I’ve been using the Fly6 (Generation 2) for the better part of a year now. While I wrote an initial preview last year of the Generation 1 model, it was just that – a preview. I figured it was about time to close that loop and see where things stood after a year of use.
So what it is? Well, it’s a combination bike taillight (rear) with camera. When you turn it on, it’s always recording. It’s effectively a black-box, but combined with the utility of a bike light.
Before we go too far though, it’s important to note one thing: A camera on a bike won’t keep a driver from hitting you (the light might though). That’s not the point of this device, or others in the same vein. The point of this device (as I see it) is ultimately insurance. It’s insurance for when a Bad Day happens and you need proof that it wasn’t your fault. For the $169 cost, that’s pretty cheap considering it also includes the bike light.
But, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. I just wanted to ensure everyone is approaching the product purpose from the right angle. Don’t think of it as an action cam – it’s not a replacement for a high-end GoPro Hero4. It’s a bike light that happens to record the chaos behind you.
First up is getting the unit unboxed. I’ll give them credit – they packaged the crap out of it. You know those egg-drop contests you did as a kid where you tried to package up a raw egg so that when dropped from altitude it wouldn’t break?
Well those kids apparently grew up to make bike light packaging.
Once you got all of those parts out of the packaging, here’s where you’ll stand:
Everything basically falls into a couple of core categories. First up are the industrial strength rubber bands. Two short ones and two long ones. Just depends on your seat post width.
Next, we’ve got a pile of shims. These have differing angles to equalize out the slant of your seat post, keeping the camera level:
Then we have the mount itself. This plus the shim and the rubber band is what goes on your seat post.
After that we have the micro-USB cord and Micro-SD to SD card adapter. This allows you to take the included micro-SD card out and plug it into a computer/reader. Or, you can just use the cable to both charge and read the files.
Then we’ve got the quick start guide. Totally unnecessary after this post.
And finally, the little unit itself:
The camera is up top there in that black hole, and the unit is purposefully slanted so that it evens out the slant of your seat post. Inside the unit it includes an 8GB micro-SD card, but you can buy a bigger one if you want.
Weight & Models:
So how much does this puppy weigh? It comes in at 116g:
It’s actually a bit lighter than I expected (no pun intended), especially compared to some lights. Of course, it’s heavier than others without a camera.
Note, there have actually been two versions of the Fly6 since inception. Well, three if you count the re-branding (seen in the middle below). In the very first version I tested way back when, it was a larger model. Whereas the current (2nd generation, to the right) unit is smaller with brighter lights and better quality. So keep that in mind if reading other (older) reviews – it’s a new unit.
The easiest way to tell them apart? Just look at the branding. See, along the way the company renamed themselves from Fly6 to Cycliq. It used to be they did the self-titled thing and the company name and product name was Fly6. Now, the product is the Fly6 (or Fly12), and the company is Cycliq.
If you look at the unit and it says ‘Fly6’, it’s old. If it says ‘Cycliq’, it’s new. Super easy to tell apart.
As you saw in the box, it comes with a crapton of mounts. All of which are designed to be mounted to the rear of your bike, since it’s a red light. Just to be super clear again: There’s only one light color: Red. Thusly it goes on the back of your bike.
Where you mount it is a bit flexible, assuming the mount location includes the seat post. You can even use the mount system on a rear hydration rack, such as here on my triathlon bike with the older unit and a zip-tie:
Or on a different bike I have, a road bike:
Either way, you’re basically using three components:
A) The sliding mount part
B) The two rubber bands to hold it on
C) Shims to correct orientation
The sliding mount part is perhaps the greatest piece, since it’s super-easy to take the light off the bike and leave the mount still there. Just slide up and past the clip and you’re done. Now interestingly, Cycliq actually recommends you remove the entire band each time rather than using the rail sliding clips – as they note that over time it can cause rattle with the unit (a little bit of which you can barely see in my videos in some bumpier sections). Ultimately, I’ll take the slight rattle over having to remove the rubber bands each time. I’m lazy that way.
Next are the rubber bands, those simply hold it in place. While here seemed to be some issues with earlier bands, I haven’t had issues with the 2nd generation units (produced from last fall).
Finally, on the shims, they’re just there in case the angle of your seat post is sharp enough that you need to correct the angle to be level for the light itself.
To begin, the Fly6 has just two buttons – making it pretty much impossible to screw up usage. You’ll press the left side button to turn it on (I suppose it could be the right side, depending on which way you’re looking at it). Within a few seconds you’ll hear a loud chirp and then the lights will illuminate. At this point, you’re done. Seriously, that’s it.
The number of chirps actually corresponds with how much battery is left. Four chirps is a full charge, whereas one chirp means it’s pretty darn low.
You can also shift between the different light modes by pressing said same button via a short press. There are three modes: Two flashing ones, and one steady always-on mode. The output of the light is 30 lumens.
Meanwhile, on the other side is the other button. This simply changes the brightness.
The key thing is that once turned on the camera is ALWAYS running. Like a black-box, as long as you’ve got lights on, the camera is on. Minus one exception: When the battery is under 5%. In this case the unit turns off the camera to save battery and gets you about 90 minutes of lights-only time. To me this is a fair compromise to keep you visible.
Once you’re done riding, you simply hold down the power button again and it’ll shut off.
Next, you can plug your camera into your computer using the micro-USB cable. Or, you can use the SD card adapter and plug the card in that way.
Once that’s done it’ll show up just like any other USB drive (or SD card). The videos will be found directly in a folder, easily sorted by date/time:
These are standard video files (.AVI files, resolution of 720p/30), that include the timestamp within them automatically.
You can change the timestamp using a simple procedure by editing a single text file with the current time. While this solution is a little low-tech, it does work. Fwiw, with the Fly12 front-facing camera you can use the mobile phone companion app.
It’s via this same micro-SD card that you can complete firmware updates as they come out. It’s been a few months since the last one, but honestly there really isn’t much to update. It just works.
When it comes to charging, you’ll use that same micro-USB cable. It’ll take a few hours to charge, but for most people you’ll just do that after your ride. They claim a 5-hour battery life with everything on. I haven’t seen cases where it’s significantly below that, but I tend to use it on shorter rides around the city – rather than much longer rides. So I don’t have as good of a handle on the exact battery drain since I tend to be more of a frequent/short term trip person.
Finally, when it comes to waterproofing, the unit is internally waterproofed with a special protective spray such that you can actually fill the thing with water and it’ll keep on operating for a while. Eventually though, it’ll stop. But here’s the fun part – once it dries out, it’s good to go again. I note this because the unit has both a micro-SD card and a micro-USB port. In most electronics, that combination might be the kiss of death long-term, especially for something that’s in the line of fire for crap coming up off your rear wheel straight onto the unit. In this case, no problems for me in the rainy Parisian weather (as seen below in my videos).
I’ve been collecting footage over the past year from the device, in all sorts of conditions. Here’s a pile of different rides.
First up, some general footage on a nice day just on the city streets:
In this case you can see the quality is quite good, and we can easily pick out the license plates of cars going past. Which, to be clear may not always be the goal. Meaning, that shouldn’t be used as a finite yes/no test, because in many accidents that actually hit the cyclist, the driver probably stopped. And if not, then a description of the car from the video would go a really long ways. The 100 degree viewing angle helps capture a fair bit of what’s going on behind you.
On the flipside, if you’re trying to use the camera to enforce close-call type situations, then the license plate is more important to have.
Next, we’ve got a rainy day. And by rain, I mean elephant pissing downpour:
In this case, it’s going to depend a little bit on how the on-road water is hitting the unit. In my case riding my road-bike I didn’t have any sort of fenders that might be present on a commuting bike. So the water basically just streamed up against the camera.
