Bart Haynes here in sunny San Diego. In this article I want to answer a question from a reader on whether its work it to wear a helmet cam while cycling. It’s increasingly common to see cyclists do this on the road – at least, in San Diego – and I have a suspicious that we may see a snowball effect with wearing helmet cams.
Why cyclists wear helmet cams
First off, why do cyclists wear helmet cams? As I personally don’t wear one, I had to ask an acquaintance of mine why he wears one. I broached the subject carefully, not wanting to seem like I looked down on cyclists who wear them.
Bart: (casually) “Oh you have a GoPro on your helmet. How long have you had that?”
Acquaintance: “Picked it up about a year ago…”
Bart: “Do you feel it all while riding.”
Acquaintance: “Maybe a little at first, but you get used to it.”
Bart: “Cool. Did you pick it up for safety, or you have a blog or something?”
Acquaintance: “Too many close calls. Figured it could come in handy in an accident.”
So my assumption is that most people wear it for safety. Here are what I think the pros and cons of wearing a helmet cam while cycling are.
Pros of wearing helmet cam while cycling
The first few things that come to mind are safety, but there are other benefits as well:
- If you have a vlog or blog, you have video content to post
- If something really exciting happens while riding, you catch it on camera
- If you are in an accident, you have proof of what happened
- If someone hits you and drives off, you will most likely catch them
- If you collide with a pedestrian, you have proof of what happened
- If drivers see you have a cam, my guess is that they will take further precautions
Obviously, the safety benefits are potentially important here. That being said, if you get in an accident you get in an accident. The main difference the helmet cam might make is if someone lies or disputes what actually happened.
Cons of wearing a helmet cam while cycling
To me, the cons of wearing a helmet cam are as follows, and are why I still don’t see a strong necessity to buy one:
- One more thing to setup and worry about to get ready to go on a ride
- More weight
- 99% of the time will be useless (unless you have blog/vlog)
- Rather expensive for something that will be useless most of the time
- Tent to look a little dorky (hey, I’m just saying!)
Is it worth is to buy a helmet cam for cycling?
Obviously, it depends on three things:
- Would the $200-$400 be better invested elsewhere in your bike?
- Are you in a cycle-friendly area?
- Do you have a blog/vlog?
- Do you mind having to deal with it?
If you are in a city, crowded cycling area, or unfriendly cycling city, it’s worth the extra precaution simply because you are going to have more close calls and run-ins with cars, people, and other cyclists.
If you have a vlog or blog, helmet cams provide good content.
Outside of those two things, the extra hassle and fact that $200 is for most bikes (unless you have a top of the line bike) a good investment to make elsewhere. For me, I have little incentive to get one.
So there’s your answer if you were wondering what Bart Haynes thinks about helmet cams.