Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: How to transport photo equipment on a bicycle?  (Read 11406 times)
cmox
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 26


« on: May 06, 2009, 05:05:08 PM »
ReplyReply

Good weather, a good trekking bicycle (no suspension), too much equipment (of course) and a question that I found was never solved: how do you take a medium to large camera equipment (big DSLR, 3 zooms, long telephoto, Berlebach tripod) with you on a bicycle? How do you protect it from a good (bad) shaking?

I tried a rucksack, but the equipment weighs about 10 kilos plus the tripod, the center of gravity is too high with it, and my back is too weak. Many photographers use backpacks and like it, I don't.

I asked my camera dealer: is there a camera bag especially made for cyclists, e.g. extremely padded to protect my costly camera gear and with a bike mounting. No, not really.

I asked my bicycle dealer: is there a pannier especially made for photo equipment, e.g. extremely padded to protect my costly camera gear. His proposals:
- a trailer filled with bubble wrap  
- a new bicycle, full suspension, , 2000 bucks
 

How do you transport your camera equipment on a bicycle? Did you find (or invent) the full-suspension carrier that I can bolt on my bicycle?
Logged
jjj
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3078



WWW
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2009, 07:28:21 PM »
ReplyReply

Both camera and bike shop need to do more research.
Ortlieb Shuttle is your answer! I've got one, it clicks on and off bike in literally a second and can also be used as a comfortable backpack or trolley style. A good back pack is fine to wear, most aren't good!







Review here

Not sure what you'll do with tripod though.


Good full suspension and heavy loads like camera gear simply do not work as seat mounted racks cannot take the weight we carry.
That bike you illustrated looks more like a $500 bike than a $2000 bike, though using a URT [Unified Rear Triangle] design to allow a solid pannier rack is interesting. URTs are crap otherwise.


The other solution is something like a Bob trailer which tend to be very highly recommended for carrying heavy gear Even has suspension!

Logged

Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography
k bennett
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1410


WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2009, 08:24:31 PM »
ReplyReply

There was a recent thread about camera backpacks that might apply here. Several posters mentioned using a regular hiking backpack, one with a real internal frame (like the Osprey Atmos 35), and inserting a camera bag, or otherwise creating a camera compartment inside.

If I had to carry camera gear on my mountain bike, I would use my regular rack and my regular pannier bags and insert something like a Think Tank Urban Disguise 30 or 35 -- whatever fit properly. Those are narrow vertical-carry camera bags, made for tall lenses, and perfect for this sort of application. Alternatively, I could probably whip something together out of old camera bag components pretty quickly.

I already carry a smallish carbon tripod bungee corded to the top of the rack. No, it won't fit my Gitzo with the BH55 head, but my little Manfrotto 190CX3 with a small ball head works fine.
Logged

Equipment: a camera and some lenses.
250swb
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 208


« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 02:41:17 AM »
ReplyReply

I think you need to decide if you are staying on the road, or going off-road.

Camera equipment is still going to shake around violently even if it is in a padded bag, or on a full suspension bike, and especially if it is in a trailer. So you can only minimise the potential damage unless you ride around on smooth tarmac. My initial thought would be to buy a lightweight hardtail mtb with front suspension and mount a rack on the back, and use Ortlieb waterproof panniers to spread the weight either side with a smaller tripod on top of the rack. The best and most intelligent suspension system on a bicycle is the rider, so perhaps the camera body could be carried in a Think Tank Urban Disguise 30 (with the backpack strap attachement) on the body, or in a Camelback with a large enough storage pocket? Buy a good light bike and it will handle better when loaded an not add more weight to the uphill slogs than is absolutely necessary. Also try to go for one with disc brakes, they are better than rim brakes in any case, but really pay for themselves when going downhill carrying a heavy load.

Steve
Logged

cmox
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 26


« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2009, 04:20:10 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: jjj
Both camera and bike shop need to do more research.
Ortlieb Shuttle is your answer! I've got one, it clicks on and off bike in literally a second and can also be used as a comfortable backpack or trolley style. A good back pack is fine to wear, most aren't good!

