Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

ContourGPS helmet cam live on your phone

Posted by Matt | January 13, 2011 | 15 comments so far

The mountain bike world hasn’t been immune from the effects of technology over the years; in fact, in many ways it’s thrived on the advancement of our collective know-how. After all, we now have 29ers don’t we?

ContourGPS now enabled with Bluetooth

One big trend over the past 18 months affecting our innocent woodland adventures has been the use and integration of phones to track our activities and there’s now many apps out the to tell you how far, fast and where you’ve been.

I suggest you keep that quiet from your other half or they’ll be able to go online see that most of our rides consist of ‘rest and recuperation’!

A new development has been to take data from separate sources and integrate into those apps. Heart rate monitors are starting to do this, beaming their exercise data to your phone so you have all that information in one place thanks to Bluetooth technology.

It makes me wonder how long before accelerometers in or on the bike itself are included to tell you that you mash the pedals too hard or need to brake more smoothly?

One innovative use of the phone/bluetooth combo has appeared at the 2011 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in the US with Contour announcing that their ContourGPS ‘hands-free’ camera will now beam live footage to your camera so you can, err, see what you’re riding.

Well, maybe it’s still best to keep your eyes on the prize (or rather the trail), but at least this solves one of the perennial problems of helmet cams which is that due to the fact it’s on your crash helmet you often have absolutely no idea what you’re filming until you get home and realise you’ve got a whole heap of tree canopy footage.

So you can use the live footage to position your helmet cam just so. The built GPS data of the camera also allows you to plot where you were at any given time during shooting of your gnarly epic.

Or you could leave your phone at home and once again your other half can see how little exercise you’re really doing! Maybe this technology thing isn’t such a great idea after all…

Filed under 2011, News in January 2011


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 15 comments on ‘ContourGPS helmet cam live on your phone’

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  1. John R says:

    Just too late for the Christmas present list ;o)

  2. Andrew says:

    On the technology front my Christmas present to myself was an I-phone. Any Apps the Moles can recommend to turn it into a GPS/bike computer etc?

  3. PaulM says:

    Hmmm, maybe ride leaders could wear these pointing back to see if the group is breaking up. Or just to capture some grimacing and red faces 🙂

    I’ve been using the ViewRanger app for a few years now on a number GPS enabled phones. Its been excellent, well worth considering.

  4. Andy661 says:

    I use Sports Tracker which i really like.
    The results are displayed very well i think.
    However, its for Nokia and don’t think there’s an iphone variant yet.
    Think Matt did a review of Endomondo a while back, but from what i saw the results weren’t presented as well.
    Also heard about ithelete which is for iphone and can do all manner of clever things 😉
    word of caution – all this geolocation device floating about in the ether. . . Just make sure someone can’t log in to when you’re leaving home!

  5. pIJ says:

    Whatever happened to just getting on a bike and going out for a ride? Now people feel naked if they don’t go out with 3 litres of water, food, mobile ‘phone, sat nav, full set of workshop tools, spare inner tubes, repair patches, emergency money, spare clothing….. One guy I regularly see carries a full size track pump with him. You see people on singlespeed bikes carrying more kit in their rucksack than Scott took to the pole. Others carry camping gear just in case they need to cook up something, or survive a night in the woods. Most will be wearing clothing good enough to survive a nuclear winter. Now when I bump into people who are just on their bikes, with no multiple spare kit and no Camelbak, I initially think them odd. My pack sometimes weighs over 6kg; psychologically, physically and mentally it weighs me down. Perhaps it’s time we re-claimed our rides and went out with the bare minimum of kit and enjoyed the experience a bit more? What’s the point of dropping bike weight right down, tricking it out with Ti and carbon bits, then humping 10kg of kit and excess clothing around the trails?

    Make a stand people! Leave the crap at home.

  6. pIJ says:

    On a different note, I think the use of italics for the comments section sucks. Sorry! personally I find it a bit hard to read.

    • Matt says:

      pIJ thanks for the feedback! We’ve had italics in the past, then went to normal for a while last year. It’s something which is very personal I think.

      Having said that, it’s possible increasing the line spacing and/or font size would improve readability. It’s early days for the current design and lots will be tweaked over the next few weeks as it beds down, so I’ll keep it under review.

      But I’m not expecting to please all the people all the time!

  7. pIJ says:

    Ha ha! No worries – last year’s italics were fine, but these come up all wibbly on my server. Like being drunk but without the alcohol.

