As cycling continues to gain in popularity, there’s also an increasingly amount of cyclists who are involved in accidents and collisions with motorists. Even with witnesses, these incidents rarely result in any prosecution for the driver. With the advent of the GoPro and other action cameras, more riders have taken to filming their daily commute and training rides as an insurance policy – in the unfortunate event of an accident, the footage is there and can be used as evidence if required.
Action cameras do work, and there’s thousands of cyclists using them with specific helmet/handlebar mounts, but these are bulky and add unnecessary weight. Cycliq is an Australian company which successfully funded the Fly6 camera on Kickstarter last year. It was the first ever cycling specific camera combined with a rear light and won numerous awards for it’s innovation.
There’s now a new model, which builds on the success of the original version with a few improvements including:
- Increased light output to 30 lumens
- Six hour battery life
- New lighting patterns (including steady)
- Improved lens resulting in sharper images
The Fly6 records at 720p at 30fps – which is the same as the previous model, but with an improved sensor resulting in better quality recording in dull lighting. Whilst it would have been nice to see 1080p here, it’s more than good enough to capture the detail of number plates and traffic, and Cycliq were keen to keep the cost down to price this competitively at £99. The footage is timestamped and saved in H.264 format every 10 minutes, which results in 650MB per file. This is very useful for finding footage at specific times afterwards. Once the (included) 8GB MicroSD card is full, the camera loops back and records over the older footage. Given how cheap memory is these days, you could easily double the capacity for 16GB for the cost of a few espresso’s.
Included in the box:
- Fly 6 camera
- Nicely printed quick start guide
- 2 x seat post mounts
- 4 x standard straps (they’ve included 2x extra based on feedback)
- 2 x long straps (good for aero seatposts)
- 2 x zero degree spacer
- 1 x five degree spacer
- 1 x 10 degree spacer
- 1 x aero post adaptor
- USB cable
- 8GB class 10 microSD card (installed in the device)
If the light is tilted more than 30 degrees for more than five seconds, it’ll go into an ‘incident capture mode’; continuing to record for an hour then shutting off, preventing lopping and preserving the footage. This is a key feature, if you’re involved in a serious accident, the Fly6 will have the footage safely stored and be retrieved later on and be used as evidence.
Waterproofing is not a problem for the Fly6 either, featuring a ‘HZO’ nano coating, which applies the entire internals with a hydrophobic coating meaning that water and moisture have little effect. Obviously, the mounting location of a rear light is right in the firing line of wheel spray and mud, so if you don’t have mudguards fitted it’s always worth wiping the lens when you’re stopped at the lights or in traffic if the conditions are bad.
The light itself has 2 flashing options and a steady on function, which are dimmable should you be in a group ride or low on battery. Outputs at 100% is 30 lumens and bright enough to attract attention. There’s also a spinning LED around the lens, showing that the unit is recording (a deterrent to would be road ragers in itself).
Overall, the Fly6 offers something unique – an innovative, compact light which also records your rides. When you consider the average cost of a rear light is around £30-£40, investing a little extra into something which may prove invaluable should you be unlucky enough to be involved in an accident is a no-brainer. It’s also pretty cool to look over your footage after a training ride or race to analyse or even just to capture some nice images.
We would love to say that devices like the Fly6 aren’t needed, and that cars and cyclists can share the road like best buddies, but unfortunately this isn’t the case.