Fly6 rear light camera

8
£109.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Great safety product whose genius lies in its simplicity of use
Weight: 
113g
Contact: 
www.fly6.com

The Fly6 combination camera/tail light has been popping up a lot lately with footage of face slams and car collisions, but just how good is the first seat post-mounted integrated tail light and HD camera?

Value is a tricky one, as it's a camera/light combo currently in a field of one. 720p action cameras are coming down in price all the time and you could get a camera and a good light for the same price as the Fly6, but they wouldn't be a combination package and the camera wouldn't be designed to attach to your seat post pointing backwards and filming continuously.

The combination of the two in the Fly 6 will set you back £109.99 which is expensive for a backlight, but cheap for the quality of camera you get.

The Fly 6 is made up of eight LED lights surrounding the camera lens behind a protective plastic cover. Below this there is one main flashing LED above three more LEDs that create the flashing patterns. There are three brightnesses that can be changed from 100% to completely off. The LEDs surrounding the camera lens remain on whenever the camera is in operation.

The flashing patterns and on/off functions are controlled by two buttons on either side of the light. It also has rubber, element-proof flaps at the bottom for the memory card and USB slots. Initially, I thought that these may fail when cycling through puddles without mudguards, but I am yet to have any kind of problems with them in 10 months of use and countless rain soaked rides.

This is first and foremost an action cam. It allows you to film without having the stigma of looking like a teletubby that having a camera on your head brings. So how does the quality compare to other action cams?

When I initially started filming I was worried that the LEDs surrounding the camera lens would burn out the picture and that as this was a brand new concept, it would not have been well thought out.

I needn't have worried. The team at Fly6 have created not only an effective backlight, but a camera that has sharp imaging and crisp sound. The camera itself films at 720HD rather than the 1080 that many have become accustomed to. However, the quality of the pictures is still strong. The fact that it is embedded amongst lights does not cause image burning and you can only faintly register that there are LEDs placed around the edge of the lens.

See this video as an example - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vVvkqMrc3E

The quality of the sound and pictures has also remained high despite the conditions. In the video above, you can see that the weather is terrible and although a few drops of rain get onto the lens, they have little effect on the overall quality of the picture. The same unfortunately cannot be said, about the quality of the driving.

The backlight camera sits on the seat post below the saddle and attaches using a bracket and laddered rubber straps. The light itself sits in the bracket. This is meant to allow it to simply clip in and out, but in reality, it is difficult to do so and I have needed to use a knife just to unclip in the past. However, this is simply remedied by taking both the bracket and light off at the same time. It is so simple to fit that this takes the same amount of time as it would to clip or unclip any light.

One of the few real issues that I had is the use of the light with a saddle bag. This is because it is quite long (around 10cm) so unless you have a particularly high saddle there is little real estate for both. I have got around this because I have a seat clamp that isn't too far extended, so I can simply put the bracket over the top.

Battery life on the camera is claimed to be around five hours and I think that this is relatively accurate. I have been using the light for around nine months and on average I need to charge it once or twice per week. It beeps to let you know the percentage of battery that you are on, one beep signifying 25% of battery usage, so four beeps means fully charged, while one beep means you should think about charging. When the camera runs out of battery, it emits a loud extended beep (which is confusing for anybody around you on the road) but allows you to have 90 minutes of just the light, meaning that you can safely get to your destination.

Charging and uploading of film can be done through USB. It also comes with a 8GB micro SD card that allows you to upload direct to the computer. However, if nothing of merit happens, then you don't need to do this. Undoubtedly, my favourite part of the camera is that it self-wipes. So after you have used up all of the memory, it simply starts recording over the oldest footage. This means that it can simply be left on the bike and you only need to charge it occasionally.

Compared to other action cams that I've used, this is a real game-changer. No more realising that the great moment you thought you had recorded, you hadn't because you had run out of space. It means that you can have it turned on all the time. I have recorded everything from club rides to near misses whilst commuting using the camera, it really allows you to capture everything.

It also has good safety functionality with its 'Incident capture protection technology'. This means that if you are knocked off your bike on a country road and the Fly6 is left on its side for 45 minutes, it will save the footage, without being overwritten.

In conclusion, from using the Fly 6 for a while, I can safely say that it is a great innovation in cycling safety. It won't be for everybody and for some the price will be prohibitive, but from the protection it gives you (/content/news/134042-video-footage-convinces-police-aussie-cyclist-who-hit-car-was-not-wrong) especially if you have been in a disputed accident, it is unbeatable. Added to that is the fact that all you need to do is turn it on and leave it to record allowing you to record everything.

Verdict

Great safety product whose genius lies in its simplicity of use

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Fly6 rear light camera

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

It is aimed at both commuters looking at improving their safety on the roads and club riders who want to record everything that happens during their rides.

They claim that 'it watches your back' and the premise is that people behave if they think they are being watched. The idea is to make people think that they could be being filmed whenever they see a red flashing light on the seat post of a bike.

At the moment, it needs more adopters to achieve the second aim, but as a safety product that can help with disputed incidents or reporting dangerous drivers, it is practically in a league of its own.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Video

- Resolution 1280 x 720

- Frames per second 30

- Video File Format AVI

- Video Encoding/compression (codec) H.264

- Time Stamp YYYY/DD/MM HH:MM:SS

- Sensor viewing angle wide - 130 degrees

- File Sizes 15 minutes or around 800MB

Audio

- Compression 16bit PCM/mono/32KHz

Weight

- 105g (3.7oz)

Ports

- Charging Mini USB (USB2.0)

- Connecting to computer Mini USB (USB2.0)

- Memory Card MicroSD

Battery

- Capacity 1500 mAh

- Voltage 3.7V

- Battery runtime up to 5 hours

- Battery runtime may vary based on settings and environmental conditions

- Battery life diminishes over time

Micro SD Card

- 8GB class 10 microSD card

Dimming Settings

- 4 options from 100% through to off

Light Sequences

- 2 flashing options

Light Output

- 15 Lumens

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

No problems with usability. Having used this for around 10 months, I have had nothing at all go wrong. The only reason it lost marks was the clipping system from the light to the bracket that can be taken off as a whole just as easily.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Great as a camera and effective as a backlight, does exactly what it says on the tin.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Used this for 10 months and had no issues with it whatsoever.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

Weighs more than most traditional backlights but when combined with a regular action cam, the difference is negligible.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Value is a tricky one, as it's a camera/light combo currently in a field of one. 720p action cameras are coming down in price all the time and you could get a camera and a good light for the same price as the Fly6, but they wouldn't be a combination package and the camera wouldn't be designed to attach to your seat post pointing backwards and filming continuously.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Impeccably, as a backlight and camera it is incredibly good.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The continuous recording is a real game changer.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A minor gripe, but the clip from the bracket to the light.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

The Fly6 could be the start of a new cycling craze or a flash in the pan, with the sense of safety I have had from using it, I hope it's the former.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,

 

George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.  

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