Inexpensive and effective camera kit for cycling, walking, hiking and rollerblading

By Craig Davis
Founder
CyclistVideoEvidence.com

Cyclists have been asking us to provide cycling camera reviews, especially for inexpensive and effective solutions.  Today, we are launching our Active Transportation Camera Road Reviews page starting with this article about an inexpensive kit that I have been riding with for several months.  We invite everyone to post questions, thoughts and experiences regarding any of the components in this kit by adding a comment at the end of this article.

We call on cyclists, walkers, hikers and rollerbladers to submit suggestions for camera kit reviews you would like to write and share on this page.  Our goal is to create a learning community knowledge space that all Active Transportation users can reference and help build.

Inexpensive and effective camera kit use cases:

Bike rides with constant recording up to approximately three hours using the AKASO Brave 7 LE with two included batteries.  

I ride with a front and rear camera but if cost precludes two cameras, cyclists should always have a rear camera because over 90% of dangerous incidents approach from behind the road cyclist.

Rollerblading, walking or hiking with as-needed recording up to approximately four hours using the AKASO Brave 7 LE with two included batteries. 

Cameras and camera technology are a constantly moving target, as is all tech that regularly spits out new versions of existing models, and new models. CVE members have “cycled” through lots of camera alternatives, and we have evaluated several models from a lower cost alternative: AKASO.

I sold my car 4 ½ years ago and use my e-bike, The Beast, with front and rear cameras shown below, for all of my local transportation. I also rollerblade and run but I never bike or blade without a camera.

IMG_5875-studio

Back in April of 2021 several CVE members purchased the 4K Dragon Vista 5 for $25 during a half-price sale, and a few still ride with one.  We believe Dragon is a subsidiary of AKASO although they are oddly reluctant to confirm that’s true. 

One of the major downsides of the Dragon Vista 5, and its current replacement, the Vision 3, is it’s not waterproof.  To avoid moisture turning the camera into a paperweight it requires the included clunky waterproof case that renders the microphone useless.  My front camera, the AKASO V50 Pro SE, has the same problem. 

We recently tested the AKASO Brave 4 at 2.7K with image stabilization, but its user interface, video quality and build quality are terrible.  It also required the included clunky waterproof case. 

 

Recomended Camera Kit

Cycling and blading are very different use cases but I use the AKASO Brave 7 LE for both.  At the moment I am writing this Amazon is selling it for $111 as shown below. 

AKASO Brave 7 LE - Amazon $111

This camera is a tiny beast that ticks all the right boxes, including a built-in brass tripod mount, that you can see on the bottom of the Brave 7 LE below, a waterproof body without requiring a waterproof case. excellent build quality, and crisp video that captures legible license plates.  Though very small, it feels hefty in your hand because the body is waterproof. 

AKASO Brave 7 LE

My camera settings for both blading and cycling are the same: 2.7K resolution at 30 frames per second, with image stabilization.

One annoyance is that my Brave 7 LE date/time intermittently resets to 1/1/22 which might have been the manufacture date for this camera.  This has also happened on my other AKASO cameras.  The Brave 7 LE touch screen interface is responsive so it makes quickly correcting the date and time a simple process.  It's easy to forget to check the date/time but it's important because all of your video files will use that date/time stamp.  That makes it difficult to remember the actual date and time the videos were recorded which is important when you submit incident reports to the CVE Incident Management System and to Law Enforcement. 

Here is a short 30 second sample of my bike mounted video recording.

Different usage for bladers and runners

Runners and bladers go into/against oncoming traffic, cyclists ride with traffic.  As a blader and runner I can see dangerous drivers coming toward me and take evasive action if needed.  As a blader I always have the camera on, but only press record if I approach a dangerous intersection or oncoming vehicles.  I stop recording after potential dangers.  Road cyclists need to always record because over 90% of incidents approach from behind. 

The majority of drivers respectfully move over three feet, but it only takes one to seriously injure or kill a vulnerable road user. 

 

Camera kit components

I use this Samsung 256 GB MicroSD card for my both of my cameras.  The Brave 7 LE can act finicky with the 256 GB card and sometimes whine that I need to format the card when I turn the camera on.  I ignore it, turn it off and back on a couple of times and everything works without a problem.  AKASO technical support says they only recommend a 64GB card, but, unsatisfyingly, they do not provide a clear technical answer why it works without a problem after cycling on and off a few times.

That said, AKASO technical support has been good.  They need to be educated some of the time, such as with the 256 GB card, but they allowed me to return the Brave 4 a bit after the official 30-day return window.  That earns high marks from me. 