Then, we’ve got some night-time riding. This goes from dusk to straight-out night, both in city areas as well as non-lit areas:
You’ll see that as it gets darker, the camera quality starts to suffer a bit. It’d be harder to pick out a license plate in these situations. Not impossible, but not as easy. It’d really just totally depend on the situation.
Ultimately I don’t really have any good close-call type footage from the Fly6. Or at least I don’t know if I have such footage. By that I mean it’s sorta like whether or not a tree makes a noise if it falls in the forest and nobody’s there to hear it. If something happens behind me that doesn’t impact me and I didn’t see it – it’s hard for me to review what is likely a hundred hours of footage to find it. Still, it’s kinda fun to look backwards.
It’s probably worth taking a very brief diversion from the Fly6 to talk about the Fly12. No, the Fly12 is not a new version of the Fly6, but rather an entirely different product – this time focused on the road ahead. With the Fly6 aimed behind you, the Fly12 aims on the road ahead of you.
It takes the same light meets camera concept of the Fly6, but extends it to include connectivity to your phone. It’s with that connectivity that the company has added the ability to overlay tram lines (to show popular 3ft or similar rules), as well as overlay metrics from Strava.
To start, the hardware is pretty beefy. While the Fly6 is fairly light, the Fly12 is much heavier (229g in my prototype unit, which may change) – in large part because of the extended battery that’s required to not only power the camera but the fairly bright front lights. These lights clock in at 400 lumens for up to 10 hours depending on the exact modes you have it in (camera & lights).
The unit attaches using a GoPro mount, which is awesome. This means that it connects onto existing mounts like the K-Edge GoPro & Garmin combo mount, which I use on all my bikes:
The camera quality is 1080p/30 and 1080p/45 (as well as some 720p modes).
Along the back we’ve got buttons for powering it on, as well as turning on/off WiFi. See, the unit uses WiFi to stream video samples to your phone. Not for during the ride, but rather afterwards.
Within the app you can then download those video clips from the ride, and create snippets. With these snippets you can select to link your Strava account and overlay ride data from it. It’s a bit of a circuitous route to get data onto the camera (versus something like the Garmin VIRB X/XE that just directly connects to the sensors). But it works nonetheless as long as all your data file dates are exactly up to the second correct (most use GPS, so it usually lines up).
In addition, you can enable tram lines. These tram lines allow you to easily show whether a car got too close. It does this by overlaying variations of the 3-foot rule onto the screen. You can configure which exact rule (basically width) as well as from where that’s measured:
Once that’s all said and done you can export the video clips out. Here’s a few samples I took around town recently:
Right now the unit is slated to start shipping in December, and has a separate price of $279 (Fly12).
Wrap-up on Fly6:
Ultimately, I love this little thing. It just works. Every time. I charge it, and quickly slide it on my bike, then off I ride. If/when I need to grab footage – it’s easy to do via plugging it in, or just using the micro-SD card. I’ve never had issues with missing footage, or any weirdness.
While the quality isn’t that of a $400 action cam, it’s generally sufficient during daylight and dusk hours to identify a license plate. During night hours it’s honestly a better bike light than camera, but does get the gist of what’s going on, so you could still easily use the footage in an investigation.
Obviously, it’d be nice if the Fly6 had the WiFi clip downloading capability that the Fly12 (front light) has. But for now that’s OK. I like that it’s cheaper, and realistically I’m less likely to use rear-facing footage than front-facing footage in day to day stuff (if you race road bikes, that might differ of course).
You might be wondering if the Fly6 is set to be replaced by a Fly6+ (or whatever they call something new). Honestly, I don’t think so anytime soon. It’s a small company, and they seem to have enough on their hands already with getting the Fly12 shipping by the end of the year. That effort has taken them roughly 1 year to get to market from initial announcement. I’d imagine future products would be fairly long as well (note: I have no insight into that though).
With that – thanks for reading!
Found this review useful? Or just want to save 10%? Here’s how:Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.
I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased, most notably 10% savings. You can read more about the benefits of this partnership here. You can pickup the Fly6 through Clever Training using the links below. By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.
Cycliq Fly6 Rear-Facing Bike Light & Camera
Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the Fly6 or accessories (though, no discount). Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells). If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.
Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.
When I saw the title I was hoping for some Fly12 info. Was not disappointed.
On to the fly6: Thanks for including the unit comparison! seeing all three from the side is very helpful. I don’t really have room to mount it with a saddlebag, especially because keeping it vertical is so critical.
Are the timestamps (unix-style) epochs? Or HHMM and sequence? They don’t look like proper date/timestamps. Even if they are epochs they are more readable than the GoPro file naming convention.
They’ve talked about the naming, btw: the “6” is to cover your rear (think of a clock, or of Top Gun), and “12” is obviously straight ahead.
Putting aside $400 action cams that are really a different category, is this the only product in the “cheap, get the license plate” category? I don’t ride at night and have no interest in the light. In other words, should I be considering any other product before purchasing?
There’s also the Rideye (for front facing). My problem with that in using it is that the mount really hurts the camera. They use a rubber-band style mount without an additional support system, so basically it bounces all over the place. I took some footage on a brand-new paved road here and it was crazy how much it wobbled.
That said, it’s built like a beast.
My comments are based on the original Fly6
I purchased the original Fly 6 with kickstarter, and have been mostly impressed by version 1. I was slightly annoyed by the rapid new v2.0 that was announced with no discount offered to original purchasers.
Firstly the battery lasts less than 2 hours now – after maybe 80 charge/discharge cycles. It is now at the point where I will ride with a second light and only use Fly6 on the busy sections of road for long rides!
The camera lens is made of plastic – easily scratches if used for anything other than dry road riding.
Even in daylight, certain lighting conditions make number plate visibility difficult – I have sent footage to the Queensland Police twice – and only once was it readable.
It is expensive for its rather basic functionality. A cheap ebay 720p waterproof bullet camera under the seatpost works just as well, and lasts as long in my experience.
The waterproofing is excellent – It has survived many a downpour and mud fest on my MTB. Once it even survived a trip/fall into a croc infested FNQ river – and provided hilarious footage of me being a jackass.
The concept is amazing – and I have used it twice for close calls/accidents.
Do I regret purchasing the crowd funded Fly6 – No. Do I wish I had the cash for V2.0 – Yes. But I wonder whether an action cam and light combo might be the better way to go.
I’d have to second the opinion of a few commenters. I too was an initial kickstart supporter. I have been pleased with the products but for a few caveats. Compared to the price the V2 is being sold for in the UK now, I paid quite a higher amount for the V1, only to see the improved and cheaper V2 come out not too long afterwards. I appreciate that its just business and it was my choice to but early, but it did stick in the throat a little that a better and cheaper product was delivered without any discount offered to existing early adopters (especially those who had supported the kickstart campaign).
None of which detracts from the product itself. I really liked the product and used it on many rides (a few times per week). I have also used it in reports to police of exceeding close passes – number plates were visible which is a positive for the camera (but nothing was done about it – hardly the camera’s fault that there is indifference to cyclists in this country).
I do have some negatives to report:
1) the large size of V1 made it awkward to mount on my seatpost with a saddle bag. That’s actually a positive of V2 though as its smaller.
2) VERY large negative. After a year or so of use the battery life is less than 2 hrs, occasionally less than 1.5hrs. That pretty much makes it useless to me for most of my training rides and negates the main reason I bought it – the only product which had long enough battery life for a normal training ride. I’m trying to decide whether to pay up for a new V2, but it feels a bit painful to do that…
Not really a negative but rather a request for a feature that I don’t think was added to V2 though I did raise it as a V1 user. Close passes are something you might want to report to the authorities, using the footage as evidence. The problem is that by the end of your ride, that footage may have been overwritten. The only current solution is to turn the camera off, but that rather negates its use for the rest of the ride. I’d like to see a button press/hold combination which marks the current file (it records in 15min chunks) as locked, allowing the camera to record for the rest of the ride without affecting the locked file.
