I’ve been riding with a Cycliq Fly 12CE bike camera for a few years now. When I first got it, Facebook served up a suggestion that I join a Facebook group about Cycliq and its cameras.
I did, because it’s always good to know what’s up with your gear. Especially when it’s a niche item like the Fly 12CE — think of it as a dash cam/headlight combo for bikes. It automatically records a loop as you ride, recording 5-minute segments. It can detect a crash, which makes it automatically save two adjacent 5-minute clips. Riders can also manually trigger it to save clips. Clips that don’t get saved get recorded over when the camera’s onboard media card hits capacity. (There’s also a rear camera/light called the Fly 6.)
Sounds great, right?
Most of the time, it is. But when it’s not … boy, do cyclists in the Cycliq Fly User Group love to complain!
So What’s to Complain About?
The complaints are legion.
Riders in wet climates complain about getting water into their Cycliq, causing all sorts of glitches and bad visibility.
They also go off on customer service, especially with delayed orders. Being an Australian company, Cycliq operates on different hours than most of the world, which can make these problems seem a lot worse.
There are plenty of stories about difficulty getting refunds for pre-orders, firmware updates causing problems, the stock mount is a bit flimsy, short battery life … you name it.
My Experience with the Cycliq Fly 12CE
In my years of riding with the Cycliq Fly 12CE, it’s been overwhelmingly beneficial. The headlight catches the eyes of drivers, and it’s caused more than a few to stop before making a right turn in front of me that would’ve been dangerous.
It’s recorded some great footage.
Honestly, there are a few minor quibbles.
First, I’ve experienced the weirdness of Cycliq customer service. I had a question about software for editing video, including the Cycliq desktop app. I went around with a service person for months, with about a week between many emails (sometimes more). Often, they seemed to forget the question or the earlier threads of the conversation.
They finally did release the desktop editing app, which has cool features with some overlays. But you can only edit one clip at a time versus a real editing suite, where you can easily work on multiple clips at a time. The moving map feature and elevation data is amazing, though.
What I’d Improve About the Cycliq Fly 12CE
With some minor tweaks, the Fly 12CE could be even better.
First, they should do a firmware update to shorten the length of the recorded clips from 5 minutes to 30 seconds. That would make it far easier to edit clips and require a lot less searching. And 30 seconds is more than enough time to find evidence in a crash situation – that’s the length of triggered clips from most dash cams for commercial vehicles. That means it’s more than enough for a bike.
I’d also recommend a new flashing mode that strobes less often and with a more random pattern. A slower blink would preserve battery life, and the randomized pattern would catch drivers’ attention more effectively.
I can’t speak much to the problems with moisture getting in — I live in Arizona, and I can see how a Scottish or Kiwi cyclist would have to worry about this more. I’ve also been fortunate that I haven’t broken a mount; I’d be more than happy if they released a new Fly 12CE with a GoPro-style mount.
I’ve probably had it glitch on me 5 times — where it isn’t recording during a ride, and I need to do a hard reset at home.
Should You Get a Cycliq Bike Camera?
If I had to get a new bike camera/light combo, I’d get another Cycliq Fly12 CE, no question. I know they’re not cheap.
But they seem to offer more of what I want than other competing cameras, especially with the integrated light and looped recording.
I recommend you check out the user group, consider the complaints and the responses, and compare it to similar cameras. Maybe you’ll be lucky like I’ve been!
One last thing: Plenty of users say things like “why doesn’t somebody just make a better camera?” Right, then. It would be soooo nice if making a better camera and offering better customer service is really just that magically easy. The fact is, it’s not. Especially during the late stages of a global pandemic where supplies are hard to come by.
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