Ultimate guide to capturing POV riding footage of you and your little shredder

Ultimate guide to capturing POV riding footage of you and your little shredder

As a mountain bike parent, there’s nothing more exciting than riding with your little one up front. Perhaps watching back footage of your ride would come close. 

It’s awesome capturing these special moments on video to share with family & friends, and to revisit with your wee one in years to come. But getting good riding footage can be hard, we understand. 

There are so many variables at play, it can often feel like cracking the Da Vinci code. What type of camera should I use? How do I mount the camera? And that's before you even dive into the settings. 

But don’t worry, we’re here to help, with the ultimate guide to capturing POV (point of view) riding footage of you and your little shredder.

How to capture the action 

capturing the ride using an action camera-min

There are 3 key factors to consider for the ultimate filming setup

1. Choosing a camera (including our top 3 picks)
2. Dialling in the settings (hint: we share the exact camera settings you need to get started)
3. Mounting methods (helmet, handlebars, or our top secret DIY method?)

Plus, we’ll share the exact setup used by two of the best kids mtb content creators out there;  Aaron (GoPro million dollar challenge winner) and Erich of That Mountain Life (outdoor dad & TikTok sensation).

Read on to discover how you can capture the best POV riding footage of you and your mini mountain biker, so you can relive the joy for years to come!

Mum and son mountain biking together

Choosing a camera 

Before you get started, you’ll want to have these bases covered: 
Quality video resolution, check.
Durable & waterproof, check.
Video stabilization technology, check.
Accessories available, check. 

Most modern action cameras have all these features + more. So when choosing a camera, it really comes down to budget, and whether you want a camera that can capture 360 degree footage or not.

360 mode has changed the game for content creators in recent years. To put it simply, 360 videos are video recordings where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time. So rather than having to readjust where your camera is mounted, and the direction it’s facing to get a different view, with a 360 video you can simply set and forget, capturing all directions at once. A regular camera captures photo and video in one direction – similar to what you're used to on your mobile phone. 

360 degree cameras do come with a slightly higher price tag, so it depends on how much you’re willing to spend. GoPro has a wide range of options that vary in price. And if you have a small budget, brands such as Kaiser Baas and Akaso are great value for money options. 

Here are three camera brands our community of mountain bike parents are loving in 2022! 

  • Insta360 – these cameras capture 360 degree video, perfect for filming forward and rear-facing footage simultaneously. 
  • GoPro – need we say more. GoPro is probably the most well known action camera brand. The GoPro Max is a 360 camera, whilst their other models film regular footage.  
  • Kaiser Baas – their X450 model in particular is an impressive low cost option.
action camera photos

Once you’ve chosen a camera, it’s time to adjust the settings. 

Dialling in the settings 

We know playing around with settings can be overwhelming, but don’t panic. Start by following our recommendations below, and as you get more confident you can experiment more with the settings on your camera. 

We recommend filming in 1080p which will be perfect for sharing on social media or with friends. If you want higher quality footage then you can turn the resolution up – to 4 or 5K if your camera allows it. But beware, higher resolution means bigger file sizes and fast draining batteries. 

Pro tip: if you film in 4K or higher you can get screenshots of video that are clear enough to use as images. 

Frame rate (FPS)
30fps is the standard frame rate setting for capturing footage, don't go any lower than this. If you’d like to be able to edit the footage to create smooth slow-mo's, then turn it up to 60fps, but again beware of the increased file size. 

Field of view (FOV) 
The field of view setting determines how narrow or wide your footage is. The wider the field of view, the more of your surroundings will be captured. We recommend using the widest field of view option available for POV filming to ensure you get yourself, your little one, the bike + scenery in the shot! But it’s really personal preference.

Our basic recommended settings for ensuring you get great footage are: 
1080P | 30FPS | Widest field of view 

father and daughter mountain biking together

Now that you’ve got your camera set up, the next step is deciding where on your bike to mount it. The good news is, there are plenty of options.

