Has anyone tried a gimbal with bicycle?

Hi folks. My results on bicycle with action cameras (I have a GoPro Hero 3) and cellphone mounted on my bicycle with Mapillary support are not satisfactory (too much shaking). I was wondering if has tried using a gimbal to make nicer images.

Just found this DIY version with Lego and rubber bands, seems good enough for Mapillary shooting purposes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1pG4TqZJfA

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No I have not. I bought a little cheap one for a smartphone. I tried it at home, but it was really slow studio work. Luckily I could return the gimbal to the shop.
I do my countryside walking in the rain and wind on heavy ground. For that purpose I should try attaching the camera to the middle of a little wheel and hold the wheel with two hands.
I also tried 300 euro mechanical gimbals in a shop, I never believe they are useful on a bike.

I also looked for an electric gimbal, but I could not find a general purpose one. I think you need an electric one.

So I settled for a 400 euro spheric panoramic Ricoh theta s camera.


Yeah, I suppose that on this range (300 - 450 USD) a Ricoh Theta is a money better spent.

Never thought about attaching the cellphone to a wheel. Do you have a photo of this setup?

Perhaps a good enough alternative (if one have it laying around) would be attaching the cellphone to a Mario Kart Wii controller wheel, such as this.

I don’t find the picture of the wheel setup any more on http://www.instructables.com/howto/gimbal/
You could even use a stick horizontally.

Those mechanical gimbals are cheaper on the second hand market.

Now I am looking for a high monopod with little legs for my ricoh theta s camera. Not cheap either :frowning:


I tried to build such a gimbal with Lego, but after making it solid, it becomes quite heavy.

On one of the Youtube films connected to the one you posted, somebody used plastic piping he glued together, so he could fim himself from ‘behind’.

I have another idea. Start with a backpack and make use of tubing that is used for heating and sanitary. It’s a combination of plastic and aluminum. Quite light, somewhat flexible, rather handy to work with.

So from the backpack I would create some sort of tripod going up. Then from there I would use nylon cord (3) down to a hula hoop ring. This ring might move/wobble somewhat, but it would be self stabilizing. For making pictures that would be good enough. For video, probably not.

The advantage of such a ring, would be it becomes possible to mount cameras/smartphones in more than 1 direction. I think I would let it come down to shoulder height. It can be used equally well on foot as by bicycle.

I agree with you, if you would think that it might look odd though… which is probably why I hadn’t made it yet, but now that the idea is becoming more concrete in my mind, it could happen any time. I’ve been toying with the hula hoop idea for a few months now, but I didn’t see how to make it happen, as I was considering to have it come down from shoulder height. Now I think it’s important to go up first, then have the ring at shoulder height. At waist height it would be bothersome for use on a bicycle.


Or an electric gimbal with integrated camera for 750 euro.
Oh sorry, no GPS.

I just tried a gimbal on a bicycle.
Gimbal : Vimble C (attached to the bike stem using a ski scratch fastener)
Smartphone : Wiko P4200AN (similar to Lenny 3)
Bicycle : metrovelo.

The sequence.

The sequence ended up when my smartphone collapsed and only the back part remained in the gimbal holder :confused:

But the sequence is promising. You can see in road turns that pictures are still well horizontal.

It is cool to come back to this thread 3 years later. In the mean time I bought a Vimble C and already did a couple of sequences. But I prefer to do it holding in my hand, instead of attaching it to the bicycle.

I also do the sequence by recording a video and recording the GPS track with Strava, then later uploading the video to Mapillary with the GPX. I prefer that to use Mapillary app, because I seem to get better / more images by doing so. It looks like the Video/GPX importer is a little more flexible than the app, accepting images with a not so good GPS, interpolating the distance between two known positions, instead of simply refusing to take pictures when GPS is not perfect like the app does.

