British Cycling and wearable cameras – the latest

Yesterday we broke the news that British Cycling had banned the use of all wearable cameras, of any kind from their events. It – obviously – set the internet on fire and you guys told us, in droves, that you thought it was a bad idea.

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In a vote on our site yesterday, 95% of the 1500 people that vote said “I don’t support BC’s decision, it’s a bad idea”.

Since we broke the story we’ve heard that British Cycling have held a closed telephone conference to discuss the matter and discuss your overwhelming reaction to the rule change. We’re told that the feedback online was enough to sway British Cycling to reconsider the rule change.

But is it good news? Well … almost.

British Cycling will allow helmet cameras at their events during practice. Race runs are still a no-go … but that’s the same as it always was. You can – same as you could last season – now run a Gopro or a Drift on your head during practice.

Update: The whole thing does however come dosed with the potential of it just being temporary. “For Now” is included in the title of the official press release and we’re told that BC “needs to better understand the impact and implications of the use of cameras for all parties involved in the sport before any changes are made…”.

But for now, the ban is lifted. However – there’s one detail you should be aware of: 

“Chest mounted cameras and bike mounted cameras are not permitted. Any mounts attached to the bike have to be removed prior to event.”

That means no chesty-cams and no bar-mounted cams. Given the outright ban that was announced yesterday, this feels like a fair compromise though we’re unclear as to how a chest-camera or a handlebar camera can be any more of a risk than a head camera.

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Also you should be aware that:

“Metal or permanent fixtures to attach the cameras are not allowed. Tape, velcro or ties are allowed to secure the device, which must be removed for competition (including  qualifying and finals for DH & 4X).”

This means (and we’ve checked with British Cycling) that you can’t attach your camera to your bike or helmet in a way that can’t be removed without causing damage. Stick-on mounts such as those supplied by GoPro etc are fine.

What’s our verdict? We’re slightly puzzled by the discrimination between chest-mounted and head-mounted cameras but this feels like a good resolution. British Cycling should be commended for having the common sense to reach a conclusion that obviously works for them whilst still allowing the sport to enjoy the publicity it needs and the riders to film the action in the way they love doing. You guys should also be proud of yourselves for speaking out and making your opinions heard. We can’t say for certain, but it must have had an impact on the decision.

Again – tell us your thoughts in the comments please and hit SHARE on Facebook!

Here’s the FULL email from BC:

Mountain Bike Appendix

Helmet / Action Cameras

  • Helmet cameras are only permitted during practice or designated training sessions. They are not permitted in competition (including qualifying or final runs for DH & 4X).
  • The riders are solely responsible for securing the fixation of the camera in order to avoid any danger or distraction.
  • Metal or permanent fixtures to attach the cameras are not allowed. Tape, velcro or ties are allowed to secure the device, which must be removed for competition (including  qualifying and finals for DH & 4X).
  • Chest mounted cameras and bike mounted cameras are not permitted. Any mounts attached to the bike have to be removed prior to event.
  • British Cycling, the event organiser and all appointed commissaires have the right to refuse a rider entry to the course if the rules are not adhered to.

Please note: the use of helmet cameras during competition remains prohibited as in previous years. Any further questions regarding this should be directed to [email protected]

Kind regards,

Officials Education
British Cycling, National Cycling Centre, Stuart Street, Manchester, M11 4DQ ”

And the official PR:

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Helmet cameras allowed for practice runs for now, says British Cycling

British Cycling has today confirmed that it will allow helmet cameras to be used by riders during practice at Downhill Mountain Biking and 4-Cross events. After consultation with riders, organisers and sponsors of the sport, the national governing body for cycling today said that it needs to better understand the impact and implications of the use of cameras for all parties involved in the sport before any changes are made on the enforcement of these rules.

Speaking about the decision, CycleSport and Membership Director Jonny Clay Said:
“Although the rule prohibiting the use of cameras has been in existence for a number of years, the decision to enforce it and the communication of this to participants, sponsors and volunteers came too close to the start of the season and we apologise for that. However, challenges remain for the sport as a whole with regard to safety and we’ll continue to work with riders, organisers and the industry to deliver the sport in a way the benefits all”

Speaking after taking part in a forum to discuss the use of cameras with British Cycling yesterday, Will Longden (manager of the Madison Saracen team) said:

“It was good to talk through the issue with British Cycling and have the opportunity to discuss things form the point of view of riders and sponsors. It’s clear that what we all agree on is the need to find workable solutions for the whole sport and we’ll look forward to playing our part in making that happen”

Following today’s announcement, British Cycling will now take some time to work with stakeholders across the sport to decide on the most appropriate way to regulate the safe use of cameras. The use of helmet cameras during competition remains prohibited as in previous years.


  1. I can kind of understand the reasoning behind the chest mounted cameras. If a rider was to take a full on hit to the chest whilst wearing one, the camera could potentially create a pretty nasty pressure point.

    Cant say I have ever heard of this happen…but there is always a first!

  2. How is falling on a single rock with your stomach or chest different from having a camera burried in there? It’s tiny and if you wear protection it’s nog that bad. On high impact forces the thing breaks off anyway.

    Dumb rules

  3. Personally, I’m just happy to hear that FOR NOW they are again allowing us to use helmet cameras. I know we can’t have chest-mounted cameras, but being allowed to have them on your helmet is a huge amount better than not being able to use them at all!

  4. I’ve crashed twice and chest slammed the bars/stem whilst wearing a go pro on a chest mount, and both times I’m glad that i have had it on….. The camera case cracked once and the other time it smashed whilst I came away without even a bruise or scratch on my chest, so I can’t see why they can’t be allowed ?!?!!

  5. I think they banned chest cams because they give awful footage.
    If I was trying to us it for publicity or track learning I’d want to see a good riders eye view of the track not one constantly obscured by the handlebars, stem and toptube.

  6. A ban on chest-cams is ridiculous. The GoPro Chesty mounts the camera to a very large plate: there is a huge contact patch on the chest. I’d rather take a hit with it on than without it.

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