Rear Facing Bike Cameras or Camera & Light. Is there an alternative to the Fly6?

I don’t recall the release date but Google finds a few announcements on 1 June 2020

https://bikerumor.com/cycliq-fly6-rear-light-camera-cycling-safety-system-gets-even-smaller-with-new-gen-3/

https://road.cc/content/tech-news/cycliq-launches-update-popular-fly6-camera-273929

The Gen3 has one LED and battery flap on the side, Gen 2 had three LEDs and battery flap on the top.

The Gen 3 has 50 lumens (vs 100 lumens) and 2000mAh battery (vs 3200mAh). But hey it’s smaller! :laughing:

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Wow, that sounds like some major advances! :confused:
They had me looking forward to the new model, since ours were starting to lose battery life and play up a bit in early 2020.
I bought some other tail lights instead so we use the Fly6s on the lowest flash setting and they just keep working - with tolerable battery life.

I don’t think it started shipping until 2021 (April ???)
The Gen3 doesn’t appear to use noticeably more or less between “dim” and “bright” modes.
I might 3.5 hours in bright, and not quite 4 hours in dim mode. I’d really prefer if it could do 5 hours, because most of my regular longer rides are around 4 hours and that’s just a bit too long for the gen 3.
I don’t think the LED is noticeably less bright than the gen2 & earlier.
I’d actually say, visually, it appears to be a little brighter.

This would be the complete package, I’d immediately buy that. Do you have any contacts at Garmin by any chance? :sweat_smile:

If you speak to your contacts at Garmin or Cyclic Please Get them to make my ideal version as well: it would do nothing but flash, record and survive; never to be downloaded unless there’s an incident or to see if it works. No Bluetooth, no app. Velcro strap and/or standard GoPro mount. Call it The ‘black box edition’ ! Maybe with a couple of 18650s inside and a screw cap with an o-ring for the charge port /SD card cover!

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December of 2020, I was an early pre-order and got mine Christmas Eve

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If you guys want to recommend an idea to Garmin, they have a suggestion area on their website:
https://www.garmin.com/en-US/forms/ideas/

Maybe if enough people suggest a camera or Cycliq-type setup, they’ll make one (and yes I’m aware they used to make an action cam called the VIRB).

I don’t understand why the new Fly6 wasn’t built using the same rigid box design of the Fly12. I get that the Fly6 cops so much more water in the rain than the Fly12 ever will, due to its location. But the 12 never seems to have a water issue, whereas the 6 seems to routinely suffer from it

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Maybe if enough people suggest a camera or Cycliq-type setup, they’ll make one (and yes I’m aware they used to make an action cam

If I was going to do that I would prefer to contact Cycliq and ask them to improve rather than asking Garmin to make a better version of their product.

I remain very uncertain about the fly6 as a product, this discussion is not a good statistical sample but it sounds like there are so many warranty returns I am unsure how Cycliq make a buck.

I work in manufacturing in Australia and (until I am replaced by a robot and have no money to spend on bike accessories :joy:) will prefer to support an Australian company. I asked the original question about alternatives as I can’t afford to replace a $350+ camera every year.

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Looks to me there is an easy way to work around the fly6 issues on wet weather. Installing a fender. Which you should anyway as a mark of respect for your riding partners. It is also much more comfortable and less digusting to not have your ass sprayed with that filthy water + road grit soup.

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I think the idea is it’s easier for Garmin to make a combined Virb+Varia than it is for Cycliq to develop their own radar to add to a Fly6.

But the actual likelihood of getting either of them to produce such a product might be skewed in Cycliq’s favor.

Garmin (and Shimano) have already abandoned the bike camera market long ago, so they’d probably be a bit hesitant about trying to enter it again.

It’s too bad Garmin does not develop this because they already make dash cams, which is essentially what we’re talking about.

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I do this and it has been working so far, but it’s the occasion that you get caught on an unexpected heavy shower and bingo it’s dead. It shouldn’t be that fragile.

an unexpected heavy shower and bingo it’s dead. It shouldn’t be that fragile.

