Following a resounding Kickstarter success story, we've just received an early prototype version of the Cycliq Fly12 combination HD camera and front light. A small handful of ‘test pilots’ will be putting these beta units through the paces to help identify and fix any bugs before the production version is released.
On the heels of the Fly6 rear light camera combo, Cycliq now has ‘your eyes up front’ as the packaging says (hey, four eyes!).
Initially we were somewhat surprised at the size of the unit – based on the conceptual drawings, we expected it to be a little smaller. Even still, there is a lot of hardware in a relatively compact package, with a 400 lumen light, 1080p (Full HD) front facing camera, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity and Strava integration.
Our beta test version of the Fly12 weighs in at 226g (not including mounts) and is solid in hand. To put its weight into perspective, a GoPro Hero4 Silver in a frame housing weighs 106g, a 400 lumen Knog Blinder Road 3 weighs 101g, and an über-bright 1,100 lumen Exposure Diablo weighs 113g – though for both video and light you’d need to run a combination of these units, adding to bar clutter.
The 400 lumen light features three dimmer settings and two flashers, and in our initial assessment is plenty bright enough for nighttime road riding. The 1080p camera is pretty sharp too, though the footage isn’t quite a crisp as the GoPro Hero 4 Silver edition, which carries the same US$399 price tag.
A GoPro-type mount is used
Though we're yet to test the unit in the wet, the Fly12 is said to be weatherproofed with nano technology that prevents corrosion and quickly sheds water. The USB and HDMI cover ports are certainly well shielded, with a definitive click to release the shields.
Like the Fly6, this front light utilizes looping footage and a similar ‘incident capture’ technology to preserve the video footage following an accident.
As expected, there are still a few kinks to work out with this being one of the first early-beta units. When we spoke to Andrew Hagan, co-founder of Cycliq, he told us the mount itself isn’t to specifications, and may cause the camera to ‘self adjust.’
On our first outing with the Fly12, a nighttime commute, we discovered an issue involving the incident capture sensor being too sensitive, causing the unit to shut itself off about every 30 min. Though this made for a scary bit of riding, it also highlights the importance of beta testing programs.
The Cycliq app is also in beta testing
Accompanying the Fly12 is the new Cycliq app, which is also under development. At the moment only for iOS, the app allows video to be viewed edited and uploaded to social media from a synced device (Wi-Fi or Bluetooth). Similar in functionality to its GoPro counterpart, the Cycliq app is quite intuitive and simple to use.
Still to come is Strava integration as well as a bike alarm feature. As we first reported back in March, the app will allow metrics such as heart rate, speed and power to be overlayed on top of the footage.
When enabled through the app, the bike alarm will detect if someone attempts to steal your bike. If this happens, the camera will begin recording, the device's light will flash, an alarm will sound, and an alert will be sent to your phone. This is one feature we’re eager to see operational.
As a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Fly12 was initially scheduled for delivery by August. Clearly its release is running a little late, and an exact date will depend on how successful these early beta units prove to be.
We have only just received the pre-production Fly12 and will be testing it more thoroughly over the coming months. Stay tuned for updates and video comparisons.