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Photography Question 
Eleanor ter Horst
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/19/2006
 

Carrying Camera on Bike Tour


I'm going on a week-long bike tour later this month and I need to figure out some way to carry my digital SLR camera (Nikon D60) while biking. I like to travel light but don't want to risk damaging the camera. Could I put the camera in a handlebar bag? I've also seen special backpacks for carrying cameras, but these seem a bit heavy. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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7/6/2008 5:46:34 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  What are you carrying extra clothes and stuff in?
There are small sized backpack camera bags, and the bigger ones may look heavy but it's about how much stuff you carry.
I have one and it carries well for walking. A handle bar bag would need some padding or anything to keep the camera from bouncing around. Plus there's more room in a small backpack, and they're compartmentalized so an extra lens would fit securely.
Backpacks made for camera stuff are priced more than a regular backpack, so you can also try packing clothes inside a regular one to double as cushion for the camera.


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7/6/2008 9:19:59 AM

 
Eleanor ter Horst
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/19/2006
  There's a van accompanying the tour that carries our luggage, so on the bike we only need to take necessities for the day. I was thinking I could get away with a small handlebar bag for the tour; that way I wouldn't have extra weight on my back from the backpack. With a handlebar bag, though, there would be the issue of padding that Gregory mentions, and I might not be able to carry my extra lens.


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7/6/2008 9:37:07 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  This is one brand to look at, their smaller sizes at the top.

http://www.tamrac.com/welcome.htm


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7/6/2008 9:48:02 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  And be sure to take a look at these two sites:

http://www.kgear.com
and their bike gear site

http://www.kgear.com/bgear/

Bon voyage.
M


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7/6/2008 10:08:21 AM

 
Sarah G   http://photo.net/travel-photography-forum/00GJSo

A thread from 2006 is above.

Thread below is from 2003.

http://photo.net/leica-rangefinders-forum/004vo8


Several seem to have concerns about vibration, but equally say that a backpack on your back would be BAD.

The first thread listed someone mentioned that handle bars as having a lot more vibration than let's say a tool bag type thing from the eyelets of the saddle.

Anyhow...go to one of the links above they really discuss the topic. You can also do a search on the topic while at the site (bike touring or Bicycle tours) and get quite a few thoughts on the subject. Hopefully you'll find something that seems to make sense to you and that will work for you.

Have a GREAT trip.


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7/6/2008 10:23:06 AM

 
Eleanor ter Horst
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/19/2006
  Thanks Gregory, Mark and Sarah for your responses! It looks as if this issue is a lot more complicated than I had thought. I have done some longer bike trips in the past, but never with the camera, and I found that I really dislike carrying a backpack while riding. Over the long haul, it creates stain on my shoulders and makes me hot! That's why I wanted to go with the handlebar bag, but there is the issue of vibration to consider. My bike is a hybrid with a suspension fork that absorbs some shock, so I wonder if that would cut down on vibration. I don't think I'll be riding on rough terrain, just regular roads. Thanks again for your advice. I see that combining two activities that I love, cycling and photography, will take a bit of thought.


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7/6/2008 11:10:00 AM

 
Eleanor ter Horst
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/19/2006
  I'm back from the bike tour and just wanted to follow up with a bit of information on my experiences, in case anyone else is interested in combining cycling with photography. I ended up buying a handlebar bag that attaches to the bike with a click-on attachment (on a rigid bar) and outfitted it with some padding so I could carry my camera and an extra lens. It worked fine and I was glad to have something a bit more sophisticated than a point and shoot, even though I didn't enjoy the extra weight of the camera + bag on the hills!

The bike tour company hired some professional photographers, who were with us the first couple of days, and one of them rode a bike outfitted with a handlebar bag that had separate padded compartments for digital SLR camera and lens. It was made by a German company, Ortlieb, and the photographer said the company sells equipment in the U.S. via the internet, although she had had bought hers used on E-Bay. Even though my improvised solution worked pretty well, I plan on checking out the handlebar bags designed specifically for cameras before my next bike tour. Hope this information is helpful to everyone!


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7/30/2008 10:54:11 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  I ride about 10 miles a day with a road/mountain bike. Never would I even briefly consider using a handlebar bag. You'll vibrate the camera way to much in my opinion...couldn't you just bring a good P&S camera so you don't ruin your DSLR? I hate riding with backpack since I sweat a TON with them. Your shoulders, back and arms absorb most of the vibration so the back is the best place to carry a camera...what about a fanny pack. The fanny pack or Tamrac slingshot back might work but still is gonna jar the camera when bumps are hit. I'd honestly keep the camera in the support van, which will stop and meet you at specific spots....


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7/30/2008 6:20:03 PM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  Agreed... that's why I have a Fuji F30 (to save wear and tear on my dSLR). If I was getting paid to photograph others, then I'd have the nice handlebar bag... and I wouldn't worry so much about my working tool.

Plus, a small, handy camera is ideal for the type of pictures most of us will take while cycling. I've even shot movies with mine while riding.

The best thing about such a small camera is that you can use a small case around your neck, with the camera strap threaded through the case strap, and pretty much not worry about dropping the camera... something that isn't true with a dSLR.


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8/11/2008 11:41:02 PM

 
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