Each AKASO comes with two batteries.  Since I only record when necessary while blading, a single charge can last much longer than recording continuously.  My e-bike errands are typically short distances so I can get a few rides out of a single charge.  This works for me, but you will need to experiment to see if they last long enough for each leg of your rides.  I always keep the second battery charged and bring it along for longer blades or rides.  I charge the batteries via the included USB cable connected to my computer.  They charge quickly and although I haven’t timed it, it seemed like around 30 minutes.

Low level light is a problem for all action/bike cameras so you should experiment if you ride at night. 

If you buy from Amazon, you can determine if the camera meets your needs, and if not, return it for a full refund within 30 days. 

AKASO cameras come with a ton of included mounting options, but I prefer the ULANZI Super Clamp, because it provides lots of mounting flexibility, it’s made of solid aluminum, but most importantly, you can mount it on your bike and dismount it, with your camera attached, in a couple of seconds with a few twists of the T shape bar shown below. This is important if you use your bike for transportation and errands like me. 

ULANZI Super Clamp

I zip a SUREWO Hard Carrying Case, shown below, over each camera to make sure the lenses don’t get smudged or the camera damaged, lock my bike to a rack and then take the cameras into stores with me.  

SUREWO Hard Carrying Case

Back at home, I can unscrew the Brave 7 LE from the ULANZI mount in a couple seconds with a few twists from the ¼ screw, and mount it in on my SUREWO clip mount, with the included tripod screw shown below, for rollerblading.

IMG_5880

I blade with a backpack that is secured with a chest and waist strap.  I attach the SUREWO clip to the chest strap which gives me quick and easy access to start and stop recording by pressing the button on top of the Brave 7 LE.  There is a small blue light that blinks when it is recording and is solid when it’s not.

The SUREWO clip mount can also be used by pedestrians for walking and hiking. 

 

That's my kit

That's my entire versatile cycling, and rollerblading kit that can also be used for walking and hiking.  I hope you found this helpful in considering your own camera kit.  Please let me know your thoughts in the Leave a Comment window below.

 

Never leave home without one

Be sure to never leave home without a camera attached to you or your bike and be sure to submit all of your near miss incident reports to our free Incident Management System.  

 

 

Wishing you safe cycling, blading, walking and hiking!

 

 

If you support our work to help create safe, shared streets, please add your thoughts and comments below and donate to help sustain our self-funded organization.

34 Comments

  1. Matt Turner on October 2, 2023 at 11:43 am

    Really grateful for this whole system approach to reviewing equipment. For those of us who ride with cameras there are often weak links, whether it is lighting conditions producing unusable footage, awkward mounting solutions, or back-end video editing difficulties making it harder to produce something that can be used in the incident management system. Looking forward to continuing reviews here!

  2. john on October 2, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    Maybe I missed it, but does it record over old files if they are not pulled off the camera? Most rides don’t involve an incident, so this is a nice feature. My Cycliq paperweights, I mean dead cameras had this feature during their all-too-short lives.

    • Craig on October 2, 2023 at 2:39 pm

      Hi John,

      I ride at 2.7 K resolution with a 256 GB micro-SD card that has never filled up. The LCD screen shows the card’s storage usage so if it gets close to full you can just delete files you don’t need. That said, I imagine it would record over previous files, but I have never tested it.

      Craig

    • ron hirsch on October 2, 2023 at 4:37 pm

      RE Cycliq, which I think is off-topic for this week’s review: mine quickly became paperweights, too, and were expensive, so I can’t recommend them. Each time I had an issue, their support asked me to take tedious steps, like let it run until it has zero charge, charge it, then take images of Finder and send them. It seemed to be never-ending, what they asked of me. I was fine with the videos quality but at $400 for the pair of cameras, I thought they under performed a lot. One very annoying feature: when the back camera was nearly out of power, it made a sound every minute. This might sound good on paper, but typically I was a half hour from home and just wanted to ride with the device on as long as possible. The minute-ly noise quite annoying. The front camera worked better for longer, not losing its charge. The rear camera had greatly reduced on-time after about a year. I am a road cyclist and my rides are anywhere from 3 – 8 hours.

      • Craig on October 2, 2023 at 4:51 pm

        Hi Ron,

        We appreciate comments on any of the camera tech people use. Sharing experiences is the goal for this space, and they may lead us to our next reviews.

