You know when you look at that stack of mail piling up on your kitchen table and decide to sift through it tomorrow? But tomorrow’s been happening for an indeterminate amount of time? Well tomorrow is today.
As I continue the random clearing out of Interbike related news, I bring you an update and some hands-on goodness with the new Cycliq Fly6 light-camera combo. You’ll remember this nifty gadget back from a few years ago, paired with a few updates along the way. It’s essentially a bike light that also contains a small HD camera within it, allowing you to record wonky things that drivers do behind you.
Since its initial release, users have recorded plenty of crazy things using the unit, some of which they showcase on their site. Beyond those uploaded, I’ve heard from readers (including one this summer right here in Paris unfortunately) that have captured other bike-car crashes, albeit not ones they wanted to share publicly.
In any event – the company has started shipping a slightly updated version of the Fly6, so I figured I’d briefly cover it here as they handed off a loaner unit to me at Interbike to check out.
What’s in the box:
So first, let’s start off with the box contents. As that’ll give you some hints as to what’s different. Mostly though, I’m never one to pass by an unboxing session.
You’ll slide out the inner plastic shell, which holds the Fly6 inside the window.
After removing all that, you’ll find this pile of parts:
Within that, we’ve got:
– The Camera/Light itself (with 8GB MicroSD card inside)
– Two Velcro straps for camera (short and long)
– Adapter for aero seat posts
– Shim for certain seat posts
– Micro USB Charging Cable
– MicroSD to SD card Adapter
– A Quick Starter Guide
With everything out of the box, it’s time to move onto the next section.
How it’s different:
Now you may be wondering what’s different about this unit from the last one. And the answer is…not much. In fact, it’s really only one thing: The mounting bracket.
Sure, if you compare it to the very original Fly6, then it’s quite different. But in between the original Fly6 and now, there was the Gen2 Fly6. Yes, I know, we should be up to Fly7 or Fly8 by now*. Between the 1st and 2nd editions we got:
Size: The size has been dropped by about 1/3rd, specifically in the length dimension.
Battery: Increased battery life slightly.
Camera: They’ve increased the quality of the camera used. It’s still 720p, but they went with a higher quality unit that should produce better imagery. Additionally, the camera has improved white balance performance.
Lens change: They’ve improved the lens design a bit, which reduced the warping effect that could sometimes be seen.
Added G-Sensor: This improved the crash recognition mode over the Gen1 tilt-switch sensor.
Automatic Computer Detection: It automatically shows up on your computer when plugged in (versus requiring powering on previously).
Light: Doubled the output of the light used in the unit to about 30 lumens. In addition, they’ve added a solid illumination mode to comply with various European regulations on bike lights (no blinking).
So in summary, if you have an older original version, then the new version is all that Gen2 stuff above plus the new mount. Here’s a look at the three editions (Left to Right: Gen1, Gen2, Gen3):
Looking at it with the mounts attached, here’s how they compare side by side between Gen2 (left) and Gen3 (right):
Basically, they got rid of the breakable rubber bands. Some people had a lot of bad luck with these older bands and the connector clip, while others had no problem. I had mine on my bikes for upwards of a year without issue until semi-recently when I broke one band (though it ships with extras), whereas others seemed to break them during the unboxing. Either way, I’m sure everyone will be happy they’re gone now.
The new Gen3 unit ships with two different length straps, seen below:
What’s interesting about these though is that they have this grippy surface on the inside of them, to keep them from sliding on seat posts. It’s a very similar material to what Garmin uses on their HRM-SWIM heart rate straps to keep those from slipping while swimming. See how below it’s almost shimmery?
Note that the company says they have made some minor internal power management improvements, which should get you closer to 6 hours of battery life. But ultimately one should look at this as just a minor refresh. Certainly not likely worth re-buying a unit for, but if you’re in the market – then it’s kinda the icing on top.
*Yes, I know that the Fly6 naming is actually a reference to ‘on your 6’, meaning, behind you. Hence why the Fly12 is ahead of you.
This wouldn’t be complete with at least a quick video sample around the ol’ block. Literally in my case. I’m pretty much spending all my time in the DCR Cave this week working my way through trainer apps for the updated massive trainer app review post coming up in a few days. But I figured it’d be worthwhile to allow my bike to see the light of day for just a few minutes.
Here’s an overview video I’ve put together of everything, including sample footage from the units during both day and night.
And if you’d like to download the original footage (since YouTube compression can make it more difficult to read license plates), then you can do that here.
