If you are looking for the latest, all-singing, all-dancing action cam, this is not it. If, however, you regularly commute by bike or enjoy riding busier routes on the weekend, then this should be top of your list. From a safety point of view, the Cycliq Fly6 works well as a stand-alone light with great rear visibility. The HD camera and innovative features add a level of reassurance that could prove very useful if you should ever need it.
LED light powerful enough for daytime visibility
Camera battery life is excellent
Footage is easy to access and time/date stamped
Incident Capture Mode
Unit is quite bulky
Footage suffers on rougher road surfaces
Side LED visibility is poor
Ride along any popular commuter route and it is becoming increasingly common to see riders using cameras. Whether this is a good thing or not is an entirely different debate. However there is no doubting that if the worst was to happen, it is good to have solid evidence to back up any disputes that might arise.
Australian company Cycliq has thought a lot about this rise in camera use and has cleverly combined technologies to create the Cycliq Fly6 rear light along with its front facing cousin, the Cycliq Fly12, both of which mate powerful LED lighting with a HD quality camera to give an unparalleled level of visibility and recording angle. Cycliq’s mission statement is about raising awareness for road safety, so we can see the products aimed squarely at regular commuters.
Out of the box the Cycliq Fly6 can be mounted to any style of seatpost through the inclusion of a large selection of mounts and adapters. Even deeper, aero style seatposts are covered with a clever wedge shaped adapter. Angled inserts must be used to ensure the camera is horizontal but again this is a simple process. A little tip, do the twin mounting straps up tighter than you think; any movement here results in bouncy, nausea inducing footage!
The Cycliq Fly6 comes with an 8GB MicroSD card pre-installed under a waterproof cover alongside the USB charging point. With 10 minute blocks of footage taking up to 475MB, it will store nearly three hours of footage before writing over itself. The system can take up to a 32GB card but with a battery life of only six hours max, it would be a bit overkill unless you really want to keep all the footage from your last few rides. I would imagine playing back this amount of footage would be akin to watching football.
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Operation is pretty simple with only two chunky and glove friendly buttons present. The first button turns the unit on with up to four audible beeps signifying current battery life. As soon as the light is on the camera is recording both visuals and audio. The power button also cycles through the three light settings, two flashing and a constant mode are available, giving up to 30 lumens of light – more than adequate for daytime and nighttime visibility.
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The other button is a four stage dimmer, dropping brightness down to practically nothing. In reality, most riders will maintain the brightest setting whilst on the road for safety and I can only really see the need to drop the brightness if you were looking to conserve battery life or recording some fun footage with your mates. The only slightly disappointing aspect of the Fly6’s LED light is the lack of side-on visibility.
The clever feature of the Cycliq Fly6 is the Incident Capture Mode. When the light is tilted more than 30° from horizontal for more than five seconds (I counted seven), say if you were in an accident, three beeps inform you that rather than recording in 10 minute blocks, recording becomes continuous for up to an hour before turning off. Preserving vital footage that could be of use by the appropriate authorities (or for earning £250 on You’ve Been Framed).
Accessing the footage when you get home can be done through a Cycliq recommended media player or, as it is effectively an external storage device, as an AVI file to be played through your choice of software. Neatly packaged in 10 minute chunks, the footage is time and date stamped for ease of use.
Quality is adequate for a safety camera, number plates can easily be read but if you are used to the latest crop of GoPro style cameras then you might be disappointed by the clarity and smoothness of the capture. Mounting stability is critical. It wouldn’t be my choice if all I wanted was a camera to record footage of tearing down descents or recording inspiring footage but that is not the point of this device.
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James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.
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