GoPro: Mountain Biking in Trails-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    GoPro: Mountain Biking in Trails

    I just got the gopro so this is my first video of biking. I'd appreciate any advice on future videos.

  2. #2
    2006 Yeti AS-X
    Reputation: Lawson Raider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    I have been using the GoPro since 2010 and using Point and Shoot for a year prior to getting a GoPro.

    I will preface this statement with something that will hopefully be more directed at those who would start poking at your video and that is folks this is this guys first video using a GoPro - it isn't going to be a masterpiece and I am sure the OP knows this and is asking for constructive assistance to improving his/her skills at videographing his riding experience.

    Ok. I will try to give you my advice from my own experience.


    There are many ways to mount your GoPro. In my opinion, the handlebar mount is the not the ideal mount for a mountain bike video for 2 reasons: 1) Tends to be too shaky and 2) the video constantly moves left and right as the handlebar turns.

    A chesty mount would be more ideal for that POV than a handlebar mount would be as your chest tends to stay put so gives the viewer a more stable view of the trail. Get a chesty mount, mount the GoPro upside down on the mount and position it at a 45 degree angle up, and flip the video in the GoPro or in the editor.

    Another note for mounts is that viewers tend to like multiple views which you only having one GoPro (I presume) means making multiple runs on the same trail with the GoPro mounted on different places.

    Put mounts on the bike (bottom tube, behind seatpost, other places you can find to slap the camera on) - be creative.

    Video length and what to include

    Your video was 6:07 which is at the upper end where most good mountain bike videos are done. The ideal length for a mountain bike video would be between 3 - 5 minutes with exceptions being for very popular trails or rides with tons of interesting features.

    Majority of viewers do not want to see the entire ride of the trail, they tend to like features like jumps, drops, skinnies, etc. Try to mix some of that into the video.

    Also, going on the previous segment, you want to change POV views (including external shots) every 10 - 15 seconds. This is rough when you only have one GoPro but if you change the mount and make multiple runs down the same trail, you can do it.


    A good video has flow. That comes with practice. If the video has great flow, you will keep the viewer watching your video. A key point to remember is that the first 5 - 10 seconds of your video usually determines whether the viewer will continue to watch your video or hit the back button on the browser. Your first video segments need to be interesting - you want to keep the viewer's attention.

    Video Tips

    If you have a riding buddy, have him/her ride in front of you or behind you depending on where you are mounting the GoPro so there is a rider in the footage. Having a rider in the footage tends to make the video more interesting.

    Avoid too much bike and too little trail..having the GoPro mounted too far down where 75% of the video is bike will be an almost guarantee the viewer will hit the back button. I tend to like to see more trail and scenery than bike - hence why you should mount the GoPro on the chesty mount as stated above. In that mount, you get the handlebars at the bottom of the footage with some front tire but you get alot of trail and scenery.

    Likewise, avoid not having bike at all in the footage. This is where the helmet mounts also suffer as well as the handlebar mounts - the helmet mounts get a better nod as it tends to be more stable and less shaky than the handlebar mounts but it suffers from two main issues 1) the left and right movement as the rider moves his/her head and 2) lack of anything in the footage other than scenery.


    This is the most difficult part of making a video. You don't want to get nabbed by Youtube for copyright violations and pretty much what most people like to hear on videos are copyrighted music. This leaves you with either using music you make yourself or finding royalty free music. If you have ever went to find royalty free music, you will know why alot of that music is free and it generally is because the music is less than quality -which is nice way of saying it sucks.

    There are some good royalty free music out there, you just have to be willing to dig for it. ReverbNation : Artists First is a good place to start as alot of the artists there offer free downloads.

    Also, try to fit your video to the music which helps improve flow. Change POV shots on a tempo change or beat...that takes practice to get it right.


    Try to tell a story with your video. People love stories.

    Non Biking Material

    Capture nature shots, creeks, other interesting thing about where you are riding and put them in the video. If you look at alot of the pro videos, you will see alot of these in the video.


    Practice, practice, and practice. After a few years, watch your first video and your latest video and you will see how far you progressed. I watched my first ever video and I was disgusted with it -it absolutely sucked! I thought it was awesome when I first did it. Not saying your video sucks just that after a few years you will probably think the same thing as I did.

    I hope this helps get you started.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

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