Hi Malcolm – thanks for supporting us with Fly6 Original. We have built a support system so that our customers can talk to us about their products to enable us to help them. If your unit is not performing properly then please contact us. This has been asked elsewhere so I can answer it here, we DO have a offer for people who purchased our first version Fly6 as recognition of your support. Simply contact email@example.com and ask about the upgrade offer.
In terms of your feature request, we listened and we have learned! Fly12 will have a feature that allows the user to press a button that quarantines that file for later use meaning it can’t be looped over. This will address your concern for Fly12 but with Fly6, to solve the issue you can simply upgrade to a 32GB card which will hold up to 8 hours of footage reducing the need to ‘save or quarantine’ footage. You will be happy to know that the new Fly6 records in 10 minute ‘chunks’ as it was a suggestion from customers who used Fly6 Original. Fly12 records in 5 minute ‘chunks’ to address the larger file sizes that come with greater resolution. Hope that helps!
Thanks for the reply Andrew – its a sign of good customer service that you do engage with customers in a public forum. I’ve contacted your support directly to see what you can do. As I said previously, overall I think its a great product and I think that people who buy the V2 will likely be very satisfied.
The fly6 is great. Even if you don’t ride at night, what’s wrong with being extra visible during the day? It adds an extra margin of safety and also it helps to pass the blame onto the motorist to hit you from behind in an even more convincing way.
There are various configurations for the light, so you can have it flashing at various brightnesses (actually different numbers of LEDs).
However, there are a few issues.
The most important one to my mind is the poor design of the mounting bracket and I have had one split all the way down the middle and I have noticed on the Internet generally and on cycliq’s own forum the other people have complained about this. I was lucky that my fly6 finally fell off as I was coming back into my flat so I didn’t lose it and it didn’t get broken – luckily.
I ended up reinforcing mine with a glued on backing piece of plastic and some zip ties.Now it is extremely strong and I feel very confident about it.
I suspect that when cycliq do eventually release the next model, the mounting bracket will be quite different.
Also, the mounting bracket is very limiting. You can only attach it to a seat post. If you want to attach it to a rear stay, for instance then you will have to work something out and it might be pretty complicated.
If you are a very short rider and you don’t have much of your seat post exposed because your saddle is so low then you are going to have a lot of difficulty fitting a fly6. The fly6 is about 8 cm long. You have to slide it into its bracket from the top and that means that you need at least another 8 cm of sliding space – 16 cm. That’s quite a deal for somebody who is short or is riding on a frame which may be is a little bit too large for them.
On the other hand, the fly6 mounting bracket doesn’t need to be screwed on. It’s held on by a rubber lattice. This means that it is easy to mount and to unmount on rented bikes such as the Velib in Paris or the Boris bikes in London, for example. Believe me, if you are riding in the cities – especially in Paris – then the fly6 might be a very good investment.
The other issue is that after about eight months of use – about six hours per week, battery life has reduced considerably. I don’t know if this is simply that I have an unlucky battery or if it is a general problem.
The battery is sealed in and cycliq said that they would be unable to provide me with a replacement for that reason. Cycliq suggested that I reformat the memory card, which I did and it has made a marginal difference. You can use a USB battery to charge it while riding but it is a bit of a lumpy solution
Cycliq is a small company and probably for that reason, the customer support and customer response times are excellent. (It almost makes me hope that they don’t get any bigger!)
Tedder – don’t forget that “Fly” is short for “Fly on the wall”!
As Marc said the bracket is the major let-down here – they are so stiff the suggested functionality of leaving the bracket in place and sliding the light on/off is impossible. I have broken two brackets now, once with the Fly6 being lost forever in the local lanes. To their everlasting credit Cycliq sent me a replacement Fly6.
BUT: I have now learnt not to start the Fly6 until I’m well away from my house, and to remember to stop it before returning home. If someone found my now-lost Fly6, they will have a number of clips of my garage, complete with shots of all our bikes as I’ve swung the bike around to get out the door. Plus a picture-perfect way to find our house. As the MicroSD card is inside a waterproof camera, that could be next week or 10 years from now, and the video would still be readable.
Yet another thing to be concerned about, along with Strava privacy settings etc.
Also, colour me unimpressed with the Fly12 1080p footage, especially at night. I don’t know if it’s the YouTube upload, but it was nigh-on impossible to pick out numberplates in daylight, and absolutely impossible at night, due to the reflection. Not Cycliq’s problem admittedly – I doubt *any* camera would work at night like that. But the daytime performance was a major let-down. The one time I wanted to use footage from the Fly6 I could only find one single frame that showed the car that passed me – so don’t think even in full daylight that it’s a guarantee of identification.
with a little modification to the ‘nub’ on the light that locates into the hole on the bracket, you can take the light on and off without unhooking the straps. Just need to ‘desquare’ the square side of the nub. Pretty easy to do.
Incidentally, another great use for the fly6 would be in a vehicle as a rear facing dashcam
Of course it would need a bit of imagination to create a mount which could suck on to the rear window and hold the fly6 at the correct angle.
I suggested this to cycliq – but got no reply – maybe because they thought that the idea wasn’t very useful.
However, I use a Garmin dash cam all the time whenever I rent a car and the fly6 is a rear facing camera would complement it very well – + it would be much easier to charge it while it is in use.
As Andrew Hagen from cycliq is following this thread, – Andrew, there’s my suggestion again. What about the suitable mounting bracket?
Thanks for the review Ray!
The “buy now links” in the floating menu are switched around. Amazon links to CT and vice versa.
Ray, you may want to make readers check the legality of using a constantly recording camera in their locale. The balance between one’s ease of having evidence just in case and others’ right to not being filmed isn’t settled everywhere. In some German states, operating a dashcam full-time can get you a really hefty fine. Full-time-recordings made with the purpose of generating evidence “just in case” can’t be used in court. Capturing something accidentally on a video snippet recorded for another purpose (that particular stunt or exciting mountain pass downhill ride) may be treated differently. Not sure how things are in France.
That’s a pretty amazing law – but anyway, no problem in France and no problem in UK.
I think that it is probably for Cycliq to find out about as they are the seller.
Maybe Wiggle too, because I have seen it on their site as well.
Well, it can be cosidered private permanent surveillance of your fellow humans. Fines may be up to six-digit € figures if one puts the videos on the Internet. In Austria, Dashcams are generally forbidden. Not sure how they would handle the GoPro on a bike handlebar capturing snippets, but lawmakers certainly do not endorse constantly recording your fellows in traffic. Not so sure about France, too, all of that roots in EU data privacy rules, but I believe the UK is indeed far more lenient there.
For a smirk – one Bavarian politician was once recorded by a wildlife cam deep in the woods enjoying various aspects of nature with a lady which wasn’t the one he was married to. Maybe that fuelled the political discussion a bit. Bavaria is one of the states enforcing those hefty fines…
Not so sure about the part that this roots in EU data privacy rules. I think it is rather a German (and Austrian?) implementation of their specific privacy rules. You will find that Google Street View does not cover most of Germany (anymore) for this reason – other European countries are just fine.
I actually wonder how the forbidding of dash cams in Germany holds up under EU law – it is an a priory prohibition of making film, which falls under the freedom of expression clauses of the EU treaty…. Guess we will need to wait till a pissed of German dashcam owner goes to the UE court before we know how this privacy vs freedom to film turns out at the highest level.
