The Fly6 has been on the market for a couple of years, but it's not a device everyone knows is available. Launched via a Kickstarter campaign and the first of its kind, this rear light features a camera which records video of everything going on behind you as well as performing the standard task of marking you out on the road.
Unlike the bright red beam, the video camera function won't keep you safe - but having a record of everything that's happened can certainly act as an excellent insurance back-up should you ever need to prove another road user was in the wrong.
It's not just about safety, either - a Fly6 could provide excellent viewing after a race, or in tandem with front camera footage from a ride with your mates.
The exciting news is that Fly6 have been busy working on something new since the product was first launched, and very soon the front light Fly12 version will be available. In the mean time, we've checked out the functions of the rear light to give you our verdict on its effectiveness. And yes, we made a video so you can really see how well it works.
The Fly6 arrives in a fancy looking matte black box. And so it should - before we go on we'll highlight that the light does cost £99. For all the bells and whistles the light provides, that's not a lot. However, it is a lot if you're only after a bog standard rear light, so if that's you - step away.
Inside the box is everything you need, and then some. There's the unit itself, plus two mounts (we suppose so you can swap the light between bikes without removing the mount), and a selection of adaptors to ensure that the light will fit on any seat post. There's even an aero seat post adaptor.
I can see a huge merit in this extra adaptor - getting a rear light that sits well on a time trial bike is a challenge in itself, and since they often take place on busy roads, being safe in the knowledge you've got proof of what's going on could be useful.
Finally, there's a USB cable - this is used for charging and for uploading footage.
Fitting the Fly6
Yes, I need to wash my bike - I know. Moving on from this, fitting the light is extremely simple - the mount is attached via two rubber bands, which can be shortened or lengthened to fit your seatpost, and spacers provided can help you angle the light so it points clearly and directly outwards.
Obviously, you want the light to stay put, and not to wobble around too much, as this would result in some pretty dodgy footage. Thankfully the mount does the job, as you'll see in the video further down the page.
Light and Video Power
You can have the best fitting system in the world, but clearly the beam itself needs to be good. Unique to this case, you also want the camera to be of decent quality too.
The light provides 30 lumens of brightness - that's plenty for a rear light to ensure you'll be seen. There are several settings available, with a solid and constant beam and a few different flashing modes. The light also remembers what setting you left it on when you turn it off, so you don't have to fiddle on every ride.
The videos are recorded as AVI files, and the camera is a 720p HD affair, that takes in 30 frames per second. Ten minutes of recording will take up 600 MB and the unit comes with an 8 GB memory card. In human speak, all this means the video is of a good enough quality for your average joe to play around with, it's not going to be ideal for a videographer after the best of the best. There is also an internal microphone (so if I'd not muted the sound you'd be able to hear my very noisy hubs in the video below!).
The instructions allow you to change the date and time (we didn't do it in this case, but have done so with ease before) so you've got evidence of what happened, and when. There's another clever function that means the Fly6 will continue recording for exactly one hour should it find itself more than 30 degrees from horizontal (you crash).
The light is waterproof, though obviously you won't want to splash too much mud over the camera (unless you're going for that effect..) and it weighs 113g. The battery lasts up to six hours, too - so you'll be sorted for quite some time between charges, which are as simple as connecting via USB.
The Fly6 comes with a quick start guide, which recommends editing software and viewing formats, too. So - those are the basic details. You want to see it in action? Here we go...#
But first: It is worth noting that some details - for example car registration plates - are clearer on the raw files (which you could send to insurance companies) than on a lower res YouTube upload.
We think the Fly6 does a great job of showing what's going on behind you. It's easy to fit, easy to use and provides the light you need to be seen.
Used with a front camera (such as the Fly12 front light/camera coming out in a couple of months...) the Fly6 could provide fantastic footage for those wanting to create a fun video of their exploits - though it's not the best quality in some light conditions. Where it really shines is in providing you with the evidence you need in the unfortunate circumstance that you and your bike are involved in a collision. Not something we like to think about, but something always worth being prepared for.