I thought only mums and school teachers had eyes on the back of their heads, but now bikes can claim the same thing.
Transitions member "Will" got on board the Fly 6 bandwagon as an early adopter at his own expense and has passed on to us his findings.
With so much media attention recently about cyclists safety out on our roads, it seems that the Fly6 light and camera is coming onto the market at the perfect time. This new player in our market combines a rear flashing light with a good quality camera to film all that is going on behind you.
I have been testing one of these for a few months so far and this has given me plenty of time to consider all of the positives and negatives as opposed to just a quick ride around the block. The biggest positive that I noticed as soon as it came out of the box, was the number of different bracket sizes that they provided with the camera – finally a light that could comfortably fit on an aero seat post! The instructions and assembly are straightforward. Pick the right sized rubber strap, attach it to your bike and you are good to go – with the camera and light coming fully charged.
The light comes with a two different light settings and the camera will record whether the light is on or off. So, if you want some footage from a race or a daylight ride this isn't a problem, you can switch the light off but still have the camera recording.
The light itself isn’t the brightest on the market. With quite a few of my training hours being in the dark, I like to be seen. So I ran the Fly 6 in conjunction with a Moon Shield light. The Moon rear light is much brighter and while you could still run the Fly6 light on its own and it would still be brighter than many on the market – if you are buying this primarily for the light, then there are better options on the market. This would perhaps be the only downside to the Fly6.
Of course people aren’t really buying the Fly 6 for the light, it is the camera that is the important part and while it isn’t GoPro quality, for the price tag, it more than compensates and competes.
The camera provides a resolution of 1280 x 720 with 30 frames per second. I actually found the quality of the footage to be quite impressive given the overall size of the camera and the price tag. Once dawn hits, or in bright daylight hours, it has no problems picking up number plates as well as much finer details of your riding buddies – which includes their grimace as they try to keep up. During the day there really are no issues and it provides many hours of entertainment upon getting home and reviewing your rides. We most enjoyed watching the footage of where we would be racing each other on the hills and it also provided some great real race footage. The camera provides a viewing angle of 130 degrees.
The only downside of the camera is that it doesn’t really pick up a lot of footage in the dark. However, if you ride on streets that have strong street lights, then the footage quality increases dramatically. The added bonus that I didn’t realise when I first received the Fly6, was that it also has a small microphone attached. This means that it records all of your gear changes but also all of the general chitter chatter within your bunch ride – it is amazing how much crap you actually talk on those rides. This feature may also be of benefit in the event of an accident in relation to whether there was braking or a car acting in an aggressive manner, plus any conversation that occurs post accident. If you train by yourself, then don’t bother with the volume when reviewing footage.
Once you get home, it is as simple as attaching the supplied USB cord to your camera and then to your computer, this will download your footage and at the same time recharge your light, with the camera being recharged via USB. The camera saves the footage in 15 minute files and no special programs are required to open or operate the footage, I watched mine on the Movie Player on my computer. Fly 6 claim that you will get 5 plus hours of footage, I only managed up to 5 hours but that was running the light as well, so the battery died probably a little quicker than expected. If you were just running the camera, then I think it would run greater than 5 hours, so great for those long Ironman training rides.
The actual device is fairly large compared to your normal light and a few people have commented on the size of my rear light, however once you explain that it is also a camera – there interest is multiplied and they are surprised that a light and camera could fit into the one device. While it is fairly large it only weighs in at 105 grams (lighter than a GoPro in its casing), so not very much at all and less than a gopro and light combined. I have ridden in the rain and have no problems with the seals on the camera/light and it hasn’t impacted on its functionality.
Before you ask, yes they are currently developing a front facing camera and light. Which perhaps may be of more benefit, because I find that I have more issues occurring in front of me while out riding than behind (at least that is what I think – the Fly6 may show otherwise).
• Camera and light in one
• Great run time and quality of camera
• Fits on an aero seat post
• Easily recharged and videos downloaded
• Rear light is weaker than others on the market
• Slightly bulky (but still only 105grams)
Would I recommend one to a Transitions member? Yes. Not only do they have a great safety benefit, they are also great fun for recording some of your rides and races.
They are due out on the market shortly and you can pre order now at www.fly6.com
* All text and photos by Will
* Disclaimer – I was provided this Fly6 at a discount with a donation being made to the Amy Gillet Foundation on my behalf.