I don’t expect it has anything to do with EU data privacy. The United Kingdom and France are members of the EU.
I’m afraid that is far more likely to be related to the unfortunate history of Germany and Austria in the last century and they’re extremely cautious approach to the surveillance of other citizens.
HI Marc – we provide a one (1) year warranty so if your Fly6 is not doing what it says on the box then you can discuss it with our friendly and responsive support team (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will make sure you are looked after. We want our customers to be happy with their investment – we try to under promise and over deliver. For example we say up to 6 hours and yet, if you turn the flashers off, you can get substantially longer, we have had up to 9 hours reported back to us! The battery is sealed to help with water ingress protection so we do not have replacement batteries but we do have an awesome support team who will help! On the issue of the size of the mount, many people (including myself) simply twist the whole thing on the seat post and remove it sideways if there is limited space. Alternatively, using the straps is just as easy and recommended. Oh, and we are getting bigger however we want our support to retain the current response times – we think it is very important part of any business. In regard to your mount question, we have had a number of people design and provide for free, 3D designed mounts for alternate mounting solutions – these links are available on our support page. You simply take the design to a 3D printer and there you have it! If you need help finding them just drop a note to the support team!
HI Mike – thanks (again) for your comments. As you know we are trying our best and learning all the time. Your comments and those of others help us a lot in that regard. Mounts and mounting are always a huge topic when we discuss product development. As Ray mentioned, Fly6 is not an action camera but we are following in the footsteps of action cameras being used as cycling safety cameras and the public have come to expect all the functionality (and most often resolution) of an action camera in our products. Luckily, we are sticking to our guns and trying to provide what we see as the key features for cyclist: long battery runtime, looping record, incident protection, etc. With mounts, of course, we have tried our best and will improve again. There is no science for making something that works for everyone (else it would have been made already). We apply our concepts to the product, take on board all the feedback, mix it in the pot with, costs, pricing, manufacturing, durability, features, approvals and a host of other factors and what you see are the results. No doubt, when Fly12 comes out, we will learn more and make it better again for next time…at least it has the benefit of our experience to date!
Appreciate all the comments and please keep them coming!
If only I didn’t live in a state where the cars don’t have front license plates! Still during football weekends I’m more likely to be run over by a car from New Jersey, so this might be worth buying.
Fellow Pennsylvanian (football? Near Penn State?) That was my thought, too. That and the fact that the cops probably won’t care, anyway, even if you do have a perp on video.
Paul: You guessed it, Penn State! Oh and when I said “run over by a car from New Jersey” I actually meant Escalade.
I live about 6 miles away from State College (Boalsburg), so I know exactly what you mean. Still haven’t decided what to do tomorrow, whether to wait for game time or to go out early enough that I can get across 322 and into the mountains before the traffic builds. Since I’m one of those who think that universities have no business running minor league professional football teams (“student-athlete”? Please.), and that it’s obscene that the head football coach is the highest paid university official, I find the whole thing pretty annoying. But it’ll be over for the year soon.
Hi Ray and Andrew!
How far can the mount straps stretch? I have a Felt AR-5 with a very wide seat post – more stretched than Ray’s Cervelo I think. I have a lot of trouble strapping most things to my post (even flat kit bags).
Hi Dan – a picture tells a thousand words…..here are a couple of Fly6 units we had testing for a while. We also have a video on how to mount Fly6 here: link to youtu.be
The previous picture did not post…here it is again.
I think that you need to be careful about stretching straps. This is what puts stress on the plastic mount and eventually makes it split down the middle.
In fact in one response that I had from cycliq support was that I should not stretch it to tightly and also gave me very clear instructions about how to bring the strap around the back of the seat post and then hook it onto the other side of the bracket.
Frankly, if it needs this kind of care to avoid damaging the bracket then I think that this confirms that the bracket is not up to standard.
If you fitting this to any kind of seat post but especially if you fitting it to a wide seat post then I would suggest that you grew in a plastic reinforcement and also use a zip tie as insurance
… glue in a plastic reinforcement ….
I had another fly6 mounting bracket split in half this weekend. Luckily, the fly6 unit itself wasn’t damaged but I had to finish my ride with it in my pocket.
I don’t know why. I only modified the original broken bracket and I left my other two untouched. The broken bracket is the result of that because it was an unmodified bracket.
I have now repaired that one by going on a section of grey plumbing piping and then backing it up with some small nuts and bolts. I’ve also done the same thing to a third unbroken bracket.
I’m now fully confident that I won’t have any more of these issues of broken fly6 brackets. However, it’s very clear that the fly6 mounting bracket has an inherent design weakness.
I would recommend that anyone who buys a fly6 begins immediately by aralditing on a plastic backing plate – which I made from a small piece of grey plastic plumbing pipe and the extra insurance, using tiny nuts and bolts to bolt in place as well. If you do this, you can be confident that your fly6 will stay in place over all sorts of shakes and bumps – and I’m talking about Paris cobbles here as well.
It’s a shame that one has to do this, but in every other respect the fly6 is a superb product and I have to say that its quality is well matched by the quality of the customer support.
I’ll bet you any money you like that if they come up with a version 3 of the fly6, that it will have a completely different mounting system. It’s the fly6 only weakness – but it’s easily fixed with a bit of plastic and some glue.
Is there any video product that takes more of a wide-angle, or side-view approach?
My needs are generally in trying to document people who fly past me at 70+mph with less than 3 feet of side clearance.
Would be nice to show both the tight clearance, and catch the license plate.
Don’t see a need to bundle lights with it; I do all of my riding in daylight, and already have a good rear light/flasher.
Maybe that weird HTC Re action cam, now that it’s super cheap ($50)?
Ray great write up as always.
Sorry to be off-topic, but I’ve never really noticed your rear hydration setup before. What wing are you using? I like that it drops well below your saddle.
I poked around the site but couldn’t find a link to “gear I use” so sorry if this is posted elsewhere!
Thanks! Here’s the post: link to dcrainmaker.com
It’s a Beaker Concepts system. Got it many years ago – love it.
Huzzah! Thank you sir! Congrats and good luck on the new chapter! Selfishly, I’ll say that if something had to give, us readers are glad it was the job. 🙂
What is the recording capacity (about how many hours with the included 8 GB card for the typical video)?
Hi Mike – Fly6 ships with an 8GB Class 10 microSD card which can hold up to two hours of footage before looping over. You can upgrade the card up to 32GB which can hold up to 8 hours of footage.
If you’ll only need the bigger card if you can get the battery to last longer than 2 hours!
Hi Markee – if your Fly6 is not doing what it says on the box, visit our website (https://cycliq.com), go to our support page and create a support ticket. Our friendly and responsive support team will help you out.
I love the Cycliq customer service. I broke a strap on mine and couldn’t find a replacement. I emailed them and asked where to purchase a new one. I received a response immediately saying that they sent a couple in the mail to me, free of charge and also a link where to buy new ones if I need to in the future. It was my fault the strap broke. Small gestures from companies like this are huge.
I’m another Kickstarter supporter and I never ride without my Fly6 now. I threw a 32GB (or was it 64? either way, overkill) card in there and I’ve never had a looping issue. It doesn’t make me less worried about somebody killing me while I’m riding, but it’s nice to know that my family will be able to sue them to get the cash to throw me a good going-away party.
I agree with what you said, Ray, it just works. I like the chirps as an easy way to tell how much life is left and I’ve had no problems with the brackets. They actually include a lot, so I’ve been able to have the mounts installed on both of my bikes. The original unit is a bit large, and some videos feature the bottom of my seat bag, but that doesn’t detract from the main picture. I didn’t know they had an upgrade offer, so I’ve already engaged on that.
