Cycliq originally created the Fly6 as a way to capture any incidents that may happen when you are out riding your bike–basically to be the eyes in the back of your head. Though it’s not going to exactly prevent accidents (although riding with a tail light can aid in visibility even during the day), the tail light camera can help you better understand and even prove what happened–not to mention capture some great ride video in the meantime. As car-bike incidents are sadly all too common here in the Bay Area, I thought it would be great to start riding with the Fly6 when out on the road.
The Fly6 works by continuously recording 10 min HD videos (1280 x 720 at 30fps) until the microSD card reaches capacity. As soon as this happens, the camera just starts recording over video from the beginning. The Fly6 detects if you have a major incident–when the unit is tilted more than 30 degrees from horizontal for 5 seconds (i.e., your bike is on the ground), then it jumps into incident capture mode. Here, the tail light camera will continue to record for 1 hour before shutting off and also ensure that the previous 1 hour of footage does not get written over.
In addition to a camera, the Fly6 operates as a regular tail light. You can toggle between three different modes on the 30 lumen light–two flashing and one solid. Depending on how long you ride, the rechargeable battery will last for a couple of rides–up to 6 hours.
My Fly6 came with a 8GB microSD card, enough to capture around 2 hours or so of a ride before starting to record over itself. If you want to capture your entire ride, you can simply upgrade to bigger microSD card up to 32GB (8 hours capacity).
The tail light camera comes with a seat post mount that is simple to secure to your bike and easy to slide the Fly6 in and out. Camera setup was easy enough. Upon connecting the device to your computer, you need to modify and save the CONFIG.TXT file before removing the device and powering it on for changes to take effect. This is to ensure the correct date and time appear on the video for evidence purposes.
My first ride with the Fly6 worked great–it captured the last 2 hours of a 3.5 hour ride. Note that video is captured as .avi files. My Mac didn’t like these files so I downloaded the suggested VLC player to review the videos and the Smart Converter for converting the footage to a .mov or .mp4 file to then edit in iMovie. I am not a huge fan of downloading new software I won’t use often so this is a bit of a nuisance.
Something happened between downloading video from my first ride and subsequent rides. Ever since the first ride, the Fly6 will only capture the very last 1.5 minutes of any ride, just before I shut the camera off and remove it from my bike. Perhaps the microSD card needs to be completely reformatted or the Fly6 is stuck in Incident Mode or something. I am not sure but I haven’t been able to figure it out yet.
Whether you want a bit of reassurance when out on the road or simply want a way to capture the awesome action happening behind you in a ride or race, the Fly6 tail light camera provides a less Fred-esque option than mounting a GoPro to your bike or worse yet, helmet. The Cycliq Fly6 retails for $169 and is available now. The company is soon to release a front light camera version called the Fly12 that you can pre-order for $259. It looks pretty cool as well.
Below you can see some video clips captured by the Fly6–the first one is of Ridgecrest Boulevard, a popular cycling route along Mount Tamalpais. The second clip comes from up near Marshall, CA where you can see what it looks like when a car passes you.