to ride for much longer times when we’re out so I can’t really cover the whole time.

I saw one on kickstarter a couple of months ago that is supposed to have a much better battery.


BradQ

Private Message

Dec 1 2013 at 11:15am #

I don’t post here much anymore, but figured this was appropriate.

We just released our 40th issue of Urban Velo and one of the feature stories is about helmet cam use by cyclists. It even features some Pittsburgh folks for a change, as we try to keep the local content to a dull roar. HD Witness, have a read.

http://www.urbanvelo.org/issue40/p46-47.html


mjacobPGH

Private Message

Dec 1 2013 at 12:15pm #

I had a Contour Roam HD which broke about 2 weeks into having it. Contour was very responsive when I needed to send it back. However, after I sent it in, they promptly went out of business. Luckily, Amazon refunded my entire purchase but it is a shame since the Contour was sleek, good quality video, and cheap($99) and most people had good reviews for their products. I haven’t gotten a camera since because I am not a huge fan of the box shaped and pricier GoPros and can’t currently afford anything much more than $100 but there are definitely times I wish I still had my camera.


ericf

Private Message

Dec 3 2013 at 3:42am #

BradQ wrote:I don’t post here much anymore, but figured this was appropriate.

We just released our 40th issue of Urban Velo and one of the feature stories is about helmet cam use by cyclists. It even features some Pittsburgh folks for a change, as we try to keep the local content to a dull roar. HD Witness, have a read.

http://www.urbanvelo.org/issue40/p46-47.html

Thanks for the link, any plans for a shootout type review?


Drewbacca

Private Message

Dec 4 2013 at 1:43am #

$99 doesn’t look like a bad option…

http://www.amazon.com/Polaroid-Extreme-Waterproof-Mounting-Included/dp/B00A81SXHI

Also, on a related note… the Contour-Facebook page mentioned that there will be good news in early December, so hopefully they are back in the green.


ericf

Private Message

Dec 4 2013 at 7:34am #

@Drewbacca,
Thanks for the link, that looks like a winner for me. I was looking at this:

http://www.amazon.com/DVR-225-Varifocal-Helmet-Camera/dp/B0044FF570

I need a small camera, my helmet already has lights front and rear so size and weight are premiums. I am definitely going to look further into this one, I will let you know if I pull the trigger.


edmonds59

Private Message

Dec 4 2013 at 8:26am #

Nice article BradQ! And FWIW, I love the dull roar of the locale.


mjacobPGH

Private Message

Dec 4 2013 at 11:00am #

If Contour is back, maybe they’ll find my camera and send me a new one. Hmmmmm.


WillB

Private Message

Dec 4 2013 at 11:38am #

I’ve got a Contour Roam that I like quite a bit (and I think you can actually still find them online in various places). I mount it on the bike because I just don’t like having the extra weight on my helmet.

I don’t really think of it as a safety device, though, because it’s not going to keep me from getting injured. The main thing I want it for is to document license plates and establish fault in the event of a crash.


Drewbacca

Private Message

Dec 4 2013 at 1:41pm #

mjacobPGH wrote:If Contour is back, maybe they’ll find my camera and send me a new one. Hmmmmm.

Nov 30
“Happy holidays to all and thank you for continuing to support Contour. It has been a difficult time, as you may have read, but we are getting closer to having the website and customer support up and running. Stay tuned for new announcements. In the meantime, we see lots of demand for storyteller, you can find it here.”

Their temporary contact info is:
contourworld@gmail.com or just PM through FB.

They have a few 3rd party vendors selling them on Amazon, the cheapest being $128.00*. Personally, I’m hesitant to make that investment before knowing that the warranty would be honored. It sucks for them that they aren’t operating during the peak season for sales.

