Howto take a DSLR setup on a cycling tour?

Started Mar 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
OM mani padme hum Regular Member • Posts: 166
Re: Howto take a DSLR setup on a cycling tour?

I rode across the USA once with a handlebar bag containing an SLR plus three lenses. Never again!!! The stuff is heavy, bulky, expensive, potentially fragile and needs to be guarded against theft at all times. Unless you are going to be earning $ by carrying it, then IME it's too much effort and hassle.

Re carrying solutions:

1. Backpacks: too much hassle to stop, take off pack, take photos, repack, put pack back on, etc. Result - photos often do not happen. Also sweaty and better not to carry weight on your back if it can be avoided.

2. Handlebar bags: Convenient and easy to get to, resonably well protected in the event of crashes or bike falling over. Doesn't have to affect handling if bike is designed with a barbag in mind (rare), but otherwise can be a pain especially if you have lots of heavy stuff. Bag also blocks vision of front wheel, which can be a hassle if drafing someone or riding singletrack.

3. In top of front panniers: Please note that low mounted bags generally make the biike more stable, whilst "normal" height bags have minimal affect on handling - they DO NOT make the bike unstable unless something else is wrong. Can be reasonably well protected as the bars will hit the ground first in the event of a fall, plus the pannier contents below (i.e., clothing or similar) can protect from vibration.

4. Anywhere at the rear of the bike = too inconvenient.

5. Chest harnesses: I tried one of these for skiiing and hated it. The straps can be annoying, the bag gets in the way of zippers and thus impedes heat regulation, and if you fall on it there's a good chance of a broken rib or three. And the camera is always on view, thus attracting thieves.

If it was me, I'd take either the smallest possible kit, perhaps in a handlebar bag, or else a decent compact - in a front shirt/jacket pocket if small enough. The easier the camera is to get to the more photos will get taken, and carrying less weight when cyclie touring is always a good idea.

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