Example: https://www.mapillary.com/app/user/nighto?lat=-22.850339230200007&lng=-43.23477346187997&z=17&pKey=WJmsHvZYU8WZAP8QaNq_Iw&focus=photo&x=0.5208723318635867&y=0.5317262412633293&zoom=0

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Thanks for your feedback. I did a second try. The smartphone itself was secured by an elastic. But fixing the gimbal on the bicycle is really an issue. I’m also afraid about vibrations that seem to be amplified by the gimbal structure. Can this damage the gimbal itself? And I would also avoid holding by hand for my own safety. I’m thinking on making an intermediate device to fix the gimbal on the bike handlebars.

I could start a new tread, but this one fits my question perfectly, so I’ll revive this one :wink:

I’m thinking about buying a Feiyu Tech G360 Panorama Camera Gimbal an create a mount on my bicycle…

I don’t seem to be able to upload an image now? Here’s a link to an image:

It is a bit of a costly kind of equipment… so I am hesitating…

Mapillary is quite able to compensate for horizons out of sync. but a less shaky camera will most likely take sharper images, also and when the source image is better/perfect horizontal one does not need to rely on software… always better one would think…

My current camera is not able to fix the horizon by itself… I could save the money for the next camera that is able to correct it… but then also… would such a camera not even result in even more stable footage with “double stabilization”?

What are your thoughts?

in my current setup on my bicycle I use a car dashcam. Recording at 4k quality. Result is much better than taking images with my phone using the app. Even at bumpy roads, the quality remains acceptable. But Its quite a bit of extra work to upload video based images with a gpx file.

Compare my latest 2019 (dashcam image) with previous pictures (mobile phone) https://www.mapillary.com/app/time-travel/micmin1972?lat=51.98836375597222&lng=4.4821252320000005&z=17&feedItem=user-udhFs5LvHndu0IdKp8CjzA-activity-user-udhFs5LvHndu0IdKp8CjzA-publishing_done-image&tab=uploads&pKey=MKuLL7r9qHUJMKJi4MNASA&focus=photo&cKey=DVgLzVMoDYYqvhsIcxlP0g&x=1.7424021339207294&y=0.49195764551967974&zoom=0

There is no need to compare. By now we all know that a smartphone on a bicycle is a nono.

There is a contributor in my region who refuses to swipe the rain droplets from the camera lens because that would offset his gimbal.

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By the way, I made several months ago a bracket to fix the gimbal on my bicycle. Sample:

Indeed, vibration is still an issue, amplified by the bracket. I obtained blurry strips that I’m attributing to rolling shutter:

I end up by holding the gimbal by hand. Not very safe. Reserved for area with nearly no car traffic.

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Here I run without a gimbal, with the action camera in my hand.

@filipc, the angle of the images seem opposite of what it actually is?

It is just North. Also the pictures from the car are looking to the North. Mapillary should be able to fix that when they revisit the sequence.

I recently bought a Fimi Palm, a tiny action cam with built in gimbal. Video quality is pretty good and horizon always level. However, the audio was pretty terrible. This is caused by the vibrations on the handlebars, causes too much stress for the gimbal. Experienced users advised me not too mount such gimbal cameras (like his twin brother the DJI Osmo Pocket) on the bicycle otherwise sooner or later the gimbal will break. Better is a chest or helmet mount, which for me makes no sense. I’ve decided not to keep it and return the camera.

My video: https://youtu.be/9QwMXj-NX0s
Mapillary sequence from a test video: https://www.mapillary.com/map/im/BbC96FU2oixMhR2Kw3Ya2O

Have you consider simply riding the bike one handed and holding the gimbal with the other hand? That’s what I do. If you don’t go into steep roads it works.

Yes, that is what I also demonstrate in the video. Less mechanical gimbal noise and better for the unit.
But that is
a) illegal here in the Netherlands, you are not allowed to hold any device when cycling :wink:
b) awkward when shootting longer videos for mapillary
c) not safe

BTW unfortunately the Fimi Palm has no photo interval shooting. It can only record (timelapse) video so that’s an extra step in post processing. Another deal breaker for me and reason to return it.