As for close calls and the like, I’m too lazy to go searching for those who pass to closely, partially because I know law enforcement in northern VA just doesn’t care enough. I did, however, get great footage of when I was almost taken out by someone who lost a wheel (the whole wheel, not just a tire) on the opposing lanes of traffic. Luckily, it hit the curb right by where I was on the path and popped up and over me.
link to youtube.com
HI Erik – did you know that you can upload your video to our website and if posted can be in the running for our monthly ‘Staff Pick’ where the winner gets a free Fly6? If you are keen to enter simply upload it on link to cycliq.com.
Also, might I add: it’s the only Kickstarter project I’ve backed that delivered on time, as promised.
I’m just going to keep commenting on my own post…
In the interest of full disclosure, that’s a Kickstarter edition Fly6 and the video has been through editing software. I understand that the video quality has improved with Fly6 V2, so the linked video and posted picture may not accurately reflect the image quality of the currently available unit.
Thanks for the review Ray. Is it just me, but I found it almost impossible for me to remove the light from the holder. I broke nails doing it. I know they recommend removing the straps (which doesn’t work well if you need different angles for different bikes) but I feel that they could have improved this with some sort of lock-in clamping mechanism instead of this solution.
Instead of using the straps that came with my Fly-6 I am using a couple of the rubber-bands that Garmin provides to hold their mounts onto your stem or handlebars. I have also put a narrow layer of tape on the mounting rail on the body of the Fly-6 to make it fit a little more snugly in the mount. That helps to keep it from vibrating in the mount.
I was trying to find some statistics but need to dig deeper. Seems to me Fly12 makes more sense as I imagine most accidents would be visible with a front camera (including the one you were hit in). Of course one could get two of them, but still 😉
Here is some footage I took when cycling through central London in rush hour in the summer. Not very convinced you could capture the number plate if needed if it was raining or darker.
Please note there was sound but it was lost in the upload process
link to youtube.com
Love the Fly6 (1st Gen), and I’ve ordered the Fly12 and eagerly awaiting it. In Toronto we have an online police reporting system for traffic incidents and minor crimes, (as well as an iOS app now too!) and I have submitted several reports of drivers being idiots which were effectively captured on the Fly6. I usually end up sending a link to the various videos in the report, but so far have always been able to capture the licence plates for the reports. I didn’t know about the upgrade option, but now will have to start putting a few bucks aside to upgrade to the new Fly6, which I think will solve my problem of not being able to fit both my seat bag and Fly6 at the same time. I’m riding a Small CX frame and a Medium road frame. The only real issue I have had with the Fly6 is the file format ( .avi), which is a bit of a pain to deal with. I have been using SmartConverter which is clean and simple, and then allows me to edit it in QuickTime. I can definitely vouch for the waterproofness of the Fly6 as well, as I ended up riding through a washed out trail this summer, that was a lot deeper than it looked. I ended up riding in to the point where my cross tube was submerged, and the Fly6 captured everything to that point. After putting it in a bag of rice when I got home (to absorb all the water), the Fly6 was fully functional again.
Hey Ray, I have trouble importing videos from my Fly6 into Adobe Premiere. it always gives me some codec error so I end up importing them to Windows Movie Maker, then exporting them to a different format to import to Premiere. Have you had this issue?
I have exactly this issue. I convert them in Applian Converter and then I can use them wherever I want.
I don’t know what the problem is. I keep on meaning to ask Cycliq but I keep on forgetting. I am sure that they will give the answer very quickly
HI guys – on Page 8 of our Quick Start Guide we provide software recommendations and download links for software that work perfectly with Fly6 footage. For editing there is VideoPad and for viewing there is VLC Player however if you want to use different software, we recommend using SmartConverter to convert the footage so your preferred software package.
Hope that helps!
Thanks for the quick response. Converters are always an option. It just seems crazy to me that an editor as powerful as Premiere wouldn’t be able to import the videos. There has to be some way to add that codec in for Premiere to use.
Yes – I was pretty surprised as well. What is it about the Cycliq video which won’t import – although I would really point the finger at Premiere
I absolutely love my Fly6. I’ve even bought 2 additional ones as gifts and I’m anxiously awaiting my Fly12 pre-order.
This is definitely one of those “just works” products. Coupled with the quality/price ratio, it really is an exceptional buy. Highly recommended.
I’d like to put up a big thanks to Cycliq for very superior customer service all the way from Oz to Europe and the help they have given for sorting out some problems.
They really stand by their product.
So now, where is the Fly12????
Does this unit stop recording automatically after a period of time if the bike is in an accident? It seems like I read somewhere that this (or perhaps a competing) bike camera would continue to record for perhaps 10 minutes and then stop if the bike tipped past 45 degrees. This would be in the event of a accident where the rider was not able to stop the camera and would prevent the evidence from being over written by continued recording.
I am seriously thinking about getting this type of product. I have been nearly hit several times – some of which I think are intentional. I live in a rural area where it can be a long time until the next car passes to find a hit bicyclist. There have been other riders in the area that have been hit including a hit & run where the bike rider was killed this summer. I think it was several hours before that rider was found so if he had one of these and it didn’t stop recording, all the evidence would have been over written. It would be nice to have the evidence so the right SOB can go to jail if he kills me.
PO Box 130
Hi Steve – you do have it correct in that when the device tilts over 60 degrees for more than 5 seconds, Incident Protection mode kicks in. This will turn the device off after one hour. Using the supplied microSD card, this will give you around one hour before the incident and one hour after the incident incase there is any post incident information that could be helpful for the police or insurance company. Fly6 also records audio so you can hear what happens too!
Is the fly6 still for sale or has it been pulled for a reason I’m currently unaware? Are there decent alternatives with/without the light?
Hi JerryJ – Fly6 is stil available from link to cycliq.com and depending on where you are located you can find Fly6 in many good bike stores through our distributors (link to cycliq.com).
I know the answer to your second question but think it best for others to answer that one!
Based on Ray’s review, I got a Fly6 recently. Unfortunately I had the chance to test it out for its intended purpose. Story on Cycliq’s site:
link to cycliq.com
Assuming I get back on the bike, I will never leave home without it.
Wow, that’s nuts. Glad you’re (mostly) OK.
I bought the original version of the Fly6 back in mid 2014. Overall performance was good but video quality not great – if vehicles approached above 25 mph the license plate is blurred. But my biggest issue is battery life. The first year I had this I was training for a full IM and thus, needed the camera to record long rides in excess of 3-4 hours which it did – even up to 4.5-5 hours originally. However, less than 2 years later the unit now only records for less than 2 hours on a full charge, and that’s only if I have re-formatted the video card thereby erasing all history. without doing that I am lucky to get 1 hour recording before he unit goes into flash only mode.
I was in contact with their customer support numerous times to bench test the unit, and ultimately they responded that bsattery deterioration and less than 2 hour performance is normal and acceptable. While they did offer a discount to upgrade to the gen2 device, I am going to find another solution that lives up to stated performance for longer than just beyond the warranty period. As for the Fly12 – I was really interested in this device until the failure of the battery life on the fly6 and customer services statement that it is normal. Buy at your own risk.
I think that deterioration in battery life is quite likely to happen over a period of time with any device, not only the fly6.
I can tell you that it’s not difficult to open the unit and source a replacement battery. The replacement battery should have tabs already soldered onto it and it is then very easy matter to cut away the old battery, leaving the tiny electronics (which I do not understand) in place and then to solder the new battery in. This produces a unit with a battery life pretty well just as good as it was when it was supplied brand-new.