Mounting methods

Where you decide to mount your camera will be influenced by the style of footage you’d like to capture and what type of camera you have. 

Option A: Helmet 
If you have a 360 degree camera, you can capture great riding footage by mounting to the front of your helmet using a small extension arm. To do this you’ll need a couple of accessories. If you have a GoPro camera – you’ll need a helmet mount and an extension arm. Our community rate these kinds of small aluminium extension arms.

First up, stick the mount to your helmet, then attach the arm to the mount, and lastly attach your camera to the end of the arm. Be sure to have the extension arm pointing forward, with the camera facing down. 

father and son mountain biking
 This is the view using a helmet mount, small extension arm, and 360 degree camera. 

Option B: Handlebars
For 360 cameras, mounting to the handlebars is another well used option. It gives you a stable mounting point, doesn’t add additional weight to you as the rider, and is the most convenient because you can easily access it to change settings or hit record. 

mounting a go pro to your bikes handlebars

Here's a GoPro mounted to the handlebars using a small extension arm. 

The key here again is to use a small aluminium extension arm so the camera sits off the front of the bike at about a 45 degree angle leaning forward. This will create some distance between you and the camera and allow for more of you, your little one, and your bike to be in the frame. We find 10-15cm extension arms to work great! To use this method you’ll need a handlebar mount and a small extension arm

Pro tip: do a quick test shot before hitting the trails to make sure the extension arm isn’t in the shot. 

This is also a great mounting method for regular cameras. You’ll just find that the video will crop in much tighter as regular cameras capture a narrower field of view (even using the widest field of view setting). See below! 

If you have a regular camera but want to get even more in the frame, then Option C is for you... 

Option C: The DIY mounting method
We’ve used this mounting method on a number of occasions and while it may not be very conventional, it works great! 

DIY kids ride shotgun action camera mount

First off, you’re going to need a
long selfie stick that’s compatible with your action camera + some cable ties. To set this up, simply attach the camera to the selfie stick, extend it to your desired length (this'll depend on what exactly you want to see in the frame), and cable tie the selfie stick along the bottom tube of your bike. Make sure you use enough cable ties to secure the selfie stick in position!

Wherever you decide to mount your camera – make sure it is fastened tightly. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the trail and realising your camera is no longer there!

Now that we’ve shared all we know about capturing the action, let’s hear from two of the best kids mtb content creators out there to find out exactly how they film their riding adventures.

Aaron Sullivan
Aaron and his little man Ashto are GoPro Million Dollar Challenge winners and you’ll often find them capturing some of the best kids riding footage from around their home in Queensland, Australia. 

What camera do you use?
I use the GoPro Max

What are your must-have accessories?
I use a handlebar mount with a 15cm aluminium extension so the camera sits off the front of my bike.

Are there any specific settings you use?
I like to record in 5k video mode – so I can capture really high quality video and take screengrabs to use as photos. 

Azza and ashto mountain biking

 – That Mountain Life
Hailing from BC, Canada, videos of Erich and his little girl Adia riding together have gone viral on Instagram and TikTok more times than we can count.  

What camera do you use?
I use the Insta 360 One X2 –  it allows for the most dynamic recording options. 

What are your must-have accessories?
There are numerous ways to wear or mount an action camera when biking with your kiddo. I typically only mount the camera on the handlebars. GoPro and other action camera brands all make a pretty standard handlebar mount. Having a small extension arm allows for the camera to be a little further out which makes for better rear facing footage.

Are there any specific settings you use?
I find shooting 360 degrees in the highest resolution of 5.7k is best. 

erich and adia on the trails in canada

Now you’re ready to capture the action!

As you can see, filming doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated. Just remember to keep the stoke on the trails high so the riding footage is rad. And don’t forget to hit the record button! 

We hope this article has helped inspire you to grab a camera and capture those special moments. If you’ve got a tip for capturing the action that you’d like to share, leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you! 

And tag #kidsrideshotgun on social media to share your POV riding footage!

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