After-market parts often outperform those provided by the manufacturer and this is certainly the case with the K-Edge GO BIG mounts. They’re more expensive, but in my opinion, worth it.
When it comes to needing a better handlebar mount for a Go Pro camera, I’m speaking from experience. On a tour, my Go Pro handlebar mount broke twice. We were riding on converted rail trails so I’m not talking about big impacts to the mount but rather just the constant vibrations that come from riding a bike on crushed stone. It wasn’t a surprise that the plastic injection molded handlebar mount failed although seeing the camera bouncing on the trail certainly got my attention. Given the geometry of the mount, the weight of the camera and the 90 degree edges in the part design failure was inevitable. It had the load, a weak material and an edge in the wrong place for stress concentration. If I sound like a mechanical design engineer I am. The weak point is where the thin fingers connect into the body of the plastic arm. I was thankful, when the mount snapped, that the plastic camera case protected the camera and it managed not to slide on the lens area.
I spoke with the people at Go Pro and they told me that they didn’t have plans to change the mount design and even suggested that I consider using the much larger mount sold for mounting Go Pro cameras to roll bars in cars. How that would be possible, given the diameter of the mount, I really don’t know. They also told me that it would be better to use the “Chesty” mount that allows you to mount the camera to your body. I own a Chesty and have found it to be an excellent product that I do recommend but it doesn’t provide me with all of the camera angles that I would like to have and can be a little tricky to use on a road bike due to your body position. Mounting the camera upside down helps. If you’re on a long distance tour, having the camera strapped to your chest all day might not be to your liking either.
Having the camera mounted to the handlebars allows you to turn it on and off with ease when there is something interesting to shoot conserving both memory and battery power.
K-Edge offers two Go Pro handlebar camera mounts called the GO BIG and GO BIG PRO. The GO BIG is a simple ring while the GO BIG PRO has a short arm to allow the camera to sit forward of the handlebars.
The GO BIG mounts are designed for the newer, larger, 31.8 mm handlebars so my first challenge was to fit them to my thinner bars. As it turns out, what initially pissed me off, turned out to be a real advantage. I knew I needed something to take up the gap and my first thought was bike computer shims. These weren’t thick enough and I was actually hoping to find a material that was softer to provide more dampening for the camera. I also wanted it to be something that would be inexpensive, easily found and wouldn’t look like rubber bands and duct tape.
While having a beer, it hit me; a silicone bracelet like the yellow Live Strong bracelets just might do the trick. Okay, I’ll admit it, I have a bunch of these bracelets for putting on beer cans and bottles at parties so you know which beer is yours. Not wanting to use my beer bracelets, since they have fun beer sayings on them, I found an orange one from a UVA football game. The bracelet turned out to be a really good length for the application. I cut the band, wrapped it around the handlebars and then mounted the K-Edge handlebar mount over top of it.
It ends up providing a triple benefit; it protects my handlebars, it fills the gap and it dampens the motion of the camera so that bumps aren’t quite as bumpy. It acts like a small shock absorber for the camera. As an extra benefit, it doesn’t look bad. If you do have 31.8 mm handlebars I would recommend using bicycle computer shims or a section of inner tube to protect the bars.
You will need a 3mm hex wrench to attach and remove the camera but it does keep the big thumb screws of the Go Pro from sticking out all over the place.
You might be thinking that the K-Edge mounts are adding excess weight but in fact they’re not. Since they’re made out of aluminum, they weigh 24 grams and 46 grams respectively (GO BIG and GO BIG PRO).
K-Edge GO BIG PRO – GoPro Handlebar Mount – K-Edge GO BIG
With the GO BIG Mount you can mount the camera above my handlebars keeping it low to the bars.
With the GO BIG PRO I can mount it underneath and forward of my handlebars which keeps it out of my line of site and it stands out a little less in general. If you mount the camera upside down, there is a setting in the camera to tell it to invert the video. The downside of the forward and upside down mounting is that it’s not going to be as easy to turn the camera on and off as you’re riding.
The mounts are CNC machined from aluminum and the manufacturing quality is excellent giving them strength and a very nice appearance. They come in 3 anodized colors, black, red and gun metal.
The following is a short video showing the image quality obtained when using the K-Edge mounts:
Pros: High Strength, Light Weight, Excellent Quality, Nice Appearance, Solid Mount for your Go Pro Camera, Available in different colors
Cons: Expensive, Only Available for 31.8mm (large diameter) handlebars, Adapter for smaller bars not provided
If you’ve invested the money in the camera, it’s worth the investment in a good quality mount. Your videos will be better and your camera will be safer. K-Edge also offers a camera mount that attaches to the seat rails allowing you to film the action behind you.
If your thinking about filming with your phone be sure to check out the Trail Rail Phone/GPS Handlebar Mount Review.