Cycliq Fly6 Rear Light & Camera Review

What can one say if your editor says to you that we have been sent some techy kit to try out, and would you like to review it? Yes please?

Cycliq Fly6 is a high powered rear LED light unit, with a difference. There is a rear facing HD cam built into the sealed all weather lamp that records what’s happening behind you as you travel along on your bike ride, daily commute or just out with friends. Got your rear covered is what it says on the box.

There’s no need to worry about anything else once you have set up the lamp on your bike and done a quick test to make sure you have a decent field of view. Just remember to switch the light-unit on EVERY time you go out!

All the factual information you need about Fly6 is on their website cycliq.com. It’s an updated design from the original, so here at Cycling Shorts, we are simply going to take it out of the box, fit it to the bike, and run it for a week or so.

Firstly, at just shy under one-hundred-pounds, it seems a lot for a rear LED. Is it worth it? Let’s see.

It comes packaged all nice and neat in a stylish black and red box, padded with shaped foam to keep all the components secure during transit to the shop, or direct to the consumer via mail order.

Once opened, there is a quick set-up guide and notes about recent improvements from your customer feedback.

The lamp feels solid, robust and of a quality build. I liked the fact there were two mounting plates and bands to accommodate a multi-bike set-up. The rubber stretch mounts are more common-place these days and means you can easily remove the lamp should you park-up and leave your bike unattended, being an expensive bit of kit.

I fitted the lamp straight onto my Trek road bike without any problem. Using the aero-seat-post adapter, I found it sat perfectly square to the ground, the body design aligned to take a standard 71.5° rake.

Not knowing what sort of view would be recorded, I positioned the lamp as high as I could without it touching my small tool pouch that was sitting tightly under the saddle.

I found the re-designed mount plate difficult to handle. I’d clipped the lamp unit into the plate slot to check the fitting prior to mounting and couldn’t remove very easily at all. It certainly wasn’t going to come loose, which isn’t a bad thing. But it made me realise that fitting the two mount plates to my two bikes, probably wasn’t going to work as well as I imagined. Maybe they would free off slightly over time if I separate them from time-to-time.

To run the test, I first had to fully charge the built-in Lithium battery. Although it comes pre-charged I wanted to see how long it would take to re-charge and how long it would last, running at full LED power. You can reduce the out-put level several times to conserve energy, or reduce the glare that the main LED emits. [Via the Courtesy Dimmer, opposite the power button].

I plugged the unit into my laptop with the provided USB lead early afternoon. I’d read that the charge LED would go off once charged. Having used re-chargeable lights this Winter gone, I knew that they took a while to fully charge up at work plugged into the USB slot on my PC, and I was right. It was late evening before the LED extinguished. Ok, I’ll test the unit tomorrow then!

Setting off on my Sunday morning bike ride, I’d set the lamp to full power and off I went. Three and a-quarter hours later, back home I switched the unit off. The unit had created a folder on the media card and sliced the ride into ten-minute videos. So they were twelve time indexed files created. I’d noticed that the first hour or so files had already been deleted, not a problem as the unit is there to safeguard any footage of an incident an hour prior to an incident and an hour after the trigger has been set through the bike laying on the ground.

Aimed as a safety back-up device designed to tell a story of what you were doing prior to any incident, then this lamp is a great way of providing additional evidence after the event. You simply must use it on every occasion that you jump on your bike, especially if commuting through town where things can sometimes get a bit more demanding.

The footage the camera produced was of a decent quality to see how the bike ride unfolded. Coming in ten-minute bite size pieces, it provides great footage that can easily be shared amongst friends and family. The file sizes produced are around four-hundred and fifty megabits each, and on the supplied card will hold around eighteen full files.

The recommend free Video Editing software worked a treat too. I found it reasonably easy to cut a couple of pieces from two files and join them to make a short demo.

On my first full power test, I achieved five-and-three-quarter hours recording before the video switched off leaving only the light working. This should last for another hour before being fully depleted.

I would imagine a normal user would need to re-charge the unit twice a week to keep the video camera working on the loop.

On the whole, having used the Cycliq Fly6 for the past four weeks, I would recommend it for my main rear light. Although a bit pricey on my initial glance, considering the beneficial footage that this device records and stores, then it’s a price worth paying.