As you can see, the quality is basically the same as it was in the 2nd gen units (720p). Which is to say that it’s fine for picking up a license plate during day-time, but is a bit trickier during the night (rather difficult actually). Ideally they would have gone with a 1080p sensor like in the Fly12 to give more detail, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
As I noted above, this isn’t a revolutionary update for the Fly6. It’s barely incremental. It’s common for companies to make minor manufacturing tweaks to products to address customer concerns, and this is an example of that. Of course, I’d loved to have seen them add in Bluetooth & WiFi connectivity like the Fly12 has (front-facing), but that’s not in the lunchbox today.Still, the Fly6 is really the best option out there today for combining both a bike light and a rear facing camera. No, it’s not a GoPro, and the company doesn’t aspire to be a GoPro replacement with this product. The quality isn’t in the same league. But at the same time, the GoPro isn’t a bike light. Nor does it have the ability to automatically save files in the event of a crash. As we head into the winter (up here in the Northern Hemisphere anyway), folks will have their commutes soon take place in the dark and when cycling in the dark lights are essential.
Of course, the Fly6’s camera alone won’t prevent a car from hitting you (hopefully the light does that). But in the event there is an altercation between you and a car/driver, then at least you have something to show your side of the story. And sometimes, those something’s become viral. And when that happens, it might just educate a driver or two on being more careful around cyclists. Or perhaps, they’ll just think twice that maybe there’s a camera on that bike recording their actions.
So if you’re looking to minimize the number of devices on your seat post, then shelling out $169 for a combined safety cam and tail light, the Fly6 is really your best option today.
With that – thanks for reading!
Ray, I have to note that people were also experiencing issues with the plastic mounting piece that you clipped the Fly6 into as well. It had a tendency to crack down the middle, making your Fly6 suddenly part ways with your bike. This happened to mine when I transitioned off a curb from the sidewalk to the street. For what it’s worth, Cycliq replaced it for free, but there is a version of it on Shapeways that secures with zip ties that I found more secure and am using successfully now.
Beyond that, I still never leave the house without the Fly6 (when I’m biking).
Yup, agree, I think I covered that here: “Some people had a lot of bad luck with these older bands and the connector clip” <- I think we're talking the same piece there.
I have gone through four of those crappy base mounting plates, having to argue with Cycliq each time about their design flaw; every single one cracked right down the middle – sometimes while riding, others while the bike was just sitting there. Followed by email after email from them saying “it won’t crack if used properly” before they finally replaced them.
I am happy to see they have finally addressed the design flaw.
However, for those with the old style camera, the Shapeways mount works perfectly. Since getting it, have not had a single issue with the camera flying away unexpectedly from broken parts.
My mounting plate cracked right down the middle, sending the camera flying. Glad to know I wasn’t alone.
I was breaking bands all the time on my Fly 6. I got inspired when I saw the new Fly6 product release a couple months ago and reworked my mount. I bought a velcro strap on Amazon, drilled a series of small holes in my Fly6 mount and then filed the holes into a smooth slot. The system works great even with a standard velcro strap I have not had problems with it sliding on the seat post. The video quality is the same as the OEM mount.
TBH, I’m bummed that Cycliq didn’t address the whole “Set the date and time by editing a text file on the MicroSD card” thing on the Fly6. PITA.
In contrast, on my $199 GoPro Session, I sync the date and time with a simple button press in their iPhone app (via Bluetooth).
Totally agree on the date thing.
Can your session record for 6 hours though?
Hi Ray, I ‘know’ you don’t mind the odd correction (the second word)
Still waiting for someone to make a combo light/camera/radar (maybe lidar?) unit. Surely something like this must be in development somewhere in a Garmin lab as we speak.
Came in to post this, too. Only record with radar picks up a vehicle. That would be extremely beneficial to battery life. And assuming the radar worked reliably, I can’t think of a situation where this would miss critical footage that would otherwise be captured by being always-on.
Would need some serious battery with that, because the radar and camera are features that are always on (and radar requires Bluetooth). But yeah, in order to “minimize the number of devices on your seat post”, something like that would be great, and I for one would have no problem with something more bulky if it means you don’t have to recharge something every day.
If it doesn’t give me active info, so that I can also help avoid an accident, and not just record it, it’s of little value beyond a light.
Also, here in the U.S., most states do not have front license plates, and the camera doesn’t seem of sufficient quality to catch a driver’s face, so even that video evidence is questionable.
Anyone using both Varia Radar and Fly6? I was looking at both this year and decided to prioritize avoiding the crash (radar) over recording it. I’m still considering the Fly6, but my seat post might get crowded with both.
Brief follow up to a couple of replies above:
– Radar here does not require Bluetooth. The current Garmin Varia Rearview Radar uses ANT+, not Bluetooth.
– Only 19 US states do not require a front license plate. link to myimprov.com
Hi Kai – always having the camera on is very important because relying on technology to tell you when you need something always has risks. To answer your question on situations when you would need it on all the time are here (link to youtube.com) and here (link to youtube.com) but there are many more.
I’m running this combo along with a standard CatEye tailight. I run a short post and don’t have much of it showing so real-estate is tight and I’ve had to be a little creative with mounting things back there. My CetEye is mounted to my Fizik saddle using a modified ICS clip. My Varia radar is mounted directly to my saddle pack through modified Garmin quater-turn connector that I deconstructed off the seatpost bracket and then permenantly attached to the Topeak aero wedge pack with some machine screws, washers and securing nuts. I ditched the rubber bands and OEM bracket of the Fly6 (Gen2) in favour of a Fly6-GoPro-style adapter from Shapeways and combined it with a small extension arm in order to attach it to a K-Edge GoPro handlebar mount which clamps directly to my seatpost. In fact the new Gen3 Fly6 would be a problem for me because it wouldn’t be able to accept an adapter for my mounting system. I wish Cycliq would just include a GoPro style tab for the Fly6 like they do for the Fly12.
Hi Jake – you have quite a creative set up going on there! To address your ‘wish’ for a fin style mounting system for Fly6 I need to explain that we have designed the mounting system as we have for a number of very good reasons which have shaped our decision to not use mounting fins for Fly6.
Firstly and foremost, Fly6 is a camera, yes it has a light but as a product offering, you really are buying it because it has a camera. Even tho people (like Ray) say things like “it’s my favourite light” but that is because almost everyone has had a light in the past whereas a camera is relatively new concept for cycling. If Ray said ‘it’s my favourite camera & light combo” it would sound kind of weird given we have the only one on the market and he already says that the Virb 30 is his favourite camera. So, getting to my point, as a camera (I’m talking any camera) needs to have a stable platform to provide stable footage we identified the seat post as the most stable location to have the camera which means when it is mounted solidly against the seat post, it will always provide the most stable footage. This is really important because we have tested other locations like off the saddle pack where the resulting footage is terrible in comparison for the same camera specs. We have also testing articulated mounting scenarios (such as you have in the photo) and found the footage to be better than saddle pack but worse than seat post. When people describe Fly6 as “a light” then of course, why can’t we mount it to a saddle pack or back of helmet or off your back pack because that is where all other lights can work from but the thing is, Fly6 is a camera first and requires stable foundation to mount from to provide you with the most stable footage. I know we have sort of taken mounting options away from you in this regard but it is because the day you want your footage, will be the day you appreciate why we mount it on the seat post. To address issues like lack of real estate, this is much more tricky because everyone has their own thing going on back there and given we can’t (read won’t) provide an articulated mounting system for the reasons mentioned, there really is little we can do. You might be happy with your solution for Fly6 however if you wanted a more stable location given your set up, I can tell you that we have people mount it further down the seat post where the seat stay meets the post and sometimes on the seat stay. These locations are not ideal of course but the principle is to have Fly6 mounted to the frame for a stable mounting location.
I know that does not really address the issue of a limited real estate offering given your set up but hope it helps you understand the rationale behind the reason for the seat post mounting system.
Thanks for sharing and keep the comments coming. While we may not adopt all the ideas we have had some gems come from DCR comments that we have implemented into our products.
I understand your position and respect that your company as a whole need to create a solution that addresses the majority of use-case scenarios which may preclude you from directly addressing those with more niche requirements as myself. This of course leaves it up to the consumer to determine whether or not they themselves can find an alternate solution or simply look to another product. I saw enough of a benefit to the fly6 to deem it worthy of a DIY solution. I have actually tested both the footage results using direct older rubber-band mount (sans my saddle pack) against that of my clamp setup and found little difference even on the roughest of roads. The problem for me is that even with the fly6 directly nestled against the monostay/seat-tube/top-tube intersection, the saddle-pack (and it’s the smallest I could find) still blocks some of the field of view. If the issues with vibration and motion are what’s limiting mount types and acceptable position, then perhaps attacking that from a different angle might be possible? Have you looked into incorporating OIS or EIS technology into the camera? Surely the recent proliferation of image stabilisation in cellphone cameras has driven miniaturisation of such technology in camera modules to the point where it’s starting to become feasible for something like the next generation of fly6 and fly12. The action cameras already have it.
Good points Jake. The microprocessor and sensor we use in Fly6 make it difficult to employ those technologies but it’s not to say we won’t or can’t use it in future products. There are many ways to achieve the same outcome and we chose the mounting system as the way to achieve the solution we wanted. If we selected OIS or EIS there are other things that come into play such as reduction of FOV or needing a bigger (& more expensive) camera sensor. We always get requests for various functions or features and we just have to weigh them up against where we are heading as a company and what we are trying to achieve with our product offerings.