In fact, I had a look at that in the shop, an interesting idea, but:

- The special adapter makes the rack useless for all other purposes. On most racks it will make it difficult or impossible to use panniers, not to speak of opening the panniers or transporting a tripod.
- It looks like a mini fridge and weighs as much as a mini fridge: SIX KILOS including the photo insert.  
- It makes the bicycle top-heavy: six kilos plus the weight of a good camera equipment on top of the rack.
- If you do not mount it on a folding type bike as shown in the review it will be very high. When you try to get on the bicycle you have to swing your leg over that box. I have a 28" full-size trekking bike which has a top tube, too, and I must admit I am neither tall nor limber enough for such a high setup. You might see me on America's Funniest Home Videos when I try  
- The padding is not better than in one of the better Lowepro bags. If I attach my Lowepro Classified 250 AW to my bicycle I have a similar solution. Damping vibrations is not better with the Ortlieb.  

So, that's not for me though it will work fine for many people.

The bike I showed is really that expensive and gets a lot of kudos in reviews, finest german overengineering, the manufacturer won many awards and is well-known here for the "Birdy" folding bike and its E-bikes.

The Bob trailer is interesting if I need to transport even more gear... even my big studio strobes could hit the road  
Logged
Jim Pascoe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 707


WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2009, 08:19:57 AM »
ReplyReply

I think there might have been a thread a bit like this a couple of months ago.  Personally, I would use side panniers, and pad the equipment well with purpose made lens cases,
and then surround those with some bubble wrap, or if touring, some spare clothing.  It is the constant vibration that would cause most problems rather than the odd bump.  In any case, sticking to smooth roads as much as possible would be a good idea.  10 kilos plus is a lot of weight to lug around on a bike, and to try to carry it all in a backpack for anything other than a very short trip would be unbearably uncomfortable, not to mention, unstable.

Jim
Logged
GregW
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 305


WWW
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2009, 10:14:34 AM »
ReplyReply

I've seen a couple of example where people have converted 2 Peli cases to hook them on a rear bike rack. By packing sensibly you can balance the considerable weight on eitehr side of the bike.
Logged
Er1kksen
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009, 02:55:47 PM »
ReplyReply

It might be beneficial to downsize your "out and about" kit as much as possible as well. If you're going to be shooting on tripod for things like landscape shots, there are probably smaller, lighter and cheaper lens options also available that perform just as well as the manufacturer's larger lenses when stopped down (again, you're on a tripod, right?). A DSLR with a smaller form factor would also cut weight, you can just carry a couple extra batteries. Do you really need three zooms, or could you substitute one for a prime? Do you really use all three of those zooms through all their ranges every trip, or is there one you just use occasionally that you could replace with a lower-spec lens?

When I'm taking a ride for photography, I bring my SLR (smallish, relatively speaking), a spare battery, a very small but fast prime, a lightweight wide-angle that performs well stopped down, and a tele that's heavier than I'd like it to be but performs nicely. I bring a monopod if I feel it'll be helpful. All of it fits in this http://www.amazon.com/Topeak-MTX-Trunk-Sid...ref=pd_sim_sg_3 and I don't even notice it's there.

Or sometimes it's just the camera and a fast 50, and some creativity with framing.

Logged
250swb
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 208


« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 03:39:53 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
The bike I showed is really that expensive and gets a lot of kudos in reviews, finest german overengineering, the manufacturer won many awards and is well-known here for the "Birdy" folding bike and its E-bikes.

But its just a posh commuter style 'city' bike, you can see from its geometry, and would be a bad buy for carrying gear or doing any sort of distance on it.

Steve
Logged

fike
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1372


Hiker Photographer


WWW
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2009, 08:02:11 PM »
ReplyReply

Honestly...I wouldn't take my good gear on a bike, except on my back.  That is some pretty harsh vibration that is going on. I ski with my photo gear. I paddle with my photo gear. I hike on rough terrain with my photo gear.  I have climbed with it.  

I wouldn't put it on a bike-mounted rack or pannier.  I would leave it on your back.  If you can't carry it on your back, I wouldn't carry it.  Your body is your best chance for vibration reduction.  I really don't think that fine lenses would be well served on a bike, particularly if you are going on any sort of rail trail or single track mountain biking.

