The Cycliq Fly12 is a really well thought out and practical light/camera combo. The brightness of the light is good, the camera records well and uploading footage is also nice and easy. Charging it could be easier, though, or at least quicker.
I have been using Cycliq's Fly6 for a couple of years and was excited to test out this front facing version, the Fly12.
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The basis of the device is that it is both a 400-lumen front light and a 1080p camera. It is certainly larger than most other front lights I have used in the past, but markedly smaller than a light and camera on their own. So, how did it fare?
In terms of lighting, the Fly12 pumps out 400 lumens in a number of different sequences, including flashing, solid, intermittent and off. It works really well and even in the videos you can see the light bouncing off signs that are pretty far off. It works in all conditions and I found myself using it both in the dark and during the day as added visibility.
The second important element is, naturally, the camera, which I found to be really good. The video quality is strong, it picks up sound well, including conversations with those around me, and – most importantly – it keeps a steady picture rather than bouncing around all over the place.
As with the Fly6, my favourite feature is that, unlike most cameras, you don't need to worry about wiping the memory because it works on a constant loop. It means that once it has run out of space on the 16GB memory card, it simply deletes the last video and keeps working in that cyclical fashion. If you are in an incident, it automatically saves the 15 minutes before and after. This is done when the unit is turned over 45 degrees, triggering the system to save the footage if you are knocked off.
The lack of movement in the picture comes from the mount, which is similar to those used by GoPro. The Fly12 comes with two, one that goes around the handlebar and the other that can be used in a Garmin mount. It can also be used either above or below the bar, which is a nice touch. I used it both ways, but preferred it underneath simply because the unit is quite large and bar space is at a premium. It worked perfectly well in both positions. The only negative of having it beneath the bar is that you cannot see the indicator light to show when battery levels are low, although that being said, it gives you an audible indicator of the level with four beeps, one for every 25 per cent of battery life left.
One thing I particularly like about the Fly12 is that it doesn't look like a camera, something I really appreciate. You can get some snarky looks from people if you have a GoPro stuck on your helmet, but this gets rid of that issue.
As for battery levels, it's one of my bug bears. Not in that it runs out quickly – I believe Cycliq when it says the Fly12 has a 10-hour battery life, it seems relatively accurate – but in the time it takes to charge. I like to charge my USB lights on my computer at work, but with this I can charge it for hours and it won't be full unless I charge it from the plug overnight. It isn't a huge thing, but something to be aware of.
Uploading videos is simple and can be done in a couple of ways. You can put it onto the computer either by removing the MicroSD card or plugging it in with the supplied USB lead, and it can also be done through the app, by connecting your phone to the unit through WiFi. Getting it connected is simple and is done through one of the two buttons at the rear of the light. You can then edit in app, add tramlines and there's a neat Strava integration to overlay Strava stats onto the video. I found that the Strava integration worked well, but I struggled a little with the tramlines, which was a little frustrating. It can also be connected via Bluetooth to make changes to the settings on the unit.
It worked in all conditions and I used it while riding through floods on EU referendum day in London without it impacting at all. This is due to the innovative use of nano technology from Cycliq; it keeps out the water well and I didn't have any issues, even in some of the wettest conditions I have ridden in.
The unit also has a nifty security feature that tells you if your bike has been moved, as long as it is connected to your phone. It means you can turn your back on your bike during a coffee stop without getting paranoid about it being stolen; or at least you'll know if someone attempts it...
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Its RRP of £249 sounds expensive, but when you break it down and look at getting a good quality camera and light, it seems like a good deal. It's hard to compare it directly with anything else, simply because there is nothing similar currently on the market.
Overall, I really liked using the Fly12. It brings together a very good quality camera and bright light in a well-made package. Perhaps it could charge more easily and perhaps the editing on the app could be smoother, but these are minor issues in what is an innovative and well-thought-out product.
A good product that works well as both a light and a camera – an innovative solution
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Make and model: Cycliq Fly12
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 a front light and camera rolled into one package, for those who want to either incorporate two things into one or want a subtle camera without drawing attention to it.
It works for this, a subtle camera that also offers a strong light.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
1920 x 1080 @ 45 fps
1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
1280 x 720 @ 60 fps
1280 x 720 @ 30 fps
Video File Type: MP4
Time Stamp: MMMM DD YYYY HH:MM:SS
Sensor Viewing Angle: Ultra Wide File Sizes: 5 Minute Files up to 750MB (1080@45fps)
Compression: 48KHz Samping Rate, AAC Compression, Auto Gain Control
Weight & Size
8.6oz / 244g
H: 2in / 51mm
L: 4in / 103.7mm
W: 2.3in / 60.9mm
Solid, Flashing, Pulse and Studio
Charging Capacity: 4400mAh
Up to 10 Hours Run Time
High, Medium, Low and Off
16GB Class 10 microSD Card Included (Supports up to 64GB)
Up to 400 Lumen
Beam Length: up to 78ft / 24m
Bluetooth: 4.0 BLE
WiFi Streaming: 802.11 bgn
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Very well made both in terms of the body and also the bracket. Videos are stable and the unit stays on the bike well.
Rate the product for performance:
Performs very well, video and sound quality are strong and the lighting element is bright with a good variety of sequencing.
Rate the product for durability:
Seems well made and the nano technology makes it more or less waterproof, so likely to last a long time.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
At 291g it isn't the lightest, but at the same time a decent light and camera would probably be about the same, so hard to be too critical.
Rate the product for value:
Again, hard to say given it's a combination of a camera and a light, but going by the quality of both, I wouldn't say this is too much.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, it records good quality footage, the lighting works well, and it stays on the bike easily thanks to a strong mounting system.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The revolving recording is a real highlight, much like the Fly6. The ability to just leave it on your bike is a real plus.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The charging can be a pain as it needs to be through a socket rather than computer USB unless you can wait for a long time for it to be fully charged.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It performs well, the app works nicely and it has decent lighting options. The videos look good, the sound is picked up well, and if you want to use an overlay then that works well too.
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, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
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