It’s good to note that we really do want to continue bringing out innovative and feature rich products that do what they say on the box. Who better than to advise us on such things than our customers!
Hi Andrew, you mention that some people have mounted it on the seat stay. Did the fixing have to be modified? Do you have any pictures of a set up like this?
I don’t have any seat post showing as I need a Carradice Super C Saddlepack. I love my Fly12, so would like a rear too.
people get creative and in these scenarios have developed their own mounting solutions. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures on hand, but know that some have used the aero adapter that’s in the box to accomodate for a solution on the seat stay. Shapeways may also offer a solution that helps (albeit not for the seat stay).
link to shapeways.com
I’ve been eyeing these for a few months but can’t pull the trigger at retail price. I can get a great rear LED for $30, and feel like the price should be closer to $100-120 for less than gopro quality, given you can get cheap 1080p+ action cams for $70. Yeah, yeah, continuous recording/battery life, etc… But the sum of the parts doesn’t add up in my attempt at justification…
Hi Nate – you have mentioned some of the factors however there are many more specific to cycling features that no other camera delivers. Of course you can buy a separate light that is better and of course you can buy a separate camera that is better however if you did, they would weigh more, take up more space, require separate operation and charging but most of all the solution would just not be designed for you as a cyclist. Fly6 includes nanotechnology so it won’t corrode even if you fill it up with water, it has incident protection to save your footage in the event of an unfortunate event, works on both round and aero seat posts and includes a class10 microSD card so you can use it right out of the box. While we have not attempted to emulate an action cam we have made it fit for purpose and as cyclists ourselves, have tried to include as many features as we can for the price point we sell it at. The good news is that we are always improving our offerings and the comments we get here help shape our design and feature list for future products. Thanks for sharing and I acknowledge your comments on pricing.
Hi Andrew, thanks for your response. To echo what some of the others have thought/said, I think a $169 price point with inherited features from the fly12 such as bluetooth settings and photo transfers, tram lines control might bring me around… In the meantime I’ll probably keep looking for the right deal on a lightly used gen2 model on ebay. ☺
ANT+ would be great so that they can be controlled from a garmin.
Also a shame the price has gone up £30 in the UK. We all no what to blame there ?
I have the Fly12 and want a Fly6.
But before I buy one it needs 1080p, wifi etc. Also the ability to control via a Garmin and a radar feature would be perfect.
With the UK price increase and the current spec it is just too much money.
Can’t blame them for the price increase though. Blame the 52%
I hope there is a CAM with 4-5 hours+ battery capacity. 1080p，image stabilization and water proof. Furthermore, able to read number plate easily from the video recorded at night. However, there is no such thing in the market. Maybe I am asking for too much…
OK, here’s my question. Is there a case, anywhere, where the video from one of these things ever resulted in a motorist being jailed/having license permanently revoked/etc.? Or is the video ignored/”lost” by law enforcement? In other words, do they serve any actual purpose, or are they just to record motor zaniness?
Yes. I don’t have the specifics, but I saw on their site that they had a case like this – or maybe it was in an email update.
Hi Paul – the answer is a resounding YES! there are many examples of where the footage has led to criminal convictions, insurance payouts, court appearances and more. A classic example is where a cyclist was going to get convicted of running a red light and crashing into a car until the police saw the footage and turned around and convicted the motorist (link to smh.com.au) and this example where the motorist was charged by the police (link to cycliq.com.au).
I get a sense from you language that you are referring to when some police get such footage and do little with it? If I’m understanding your meaning there, it’s important to know that when we first started making these products, there appeared to be very little interest from the police to use our footage however now, some 3 years later, we are seeing more and more police actively asking for footage to help address bad or malicious driving. Here is a recent example in the UK (link to bbc.com). What I’m saying is that things are changing, perhaps not as fast as we would like but it really is changing and we are seeing more and more positive signs globally in favour of using our footage to help make the roads safer. In fact, it’s pretty exciting for us given it is what we set out to do when we first thought of the idea of a camera and light for the back of your bike nearly five years ago!
Hopefully fixes the battery issues where they were failing around 12 months or less. A common issue looking at the Cycliq forums.
I had the original ( Kickstarter model ) and the previous model – both suffered the same issue.
Fortunately, my 2nd one was replaced with this new updated model 🙂 Seems good so far.
Totally off topic, but why are flashing lights illegal in the EU? On my current (dumb) light, that’s all I use. I *want* to be noticed.