I got a G9 to go with me on rides.
Logged

Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
marcshaffer.net
TrailPixie.net

I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
cmox
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 26


« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2009, 01:29:41 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Er1kksen
It might be beneficial to downsize your "out and about" kit as much as possible as well. If you're going to be shooting on tripod for things like landscape shots, there are probably smaller, lighter and cheaper lens options also available that perform just as well as the manufacturer's larger lenses when stopped down (again, you're on a tripod, right?).

What is a lighter alternative for the Leitz Telyt 6.8/560mm that I use frequently? For that beast, stopped down to f11, a tripod is a must at dim light in the early morning  
Logged
cmox
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 26


« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2009, 01:44:45 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: 250swb
But its just a posh commuter style 'city' bike, you can see from its geometry, and would be a bad buy for carrying gear or doing any sort of distance on it.

Steve

You might be right, and I would really like to save a lot of money and keep my trekking bike because it is made to last forever, a handmade "Diamant". But then I have to solve the vibration problem and did not find a solution, there are no well-sprung, dampened bicycle racks available, not to speak of boxes or bags that are so well padded that I would like to put my camera and lens inside and drive my bike with an ease of mind. When I looked for the costly alternative, a new bike, I found that there are not so many full-suspension bikes with a rack that is part of the sprung mass. I found only this one. If you know alternatives let me know, this one is actually much too expensive for me - the cheapest one costs 1400 Euros.
Logged
Er1kksen
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2009, 05:15:16 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: cmox
What is a lighter alternative for the Leitz Telyt 6.8/560mm that I use frequently? For that beast, stopped down to f11, a tripod is a must at dim light in the early morning

Some of the newer mirror telephoto lenses have decent optics. Michael uses one on his A900 and seems to like it, so there must be one out there that's up to your 5D ii. And you'd still need a tripod with one, I imagine (in dim morning light) but you'd have reduced that much weight, and you could probably use a lighter tripod with the lighter lens.
Logged
DaveL
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 131


WWW
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2009, 02:43:48 PM »
ReplyReply

Truly appreciate the quality of answers here.
I have done a lot of skiing photography.  
I find that poorly carried gear compromises both skiing and photography.
My compromise has been to carry low--I've had several belt packs. Most recent was by LowePro. I think Kata has some interesting bags too, but I have no experience there. My lady doesn't understand my constant search for the right bag.
Like another poster I now carry a g9 and that has surprised me with the quality of work.

A thought--vibration is one thing. What happens if you drop the bike?

DaveL
Logged
jjj
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3078



WWW
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2009, 03:12:27 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: cmox
In fact, I had a look at that in the shop, an interesting idea, but:

- The special adapter makes the rack useless for all other purposes. On most racks it will make it difficult or impossible to use panniers, not to speak of opening the panniers or transporting a tripod.
I tried the rack after adptor was added with panniers - seemed to work fine to me.
Swinging leg over is more a matter of remembering something is on rack, rather than flexibility. Kit on bike was weird at first, but you get used to different  weight/distribution fairly quickly.
 

Quote
The bike I showed is really that expensive and gets a lot of kudos in reviews, finest german overengineering, the manufacturer won many awards and is well-known here for the "Birdy" folding bike and its E-bikes.
Looks like cheap and nasty components on the bike to me and is probably aimed at people who don't know much about bikes. Just like you get Landrover or BMW badged bikes for 3 times the price of one without a car marquee sticker
What is is exactly?

Edit - found it. Looks like the version you posted a shot of is the cheap one. There are others with decent forks, and rear shock. That sort of design with a URT style suspension is about the only way to carry heavy gear on a full sus bike.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2009, 03:23:12 PM by jjj » Logged

Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography
jjj
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3078



WWW
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2009, 03:32:46 PM »
ReplyReply

As for gear on your back being dampened by your body. I had to constantly reassemble my Olympus OM lens that I used to carry that way, they were also a bit ancient it has to be said.
Logged

Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography
Ken R
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 377


WWW
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2009, 11:13:54 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi, I am an avid mountain biker (have participated in cross country competition +12 and 24 hour endurace races) and recently got into hiking for training and fun. Carrying photo gear while on the bike is not easy. First off, you need to carry the aboslute bare essentials. The lighter the better unless you will ride on flat terrain only. Keeping the gear dry and free from dust and dirt is necesary and not easy. Also, the gear needs to be stable.

