View Full Version : Mountain biking with LF

23-Jan-2006, 01:07
Has anyone any suggestions re transporting a field camera (Horseman FA), 3 lenses, tripod and associated kit by (no suspension) mountain bike?

I will not be tacking any very rough terrain, and currently walk with a CCS backpack and carry the tripod in my hand. I have tried cycling with the backpack on, and holding the tripod, but this is unstable and unconfortable. Are there any ideas or gadgets out there?

Graeme Hird
23-Jan-2006, 01:38
There is a trailer made for mountain bikes which goes by the name of BOB trailers (short for Beast Of Burden). I suggest entering that into a google search.

I'm going to buy one for myself eventually because they look ideal for the application. There is a model which has a shock absorber built into it.


J.L. Kennedy
23-Jan-2006, 05:55
I'd invest in a lot of padding, too!

Jim Rhoades
23-Jan-2006, 06:42
Do you have a rack on the back of the bike? I have a Blackman rack and on the left side I used hose clamps to attach a piece of 1 1/2 plastic pipe. I slip one leg of the tripod in the tube and a small bungee on the bottom holds the other two legs in tight. I've used this over ten years without a problem. However at my age I try not to do anything too stupid on the bike. A foam padded bike bag velcros on top and camera gear goes inside. I've used this with my Crown Graphic and that's bigger than my Horseman HD so it should work. I have not jumped off cliff's in Moab so YMMV.

Steve H
23-Jan-2006, 06:46
Hehe, I thought that the origional BOB stood for Beer on Board - hence a design that will tightly cradle 1 keg. In any event, I am not sure if it would be such a grand idea. Even the version with a shock on it won't be plush enough to handle the vibration of a typical mountain trail. I suppose that you could change the spring rate, but then you would run the risk of bottoming out. It would be OK for the tripod and associated items, but as far as the camera body and lenses go, I would leave them on your back.

John O'Connell
23-Jan-2006, 07:25
I use a kiddie trailer right now. It has a suspension of sorts, and it's fine for gravel roads, fire roads and such, but I'm going to switch to a rear rack for the tripod and a backpack for the camera gear.

One thing I will say in favor of the kiddie trailer is that it swallows a Bogen 3036 without difficulty, and has a rain flap.

23-Jan-2006, 07:31
Get a quad bike.

Keith S. Walklet
23-Jan-2006, 08:41
I regularly used my mountain bike to get to trailheads in Yosemite, early on strapping the tripod under the frame with my camera in waist pack. It was much better when I got myself a LowePro Super Trekker, which is designed to carry a tripod as well. This was a terrific way to go, especially since many of the trailheads were off roads that were closed to vehicles, except buses. The trailer idea also works well, especially if you don't leave pavement. In fact for photographers visiting the park, I often recommend they rent a bike with trailer in the park to haul their gear.

23-Jan-2006, 09:19
I carry my loaded f/64 backpack on my road bike. It has a buckle strap across the back, and I added another strap at the top handle; the two of them hold my tripod strapped to to back of the pack nicely.

Don't overdo it and hurt your back.

Dmitri S. Orlov
23-Jan-2006, 11:28
I use the mountain bike Mogoose Alta and my Horseman FA+3 lenses and very often.
Suggestion: Horseman and lenses better to carry in backpack (mini trekker in my case). Tripod could be on the rack. I avoid the contact between tripod and frame they will damage it other..
Anyway mountain bike is irreplaceable in forests, on the sea shore.
Dmitri Orlov

Josh Z.
23-Jan-2006, 11:57
Actually yes, but so far only once... It was actually a mountain bike camping ride out to a local canyon. I carried everything on my back in a LowePro Pro backpack. The tripod (14lbs including head) was strapped to the back of the pack, sleeping bag, groundpad, extra clothing, and water was strapped to the sides of the pack. In the LowePro Day Trekker I had the smaller stuff such as matches, more clothing, map, flashlight and beer. That fits on the back of the pack around the lower half of the tripod. In the end the whole thing weighed 68lbs.

The bike was my trusty RedLine Monocog (rigid signlespeed), and the trail was 7 miles each way. Of course, getting out there was the hardest part as we decided to leave after sunset with no lights as there was a full moon. Though on the way back the next morning, I was no longer burdened with the heavy beer... Just a minor hangover... ;)

All in all it worked out pretty well, but I would never do it again with all the camping equipment and tripod on my back. For the most part it was hold on and don't break, otherwise the pack had so much momentum in it it just wanted to carry me off. And the tripod was so large that everytime I hit a decent bump I would smack the back of my head into it. Without the camping gear and tripod, the pack only weighs some 23lbs, which I would think is very doable. A bob trailer would have really helped in this situation...

jonathan smith
23-Jan-2006, 13:12
I got my bike fitted with some folding baskets which hold my 8x10 camera and cloth, holders, accessories. The lenses go in small individual shoulder bags on my person (I limit it to one or two if I'm riding the bike). The tripod is a compact model not really appropriate for 8x10 but, hey, I am just careful when I make the exposure and have had no problems with exposures even in the 8-10 second range.

The tripod is bungeed onto a flat rear fender that was installed on the bike.

It works quite well.

One idea I am mulling over is to make the bike the tripod; the seat comes right out and could be replaced with something that I could screw the camera onto. Then maybe some sort of bracing bar to help the kickstand. But I'm doing ok as it is.

The big advantage is I can explore at a slower pace, and take my equipment right up to where I want to shoot, rather than finding a place to park and hauling it all over.

Scott Fleming
23-Jan-2006, 13:18
Used to be an avid mountain biker. Gave it up due to neck problems. I recommend a rack system. Carrying weight on your back while biking is a drag and it raises your center of gravity which is dangerous to you and your equipment ... not to mention uncomfortable. The problem I see is the shaking and vibration. Will shake the bejeebers out of delicate equipment.

23-Jan-2006, 17:17
a lot depends on how rough the trails are. if it's just jeep roads and things, you could probably get away with a backpack, and some improvised way of attaching the tripod to a rear rack.

the tripod is the tough part. i imagine you could use one small and light enough to backpack with, bungee it to a rear rack with the spikes sticking way out behind you, and maybe one of those orange ribons tied to it so you don't impale the cameraless NORBA guys when they try to pass you.

for any kind of rough trail with a big load, rack mounted panniers give the best bike handling. low mounted front panniers have some weight distribution advantages, but i don't know if they make them for mountain bikes (especially with suspension forks)

plenty of desne foam padding should isolate the gear from vibration and the ocasional unplanned landing.