Just certain EU countries (Germany I think) was . Fine in the UK for example
link to fietsberaad.nl
This is a Dutch study on behalf of ministry of transport. They found no significant improvement in terms of getting noticed with flashing rear lights. With front lights flashing can be better or worse depending on design, mostly better….
What’s interesting though is that the battery life savings are massive with blinking.
I thought I would post about my experiences with the old Fly6 and the newer models. I purchased a Fly6 shortly after they first came out. I went through 2 faulty units before I got one that finally worked. At the time, they had a US distributor who got me the new units, so shipping wasn’t a big deal. I totally agree with the review about the rubber straps breaking and that mounting plate was a real pain. However, this unit served me well as it captured a crash my wife and I were involved in and even got the driver admitting he was at fault. It was interesting to go back and watch the incident after it happened (neither of us were hurt).
When the 2nd gen Fly6 came out, I purchased it for my road bike and used the original on my commuter. The 2nd gen Fly6 worked well for nearly a year before it stopped charging. The folks at Cycliq were very good in helping troubleshoot the issue and providing warranty support. The only downside was having to ship it back to AU for $20. They were going to replace my unit with the new 3rd gen, but there was a delay in them getting stock. They kept in touch with me regarding the situation and shipped me a new one as soon as they got them in.
I really like the 3rd gen strap system. I’ve used it on both my road bike and TT bike. I’ve also noticed the video quality to be slightly better, and I like the new time/date stamp. I’m probably going to sell my original Fly6, since I’m not really using it and the new one is so easy to change between bikes.
I agree with people that you could get a cheap LED light and mount a better rear camera, but that means clutter and more hassle. The Fly6 offers the simplicity of a decent, bright rear light combined with a reasonable quality camera. I also find the battery life to be respectable, and it beats having to change GoPro batteries on a long ride. My only real qualms are the date/time setting process and Cycliq not having a US-based warranty service.
I’ve recommended the Fly6 to other riders who ask about it, and have seen several around in Orange County. I can’t wait to see what Cycliq (or Garmin) have in store for future rear lights/cameras.
Wow Peter – thanks for your comments. I am really proud of our team and in particular the support team. We know that with new inventions, it’s very hard to get everything right and so we set out to make sure that if there are any problems, we would look after our customers as best we can. It was less than 12 months ago that we only had three full time staff in our little office and I feel we have always punched above our weight. Now our team is growing and we hope to continue to provide excellent service and bring out better products each time.
We do hope to grow our team to include a presence in the US but for now, our HQ is in Perth, Australia.
Ray thanks a lot I was looking for something like this and bought this third-generation unit from your website thanks again. Folks on the fence if you buy through ray’s website with the discount it is cheaper than Amazon and you get free shipping to
I backed the initial product. It is now ‘resting’ in the bin. Great idea but longevity wasn’t its strong point….. especially for a really expensive rear light.- albeit one with a camera.
I used to operate mine on my MTB, but the plastic lens ended up so scratched from mud that the images became too blurred for effective use. The light was lovingly cleaned and cared for when not on the bike. They still use a plastic lens.
The battery would only hold charge for 60 minutes after 6 months of 3 x week use and correct charging procedure.
Great idea, not so great delivery.
Hi Ian – I encourage you to read my comments above as well as contacting our awesome support team. We really do look after our customers and need you to let us know of these problems so we can address them. The best way to get looked after is to jump on our website and go to the support page, create a ticket and our friendly and responsive support team will sort you out in no time. Looking forward to resolving it for you.
Great to see you so active here. Do you think you’ll ever consider ant+ control?
Hi Tommy – we think Ant+ would be great for future products however as with all these things, we need to put it in the mixing pot of all the other aspects of our product roadmap. There are many considerations…physical costs, learning the protocol, maintaining it, working with other vendors, having staff to work with it, developing how it integrates with the apps are just a few things we need to consider. You can see it’s not just a matter of adding a small Ant+ component to the PCB and there is the solution. With all that said it well and truly on the consideration list.
I am a fly12 owner, I have a suggestion on the feature. Can we check battery level in the IOS/Android app?
Currently there is no way that I can check the exactly battery level.
Hi Jacky – both Fly6 and Fly12 have the same battery level alert system. It relates to the number of beeps you hear on start up or shut down. 4 beeps means full (or close to full) and one beep means need a charge or about to go flat. The details of this system are in the Quick Start Guide that came with your Fly12 or can be found here as well. link to cycliq.freshdesk.com
We do hope to have the battery level in the app in the future and it is on our back log of features to implement as we build up our app development team.
Hope that helps!