I should add of course that the battery is not user replaceable that means that if you replace the battery, is probably at your own risk and certainly not covered by any warranty. However, I have had great success in doing this and I certainly don’t see any alternative as yet to the fly6. Units such as go pro, or the very much cheaper – and very decent – equivalents which you can find on Amazon would probably work very well that the battery life of those is even shorter than the fly6.
When I started off with my fly6 it was getting five hours of battery life. The battery life eventually dwindled to something around two hours. I then replace the battery myself and I’m back up to 5 hours again. It’s a very cheap fix if you don’t mind using a small screwdriver and a soldering iron.
It’s a shame it’s not a user replaceable battery – I suppose that this is partly because of considerations of weatherproofing. It certainly the case that when the weather is bad, the fly6 gets a real soaking.
I get a bit fed up now and then when I find that the lens gets choked up with mud. I’m going to think about making a small mudguard – mud deflector which I can attach to the bottom of the fly6, which I’m sure will make a big difference.
I have to say that I have found that the fly6 customer service has been first class. They seem to be very interested in what is happening to their product and they are extremely responsive.
If much larger and much better resourced companies such as Garmin were to display the same level of attentive customer service, they would be a great improvement in products all round.
If you cannot afford the cost of the fly12 (and the wait) is there anything to stop you forward mounting a fly6?
I simply want a camera with a decent battery life. I would not be using the light.
Thanks in advance.
The mount is a bit awkward up front. I vaguely remember trying it once, but the problem is that it’s tough to find a spot up front that will allow you to place the mounting plates on with the bands going around. You can kinda do it through the frame, but it’s not ideal.
HI Geoff – there have been some epic videos taken using Fly6 on the front of the bike perhaps with this one (link to vimeo.com) having the most impact (pun fully intended).
While there are a bunch of reasons why this is not ideal the most important reason is as Ray said…the mounting options are not suited to upside down on the front of your bike.
You mentioned timing for Fly12 which is ideally suited to the front of a bike and I’m pleased to say that we will be shipping to Kickstarter backers in mid April and to those that pre-ordered from us just after that so the wait is nearly over! Ride safe!
Went for my first ride with a new ver2 Fly6…a 23mile night ride.
Number plates cannot be read…but I expected that.
I went to plug cable in to charge battery….the Fly6 suddenly became very loose.
At first I thought it was just a loose strap…no…..the mounting bracket had split right down the middle.
I repeat…this is a new Fly6 after just one ride.
Of course this could have happened out on my ride and I’d have lost the light and would have been £95 worse off.
I bought it after reading this review and after some further reading I saw that there were issues with the mount splitting, but I reasonably assumed that this problem would have been addressed with ver2 of Fly6.
I also read that inserting the light into the mount was quite difficult as it was a tight fit so I lubricated it with a small amount of vaseline…..so the mount was at no point stressed or damaged by me.
Sure, I suppose I could secure with some cable ties….but I want to be able to move this quickly and easily between bikes…surely that’s a reasonable expectation of a £95 rear light?
My advice….is AVOID…LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!!!!
The mounting weakness is becoming well-documented and the solution is fairly easy and I have described it on this site and on Cyclic’s site.
No doubt that the mount is poorly designed – but the Fly6 itself is brilliant and at £95 it is very cheap for a rear light and looping webcam.
Repair the mount and then get to love it.
The first time that you need the footage to show that the other guy was at fault, you’ll be over the moon
… to add,
To say that it is £95 for a rear light is really quite wrong. It is far more than that. It really is a camera – disguised as a rear light.
Hi Steve – sorry to hear about your experience. We stand by our products and will make sure you are satisfied with your purchase. You would have read the instruction note I include in every Fly6 that we have designed Fly6 so that it clips into the mount very tightly on purpose to ensure you have stable footage. As such using lubricant and removing your Fly6 from the clip is working against its designed intention putting pressure on the clip.
In addition to the instruction note, we have produced this (link to youtu.be) video on the best way to mount your Fly6. It can easily be removed by using the supplied straps.
If you would like us to resolve it, please contact our friendly & responsive support team on email@example.com and they can further assist you.
Sure it’s a camera as well as a light….but if it’s in the gutter at the side of the road it’s just Road Kill !!
Supposing it had of fallen off bike last night….
Firstly…I wouldn’t for one moment have assumed the mount had failed…I’d have assumed that the straps had come undone…even though I made sure they were secure.
What would have happened?
Would the supplier or Cycliq have said…”Don’t worry sir…we’ll send you another”
or would they have said “You couldn’t have secured it properly…tough!
Yes I saw several references to the mounting problem, so if i found that easily then of course Cycliq know about it…so why are they still selling it without having solved the problem?
Why are they seemingly perfectly happy for customers to attach their new purchase with mounts that fall apart after one use…….I’d have to assume they simply don’t care enough.
My main bike is of the touring type…I have 2 front lights another rear light, a cache battery, Garmin Gps, Garmin Virb……none of them require cable ties to secure…..that’s a normal assumption for all of us I’m sure?
I didn’t remove it from the clip !!
It was still attached to my seatpost when i attempted to plug the charging lead in.
It was then that the light became very loose.
It therefore removed itself from the mount!!!
My intention was to use it on 2 different bikes both with normal 27.2mm seatposts at the same angle, so there would be no need on my part to remove the light from the mount. I’d just need to undo the rubber straps.
With respect to lubricant I’m talking about a smear of vaseline so that I wouldn’t damage it when I assembled it, that didn’t cause it to split ..did it?
The mount obviously split because it’s of such low quality that the tension of the 2 rubber straps split it.
Stop defending the indefensible….it failed after one use!!!
“Supposing it had of fallen off bike last night….
Firstly…I wouldn’t for one moment have assumed the mount had failed…I’d have assumed that the straps had come undone…even though I made sure they were secure.
What would have happened?
Would the supplier or Cycliq have said…”Don’t worry sir…we’ll send you another”
or would they have said “You couldn’t have secured it properly…tough!
$1 says they’d simply have sent you another, just like if you ask I’m sure they’ll send you a pile of clips in case it happens again.
If you read up above somewhere, someone had the same thing happen and they did exactly that.
While yours failed after one use, mine still keeps on ticking. I’d simply reach-out to Cycliq, though in reality they’ll likely respond pretty quickly here – they usually do.
And now that I read up further…looks like they’ve already responded and simply said to get in touch and it sounds like they’ll take care of you.
Hello Ray…I already contacted them before posting here.
Maybe they would of replaced it, I’ll never know….but that doesn’t answer the question of why they think it’s acceptable for the mount to fail so very quickly.
Supplying extra mounts isn’t the answer is it?…at this rate I’d need a new mount every ride, and have to stop every 5 mins to check it was still attached.
Of course they should either design a stronger mount….or just admit it needs to be securing with cable ties. From what I’ve seen it’s just the tension of the rubber straps that split it.
It’s all just part of the modern day BS where products are released for sale before they should be.
I’ve just asked them for a large supply of mounts 🙂 ….I’ll keep the thread updated.
Update on broken mount :- Cycliq have been good to their word and sent me a replacement mount kit (2 mounts) which I just received from Hong Kong…so good response from them. I just hope these mounts are not from the same batch as the originals and are fit for purpose.
I modified the second original mount by supergluing it to the rubber spacer/support.
as these mounts are splitting along their length, this may add some mechanical strength and prevent it splitting.
Good, their customer service is very good.
However, if I were you I would reinforce all the amounts.
I used a piece of plumbers tubing – grey plastic – from a DIY shop.
You will find that they sell angle joints – 90°, 45°, but also a straight joining piece of finished grey plastic. You will easily find one of the correct circumference and you will find that you can cut it into sections which will make exactly perfect reinforcements for three mounting brackets.
