Fly 6 (Gen 2) – I’ve Got Your Back!
ALAN GRANT | 13th Jan 2015 | PRODUCT REVIEWS
Fly6 Gen 2
The makers of the Fly6 Gen 2 rear light/video camera primarily market the hybrid device as an electronic eye in the back of cyclists’ heads, and while it performs that task admirably, it has the potential to be a whole lot more than that.
At first glance the Fly6 looks like any other seatpost-mounted rear light and it executes that function perfectly with a choice of three modes; reaa solid red light and two blinking patterns.
And at only 87mm tall and weighing just 113g, the makers of Fly6 Gen 2 have managed to substantially reduce its size from the previous version meaning it won’t look out of place on even the top-range road and triathlon bikes.
It’s bright too, emitting 30 lumens on full beam, and the makers claim it will stay on for up to six hours on a single charge of its lithium-ion USB battery, although I didn’t have the opportunity to test it for that long.
But strangely for a something that looks like a light and functions as one, providing illumination isn’t the Fly6’s main purpose. The secret to its inception and its success lies in the high-definition camera housed inside the unit.
With friction between cyclists and motorists sharing roads showing no sign of abating, for the former group, having a camera recording what’s going on behind has two major benefits. The first is that it will capture any unfortunate incidents that might occur, but perhaps more importantly it might make drivers less inclined to act rashly against cyclists if they think they are being filmed.
There is much anecdotal evidence that the increasing number of cars equipped with dashboard-mounted cameras has resulted in better behavior from cyclists; nobody wants to be the latest YouTube “sensation” caught running a red light or gesticulating angrily towards a motorist. This is a good thing so we can only hope for a reciprocal effect.
While the vast majority of cyclists do not seek out confrontation on the road, most have had their patience tried on occasion, and some of the “angry cyclists” shamed online have claimed that the motorists initiated the incidents that led to their Internet infamy. Had those unfortunate cyclists had a Fly6 mounted on their bikes they would have at least been able to show their side of the story.
While motorists might not necessarily realise they are being filmed, because as previously mentioned, the Fly6 looks like a normal bike light, it has a clever rotating bezel design feature that tells you the camera is recording. The bright solid and flashing lights located on the lower half of the Fly6 can be switched off for daytime riding, but the rotating bezel lights will always remain on.
A critical mass of cyclists using the Fly6 will probably be required before most drivers become fully aware that it’s a camera, but it’s definitely a promising product on the safety front.
Technically, the camera is pretty nifty too. I was surprised at the quality when uploaded and viewed, especially with the footage captured on a pre-dawn ride with friends. The makers downplay the Fly6’s capabilities in the dark, but I beg to differ, at least for urban riding, as Singapore’s streetlights provided enough illumination to capture good quality video. It wasn’t the camera’s functionality that spoiled my footage, rather the bright flashing front lights of my riding partners were the culprit.
(Please note that the resolution of video was lowered when published in Youtube)
You can download it for free and the installations are easy.