Interbike 2011: Contour cameras

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And with no further ado (and no apparent gap between Eurobike and Interbike) we start here with our Interbike coverage. Chipps, Jon and Mark are all out in the desert, trying to track down some new stuff worth chatting about. Let’s start with the video camera company, Contour…


Contour, you’ll remember, are the other action sports video camera company… With the little Perspex boxes of GoPro cameras all over the place, it seemed that Contour decided it had to up its came and has come out with not one, but two new cameras this year.

Earlier in the year was the news that the regular Contour camera had been upgraded to include a GPS receiver to track your runs, but it also had a secret Bluetooth capability to use your iPhone or Android as a remote video screen (not that we’ve been able to try that feature yet…)

However, a couple of months ago, Contour launched the ‘Contour+’ at the premium end of the market. It features a six piece glass lens, Bluetooth and GPS, plus a 170° wide angle lens (the original has a 130° lens). It also features an external mic input, plus ports to take a live HDMI feed out for broadcast or laptop viewing. There’s also a still mode. It goes for US$500, while the regular Contour goes for $300 over here.

The +, GPS and Roam


Now, though, there’s the Contour Roam, launched last week and aimed very much at the popular (cough, gopro, cough) end of the market. It features an instant-on record switch, so no waiting to boot up the camera, just slide the big, positive switch and you’re recording in a couple of seconds.

The Contour Roam is also waterproof to a metre (for half an hour!) without needing to add a waterproof housing. There’s an internal battery (rather than the replaceable one of the others) and a regular tripod camera mount (yay!)

There’s still a laser alignment system, though it’s a single flat-line laser, rather than the two dots of the other two. You can still rotate the lens 180 degrees to line it up and there’s a 170° lens. It’ll retail in the States for $200.


Contour+, Contour GPS and new Contour Roam


There's a new flat-surface mount for helmets. It's slightly concave to fit better, plus there's a clever switchable swivel clutch - rotate to suit, then press the button to lock it.


This big rubber mount seemed popular too - low-tech but effective and great for down-tube shots.


...or 'me, me, me' shots of your ankles and the guys you're beating

The only question that Contour couldn’t answer today was ‘Who is your new UK distributor now that Madison isn’t doing you?’ – which we’ll post here when we have an answer…




Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (8)

    that tyre is on backwards in the last pic

    Distributors of Contour are Ultra Sport Europe Ltd on 01332813150.

    Very helpful they are too!


    so what chance these having a sensible RRP? Or are we going to get fisted with a $200 = £300, $500 = £750 kind of price?

    It was the chest mount that made me sell my contourHD (720) and buy a go-pro 960. Can’t see contour managing to get a chest mount for theirs? footage looks faster and the inclusion of bars and front wheel really add to the “experience” of watching the run.

    Yep 2nd the chest mount comment. Mounts for contour are painful in comparison, that strap looks ok but imagine it will get knocked easy and not be too stable on the rough stuff

    Stoner, here’s the official word on the street for prices:
    Contour+ is £499
    Contour GPS is £299
    New Contour ROAM – NEW – is £199
    Contour 1080HD – was £229 but can probably be found as low as £169 now as it will be a discontinued model.

    cheer Mr C.

    So 1:1 $ to £ exchange rate then….again….

    Make more sense to buy from JensonUSA etc and get it shipped to a US contact as usual then.

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