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Cycliq Fly12 CE light/camera review

20 Mar 2018
Verdict:

Smart, intuitive device for both fun and safety

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£270
For 
Simple to use and personalise
Against 
No SD card means an extra expense

Buy the Cycliq Fly12 CE light/camera from Evans Cycles here

With any modern piece of technology, one of the first tests of its quality has to be: can you make it work straight out of the box without reading the instructions?

The Cycliq Fly12 CE combined light and camera very nearly passes this test. Nearly. It is a neat black box, measuring 84x55x30mm, that contains both a 600 lumen front light and a 1080p resolution video camera, and on its side are two buttons.

Press the one with the ‘power’ symbol on it, and to a cacophony of beeping the main light comes on, and a little green LED on the side starts blinking to indicate that the video camera is working. What could be simpler?

However, a glance at the basic instruction sheet supplied with the box, reveals that the package does not come with an SD card (memory chip), so before you can start recording your rides, you need to make a trip to a digital retailer and fork out a tenner to get a card.

It’s a little bit of a let-down at the start – like when you got a great electronic toy for Christmas but couldn’t play with it until someone went to the shop to buy some batteries – but things get a lot better from here on in.

With the card in place, the Cycliq Fly12 really is very intuitive and simple to use. It attaches to handlebars with a twist mount similar to a Garmin (the box includes two types of mount brackets) and all that is required is to press the power button for the video recorder to begin.

It records in a continuous loop, so once the memory is full it starts recording over the old footage. There’s no need to clear the memory or download the footage. Just press and ride.

This makes it great for daily commuting where you’re not necessarily interested in viewing the footage unless you’re involved in an incident and you want evidence of what occurred. Then it’s easy enough to retrieve your video images, or you can simply press the ‘Q’ button.

The ‘Q’ button locks the footage immediately before and after the moment the button is pressed, so it won’t be overwritten if you keep on recording. So when that car pulls out in front of you, a tap of the button is all that’s required to ensure that the incident is stored permanently.

At this point, the ‘quick start’ guide in the box is exhausted of information, and you could leave it at that, happily recording rides and shining a light, but it’s only when you discover the corresponding app that the genius of this machine is truly revealed.

Remarkably, there is no mention of the app in any of the paperwork that comes with the Cycliq Fly12. But once you find it in the app store and download it to your phone, suddenly the unit can be adjusted and personalised in a way that makes it suit your needs perfectly.

For example, I found the amount of beeping coming from the unit rather annoying – it beeps when switching on, or to announce how much battery power it has left, or to change light settings, or to switch off – but with the app I found I could turn down the volume of the beeping, or turn it off altogether.

Similarly, at first I thought the light had too many different settings – nine options including flashing and pulsing at a range of intensities, and I had to scroll through them all to find the one I wanted. Then I discovered in the app that I could simply turn off the settings I didn’t want, so now I have just three options to keep things simple.

In the app, you can also change the video resolution, date/time watermarks, loop length of recorded segments, and switch on and off various safety features. These include an ‘incident mode’, where if the unit tilts over by more than 60° (ie, if you fall off your bike) it will automatically lock and store the footage immediately before and after.

There’s even an alarm function, whereby if you leave the Fly12 on your bike while its unattended it will set off an alarm if anyone moves the bike. The lights start flashing, the video begins recording and a message is sent to your phone alerting you to the theft in action.

Other cunning applications include an ‘idle mode’, where the unit turns itself off if not in use for a period of time, and a ‘power save mode’ where it will stop recording to save energy for powering the lights in the event the battery runs low.

The footage itself is crystal clear and simple to view on a computer simply by plugging in the unit. Even in dark conditions, car number plates appear sharp enough to read on the footage, and segments can be easily arranged for storage and editing.

The unit weighs 197g and is solid enough to take a few knocks, and won’t be affected by rain (apparently it will survive under water, but I haven’t tested that claim as yet).

It can be attached above or below a set of handlebars, and is smart enough to know which way up it is, so it won’t give you upsidedown footage if you hang it beneath your bars.

The light is powerful enough to see by – just – on dark roads, but really this is best as a ‘be seen’ light, for alerting traffic to your presence.

Because the light sits flush inside the unit, it can’t be seen easily from the side, which makes it harder for you to be spotted by motorists approaching from side-on at junctions, but this is one of the few weaknesses in a product that would otherwise appear to have thought of everything.

At a time when incidents involving cars or pedestrians (or other cyclists) are all too frequent for cyclists, a camera may not be able to prevent an accident but at least it offers peace of mind that you will have evidence to back up your side of the story.

And you’ll also have some cool video to show your friends when you nail that descent in the Alps.

Buy the Cyclip Fly12 CE light/camera from Wvans Cycles here

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