Appropriately timed for the holidays, today we’re taking a look at two flashing red lights. Whether you’re looking to stay safe riding outdoors or commuting during these dark days, hoping to watch what happens behind you while you race, or need a great gift idea for the cyclist in your life, they’re worth a look.
First up is our review of an updated version of a CXM favorite, the Cycliq Fly6 rear light and camera combo unit, while our review of the high-tech Cateye Rapid 2 Kinetic accelerometer-based rear light is here.
Cycliq Fly6[v] Camera Light Gets a Grip
A year ago, we reviewed the Cycliq Fly6 camera light, citing safety, evidence, posterity, vanity and improvement as all reasons the $169 rear light could be worth the investment. Besides the rubber straps which sometimes can be misplaced or snap, the light has remained reliable after some early unit hiccups (it was promptly replaced).
This fall the company has since updated the light, addressing one feature that we both loved and hated—those rubber straps used to mount the light onto your bike. The company previously included two sets of straps of different lengths, allowing riders to strap them on to seatstays, seat posts, and if you wanted a forward-facing camera as you chased Adam Craig, strap the camera upside down on your head tube.
However, the straps were easily lost (we’re guilty) and broken (guilty as well), and thus the company has addressed this issue with a new industrial Velcro-type mount.The new Fly6[v] makes installation during the most-common use case—on your seat post—very easy. Threading the strap through its buckle, tightening and securing it takes just a few seconds. The strap offers some rubber-textured grip so the light stays in place.
On an oversized (bigger than 27.2) seat post, the strap, for the most part, stays out of the way. On a narrower seat post, there’s some extra strap to flap around, potentially limiting a bit of visibility from the side. The biggest differences is that gone are the days you’d strap the camera to a seat stay or head tube.The strap is too long to attach the light/camera to a seat stay as the loop and hook ends of the Velcro don’t match up on a small diameter tube, and it’s not long enough to connect on a modern large diameter head tube (it’s possible on older steel frames without a 44mm head tube).
The camera remains the same—a capable 720p camera to capture traffic incidents, chasing racers, Cykel Scramble shenanigans or a little kid behind you. See our test video below.
With the updated mount, the Cycliq Fly6[v] remains at $169, and now is also on offer by Cycliq as a combo package with its unique Fly12 headlight/camera combo we reviewed earlier this year.
Needless to say, it’s the kind of tail light with bells and whistles that a cyclist might find hard to justify purchasing, but would appreciate as a gift, while you’ll have a bit more peace of mind knowing the camera could add a bit of insurance in case of an accident.
More info: cycliq.com. Available at better bike shops, or Amazon and REI.
Full specs below.
Cycliq Fly6 Specifications:
- 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
- Compression 16bit PCM/mono/32KHz
- 4oz (113g)
- Charging/Connection Micro USB (USB2.0)
- Memory Card MicroSD
- 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
- Four options from 100% through to off
- Two flashing options and solid on mode
- Up to 30 Lumens