Wouldn’t it be great if you could take your friends, family, grandmother and the rest of the world with you on your favorite MTB tracks?? Have them sitting next to you while you are riding….?! You can now! Helmet cams are becoming more and more popular and the Contour GPS does exactly that. It shares your riding experience and shows the audience where you are on your track….!!!

I had the opportunity to try the Contour GPS for a month and are happy to share my experience with you.

Out of the box and the Software

The Contour GPS is up and running within minutes. I have seen a lot of bike electronics and this was by far the quickest to set up. The longest part of the set up is making sure the battery is properly charged the first time.

Its very friendly to operate. The big slider at the top of the camera operates the recording and can easily be moved with biking gloves on. The cover that gives your access to all the smaller buttons and the operating modes can be locked firmly preventing dirt entering the camera.

To record a good video your camera position and mount are critical. This is where experience and practice help. You want the camera to be mounted on a shock free part of your bike or helmet.

The Contour software (ContourStoryteller) whether for PC or MAC is easily downloaded and installed. It takes seconds to hook the camera up and make the adjustments according to your recording needs. You can choose several recording quality according to your needs and the size of your memory card. I choose the highest quality in HD allowing for the best video experience. With this setting you get the best video’s it however requires a large memory card.

Operating and mounting the camera

The camera is easy to operate. Buttons and operating sounds feel natural, you quickly are at ease with how it works. There are two laser on the camera lens that help you positioning the camera horizontal. The camera itself can be rotated 360 degrees this allows it to always create a horizontal video. The laser feature is nice….it looks superb but is not a necessity.

To record a good video your camera position and mount are critical. This is where experience and practice help. You want the camera to be mounted on a shock free part of your bike or helmet.

P6250004I had to make several video runs and try a number a of positions before I managed to get the correct angle, position and to find a shock free position while riding. The camera does not have a display so finding / adjusting the right angle and position only happens after you have seen the result on your computer. This takes time and practice. If you are however the owner of an Android smartphone or iPhone you can connect with the Contour thru bluetooth and use your phone as viewfinder and adjust the settings on the go….This makes adjusting angles and settings very quick and easy.

P6250005My best results where with helmet / goggle mounted cam….whether you mount it on a full face helmet or a vented helmet your head is the most steady point of your body and looking in the direction you ride. This gives the by far the best results….

Contour sells a mount for the full face helmet / goggle mount or a vented helmet….I converted the goggle mount for the vented helmet which works as well.

P6260020The safety lanyard comes with all mounts. This is a plus! It reduces your change of loosing your camera.

The mounts need to be bought separate. I have a hard time understanding why they are not included with the camera as mounting is critical to a good video result. I strongly recommend buying a helmet mount!

 

 

 

A converted goggle strap mount…..!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vented helmet mount.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goggle strap mount.

The GPS is function is nice….it allows the viewer to see where you are riding. This is nice however in most of my recordings I never recorded a complete run or tour. The memory does not allow you to record very long rides and my experience also showed that you tend to operate the camera at parts of the ride that are more interesting for recording. This a nice feature but I would prefer not a must for a video camera of this type.

I made a MTB down hill riding compilation using iMovie of a number of recordings made in Les Gets, France. I enjoyed playing with the camera….its a nice toy! Nowadays there are lots of electronic gadgets you can buy for your bike; GPS, speedometer, night lights, etc. What you need to ask yourself is….Where does the Contour GPS come on your wish list…?

 

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Joest Hoekstra
All mountain rider with over 20 years of mountain biking experience. In constant search for perfect flowing trails all over the world. Loves a technical challenge whether it is a steep climb or technical winding trail down. Pedalling to discover new trails and challenges are his main riding style however shredding and flying in a bike park on his downhill rig is one of his big loves too.

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