Hi, Andrew. Thanks for you quick reply. I read the manual when I received the delivery and knew the beep sound can tell rough battery level. I hope there is a feature in the app to show the percentage of battery level. Just a feature suggestion.
Hi Andrew (from Cycliq),
Can you guys considering releasing a new backing that converts the device into a strap mounted one like the gen 3? Most gen 2 users won’t buy a gen 3 just so to fix the mounting system. This would be a great way to support your current users.
A mount that would allow the use of cable ties wouldn’t be that hard to develop and would solve the problem of the breaking straps…
The 3D printed mounts available through Shapeways are designed to use cable ties. There are also other style mounts available, such as GoPro.
link to shapeways.com
And this can’t be bought in certain places in Europe – why exactly? I recently got Ding light (also .au company), without any payment/logistic/transport issues (even the postage price was reasonable).
Hi LePaif – we don’t ship to all places in Europe but we do for most of Europe. The best thing to do is to send us a note to email@example.com asking if we can ship to your country and we will get back to you very quickly with an answer and a solution! There are many possible answers to your question but I would have to know the location to give you the best answer…which country are you wanting to ship to?
Thanks for quick response, will drop a inquiry to info mail but I guess most of Europe=EU countries+Swiss+UK 🙂 Serbia is in question.
the fly6 3rd gen is now available in toronto. however i’m weary about buying it due to the previous generations problem with not charging, reduced power after a few months of use, etc.
I was wondering if these issues was addressed in the 3rd generation.
Hi Noel – we have improved on many aspects of Fly6 in this latest generation model including battery degradation. Through our improved battery management we feel you can get even better than the advertised battery life.
I just hope that they will make a 1080p(or 1440p) edition next time. If it would have 1080p it would make a cool 2nd camera to cut with my gopro. I don’t expect super high quality 1080p but if i can cut it with my gopro session I would buy it in a pinch!
Anyone else had issues with the new Fly 6 with Velcro strap coming off over Railway tracks and Cattle grids?
Mine came off over a cattle grid and cracked my carbon chain stay.
link to youtube.com
Just want to drop a plug for the Cycliq customer support team. I had my Fly6 v2 for about 18 months when I experienced the no longer turning on bug. I thought I would be out of luck since it was off warranty but I got in touch with their support team anyway figuring it was worth a try. They had me walk through a bunch of troubleshooting steps, and when nothing fixed the issue they ended up sending me a brand new third gen unit which I just received today. As mentioned I did have to pay shipping for the dead unit from US to Australia but they shipped the new unit for free. Huge props to Cycliq for sorting me out!
Thanks Benjamin – we love Australia having just celebrated Australia Day, but understand it is a bit of a pain for some folks to send their unit to us however, in doing so, we can analyse the issue, learn from it and make sure future products we make get the benefit of our learnings. Thanks for understanding and hope you enjoy your new Fly6.
My experience was not so great. The battery on a lot of these units is clearly highly defective. They made me update the firmware providing different instructions about 3-4 different times insisting it would fit the problem. Then I had to send the unit to Australia when it was clearly a defective battery issue that is well known. It’s been 20 days and I haven’t heard back since mailing them.
At this point I wouldn’t recommend Cycliq products to my friends due to this. I may buy a cheapo go-pro and use that for a rear-cam instead and stick to my regular lights.
Hi Alex – we can only let you know what is happening when we receive the unit and find out what the issue is. We also ask you to go through a few processes because we find that the more than not, solve the issue. If not we need to check out what the issue is so we can solve it for future products.
Depending on what method you chose to send the unit to us will depend on how long it takes to get to us. Rest assured that we do contact all of our customers and let them know what the situation is and how we are going to solve it. Shipments from the US can take as long as three weeks to get here so I’d suggest that is the situation however if you send a message to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your ticket number I can follow up your ticket personally.
Please don’t let the postal service or delivery times change your opinion of our company! We assess and resolve every unit within 48 hours (weekdays) and if the unit is within warranty and does not do what it says on the box, we replace it….often with the latest model. We do care about our customers and want them all to be satisfied customers.
Unfortunately (for shipping times) we live in Australia but it is where we came up with the idea and now everyone gets to enjoy the peace of mind they get when using our products. Hopefully the cycling specific features they have provide real benefits for our customers all over the world.
We do understand your frustrations with the time it takes for your unit to arrive to us but we will solve it quickly once it is here.
Andrew – Thank you for my reply. My issue is not with the postal service, it’s how your support went. My two issues can be boiled down as follows –
1 – You guys sent me 3-4 different ways to update the firmware, only telling me about yet another way once the current way failed. Most failed, it took me 1-2 weeks of emails back and forth to get the firmware updated. Instead, you could have sent a single email with all the instructions about updating the firmware which would have saved quite a bit of time to get this matter resolved.
