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Because this item involves blinking red lights, creating memories and looking back, we thought it was an appropriate review for this Christmas season and our final entry to our 12 days of Crossmas gift ideas.

It’s rare that a review item comes through our offices that becomes part of a regular ride and race routine. The Cycliq Fly 6 light and camera combination is just one such item. It’s so simple to use, and has so many justifications for using it that it’s quickly become a staff favorite. It’s also a great practical and fun (last-minute) gift idea for the cyclist in your life.

Two rubber straps are all you need to install the Cycliq Fly 6 in mere seconds. © Cyclocross Magazine

Two rubber straps are all you need to install the Cycliq Fly 6 in mere seconds. © Cyclocross Magazine

Here’s just a few of the reasons the Fly 6 has become an essential part of our ride:

  1. Safety, by increasing your visibility through its taillight
  2. Evidence, by recording any activity behind you, especially in the unfortunate case of an accident, and shutting off to keep the footage in the case of an accident
  3. Posterity, by recording your favorite rides, races, or tag-along rider behind you
  4. Vanity, by helping you show off your proudest or most embarrassing moments
  5. Improvement, by letting you re-watch areas where you could improve during a race

The Cycliq Fly 6 light retails for $169, and comes with a slew of accessories and adaptors that make it easy to mount to any bike. Using the longer straps, you could even use it as a forward-facing camera. You’ll just need a way to flip the video later.

The Cycliq Fly 6 taillight and camera as packaged has everything you need to install on any bike. © Cyclocross Magazine

The Cycliq Fly 6 taillight and camera as packaged has everything you need to install on any bike. © Cyclocross Magazine

Our initial experience with our early version of the Cycliq Fly 6 was a tad bumpy, in that the camera would end up freezing up and not recording a full ride, but after a firmware update and a reformat of the memory card, we haven’t had an issue since. And in the months since, we’ve had several test pilots put the camera to the test and came up with this video of a few highlights of different uses, from Grinduro, Cykel Scramble, cyclocross races and practices, night rides, and a few rides with a litle guy. All were shot with the Fly 6 (except for the demo of the light modes) in 720p HD:

Our observation? It’s best as either a camera for daytime footage, or as a night safety taillight, but not that useful as both simply because at night, the light sensitivity isn’t amazing and you probably won’t see much more than headlights—reading a license plate is pretty much impossible. But if you’re in the safe habit of using a flashing taillight for extra visibility during the day? The Cycliq Fly 6 is perfect.

As a camera, it’s not 4k or even 1080p video, but do you really want to fill up your hard drive with huge files, most of which will never be seen? The 720p files are manageable, quicker to upload and good enough for most people, and there’s plenty of resolution to read license plates of approaching cars. The 30 frames per seconds is smooth enough, and there’s minimal rolling shutter artifacts. The audio isn’t amazing—we didn’t lay down a music track over the device’s audio—but we’ve never been impressed by the audio of any POV camera.

What we like most about the Cycliq Fly 6 is that it’s so easy to use and to install, remove and move between bikes. Ever used another POV camera and thought you were recording but it didn’t? Most POV cameras like the GoPro could either suffer from a filled memory card or being in the wrong mode. There’s no guessing here, or tiny LCD screens to navigate. If the light is on, it’s recording, and the memory card never fills up, as it will just start to overwrite the older files.

With the included 8 GB micro SD memory card, you’ll have enough storage for two hours of recording—more than enough for a cyclocross race, and gobs more than you’ll need to record your brief chase of Adam Craig on Grinduro’s downhill.

Cycliq Fly 6 Specifications:

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 – 100 degrees
  • File Sizes 10 minutes or around 650MB

Audio

  • Compression 16bit PCM/mono/32KHz

Weight

  • 4oz (113g)

Ports

  • Charging/Connection Micro USB (USB2.0)
  • Memory Card MicroSD

Battery

  • Capacity 2600 mAh
  • Voltage 3.7V
  • Battery runtime up to 6 hours
  • Battery runtime may vary based on settings and environmental conditions, diminishes over time

Micro SD Card

  • 8GB class 10 microSDHC card, upgradeable

Dimming Settings

  • Four options from 100% through to off

Lighting Sequences

  • Two flashing options and solid on mode

Light Output

  • Up to 30 Lumens

More info:

cycliq.com. Available at better bike shops, Amazon and REI

See photos of the Cycliq Fly 6 light and camera in the slider below. And see more last-minute gift ideas for the cyclist in your life here.

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