Eliminate the Fear of Dropping Your Gear

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If you're reading this, you probably own a camera or two, and maybe even a camcorder. You probably take them everywhere. And if they’re worth anything, you’re probably worried about damage from shocks and impacts. Here are two gadgets that will expand the creative possibilities of your gear and also protect it  from the forces of gravity.

 

There are numerous wearable still cameras and video camcorders on the market these days. Some of them clip onto your clothing and others can be mounted on a helmet or strapped to your head. But many people already own cameras and camcorders that aren’t intended to be worn. Sure, you can hold a camera in your hand, but if you’re riding a bike or motorcycle or driving a car, you can be certain this will be a threat to the safe simultaneous operation of your vehicle, yourself and your gear.

 

Bikers and motorcyclists rejoice: Aiptek’s Bike Mount for camcorders, cameras and voice recorders lets you secure your gear to your ride’s handlebars. Intended for use with lightweight cameras and camcorders only, the Bike Mount clamps securely to handlebars using a thumbscrew. Cushioning on the inside of the clamp prevents damage to the handlebars’ finish. For only $19.95 you can convert a conventional camera or camcorder into an action cam, and we suggest you use gear as light as possible on this clamp; the inertia from a sudden stop or impact could compromise the structure of a heavier camera's plastic or polycarbonate bottom plate, cracking and sending your precious gear into orbit.

The Bike Mount's measurements are: (L) 2.25" x (H) 3.5" x (W) 1.25".  Inside the ring, the handlbar can be up to 1" in diameter.

Not to leave riders of four-wheeled vehicles out of the action, Aiptek’s Windshield Mount lets you mount a camcorder, camera, GPS receiver, voice recorder or anything else with a tripod mount securely to a car’s windshield. You could simply place your gear on the dashboard, but it’s going to take a tumble if you have to make a sudden maneuver. An investment of only $24.90 will give you peace of mind and keep your device within your reach. The suction-cup base mounts securely to glass and other smooth surfaces, and the flexible gooseneck lets you position your gadgets precisely.

 

If you’re a race-car driver or off-road enthusiast, it’s a no-brainer to want to capture the action to share with friends, family and peers. But the Windshield Mount is also useful in law enforcement for documenting arrests, such as when you see drivers being pulled over on the TV program Cops. I suspect that the drivers/camera people who prepare all those street view images for Google would find these windshield mounts extremely useful.

 

Of course, the Windshield Mount can be used in any vehicle that has a windshield. Boats, ATVs and snowmobiles could certainly use a sturdy camera mount. And those of you who are fortunate enough to own, or at least pilot, an airplane, helicopter or submarine could definitely have a lot of fun with this simple, utilitarian piece of hardware.

*Note: Please check your local and state laws regarding the mounting of anything to automobile windshields. In many states, a setup such as the one pictured above could constitute a violation.

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This sounds great but as a motorcycle enthusiast, I need to know the range of handlebar diameters for this device.

I see the photo and I know that one inch is the common diameter for bicycle handlebars, which is helpful, but doesn't tell me if it will also work with my motorycle bars, which are 7/8". And some moto bars are 1 1/4"

 We'll check into this. The manufacturer's website does not seem to include any specs on this product. An examination of the packaging or a good old-fashioned ruler applied to the mounting bracket may be in order. Check back early in the week...

Appreciate the offer to measure, but a real test of 7/8" and 1 1/4" diameter bars (or pipe from home depot) will be needed because there appears to be rubber or foam that gets compressed. This assumes that a 1" bike handlebar works as in the photo.

I queried Aiptek by e-mail the other day regarding the measurements of the bike mount, and here is their response:

"The Bike Mount has these measurements: (L) 2.25" x (H) 3.5" x (W) 1.25".  On the inside, the handlbar can be 1" in diameter."

I hope this answers your question, Danno.
 

Looking at the windshield mount, it appears that for most point-and-shoot cameras, the arm of the "tripod" will get in the way of the camera. 

Also, a suction cup doesn't seem to be very secure for the weight of a camera.  I can't keep my GPS sticking to my windshield at all times.

Wow, just what we need, a texting driver chatting with Tiffany while trying to choose settings 'afixin his camera.....'Watch this Tiffany'

Craziness.

If you use on bike, health insurance and protective head gear are included in cost and are a must. In a car, no bond for reckless driving.

 

Looks like it would be bouncy video on a bike without some sort of shock absorbing or motion stabilizing system, either mechanical or electronic.

 There are some nice sturdy mounts for cameras on this site www.kwmachineworks.com I know there used in the Baja races.

Check out www.mountguys.com for all sorts of mounts. I know they have a MC handlebar mount that acccepts up to 1.9"

I wonder what's the maximum weight the Windshield Mount will support? Would it be strong enough to support a Canon G11 for example?

As we mentioned in the post, we don't recommend using these mounts for anything but very lightweight gear. Using it to mount the type of video cam designed for extreme sports, for example, such as the VholdR Contour Helmet cam, which weighs 4.2 ounces, would be a safer bet. If your camera has no built-in image stabilization, we can't vouch for the bounciness of your video.

And as we suggested above, PLEASE check your local and state laws regarding the use of anything windshield mounted. There don't seem to be any specs on the maximum amount of weight this mount can handle, but we think your 12.5-ounce PowerShot G11 would be well accomodated by either of these mounts.

Don't even think about mounting your 1Ds Mark III on there, though.

I once considered the Aiptek, but quickly chose against it. It's unadjustable design requires you to mount it on a horizontal section of the handlebar--something that my motorcycle couldn't provide.

RAM makes a mount with balljoints, but their design uses a simple metal U-bolt that'll crush any chrome plating on the handlebar. There really isn't a whole lot of good choices out there for handlebar mounts.

Warning don't use this if you don't want to damage your camera!

I have this well had until it broke clean in two while speeding down a hill on my bike. My Nikon L100 (a very light point and shoot) went flying and got very beat up. It still works but that's because it's a Nikon. I only hit the smallest bump (one of those little metal water valve covers in the street). I was using it to video my rides around town. I got about 3 hours worth of life out of it before it snapped. The plastic doesn't seem to be completely attached. I wish you could post pictures here I would show you it. If you do use this don't be stupid like me and trust it! Tie something around your cam! Also it was a very bouncy shaky video but you can edit that out in a program like Power Director 8; I did that successfully.

Just a toy, really... and unfortunately not even well thought out.

No stabilization arm or multi-mount screws. Only for lightweight flipcam, small point-n-shoot. Not compatible with a stack of other electronics like portable players, GPSs, PDA phones (DROID/iCrap, etc.). Does not seem to have many mounting options (like outside of a car for instance). As an Anonymous user already mentioned, in NYC you risk a ticket for that windwhield mount so that one is virtually useless wherever a there is a similar law.

Want to get more pro-grade items and worth an expense then check: http://www.filmtools.com

For "prosumer" grade see: http://www.fat-gecko.com

Or just go crazy looking on google/yahoo. This toy is not something I'd personally spend a dime on, but others may think otherwise. That's the beauty of living in a world where variety abounds ;D

Peace.

I agree with freakqnc. Filmtools has way higher quality gear for mounting your cameras anywhere, especially cars and bikes. www.filmtools.com/filmtools-teenie-weenie-4-cup-camera-mount.html Check out the video at the bottom of the page shot on 5D and 7D cameras.