2 – I understand you may want the unit back to do a post-mortem to see why it failed. I understand for unique failure cases as to why you would want to do this. But the battery failure is a known issue and I can’t imagine you guys needing to do a post-mortem on yet another device. I found many, many posts on your forum indicating the same battery failure that I had. I found even more when Googling for it. I’ve seen “for parts” units on eBay where the battery failed. Having to spend 20% of the cost of the unit to ship it back so you guys can go “yeah, dead battery!” is quite annoying.
I think it is fairly clear now that you guys attempted to cut costs by saving $$ on the battery. This is why I would not recommend this unit to a friend as it stands. From the beginning of this product it’s quite clear that the battery is going to be exposed to a large number of cycles. Better product testing of the device I imagine would have shown this issue quite quickly.
Hi Alex – I wish it were that simple for both our sakes but let me address your two valid points:
1 – some symptoms in support are similar to others and the support team (as part of their jobs) have to make sure they have diagnosed the correct issue before addressing it. I hope that makes sense because when we started out doing this, we found many units that were sent to us, just needed a simple procedure (like formatting the microSD card for example) and then the unit was back up and running. In these cases, it cost both the customer time and money as well as from our side. We then implemented these tests & procedures to avoid that issue.
2 – I really understand that sending the unit back to us is annoying but if there are warranty issues found, we also have to send the units back to the factory as part of our warranty process. I’m pretty sure this is a standard procedure for other companies like Garmin or Apple. The difference is they are both very large companies that have an international presence. This is something we hope to do as we grow our business. I know this does not address how you feel but I wanted to explain our side as well as we don’t just sling it over our shoulder when we get it.
We have made three generations of Fly6 now and for each new model, we have upgraded the battery, not just the type, but the supplier as well. Each new battery we have chosen has been tested and each time we introduce a bigger & better supplier, we do more and more tests than we did previously. We know it’s an important issue which is why we try and make each one better than before. We know that we have solved the issues with this new supplier as we have had zero returns for many thousands of units our customers already are using.
I’m not trying to take away your frustration because it is real, I’m just trying to explain how things are from our perspective. Your comments are taken on board and we really do consider them when designing our future products. We also know that we are always learning and growing…with more experience, we get better as we go. I’m sure that our next products will be even better again and our testing and QC even more robust than before.
been wanting to purchase this camera but bec of this battery issue thing. Im hesistant in shelling out 250 CA$.
They are on the 3rd gen , why cant they solve the battery , dead unit issue.?
Maybe its better if they design a replaceable battery so users have the option to upgrade to more power.
Hi Noel – we have addressed/solved the battery issue in our third generation model Fly6v as well as a number of other little improvements (of which some were highlighted by users here on DCR’s blog which were then incorporated into the next model). It’s why we do appreciate everyones comments and suggestions…
I have the v2 (not the Fly6v), and it has failed twice.
If they could make it reliable and improve the camera resolution / low light capability, it would be a great product. Also I wish it used a user-replaceable rechargeable battery, like a 18650 or similar.
I have a saddle bag on the seatpost. If I want to add a fly6, ver 3, what’s the best way to accommodate both?
Hi Dave – we use seatpost only design because it ensures the footage is stable. If you mount it anywhere else the is a good chance you will get terrible footage which then defeats the purpose of having a camera on board.
One of the things we suggest is that you can have your gear normally stored in your saddle bag put into a drink bottle in your spare drink bottle holder. This can free up the seat post for your Fly6! Something like this from Pedal Mafia works well link to pedalmafia.com.au
Hope that helps.
Thanks for the review. I was wondering what the difference in the new version was and Cycliq’s web site seems very shy about giving specifics.
Contrary to most people here my top request, far ahead of 1080 or Bluetooth, would be increasing the battery life, ideally up to 10 hours to match the Fly12. I can’t understand people who compare these things to a GoPro or other action camera. This is a safety camera (perhaps more a ‘prove the other guy is lying about what he did’ camera) and that they will actually last through a long cycle is what makes them useful. BT, ANT and radar are all features which take away from the thing that is most important to me (although I assume these things could be turned off).
The main upgrade is better power management (pro-longing the battery life, although we still stick to our 6 hours) and the mounting solution. You now mount Fly6 to your seat post using a sturdy Velcro strap that makes it easier to mount/dismount.
Hope that helps!