Araldite those in place – and I also used small nuts and bolts – but I’m sure the Araldite will be fine.
It’s the only flaw in the whole system. It’s a serious flaw, but it’s easily fixed with a bit of goodwill and as I have already said, the camera unit is excellent.
I’m quite confident that if they produce a version 3, that the mounting problem will be completely resolved
Thanks Marc, that’s a good idea, I’ll definitely do that. I’ve got some pipe fittings here….and when you look at the attached pics it probably highlights what he problem is. The supplied mount is an attempted “one size fits all” seat posts solution, meaning 25.4mm to 31.8mm. All my bikes seatposts here are 27.2mm which is the standard on modern road bikes?, which I presume is the main target market for the Fly6. So if you’re using one of that size then the pics clearly show that you will be introducing stress down the length of the mount once attached with the rubber straps. Sure the pics without the rubber space exaggerate the gap, but although reduced with the rubber spacer in place, it’s still there.
I think Cycliq definitely need to supply 27.2 specific mounts and not a Road/MTB combo mount.
With Rubber Spacer
1.25″ or 32mm Pipe fitting is a good fit as Marc has indicated.
It seems as if it would very helpful to have the tramline feature on the rear-facing FLY6. Any plans to add this via a software/app update in the future?
Hi CyclingJunkie – Fly6 is not a connected device like Fly12 so does not have a companion app where the tramlines are added & configured. This means we cannot add the tramline feature to Fly6. Thanks & Ride Safe!
I would be very wary of buying a unit from this company. I bought a unit through Kickstarter, used it a handful of times, and now the battery wouldn’t hold a charge. When I asked for support, the company said it wasn’t covered by warranty. Judging from the comments on the company’s support page, this appears to be a known problem with the battery. Defective battery = consumer’s out of luck. Buyer beware.
Hi Chris – thanks for backing us through Kickstarter in March 2014. Your support along with the 4,000+ backers has helped us bring these products to you and our other customers. We hope your investment in your Fly6, a product that had never been attempted before at below market prices, was justified.
Your Fly6 unit you received back in June 2014 came with a 12 month warranty however having reviewed the support ticket you had with us, it appears that our support team responded to your support ticket the first business day and communicated with you some potential solutions that could get your unit working again and that your product was out of warranty.
Even though the product is out of warranty, the support team offered you a voucher to use for any of our other products. We do this to help support our customers and Kickstarter backers showing that we care for our customers. Buyers should be aware that we do care for our customers and stand by our products which means if you have issues, we will deal with them. If the unit does not perform as it says on the box, we will fix or replace it and in this case, we even went beyond the terms of our warranty.
Forgive me if I appear defensive however, we pride ourselves on our customer care and I will defend any statements that are not materially correct. The facts are that you have a product that is over two years old that has a one year warranty and our support team addressed your query straight away which I am proud of. Firstly with some suggested solutions and when they did not solve the problem, we offered you a voucher for our other products when technically we have no obligation to.
The voucher offer still stands for you if you would like to take it up. Our company and the staff really do care about our customers and is always improving on our product offerings that provide utility and value for you. We are sorry you feel the way you do but hope this response puts it all in context.
Regards, Andrew Hagen
Although your Fly6 may be covered by a 12 month warranty, it may also be protected by statutory consumer rights which may be far longer in your jurisdiction. I don’t know where you are. However, some parts of the unit are likely to have a shorter life than others. The battery is a particular example. Although one might reasonably expect the Fly6 itself to keep on going for several years, batteries would normally last much less. If you have only used your unit a few times and then put it aside so that it has remain untouched for over a year, it is highly likely that the battery would have gone flat through natural leakage. In fact, don’t forget that the battery is maintaining the date and time so throughout the period of non-use the battery charge is gradually winding down. If you look through the Internet, you will find that batteries which are left in a state of deep discharge for a long period of time can eventually become damaged. When you then try to use them, they failed to hold their charge. What you are describing is precisely a symptom of this kind of non-use. It is always best to store an item either with the battery disconnected completely – which is not possible with the Fly6 – or else to remember to charge it up every few months. Even a disconnected battery should be given a charge every few months. This kind of treatment keeps the battery in good condition and will extend its useful life substantially.
I am extremely pleased with my Fly6 and even seems to have magic properties because since I started using it, nothing bad has happened to me whereas before I bought it I suffered three incidents over a period of 12 months – being deliberately rear-ended on two occasions, once by a taxi driver and once by a driving instructor. But I live in Paris so this kind of behaviour goes with the territory. Now my Fly6 seems to keep me safe like some lucky charm. I might even start wearing it round my neck!
I should also say that I have had one or two issues with the unit and I found that Cycliq have been extremely quick to support and very customer-facing.
Also of course, there is nothing else on the market which substitutes for a Fly6.
Now here’s a secret: you can replace the battery. You should only do this if the unit is out of warranty – and yours obviously is. If you open the unit by undoing the four screws you will discover a hardwired battery inside. If you carefully clip the soldered tags – being sure to leave the little electronic components inside the unit, you can easily find a similar battery on Amazon with soldered tags which you then solder into place. I did this and my Fly6 now works very happily with a good battery life.
Don’t forget that doing this would invalidate a warranty and might even invalidate your statutory rights. You would only want to do this in a situation such as yours where poor battery husbandry has led to a situation where the battery has gone into deep discharge for a long period of time to the extent that it has suffered damage.
Hey Andrew, I purchased a Fly 6 just the other day (and purchased the Fly 12 today). I used the Fly 6 for the first time a couple of days ago and when I went back to view the footage I noticed it seemed to have missed the start of the ride, about the first 10 minutes or so, or about the first 1 or 2 ‘bites’ of footage. Any idea why?
I love my Fly6 (mainly for the battery life, quality of light, and ease of use), but the video quality isn’t great. I noticed that they’ve been out of stock on Cycliq’s website for a while now. Any chance that’s a sign that a new version with better video quality is forthcoming?
Is there a way to disable audio recording so it just records video?
I use a rack top bag when commuting which the standard seatpost mount wouldn’t clear.
I got frustrated at the lack of a saddle rail mount so decided to do my own thing. As a proof of concept I chopped up one of the standard mounts and attached it to a gopro mount which fitted pretty well on a cheap gopro rail mount. With that working I had one 3D printed in nylon, the fit on my print isn’t great but it gets the job done and keeps the light up nice and high where it’s visible and not going to get obscured by any bags. It would be great if Cycliq produced an official gopro adaptor as that would give people complete flexibility in mounting.
I haven’t been a fan of the rubber band mounting system so I got inspired by the new Velcro mounting system on the new Fly6 and reworked my existing mount. I drilled a series of holes in the current mount to make a slot and ran a Velcro strap through it. It seems to work great and is much easier to remove and install. I assume I will need to replace the Velcro strap eventually but the strap is more available than the rubber bands which failed at a steady rate for me.
At first, my Fly6 was great (apart from failures to the mount, which they have changed). But it started losing battery life after 15 months and failed completely after 18 months. The discussions on Cycliq’s support site show that many others have a similar problem. Unfortunately Cycliq wash their hands of the device after the 12 month warranty, apart from offering a 25% discount on a new item. It seems to me that, if this is a rare problem, they could afford a return and repair/replacement service for a modest fee (like See.sense do for their smart lights). If, on the other hand, it’s too frequent a problem for such a service to be financially viable, they should not have brought the Fly6 to market until battery life was improved. Even discounted, the lights are too expensive for something that might last barely longer than a year.
I got a Gen 1 Fly6 via Kickstarter and when my battery after 2 years of moderate usage I complained … details below. I got the offer of a discounted Gen 2 but didn’t bother.
