A long time ago I came across a website that showed how to make a really nifty little Pepsi bottle top camera tripod out of a few inexpensive nuts and bolts, but I lost it and the idea slipped from my mind. Recently I came across what I think is the same posting and got excited about playing with this concept to come up with a cheap tripod system for my own purposes.
To the right is a picture of the pieces I used to make a very simple camera tripod setup. I was particularly interested in making a tripod for my mountain bike that I could install on my handle bars or seat post for video recording parts of my rides. So, in addition to the parts shown on the right and listed below I needed to find a way to attach the tripod rig to my bike.
Parts list for basic tripod rig:
- 1/4-20 Bar Knob
- 1/4-20 x 1 1/2-inch stainless steel machine screw
- 1/4-20 stainless steel nut (or lock nut)
- 1/4-inch split washer
- 1/4-inch Stainless steel washer
To solve the problem of attaching the tripod rig to my bike I looked to see what was already on my bike to see if I could reuse something rather than start from scratch. That’s when I noticed the front and rear reflectors. Now this is probably not a great idea, but I always removed the reflectors off of my bikes. I know I’m not going out at night and if I do my Cateye bicycle lights and the reflective tape on my frame will do a more than sufficient job of making me visible.
So, I removed the two reflectors and the arms that were holding them to my handle bars and seat post and noticed that when I removed the actual reflector from the arm there was a perfect 1/4 inch hole where the screw went, exactly the right size for my home-made tripod rig.
Below is a photo of the basic tripod rig attached to the bike reflector arm that was attached to my seat post (red reflector). All that I had left to do was to reattach the arm to my seat post with the new tripod on it and TA-DA I had a custom-made mountain bike rear facing camera tripod attachment. Total cost for the parts listed above from my local Lowes Home Improvement was $3, beat that!
I did the same for the front of my bike making a handle bar tripod using the reflector arm that was originally attached. Now I can attach my digital camera to the front or back of my bike depending on the view I want to record. It will probably result in very shaky footage because of all the wobbling around, but I’m sure a rubber bushing or two will improve that.
I hope this was interesting and encourages you to come up with some camera tripod ideas of your own. As I said I had found the bottle top tripod post a long time ago, but my appetite was recently rekindled by the use of my Stickpic. Have fun!