The Cycliq Fly6 is a very interesting bike light. I was first intrigued by this product as it not only features a powerful and unique rotating 30 lumen light, but also packs in a 720p camera. Not being keen to mounting a full sized camera to my helmet or bike, this really won me over and the Fly6 was soon on my wish list. Fortune would have it that this wish list was picked up by a family member who got me this great product for my birthday! Here are my thoughts.
The Fly6 ships in a very nice box and the following is included:
-Fly6 rear light with integrated camera
-8GB class 10 microSD card (installed in the device)
-Seat post mounts
-Seat post straps
-Spacers (for mounting)
-Quick start guide
The Fly6 is a little larger than I thought, however, is still a very compact gadget. It feels like a solid device holding it in my hand, and knowing what technology is packed within, I am quite impressed. The unit alone weighs 113 grams, which is great news for those looking to keep the weight on their bike as low as possible. Other lights do weigh slightly less, but an extra 50 grams or so for the addition of a 720p camera is a worthwhile trade-off. There are also some nice stickers included.
I managed to mount the Fly6 to my bike in under 5 minutes from unboxing. Set-up was quick! There is some charge from the box, and attaching the rear seat post mount was simple. There are two seat post clamps included, as well as an assortment of rubber mounts to place between the light clamp and seat post for an accurate fit. The only reservation I have is that once the Fly6 is slotted into the seat post clamp (picture shown) it is very difficult to remove. This means that you will have to carry the light attached to the clamp post with you if you leave your bike unattended. This is simple enough, as the entire unit attached to the bike with rubber holders, as shown below, but is a slight inconvenience. I much prefer the Garmin three-quarter turn mounting system, which allows me to easily take my Varia radar on and off my bike.
The camera records at a respectable 720p. Now this is not Action Cam level footage, and nor should it be considered as such. But at the same time there is nothing stopping you from saving the footage for viewing. The function of the footage is pure and simple; to record and capture hazards on the road. The video records for 6 hours, and then re-writes over the older footage in a loop, so you don’t need to worry about footage not being saved or having to delete old files. An 8GB class 10 microSDHC card is included in the box. Recordings also come with a time and date stamp too, which would be valuable evidence in the case of a claim from a road traffic collision.
Another cool feature is that each video file is broken into 10 minute segments, so if you need some particular footage it is easier to find, rather than scrolling though the entire recording. The device also has a sensor that detects the position of the unit, so if your bike topples over beyond 30° (likely in a collision), the footage recorded from that particular event will not be over-written. I have not had much hands on time with light and will update this review in due course. To view footage from the camera, you can either remove the micro SD card from the light, or connect the entire unit to your computer.
The light on the Fly6 is also very attractive and I feel confident that it will make any cyclist very visible on darkened gloomy roads. At 30 lumens, it is very bright and the manufacturers claim that it can be seen in a variety of weather conditions. The unit is also fully waterproof, so ideal if you get caught out in the elements, or simply enjoy riding in wet conditions.
I have attached a video below showing some of the various flash modes found on the device. There are three flashing modes, three steady bright modes and also a mode where light is simply revolving around the camera lens. When powering on the unit, there is a loud audible beep to show battery health, as well as clearly alert the rider that the light is on.
FLY 6 VS GARMIN VARIA
This here is an interesting analogy. I recently purchased a Garmin Varia radar, which is a rear mount light that detects vehicles approaching behind you, and provides notifications of their relative distance and when the pass on your compatible Garmin Edge device. This has proved to be somewhat useful, and after some trial and error and better understanding how the product works in person, it has become a convenient accessory to have. However, it is more of a gadget to help the rider know if a vehicle is fast approaching behind them, and although it does blink quicker the closer they are, should they cause a crash there would be no evidence of the collision.
The Fly6 would definitely come in handy under such circumstances with it’s built-in camera. Now none of these devices can help prevent a crash in the first place, but I would be reassured to have some evidence of the incident. Both of these devices are very useful in their own ways, and I truly do hope that a single rear light comes in that incorporates features from both these lights. I may in the future decide to do a separate blog post highlighting the comparative benefits of each of these safety lights.
So, who is the Fly6 for? As a regular commuter on my bike, I cycle through some heavy traffic in areas where drivers can be quite inconsiderate. Owing to this, I’d like to know that my back is covered and that there is a recording going on with evidence. There is also audio recording so any conversations, etc will also be logged. On a personal level, I really like the Fly6. I feel that it is a reasonably priced and well functioning device that could not only potentially ward off other reckless drivers (should the realise it is a camera!), but should the worst happen, the footage from the rear would prove to be immensely valuable in the case of a lawsuit.
Cycliq are also developing a front light camera, the Fly12, which is due for release in 2016. For now, I am very content with a rear camera and don’t feel the need for a from camera in addition. I would definitely recommend the Fly6 if you are looking for some piece of mind whilst cycling. As with the Varia radar, it probably won’t prevent a motorist from hitting you in the first place (although the light is an excellent sign of your visibility), but may come in handy should the worst happen. Safe cycling everyone!
UPDATE 4/12/2015: I went out on a bike ride (commute) a couple of days ago using the Fly6. The light seemed to work very well, and I think it did a good job of alerting motorists of my presence in the dark.
The footage is easily accessible by connecting the Fly6 to my MacBook. The only issue I faced is that the MacBook cannot open the video file using Quicktime. I then had to download a 3rd party app from the App Store, convert the 10 minute file (takes a couple of minutes) and could only then view it. A bit of a nuisance, and I will try to see if there is a way around this and provide an update.