It may not be something that you would consider buying yourself when looking for a lamp for your bike. But it would make a great gift for someone, for those who are looking for additional safety for their loved ones when out riding the bike.

RRP: £99.00

For more information on the Fly6 visit: www.Cycliq.com

Best price we can find online: www.amazon.co.uk

All Images, Video and text ©www.CyclingShorts.cc / www.chrismaher.co.uk

Let There be Light! – Bontrager Glo & Ember LED’s Reviewed

Bontrager Glo and Ember LED lights

Bontrager Glo and Ember

Bontrager Glo and Ember

As the nights have become dark we all need to make sure we can see and be seen.

Bontrager’s Glo and Ember lights might not be quite the thing if you want to see but they will certainly allow you to be seen.

For the last couple of years I have been using the cheap £2 frog eye lights that are available by the shed load on eBay. While they do a job there is certainly a question over the level of lumens they produce and to be honest there ability to withstand the elements is suspect. I thought it was time to try out something a little more up market, even though this might go against my cheapskate grain!

As soon as I picked up the Bontrager lights I could tell they where going to perform significantly better then the cheap frog eyes.

The marketing blurb on Bontrager’s website describes the lights as follows:-

Test lights supplier by Bikechain Ricci

Test lights supplied by Bikechain Ricci

Instantly add front or rear safety lighting with the Glo headlight and and Ember tail light. Used as a stand alone system in twilight conditions, as additional lighting or as an emergency back-up, these compact, bright and stylish lights can be run in either steady or flashing modes and provide over 40 hours of run time. Each includes two CR2032 batteries and an elastic strap for attachment to a variety of surfaces including helmets.

http://www.bontrager.com/model/11364

The blurb on the packaging is slightly more generous with the run times, 50/100+ hours (Glo front light) and 100+ hours (Ember). The Glo offers 5 lumens and the Ember 3 Lumens.

Ember provides a bright rear light even in daylight.

Ember provides a bright rear light even in daylight.

Fitting the lights is dead simple and the multi hole bands allow for very secure fitting to either seat-post or handle bars, as well as potential use as a helmet light.

These little bad boys are way brighter then any lights of this type I have used before, certainly making them worth the money. They really are great lights to allow you to be seen by but not so good for you to see the road ahead. I frequently use them as my road lights riding city streets to and from the dark lanes or off road ride areas, where I switch to my high power Cree LED lights.

If you are looking for something that will help make you visible on your town or city commute in these dark winter months then get yourself along to your local bike shop and pick up a pair of Bontrager Glo and Ember lights.

CyclingShortsBontragerGlowEmberReviewRatingA definte one to ask Santa to leave in your stocking.

 

A CyclingShorts.cc Star buy at 90%

Retails for around £25 – £30 per set (can be bought individually).

A big thank you to @bikechainricci for supplying these lights for test.

Watch Live Stream – Amsterdam Six Day 21st-26th Oct 2013

 

 

Dates: October 21-26, 2013
On Air: Approx. 19:20 CET to 23:00 PM CET

 

With 26 world-ranked Six Day riders forming 13 teams Cycling Shorts brings you a spectaculair cycling event the legendary 6 Daagse from Amsterdam, a lively week of cycling thrills and spills.

The field of Six Day riders for Amsterdam is complete. After world champions, Olympic champions, specialists and super young talent, the latest names added to the existing list of stars is impressive, it includes defending champion Pim Ligthart.

The evening starts with a 90-lap Madison with nine sprint points, each one after ten laps. The couple with the most points wins. The Elimination race works almost the same as the Madison, but now the team that arrives latest at the finish after the bell, has to leave the track. During the derny race, riders have to do 66 laps behind a motor-paced vehicle. In Team Time Trial both riders of the team barrel down after a few warm-up laps high up on the track and do two full speed laps. Halfway, the first rider gives the second rider a hand-swing after which the latter completes the race. Super sprint is a special kind of elimination race with a sprint every 4 laps.

Amsterdam Six Day line-up:

1. Pim Ligthart ( NED ) / Marcel Kalz ( GER )
2. Aaron Gate ( NZL ) / Luke Roberts ( AUS )
3. Jens Mouris ( NED ) / Wim Stroetinga ( NED )
4. Kenny De Ketele ( BEL ) / Gijs Van Hoeke ( BEL )
5 . Nick Stöpler ( NED ) / Yoeri Havik ( NED )
6. Leif Lampater ( GER ) / Raymond Kreder ( NED )
7. Barry Markus ( NED ) / Robert Bartko ( GER )
8. Tristan Marguet ( SUI ) / Marc Hester ( DEN )
9. Melvin Boskamp ( NED ) / Jesper Asselman ( NED )
10. Wesley Kreder ( NED ) / Nolan Hoffmann ( RSA )
11. Guy East (USA ) / Daniel Holloway (USA )
12. Jiri Hochmann / Vojtech Hacecky ( CZE )
13. Didier Caspers ( NED ) / Melvin van Zijl ( NED )

 

For full biographies of all the riders visit the Six Day Racing website here: www.sixdayracing.com/Cyclists

To buy tickets to the event or general 6 Day Racing info click here.

The event will be held at the Velodrome in Amsterdam at Sloterweg 1045, 1066 CD, the Netherlands.

Full Programme:

Monday 21 October 2013 till Thursday 24 October 2013

19:20  |  Madison Masters | Madison | GP De Telegraaf
19:45  |  Keirin Masters | Keirin | GP Main Capital
19:55  |  Madison Masters | Team Elimination race | GP Vlasman
20:15  |  Madison Masters | Time Trial | GP Deelen
20:40  |  Madison Masters | Derny 1 | GP Polygon
20:55  |  Sprint Masters | Qualification Time Trial | GP Plusine
21:05  |  Madison Masters | Derny 2 | GP Polygon
21:25  |  Sprint Masters | Semi-final | GP Plusine
21:35  |  Madison Masters | Super Sprint
21:45  |  Sprint Masters | Final | GP Plusine
22:00  |  Madison Masters | Madison | GP Drukkerij Koopmans
22:55  |  Ceremony leaders Six Days of Amsterdam
23:00  |  End
Friday 25 October 2013

19:20  |  Madison Masters | Madison | GP De Telegraaf
19:45  |  Keirin Masters | Keirin | GP Main Capital
19:55  |  Madison Masters | Team Elimination race | GP Vlasman
20:15  |  Madison Masters | Time Trial | GP Deelen
20:40  |  Madison Masters | Derny 1 | GP Polygon
20:55  |  Sprint Masters | Qualification Time Trial | GP Plusine
21:05  |  Madison Masters | Derny 2 | GP Polygon
21:25  |  Sprint Masters | Semi-final | GP Plusine
21:35  |  Madison Masters | Super Sprint
21:45  |  Sprint Masters | Final | GP Plusine
22:00  |  Show (no broadcast)
22:30  |  Madison Masters | Madison | GP Drukkerij Koopmans
22:55  |  Ceremony leaders Six Days of Amsterdam
23:00  |  End
Saturday 26 October 2013

19:20  |  Madison Masters | Madison | GP De Telegraaf
19:45  |  Keirin Masters | Keirin | GP Main Capital
19:55  |  Madison Masters | Team Elimination race | GP Vlasman
20:15  |  Madison Masters | Time Trial | GP Deelen
20:40  |  Madison Masters | Derny 1 | GP Polygon
20:55  |  Sprint Masters | Qualifications Time Trial | GP Plusine
21:05  |  Madison Masters | Derny 2 | GP Polygon
21:25  |  Sprint Masters | Semi-final | GP Plusine
21:35  |  Madison Masters | Super Sprint
21:45  |  Sprint Masters | Final | GP Plusine
22:00  |  Honouring Peter Schep | Presentation & Derny
22:30  |  Madison Masters | Finale Madison Masters Six Days of Amsterdam
23:35  |  Ceremony winners Madison Masters, Keirin Masters & Sprint Masters

On ‘Thor’

The Man with the Hammer by Rocco Malatesta

The Man with the Hammer by Rocco Malatesta

I may get taken as a masochist, but I welcome the visit from the man with the hammer at 5am.
He’s like the strict teacher that everyone in the school fears, but when you get to his class, you realise that he just doesn’t fuck around, he wants to help you better yourself and is usually kind, thoughtful and respectful – and punishment is fair and justified.

‘The Man’s’ lesson is the point at which we learn that self will can, and will, fail us.

We’re taught in life to fight, to overcome obstacles, to tread on toes and to steamroller problems.
You’re strong, we’re told. But you can be better. Push harder. Just do it.
We’re then given a million problems that one can only ‘defeat’ with the advertised product and as a result, we become weak, burdened by problems that are not ours, pain that does not exist.
We incorporate this into our daily lives and strive to overcome these problems every day. Bigger house, more pointless shit to put in it. Magazines, Trainers, even children. The latest habitat coffee table, hand crafted in India from the armpit hair of a dolphin.

However, the simple reality is that these behaviours are little more than our self will desperately trying to stamp itself on the world.

After 60km of riding a bike, these thoughts of madness generally fade. The body is undertaking too much to bother wasting energy thinking. This is a good thing.
However, we are still living our entire lives powered by ‘ourselves’. But when ‘the Man’ comes for us, that all changes.

I remember the first time I met him like it was yesterday. It was the first London to Brighton I did at Ditchling beacon and I got off my bike and cried like a child.

I couldn’t go on. What I didn’t know what that this ‘Beware Horses’ sign marked the end of the climb, but I was so buried in self pity that I couldn’t look up and see the crest of the hill.

The man taught me something that day – that self will can and must be torn down and replaced by something that has power.

Through the medium of my bicycle I set about reinventing my life, being the person I wanted to be, not the person I was told to be.

The Man showed me my God.
I hope that he will show you yours.

When he comes, *if he comes*, welcome him with open arms.

Jack

 

 

Dunwich Dynamo takes place this year on July 13th 2013

Dunwich Dynamo Facebook Group

Dunwich Dynamo FAQ’s

To purchase ‘The Man with the Hammer’ by Rocco Malatesta click here.

Pilgrimage to the East Coast

Pilgrimage to the East Coast

So, the Dunwich Dynamo rolls around again.
Newbies quake and rally around the old timers, desperate for some reassurance. Stories of Boris bikes and Penny Farthings get rolled out to relieved sighs and glances.
It’s easy to see how many people fear the dynamo.
First, it’s a night ride, and exhaustion hits that much harder when coupled with sleep deprivation. Second, it involves some serious pack riding. Thousands of cyclists jostling for positions and lines, most unaware of the fine etiquette of the peloton. Third, it’s two hundred bloody kilometers long. Oh, lorks.

But the Dynamo isn’t a harsh or unkind mistress. She does not cause you to fall to the roadside, to walk home, or call a cab.
She does not force suffering or pain or injury. That is not to say she is not demanding – but demands are achievable.
The riders biggest enemy is their own fear.

When viewed through the warm haze of 364 days recovery, the ride is beautiful. It is the fine wine of the randonneur, the subtle blue cheese of the Audax rider. Like touring, but without the boredom. A night of fellowship and warm air gently swirling around your helmet. No tears and little sweat. Just take a chilled out pace and point northeast-ish. Keep going until the sun rises and you run out of land. Bliss.

The mind buzzes at the thought, buzzes like a thousand freewheel pawls, tapping their gentle rhythm all the way down from the hill from Epping.
Like a troupe of mechanical grasshoppers calling in the soft undergrass for a mate, so too does the well travelled road to Saxmundham call forward the rider.

Should a brother [or sister!] falter? A Samaritan stops, picks them up, puts them back on the bike and gives enough gentle encouragement to keep them going.
Should a mechanical strike? There are enough experienced mechanics about to put right any issue.

To the experienced, the Dunwich Dynamo loses it’s fearsome figure and becomes a pilgrimage.

Everyone finds something different in the warm night air.
Last year, I learned that anyone that told me I couldn’t do something was talking out of their arse. I learned that I could do anything.

I also learned that when the ‘Man With The Hammer’ comes calling at 5am regarding a debt of suffering I owed him, I could carry on regardless – despite him shaping me with mighty blows against the anvil of my naivety.
Subsequently, I learned to bring some satchets of Electrolyte powder this year.

I found peace, beauty and a feeling of all enveloping love, as the warm sunrise lifted my spirits and enlightened my soul.

Light cannot be observed to shine so bright without darkness, and the warm morning air must be contrasted to the chill of the pre dawn hours in order to be most appreciated.
Luckily, the best company awaits to carry you through the dark and into the embrace of the Framlingham butty stop.

Have courage, and know that the person that stands on Dunwich beach is a different person than the one that departs London fields.

Look forward to meeting that person, for they will have a most amazing story to tell.

Video: Is of a fellow DD rider and not me.

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