*If I had $128 to spend right now. ::sigh::


J Z

Private Message

Dec 4 2013 at 2:49pm #

This looks like a low entry point, if anyone is interesting in testing the waters before making a larger investment.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AGMWWMG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=158HZQ7K21JZ0&coliid=I2UG2EAA3KCSQY


alanowski

Private Message

Dec 4 2013 at 3:29pm #

I agree it’s not a safety thing, it’s about proving who was at fault. I do like to think that it could help me stick it to some jerk some day who thinks it’s OK to buzz within a foot at 60mph.

I bought a relatively cheap cam (below) and have been impressed with the results – I can get both my commutes each day (about 90 minutes) without a recharge, I’ve not measured it longer than that on each charge.

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=10159

(Looks exactly like the Polaroid one, with the possible advantage of Monoprice not having gone out of business multiple times in the past 10 years.)


ericf

Private Message

Dec 8 2013 at 7:40am #

I missed this one, I like the continuous loop recording, plus 24 HR battery life.

http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/kickstart-a-new-cam/


ericf

Private Message

Dec 11 2013 at 7:05am #

Same idea, different question;

If you were to use a camera, which would be better, helmet mount or bar mount?


Drewbacca

Private Message

Dec 11 2013 at 8:10am #

1. that last link is awesome. It’s not the prettiest thing, but purpose built and the most likely camera for our purpose. Thanks for reposting it.

2. I think the conclusion reached in one of the other related threads, is that a handlebar mount is easier for video watching after the fact, as it is less shaky. Clearly, both have an advantage.


StuInMcCandless

Private Message

Dec 11 2013 at 10:45am #

Has anyone come up with a good shoulder harness for one of these? Has anyone come up with a good shoulder harness for two of these at the same time, one aimed forward, one back?


cburch

Private Message

Dec 11 2013 at 7:13pm #

Gopro has a great chest harness you could double up.


Mick

Private Message

Dec 12 2013 at 2:08am #

BradQ wrote:We just released our 40th issue of Urban Velo and one of the feature stories is about helmet cam use by cyclists

Excerpt:
Across the country in Washington, D.C., another motorist was caught on camera colliding with Evan Wilder on his way to work. Wilder never saw the driver, but his camera caught both the license plate number and the angry obscenities the driver of the pickup shouted before impact. The driver, John W. Diehl, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

Wow. Sounds like a driver got a traffic ticket after committing aggravated assault.


buffalo buffalo

Private Message

Dec 12 2013 at 7:57pm #

I got that camera that was on Woot for $40 last month—though, of course, I ended up having to add another $35 for a memory card. Go figure.

I finally got around to using it for the first time last night. (I tried using it on the ride in in the morning, but apparently misunderstood a setting, and didn’t get any video.) In the dark, at least, it’s pretty much shit–you can see how absurdly, piercingly bright a couple cars’ headlights are, and you can read the licence tags of the cars I stop behind at a couple red lights, but other than that, very little is discernable. There’s a ton of road noise, I assume the camera itself bouncing in its enclosure, but you can’t hear the guy honking at me repeatedly on the Millvale Ave Bridge, let alone the screaming (he did at least wait until the opposite lane was clear before passing me and screaming “that’s what the bike lane is for!”. The bike lane, of course, is covered in ice.), and you can’t read the licence plate when I catch back up with him at the top of Millvale at Liberty, since I had to get over to the left turn lane, and we got a green light anyway, so I didn’t actually stop moving, so the picture doesn’t stabilise and it’s pretty much a blur…

Also, something happened to it after the first time I tried to turn it on, and now the playback screen is just a blank bluish-grey.

I’ll give it a couple more tries (in daylight, especially), but I’ll probably end up returning it.


jonawebb

Private Message

Feb 10 2014 at 2:01pm #

Here’s a rear-facing camera, built into a tail light (Kickstarter project):

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fly6/fly6-cycling-accessory-hd-camera-and-tail-light-co


gg

Private Message

Feb 11 2014 at 12:14pm #

ericf wrote:If you were to use a camera, which would be better, helmet mount or bar mount?

I don’t have experience with cameras, but wondering if a helmet one would be better because you can turn your head towards the potential idiots? I think it is cool people are using cameras. I believe it has had an effect on PAT bus drivers. They seem to give more room than they used to and I have a feeling there has been a meeting about it. PAT doesn’t want people giving the media some videos of drivers almost killing cyclists I would suspect. They wouldn’t want to lose there $80K+ a year job.


Drewbacca

Private Message

Feb 11 2014 at 12:15pm #

*delete*
Jon beat me to it.


smarchit

Private Message

May 27 2014 at 7:10pm #

London cyclist using a 7 camera system in his ongoing battle against bad drivers. LINK


Ahlir

Private Message

May 28 2014 at 8:47pm #

RoboBiker? [per smarchit] Not me!

Of course there are lots of solutions out there. But why limit yourself to those on-helmet or on-bike gizmos when you can have this:

I’m pretty sure those things can be made smart enough to not bump into each other, and maybe even to swarm and follow some automatically-classified-as-miscreant motorist and mete out biker justice; you know, like in Hitchcock’s “The Birds”.
A Kickstarter idea. For you!
You’re welcome.


RustyRed

Private Message

Jun 23 2014 at 3:02pm #

I broke down and got one of those rear-facing blinky cameras.
http://www.fly6.com
I’ve had it for about a week.

My thoughts (so far) on it: http://goo.gl/jKKug5


rgrasmus

Private Message

Jun 23 2014 at 3:18pm #

I got one too – arrived today. Looking forward to testing it out once I recover from the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge. Cool idea with the pvc pipe!


StuInMcCandless

Private Message

Jun 23 2014 at 3:22pm #

I have hardly used my helmet cam since I got a new helmet a few months ago. With the old one, it hung off the side, but there’s no way to attach it to the new one, and I haven’t figured out the best way to hook it to the rack.

Thanks, @RustyRed, for the PVC pipe idea.


RustyRed

Private Message

Jun 30 2014 at 12:24pm #

Well, this is interesting:

(unbeknownst to me…) Fly6 posted a link to the blog review on their ‘Reviews’ page and I’m now known as “PVC Chick”


RustyRed

Private Message

Jul 9 2014 at 10:15am #

HEY! *pouty face*

I’m sure by ‘busy’ they mean: running lots of errands and stuff, right? RIGHT?!?

*grumble*


Marko82

Private Message

Jul 9 2014 at 11:59am #

^ wait until they see the video clip where the camera mostly captures “up your skirt” footage – not to mention what falls out of your duffle bag! Busy busy busy…


jkp1187

Private Message

Jul 12 2014 at 6:56am #

Anyone tried one of these glasses cams?

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2406308,00.asp

I found that Google Glass worked decently, although it’s *not* worth the money at all, and I got tired of its buggy interface (and, generally, just looking like a ‘glasshole’) so I stopped using it. It was nicer, I thought, than trying to mount something to my helmet or bike.


paulheckbert

Private Message

Jul 16 2014 at 11:29am #

Shimano CM-1000 is small (4 cm wide), light (86 g), has 2 hour running time, $300

http://www.shimano-sportcamera.com/us/product.php

and has been used, apparently, to shoot some cool Tour de France videos

http://gizmodo.com/experience-tour-de-france-mayhem-first-hand-from-new-on-1605880959


sew

Private Message

Aug 22 2014 at 7:39am #

Helmet cam deal from Newegg. No experience with this device (or any other helmet cam) but the price made it worth clicking on the link, $49 starting at 1PM today.

http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellShocker.aspx?nm_mc=EMC-SD082014&cm_mmc=EMC-SD082014-_-SD082214-_-item-_-9SIA5M21X29392&et_cid=10545&et_rid=135231


Steven

Private Message

Aug 22 2014 at 9:28am #

The specs say it includes “UK Charger”, FWIW.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)
 

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.