I strongly agree with this, and I use an “ass saver” type fender on my road bike anyway that’s mounted above where a light goes. I also depend on the camera most in the rain as that’s when drivers can be most oblivious.

I’ve had my chunky gen 1 fly6 for years and it went through all weather. It lasted long enough that I’m completely satisfied by its durability.

The new version is fragile, less bright, has a smaller battery and there are people here and on reddit swearing they never want to deal with cycliq again…. I have disregarded the warnings and my own misgivings and ordered a fly6 bundle with the silicone case and extra mount for my other bike. Wish me luck!

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Off- topic but Ass savers don’t qualify as mudguards :wink:

But I strongly agree that such a product should resist weather like bike computers, lights or power meters do.

I use one I picked up at Aldi for $50-$60 to test the concept before forking out for a Fly6. Works surprisingly well and never felt the need to upgrade. Camera is probably not as good as a Fly6 but good enough to read rego on passing cars. I can usually get two 2-3 hour rides out of the battery and the light seems bright enough. Just have to wait for the right special buys day unfortunately. It’s been in some serious downpours commuting and never had a problem.

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I can count myself among that group. I organized a large group buy (50+ units) for my friends/ team & purchased a Fly6 (I think CE – it was 2019) for myself. Almost immediately I had problems with the unit not holding a charge. It would literally die after 30 minutes. I contacted customer service who gave me a list of things to try. I did them all & then replied checking all the boxes only to never hear back from CyclIq. After three times trying to contact them I gave up. I couldn’t be less enthused on the company.

I didn’t realise there were some dedicated budget cycling specific designs. Following your post I did a search on Aliexpress and did find some dedicated cycling camera with lights. They are cheap: ~$30. The battery life is listed as 2 hours, but realistically it would much less than that.

Wouldn’t be suitable for long rides, but maybe pretty good solution for commutes.

SO i got my new gen3 fly6!
TLDR: its ok but the silicone case is a crap design and I am also a clumsy oaf.

Good:

  • They shipped it within a day from WA, arrived in metro melbourne in a couple of days
  • they said the bundle deal was black case only but swapped it for my preferred orange, i just put it in the order notes. very pleased!.
  • $aud366 is a lot of money (at least for me) and it feels like a thing of quality, equal to that price. Even the little details: the back of the velcro straps have non slip on them so it doesnt slide round the seat post. The box is nice if you care about that.

Satisfactory:

  • Charged it up and it gave a solid 4:15-4:30 on ‘low flash’ whcih is fairly bright before going in to limp home mode, it met the rated performance.
  • i was annoyed by the propretary adaptor but realised because it had velcro straps like my old first gen it was easy to move between bikes, i could just leave it on the adaptor… HOWEVER it comes with different pads for different seatpost shapes (flat for the back of d shaped, normal cylinder, aero wedge etc) and the pad falls off when removing it, very easy to lose. I have 2 adaptors and 3 bikes so its not a big deal for me… but I might use a dab of silicone or something to retain it or buy another adaptor

Bad:

+The silicone sleeve is a thin stretchy kind of… overwrap ( call it the ‘camera franger’ in Australian slang) It has 2 circles of GLASS for the lens and LED which are in the pack separately. They have a little circular groove to fit them which i did. You need to remove the silicone cover to charge it,. the FIRST TIME i did this the thin stretchy sleeve ejected the glass disc for the camera lens, it hit the tiles and broke. Am i clumsy? is it a crap design? Yes on both!
I contacted them and they told me the glass wasn’t sold separately. will cut some polycarbonate to replace it.

Rainy in melbourne tonight so i rode home with my expensive new camera light in my pocket…


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The ‘camera franger’ arrived this week, tried it this morning, as the roads were still pretty wet here in Melbourne this morning.
The glass windows for the camera and led are pretty crap, I haven’t checked yet, but I suspect the imagery for the camera is going to be impacted. I also don’t think the glass will last long.
It’s impossible to charge the camera with the cover in place, it needs to be removed.
It did keep the camera reasonably dry, although some moisture evident inside.