I pulled it apart and discovered (sigh) two LiPo cells in parallel without any form of balancing circuit for charging (as far as I could tell). Unless the cells were precisely matched in capacity before pairing like this, it is a great way to send one of the cells to an early grave when it completes charge before the other.
I believe this is the reason many of the lights are failing before their time. I ended up using my dremel and replacing the long square 2 cell battery with a single round LiIon. I figure the charging circuit is dumb enough to not notice and back to 5 hours now.
“My Fly6 battery life has been deteriorating over time and has dropped from an initial 5 hours to less than 2 hours.
It is just under 2 years of age, I use it for 90mins per day, 5x a week, and up until very recently was charging twice a week.
So the battery has had 2 years x 50 weeks x 2 charge cycles per week = 200 cycles.
I would expect that battery to have lost 10-20% of its capacity but in my case it appears to have lost 60-70%.”
Itching to get one of these even though I won’t be riding outside for at least another two months. Any rumors of an update and/or newer version to help me hold off for a bit longer?
I’m in the same boat. REI have them 20% off with their sale, and amazon have them on special. Do I jump now, or is there a v3 on the way? I’m really surprised there aren’t some Chinese knock-offs out there by now too.
As of 6pm EDT on 03/30/17, there is a lightning deal for this for $100 on Amazon.
30s into the first video, you cycle through a red light where the other traffic is halted to obey the law. And you cycle through a pedestrian crossing which a pedestrian crosses a second after you whizz through. I take it you’re not one of the ‘little people’ that road laws apply to?
What you say, might well have happened. However, what you don’t seem to realise is that those lights have a right turn filter so that although traffic is prevented from travelling straight on, traffic which in turn right has a right-facing arrow either green or flashing yellow which allows traffic to turn right.
The pedestrian crossing that you saw positioned on the corner is also light -controlled and if the right filter is on then there is a red pedestrian – “don’t walk” sign which indicates to pedestrians that they shouldn’t cross at that moment.
I’m not saying that you’re wrong, but I am saying that you have no evidence that you are right.
Did you realise that the lights and the pedestrian crossing are controlled in that way?
About two years ago Paris installed small labels/signs on many lights allowing cyclists to run lights in protected situations (turning right, or going straight if no cross section). This is one of thousands of lights.
Said differently: It’s a perfectly legal turn that’s perfectly safe.
Although not a lot of recent news on integrated HUDs for sunglasses, I have to wonder why this rear-facing camera technology could not be incorporated into such heads-up-displays to provide real time rear views. While I don’t see much need for power/speed metrics in my glasses, I can easily see a huge market for integrating a rear view camera and HUD with a Garmin Varia so that when the ‘radar’ alerts, the rear camera starts to record while simultaneously being displayed in the HUD to provide the rider with better situational awareness.
Yes ! I’m here trying to see if anyone else is trying to mount a Fly6 AND a Garmin Varia. My seatpost won’t accommodate both, so I have to choose: record video? or Radar ? Really wishing Cycliq provided more flexible mounting options for the Fly 6 – even a GoPro mount like the Fly12 would enable using seat stays instead of the post. I had a Fly6 mount printed to attach to a rear rack that worked really well – the video was slightly more jittery when I hit bumps, but otherwise was fine. But without the rack I’m out back to either/or with Fly6 / Varia – and I want both.
Yes, the lack of flexibility in mounting places for both Garmin devices and Cycliq devices causes a real problem if you are trying to use both – or if you are somebody who is short and is using a bike where the saddle is close to the frame so that there is not much seatpost exposed.
I have ended up using a handlebar extension which fits well on my seatpost and I fit the Varia onto the extension and use the main seatpost for the Fly6.
Here’s a link to the kind of thing that I am talking about. You could even mount two of them them or even more mounting space.
link to ebay.co.uk
Thanks Marc – indeed these repurposed handlebar extensions look like they might enable use of both – thanks very much for sharing this info !
ich hätte gerne gewußt die laufleistung von cam 6 und cam 12
I’ve had the Fly6 for two short seasons (northern part of Norway) and now the battery only lasts for two hours max. Would I buy again: No
That sounds like very poor battery life. Which version are you using? One with the old mount or the one with the new Velcro amount.
I’m having a lot better life with my new version.
I find the people at Cycliq are pretty responsive and if Andrew doesn’t come here and notice your post, why don’t you go to their site and drop them a line and see what they have to say
I have already been i contact with Cycliq, but their reply was that warranty is one year only and batteryreplacement is not possible. Not very impressive, if you ask me. An otherwise good (and expensive) product that is useless after only two seasons.
Yes, that is an unfortunate response.
Who supplied you with the unit?
Bought it from Wiggle. It is the second generation with rubbermount. I believe they have not changed anything inside the unit on the latest generation.
This is what Cyliq wrote:
Like many of our other customers, if you would like to upgrade to Fly6[V], we can offer it for a special price just on this occasion. Fly6[V] offers a new and improved mounting system that is quicker and easier to use. The unit’s function and process are the same with Fly6. We have just changed some cosmetic details of the unit.
Strange, I had thought that there was some improvement to the battery. The version you have with the rubber amount is not the latest version. The rubber mount version seem to have quite a few problems with the mounts breaking. It happened to me.
I replaced it for one with the Velcro mount which is more basic but is bullet-proof. I’m certainly having better battery life than I did previously.
Of course, battery life is partly the luck of the draw. However, I would have thought it that nobody would expect you to be paying over hundred pounds simply for two seasons use.
Have you contacted wiggle? I don’t know what the consumer laws are in Norway, but in UK, the warranty has very little to do with it. Most items of this type would generally be protected for up to 6 years. I would certainly expect that a battery would be protected under consumer law for two or three years – probably the latter.
In the UK, wiggle is the responsible party is the supplier. I can imagine that the consumer laws in Norway are generally the same.
I should check out your national consumer laws first. If anybody tries to tell you that the warranty has expired and therefore you have no further rights, then they are not telling you the truth.
My fly6(v) stopped working after 3 weeks and so far their customer service is not good at all. I wouldn’t recommend this product. The problem is there is practically no other options but Cycliq products.
Waste of money-nonexistent support-failure to honor warranty… Purchased a fly 6 two months ago- Had problems from the beginning… Now it does not work and the “support” stopped responding after two emails. Please don’t waste your money-do not buy this product as it does not work and has no support
I am using 2nd generation for about 4 years now more than 1000 hours a year.
Unbelievably reliable product. I only had to change battery last year.
Terrible quality and customer service. My unit stopped recording within the warranty period. Multiple emails and posting it back at my cost to be reviewed have determined it’s defective. All they will offer is a 10 percent discount on a new unit. I’m currently taking this to the Australian Consumer Affairs Tribunal.
My unit (a CE) keeps shutting off. It used to work 1/2 the time, and then on the other half of the rides it would shut off after 20 minutes. (This is since new).
It can’t be battery drain due to ANT+/BLE connection, as even if they’re drawing power, I would leave with a light straight off the charger.
The support answer is to turn off BLE/ANT+. But what’s the point in buying a fancy rear light if you can’t use the features?
Never buying one again. If Cateye bring one out, then I’ll get that, or Garmin.
I’ve just gotten into the biking world from backpacking and have purchased a Rocky Mountain Growler. Went looking for a bike light and found this one that I really like. Anyone have any other suggestions? link to tonque.myshopify.com
Thanks for the link RC !
No video. Fly 6 + 12 are video + lights.
Battery = heavy. You’re putting a lot of weight on the handlebars whether you need to charge your phone or not.
Super low price, my gut tells me you get what you pay for, wouldn’t trust something this inexpensive to be reliable.
Horn – cool idea. link to loudbicycle.com makes amazing bike horns that are
as loud as car horns.