If you had the choice which would you want on your bike? The Cicliq or the Garmin device that tells you a car is approaching? Curious.
fly6 is working fine… I’ve been using it on all my rides. How do you get it to record your entire ride? I take 2 hour rides (and longer), and it seems like my early parts of the ride are getting overwritten or deleted. (Usually the first 8 files are missing/overwrittenIs there something I’m missing? I’m using a 16gb card, so it should capture everything…..
Hi Dave, a 16GB SD card should give you around 4 hours of footage before looping over itself. Could you please contact us on cycliq.com/support so we can troubleshoot and assist you!
Licence plates not readable on the Fly6. At least the plates in the states. European tags are much larger. This is a really big problem when you can’t identify the vehicle license plate. It’s nearly worthless without the ability to read plate numbers. Very disappointing.
sorry to hear you can’t read the plates with your Fly6. Have you tried contacting our support team? Footage from Fly6 has been used on multiple occasions by authorities to successfully identify vehicles from captured license plates in the US.
Can’t believe I’m posting this here, but I’m out of ideas.
Can someone post for me the base files the fly6 installs on the SD card? (dropbox or google drive link maybe?)
I have 3 SD cards, none of which are currently being recognized by the fly6 (including the 8gb supplied with the unit). I was having issues and formatted them using a program recommended in the documentation supplied with the unit but no longer recommended by their support team.
Cycliq support has no more answers for me and I’ve asked twice for the base files without receiving an answer. The only thing I can think of is if I have the base files (config.txt, fly6.ver, etc) the unit may recognize the SD card again and I can start over…
I don’t know if it matters, but preferably the files from a 32gb SD card.
Thanks in advance!
Hi Daniel, thanks for your comment. The issue is with SD Formatter’s recent update to version 5. We have since discontinued recommending it and removed it from our website.
You should be able to simply format your SD card via your PC/Mac’s formatting tool. Then re-insert the SD card into your unit and turn it on. The device will automatically install the system files and you should be good to go.
Thanks Jeroen; I had tried formatting all 3 SD cards using my Mac OS 10 at home. I tried multiple types of format with the disk utility which comes with the operating system and even downloaded another program specifically designed for SD cards. The Fly6 would still not recognize the cards and load the system files; they came back blank every time.
After your reply here, I took the SD cards to work with me and using a Windows 7 PC was able to format all 3 cards. They worked immediately in the Fly6; system files loaded. Even the “non compatible” SD card seems to be operating fine repeatedly.
I’m not techie enough to understand why the Mac couldn’t get the job done, but this may be useful if you run across other people with the same issue.
Thanks for the response and explaining your steps Daniel. This is likely due to file format used. It needs to be FAT32 to work. This is the same issue that seems to occur with SD formatter at the moment. Moving forward we’ll make sure we clarify this better.
Has anyone else had an issue with their power button on their 6CE? Mine is only turning on with every other press of the power button.
I have the same problem
If I get one it’ll be because Andrew Hagen did such a good job responding to everyone. And certainly thanks to DC Rainmaker for the review.
Thanks for always taking the time to write thorough, useful reviews.
Another victim of the failed Fly6 Bike Mount – crack propagation , originating from a stress concentrator (sharp radii) . Lost camera….
I let Cycliq know about this, though my camera was bought second hand and way past the 12 month warranty. Even though second hand, i used the spare mount which was not used by the previous owner. Ironically i used the spare mount as i was concerned that the original mount might have been a bit tired – sun degradation, weather, fatigue, chemcial resistance due to soapy water , salts etc.
I bought a Cyclic Fly6 last year (2018) attracted by the 6 hour battery life and the fact it was a rear light and camera in a tight compact package. The second ride out it suffered from water ingress proving unusable, living in the UK damp weather goes without saying.
I revisit your site in the hope that either Cyclic have waterproofed their device or that you have found a competitive alternative.
Why isn’t there a small compact alternative that matches the recording time that is waterproof?
Some of the first Fly6CE had problems with water getting in and the lens fogging.
Mine had the same problem. Cycliq replaced it and now it has survived a few very damp rides.
I have heard that there is a new version of the Cycliq Fly6 coming in Aug 2020. Does anyone know if this is true, and what the improvements are? The v6 is a little dated now, so there may be some updates to it. Could it also initiate like with other products in the space ( Garmin) they put existing market products on sale leading into the release?
I am looking forward to a DC Rainmaker review of the new fly6 when it does! I really need to know if it can attach to the rear seat stays. My bike bag will not allow the anything attached to the seat post.
Hi. They have a very nice black friday sale now, but according to this review link to road.cc Gen3 was a step backwards – lower resolution, significantly shorter battery life and half light luminosity .. bummer ..
Hello, I have the generation 3 camera, but I can’t update the month, that is, in the videos, it is always the same month. Can you help? Thank you very much