In my experience adding weight to the bike GREATLY affects the handling of the bike and its performance MUCH more than adding weight on you + the vibration on the bike is intense. The body really dampens a lot of it. So, the best way to ride with any sort of gear its on your back with a good quality backpack.

One of the best for that purpose is Deuter's Trans Alpine 30. Its about as big as you want to and has great features including a water reservoir (similar to camelback). The most gear I would carry on a mountain adventure is my 1Dsmk3, 17-40mmL , 70-200mmf4L and a 50mm macro lens + a carbon tripod. I recently used one of lowepro TLZ cases and a few sliplock pouches inside my new backpack. A fully dedicated photobackpack didnt work for me (i tried a few and own several) on longer hikes. I you work out of your car then most any bag will do but as soon as you need to walk/hike for a few hours then you need a quality backpack.

You want to avoid larger top loading packs unless you need the space. Look for full panel access bags. There are many choices.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 11:15:13 AM by sneakyracer » Logged
dasams
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6


« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2009, 12:14:38 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: cmox
Good weather, a good trekking bicycle (no suspension), too much equipment (of course) and a question that I found was never solved: how do you take a medium to large camera equipment (big DSLR, 3 zooms, long telephoto, Berlebach tripod) with you on a bicycle? How do you transport your camera equipment on a bicycle?
I'm an avid cyclist and I regularly take my equipment out for a spin.  As others have noted, it's important to carefully select the equipment.  For me, it's a cyclocross bike (no suspension), D700, 24 PC-E, Gitzo traveler and accessories all tucked into a backpack.  I ride off-road and would never carry my equipment anywhere but on my back where I can absorb and dampen the vibrations.  And I'm no spring chicken at 51 yrs old.  YMMV.  dave
Logged
daleeman
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 159


WWW
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2009, 11:38:51 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: sneakyracer
Hi, I am an avid mountain biker (have participated in cross country competition +12 and 24 hour endurace races) and recently got into hiking for training and fun. Carrying photo gear while on the bike is not easy. First off, you need to carry the aboslute bare essentials. The lighter the better unless you will ride on flat terrain only. Keeping the gear dry and free from dust and dirt is necesary and not easy. Also, the gear needs to be stable.

In my experience adding weight to the bike GREATLY affects the handling of the bike and its performance MUCH more than adding weight on you + the vibration on the bike is intense. The body really dampens a lot of it. So, the best way to ride with any sort of gear its on your back with a good quality backpack.

One of the best for that purpose is Deuter's Trans Alpine 30. Its about as big as you want to and has great features including a water reservoir (similar to camelback). The most gear I would carry on a mountain adventure is my 1Dsmk3, 17-40mmL , 70-200mmf4L and a 50mm macro lens + a carbon tripod. I recently used one of lowepro TLZ cases and a few sliplock pouches inside my new backpack. A fully dedicated photobackpack didnt work for me (i tried a few and own several) on longer hikes. I you work out of your car then most any bag will do but as soon as you need to walk/hike for a few hours then you need a quality backpack.

You want to avoid larger top loading packs unless you need the space. Look for full panel access bags. There are many choices.

Will this Deuter's Trans Alpine 30 pack hold MF cameras? A Hassy and two lenses film backs and such. I can not find an interal image anywhere on the web. Could you shoot a few and attach them for us to see.

Lee
Logged
KevinA
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 883


WWW
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2009, 01:47:22 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: jjj
Both camera and bike shop need to do more research.
Ortlieb Shuttle is your answer! I've got one, it clicks on and off bike in literally a second and can also be used as a comfortable backpack or trolley style. A good back pack is fine to wear, most aren't good!







Review here

Not sure what you'll do with tripod though.


Good full suspension and heavy loads like camera gear simply do not work as seat mounted racks cannot take the weight we carry.
That bike you illustrated looks more like a $500 bike than a $2000 bike, though using a URT [Unified Rear Triangle] design to allow a solid pannier rack is interesting. URTs are crap otherwise.


The other solution is something like a Bob trailer which tend to be very highly recommended for carrying heavy gear Even has suspension!


Looks a 2k bike to me, perhaps if you have a lot of weight to move you need one of these http://www.kinetics.org.uk/html/r_m_delite_black.shtml

Kevin.
Logged

Kevin.
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad