I so wanted to love my Fly6 bike light/camera. And I guess I do love the camera. It captured the essence of our (thankfully inconsequential) dog incident. It’s the camera mounting that’s the problem.
The fancy-dancy website for the product tells all about the camera and light features, but says nothing – nada, no pictures – about the mounting options, other than the fact that it comes with “2 x seat post mounts” and various straps and adaptors. I assumed it could be mounted to our pannier rack, like every other bike light we’ve ever had. It’s not until you scroll into the help section and encounter numerous requests for alternative mounting options, or download and read through the instruction manual, or receive your new camera in the mail, that you realize there may be a problem.
The Fly6 only allows for mounting to a seat post.
Seat-post mounting doesn’t work for our tandem because:
1. I use a ThudBuster on the rear seatpost, which doesn’t leave room for the Fly6 mount.
2. We have a pannier bag and trunk, which would block the camera’s view anyway.
Cycliq’s response thus far to the problem:
We mount it to the seat post as it provides a very stable location for the footage to be taken. Our tests in other locations don’t deliver the same smooth results making the footage in some instances very hard to watch and useless for capture information. We are hoping to deliver different mounting solutions in the future once we have tested them but for now we only have the seat post mount. If you google search “Franken Fly6” you can see other peoples hack mounts but they are not endorsed (& often for paniers)
So, we did said Googling, consulted some peeps on social media, and came up with a hack mount for our Fly6.
We connected a length of PVC pipe to the light attachment point on the pannier rack by drilling a hole through the PVC and attaching it through the pannier with a screw (prevents sliding down) and adding a pipe clamp higher up (prevents twisting sideways). Nota bene: We are not engineers. We did not consider the torsional strength of the pannier rack light attachment point.
This hack worked for exactly 196.3 miles on Wyobraska’s lumpy-bumpy road shoulders. Then the metal of the pannier rack light mount suffered a critical failure on Highway 92 a mile west of McGrew. We discovered that our Fly6 was missing 20 miles later, when we stopped at the Karette Drive-In in Bridgeport for lunch.
By an amazing stroke of luck, on our return journey we encountered a group of people clad in hi-viz vests cleaning up trash along the roadside in the sweltering heat. We slowed to inquire about our lost Fly6.
“Did you guys happen to find a bike light?”
“Attached to some PVC pipe?”
“Yes. She’s got it in the truck.”
(I am disappointed that my reporter-brain was so sunbaked that I neglected to ask who our camera rescuers were. It was a mixed-age group. Maybe a church group, since they were out on a Sunday? Thanks again, anonymous camera rescuers! Also, thank you for the cleanup work you do! We get to see a lot of Wyobraska roadside trash from the bike.)
Our Fly6 was a bit scratched (the camera lens avoided scratches thanks to the slightly raised plastic housing around it), but it still works, and the video was recoverable!
And so, I give you:
Mounting Hardware Hack Failure from the Point of View of a Fly6 Bike Light/camera
(Note: these screen grabs were sized down for the blog post. The quality of the original video gives better detail than what this shows. Selected screen grabs do not show the full extent of the video during the 10-second clip.)
What a lovely day for a ride! La la la!
Oh, hey – the ground is dominating my field of view. That’s unusual!
Wha . . .? Whoa!
Hey – there’s my bike’s rim! A Velocity Dyad? Also – disc brakes. Nice!
Oh, look! An oncoming pickup truck. It’s a Chevy!
Oh – so this is what aspha . . . OW!!!
Uuuh . . . what just happened?
Hey – there’s that Chevy truck again!
*cheepcheepcheepcuckoocuckoo* Oh my! Look how sky the blue is today!
Wha – hey! Thhose’r my peeeople!
Hey, guys – I don’ feel so good . . .
Guys . . . ?
Hoh no! Spinning!
Life. Flashing. Before Eyes.
I’m dying! OW!
Is this heaven?
What the . . . ?
Oh. The spinning stopped. Where am I? What was I doing?
Oh yeah – I’ve been tilted past 60 degrees for more than 5 seconds. Time to start the emergency protocol . . . beepbeepbeep
The camera continued to record the waving grasses and the sounds of passing vehicles for about another 25 minutes before uttering three long beeps and cutting out, the battery apparently depleted. (The light appeared to stop blinking after about 18 minutes.)
Yes, the camera still works, but how the heck are we supposed to mount it? And we’ve got a jagged metal edge on the pannier rack and one less option for light mounting now.
Cycliq, please – can you come up with some architecturally solid alternative options for mounting? Maybe a specially-designed pannier rack?
Until we can come up with another solution, our Fly6 is, disappointingly, out of commission.
As far as a review of the Fly6? I can’t currently recommend it, unless you are an engineer or have an unobstructed seat post.
UPDATE: We’ve got a different mounting hack that works much better.
Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw