Taking a Picture of your Bicycle!

A bicycle is a work of art. The formation of the frame, the paint and the wear and tear of parts makes each bicycle individual. There is one shot that every cyclist must get, the one which shows everything about it in its best light. The obsessive compulsive posers at bikeradar call this the reference shot.

The reference shot should be taken as follows.

  • Bicycle against a plain background, flush to it.
  • Photo must be taken at the same level as the bike. Not looking down on it.
  • Drive side must be facing the camera.
  • Chain in the big ring and towards the smaller cogs at the back.
  • Crank facing us should follow either the chain stay, seat tube or down tube. Essentially hiding the other crank in the photo.
  • Stem should be at a negative angle!
  • Accessories should be removed from the bike, cages are ok but no biddons. Remove pie plates, pumps, reflectors, lights, computers etc..
  • Valves of the wheels should be touching the ground.
  • Bonus points if the branding of the tyres is matched or opposite to the valve hole.

For example:

Picture of Norco Threshold A1
Perfect Specialized Tarmac Pro

How not to do it:

Too many accessories, non drive side.
Silly angle, chain not in the big ring.

Of course after the reference image, go ahead and take any angled picture you want, some angles can show of some really obscure detail in the bike which is a real hidden gem and it gives the bicycle character.

7 thoughts on “Taking a Picture of your Bicycle!

  1. I like to take pictures of my bike. I sometimes even go out into the wild and find a suitable spot to do it. Although my picture follows none of the 9 rules I still think it’s a pretty picture (and bike). Also, following these rules doesn’t work on this bike or has no effect (like the position of the pedals or which chainring I’m using).


    1. These rules are specificly for the ‘Reference shot’ which is the shot that shows off your bicycle to it’s best. For any other kind of pictures make sure to follow rules 3,4,5 at a minimum.

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