Unless you get a big bundle, the best action cams like the GoPro Hero 12 come bare-bones without any mounts – what actually makes it so versatile. That also means you can really fine-tune your setup for what you’re using it for.
In this case, we’ll cover the most relevant bang-for-buck accessories for mountain biking that get you the best POV footage.
I’ve accumulated quite a collection of mounts and accessories. Some of those have a permanent place in my POV camera gear bag. Some are not as useful as I thought and didn’t make this list.
Here’s a quick overview of what I regularly use for my POV MTB videos:
Chest mounts for GoPro 12
Yes, they’re more hassle to wear than a helmet mount. But let’s be honest …
Chest mounts are one of the most immersive points of view.
They capture hands, bike and trail all at once. Bonus points for being lower to the ground, which always looks faster.
There are many different chest mounts on the market, from first-party DJI and GoPro to countless third-party brands. The higher-end ones feature a padded center plate that’s comfortable to wear all day long.
Then there are some like the new DJI Chesty and Telesin’s one, that also have a rear mount on the back for awesome follow-cam shots.
Most important factors to pick the best chest mount:
- Quiet & rattle-free (GoPro & DJI)
- Ease of use (GoPro)
- Rear-facing mount (DJI & Telesin)
The biggest difference between all the chest mounts is in their ease of use. All except the GoPro Chesty have two buckles, which is cumbersome to put on and can press into your ribs.
This is what really separates GoPro’s chest mount from other manufacturers. For a visual reference of what I’m talking about, check out this short video by TimFromWales:
Helmet chin mount
Chinbar mounts combine the best of both worlds from chest and helmet visor mounts: an angle to capture the bike but also the head movement, so you’ll always film towards the upcoming piece of trail. On top of that, it’ll always be level – kind of like a built-in in Horizonleveling.
The only downside is the added weight to the front of the helmet, which is quite noticeable. It increases the overall helmet weight and makes it bounce more due to the leverage so far in front. That’s why I prefer the chest mount.
There are tons of chin mounts available. Almost all feature rubber pads and folding material that sit both quietly and securely on any MTB or MX full-face helmets. I went with DJI’s Helmet Chin Strap Mount and haven’t looked back since.
Adhesive Pads for Helmet Visors
Not my favorite angle in terms of footage quality, but the easiest to use for sure.
For sticky pads the GoPro adhesive mount kit is my go-to and here is why:
Only GoPro has an extra flat slider that allows a small footprint when mounted under the visor. It keeps the height minimal and keeps the camera out of my vision. And the rubber grommets eliminate rattling noise and prevent unintentional dismounts.
Storage (SD Card) – Don’t be stingy here!
Don’t overlook this tiny, but critical piece in your setup! A cheap, low-quality SD card is known to cause issues in GoPros like corrupted files, freezing or lost footage.
There’s a reason GoPro themselves ship only one brand: Sandisk. They are the most reliable and work well in all GoPro models.
The other factor to look at is fast read and write speeds for 4K or even 5.3K footage. Sandisk’s Extreme and Extreme Pro series are good to go for that.
I went with a 128 Gigabyte card from SanDisk, which lasts about 4 days’ worth of filming for me.
Just FYI: 1 minute of 4K video at 30 FPS takes up about 375 MB of storage. 5.3K is about twice that.
Spare Enduro batteries
While the Hero 12 got some battery life improvements over the previous models, it’s still not enough to get you through an entire day of riding and filming. Not in 4K and not even close in 5.3K
That’s why I always ride with a spare battery in my pocket for backup. Just a second “Enduro Battery” is likely more than enough for most recreational rider-filmers.
I personally film a lot when riding and also ride multiple days in a row. So one of the bigger Telesin charging cases or GoPro’s little 2-slot charger is a big help. Especially if I can’t recharge overnight.
A separate charger also allows you to recharge while using the camera.
Wind noise reduction
Not by fancy visuals, but by improving audio. Ever stopped watching an MTB video because of that horrible wind noise? There’s no way around wind on a bike, but there is one around the loud noise.
Get the sounds of tires hitting dirt, suspension squishing and sexy rear hub sounds in focus with a simple foam cover.
There are many wind screen brands available, but I go with HSU “Windslayers” as they got one of the densest foams at half the price (dual-pack for the same price).
Carry case for organizing
With additional accessories and mounts comes the need to keep all of it organized, in one place and ready to go at any time. And that doesn’t have to be a pain either. A small simple case keeps all that stuff organized in one place and is easy to throw in your backpack or car.
Keeping it simple here, I just use my small hard-shell GoPro case. It holds everything I need from camera, to filters, to mounts, to batteries. Only the chest mount lives in a separate bag.
Depending on which extra accessories and which spare parts you bring, there is a case best suited for you.
Magnetic mount adapter (like DJI Action)
The magnetic attachment system on the new DJI Action 4 (review here) lifts it above every other action cam in my book. Now it’s available for GoPros too!
Get your GoPro into the perfect angle once – and then leave the magnetic mount there forever!
This way you’ll never have to search for that perfect camera angle regain! It’s always where you left it last time. And you can easily and quickly take the camera off for some quick setting adjustments or playback views to check your footage.
Having the perfect angle reliably every time is so powerful that I got a total of three magnetic mounts.
One for the helmet visor, one for the chin, and one for the chest rig.
Let’s get into some of the nerdy stuff that’s totally optional, but can take your videos to the next level.
Max Lens Mod 2.0
Finally, version 2 of the Max Lens Mod I can recommend without any caveats.
That being said – full transparency – this is the only accessory on this list I don’t actually own. Since I primarily use the DJI Action 4 with its 155° FOV and the Max Lens Mod is an extra $100 for little benefit to me personally.
For every other Hero 12 owner tho, this is a game-changer! For one, it gets far better-looking distortion than Hyperview (in my opinion). A massive 177° FOV – pretty much as wide as a single-lens camera can go.
But it’s more than a simple FOV increase. It makes HorizonLock actually usable on an MTB by keeping the FOV nice and wide instead of the normal tiny “Linear” one.
And it lets you shoot in vertical mode easily – but without messing around with an actual vertical mount. All that in stabilized 4K – from the previous max resolution of 2.7K
Before, I used a single-axis gimbal – cumbersome to use and heavy. But that’s obsolete now with the Max Lens Mod 2.0
This is how Horizonlocked POV footage looks (using my Gimbal, not the Max Lens Mod):
These are what help you create cinematic motion blur – like I did in the videos above and below. And while they gain in popularity, they are difficult to understand and use. ND filters only work in specific circumstances and are always a compromise between blur and stabilization.
If you get it right tho (and I’ll show you how), what you end up with is amazing-looking cinematic video with strong motion blur that looks fast AF.
For the Hero 12 specifically, I found the best settings to use with ND filters for that sweet blur, but still keep the stabilization intact. Feel free to steal them!
This is how that looks (GoPro 11 footage):
As far as the actual filters go, I went with a set of Freewell filters. However, I only ever use the ND4 and sometimes the ND8. Those two are the only ones making sense for MTB, where you need stabilization to still work well.
So if you can, get ND4 or ND8 filters only. Don’t worry about CPL, UV and all that other stuff. It just adds to the price without making any sense for MTB videos.
Color Grading for Action Cam Videos
Make your POV footage pop with custom color grades!
Download my FREE LUT specifically for MTB videos:
So there you have it. Those are the exact accessories I use to make mountain biking POV videos. Some of them I consider to be must-haves, some are quality-of-life parts and some are plain over-the-top for most of you.
Either way, what goes into your own gear bag is up to you. The main thing is to have fun and be happy with the footage you get!