  8. Dave says:

    Maybe we could have italic Comic Sans? (that will pass most of you by but the Font Police will now be watching out for us in case we use an inappropriate font)

    Interesting comment pIJ (the weight one, not the italic one) as I do occasionally venture out without a camelbak on when on the SS, which has a small saddle bag on. I also never carry a mobile but I doubt anyone born after 1980 could get on with that concept. Anyone who has ever lifted my camelbak will realise what an advantage this gives me!! (two exclamation marks to wind Brant up in case he’s reading this)

  9. pij says:

    Boo hoo! I’m not the italic Police – just that the current one comes up all wibbly on my works server. Teach me for looking at it at work…. Fine everywhere else.

    My mate once took two twelve inch adjustable spanners out with him to cover mechanicals. He stopped that when it was pointed out that the only nut on the bike was the one holding the handlebars. He didn’t like his subsequent nickname.

    It’s just a passing comment really, but we do seem to end up taking more and more stuff out as essentials these days, and it is quite liberating not to sometimes. Roadies seem to get away with taking virtually nothing out, yet us MTB’ers drag the kitchen sink along. I know people that take wet wipes out for gawds sake. That’s not proper is it? Not in the SAS survival guide that one, wet wipes. It would be interesting to ask ourselves if we actually know what to do with some of the tools we take out, or what their purpose in life is? Some of the things on my multi-tool certainly look interesting, but seem to have no apparent function that I can work out.

    Sat Navs I’m stuck over. One should instinctively know the local trails and so not need them, but they do enhance the experience when they work. May be sad, but I quite like going over the route on my pc – even though often such an exercise just highlights how slowly one can actually cover the ground.

    I went through my Camelbak recently [September] and removed over 1kg of accumulated junk, most of it being change from cafes. Explains why I never get below 9 minutes for the Box Hill challenge…… Er…..

  10. Dave says:

    Stand easy pIJ I wasn’t pointing the finger at you. I worked with a designer who got very uptight about the incorrect use of fonts. Comic Sans being the main culprit and if you google it’s misuse you’ll no doubt find a lot of web pages on it.

  11. pij says:

    No offence taken Dave – indeed I like the subtleness, humour and inbred rivalry of this site. Just didn’t realise that I’d strayed into historic [or even histrionic] font wars! I’ve heard it said that many a roadie prefers it. Allegedly.

    Anyway nothing can dent my good humour tonight, even being accused of being the internet font Police passes me by. Why? My wife inadvertantly booked a week’s holiday in Barmouth, not realising what was around the corner. She’ll not be seeing me for a week then.

  12. Matt says:

    Fonts are many designer’s secret bugbear.

    There really is a method behind their seeming madness (on the print side we’ve been practising for 500 years after all), but without getting too technical on the web there’s a much narrower choice; hence you often see Verdana, Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman used a lot.

    I’ve done it here, trying to get variety by varying the font-size. But it’s not perfect and a font jihadist could find a lot to criticise.

    On the Comic Sans side it’s often seen as a ‘bad font’ due to it’s unusual proportions vs ascenders/descenders etc. It’s very child like and gets over-used whenever people want to be informal, as well as being used everywhere on anything to do with a primary school.

    What many people don’t realise is it’s actually supposed to work rather well for dyslexics and that the problem with is it mis-use.

    God I sound weird, I thought bikes were bad enough!

  13. Dandy says:

    Nice to see PIJ has not made a new year resolution to stop hijacking threads. Didn’t want to talk about helmet cams anyway, but thought I’d mention I used to live only 5 miles up the coast from Barmouth. Unfortunately it was well before mtb’ing was invented, and all they used Coed y Brenin for was the RAC Rally.

  14. pij says:

    I can’t be the font Police and a thread hijacker at the same time can I? Possibly not mutually exclusive.

    Seize the opportunity I say! Matt can always delete them if they stray too far; religion,politics, personal attacks that kind of thing. Surely a thread is just a conversation anyway?


    I too used to live near there; Llandudno, but spent the summers of my youth in Aberdovey. Also the dawn of time before MTB’s were thought of. Luckily it was also before speed limits were really enforced, so motorcycling was huge fun. Indeed given the choice between tazzing about on a motorcycle or lugging a 35lb, 18 speed MTB up a hill, at the time the MTB would have lost every time.

    There you go – helmet cams to motorcycling in Wales in a couple of posts. Not bad.

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