        Craig

      • Tim Potter on October 3, 2023 at 7:17 pm

        I’ve also gone thru 3 rear Cycliq lights since their inception. They kindly sent me a unit to test when they were first starting up, so I’ve had a soft spot for them since, but now 3 dead “paper weights” and I’m ready to try something new. I really like the sounds and specs of the Drift Ghost XL that Giuliano uses and described. About to order a couple of them to replace my dead units. Wish me luck!

  3. Kjw on October 2, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    Does the camera continue to operate while plugged into an external power source (like a battery pack)?

    • Craig on October 2, 2023 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Kjw,

      AKASO told me you can plug an external battery into the usb port. You would have to lift the waterproof door that seals the usb and hdmi ports. As long as it’s dry where you’re riding it would work. Otherwise, you would have to figure out a way to seal the ports with that door open.

      They also said “please note that you can use an external power source connected to your camera but we suggest to remove the battery to avoid any damage.”

      Craig

  4. Bruce Dughi on October 2, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks for the review — glad to hear you found something that works. I can definitely second the idea of using the tripod mount with a clamp. I do that with my cameras but they are not waterproof — YI Light (no longer in production) and Dragon Vista 5 (no longer in production), Two downsides with the “fake GoPros” is that they do not rewrite properly. The YI loops but only within the space available when you turn it on. So you do have to purge the system frequently. The other downside is battery life, usually 1.5 hrs/battery.

    I am presently experimenting with body cameras since they have longer battery life. I bought a BobLov A22 since it has about 5 hr battery, is small and has tripod mount. It is supposed to loop but I am still trying to confirm that as I think it messed up at least once. I plan to write a review on it later. I would love to share a photo. Cheers.

    https://www.amazon.com/BOBLOV-Rotatable-Playback-Portable-Recording/dp/B09X1GNK32

    • Craig on October 2, 2023 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks Bruce. We look forward to publishing your review.

      Craig

  5. giuliano carlini on October 3, 2023 at 2:14 am

    Sounds like a great camera. May try it.

    I currently ride with 3 Drift XL cameras. Front, back, and helmet.

    https://us.driftinnovation.com/products/ghost-xl

    https://www.amazon.com/Drift-Ghost-XL-Waterproof-Action/dp/B07ST83GKZ?th=1

    I’m thinking of upgrading at least one to the Ghost XL Pro.

    What do I like about the Ghost XL? I like the form factor, more a sleek cylinder than boxy. I like the image clarity. I like that I can normally read license plates (but not when there’s a lot of glare like near sundown). I like that it and mounts are fairly low profile. I can fit both camera and light on my helmet for example, and cameras on my bike are unobtrusive. I like that you can gang cameras together, so that operating one operates them all (but I haven’t gotten that to work across power cycles yet). like that it has an API. I need to write some code to exploit it. But what I really like is that it mostly just works. It does what I want it to do.

    What don’t I like?

    Because of form factor the LCD is tiny. Near useless. But that doesn’t matter much, the phone app is fine.

    I don’t like that it comes so close in some ways … and then blows it. Car dash cam mode is nice, because it will overwrite old footage with new. But I don’t want camera to turn on when it gets plugged into power. I plug it in to recharge, and don’t need footage of that ;-> I wish it had a bike dash cam mode, where turning on and off is under my control, but where new footage erases old.

    I don’t like that ganging cameras together is so fiddly. Once I set that up, it should stay set up. Turn one camera on, they should all turn on. Turn off, they should all turn off. And not lose that setting across restarts.

    I wish API wasn’t so fiddly. It should be trivial to write a script to download footage from camera to my computer. It’s not. Doesn’t look super hard. But it should be much more straightforward. Heck, provide an SDK in python, typescript, java, etc. I’d love to set up a udev rule on my home server to recognize when camera wifi is turned on at home, have it download footage, delete footage, and turn camera off. I could then come home from a ride, plug cameras in to recharge, turn on wifi, and walk away. And know that a few minutes/half hour later the footage will be ready on my home server, and my cameras will be off and recharging, no muss, no fuss.

    And so on with other fiddly minor issues.

    • Tim Potter on October 3, 2023 at 6:56 pm

      Wow, sounds like you could/ should develop a new interface API for one of these camera companies. The ideal scenario that you describe at the end of your comment is a dream come true! Please develop something like that and let us know if/when you do!

      • giuliano on October 11, 2023 at 8:10 pm

        Likely to be a while. Bit off more than I can chew helping my local AYSO region. But I’ll put it up on github when I do.

    • Tim Potter on October 10, 2023 at 2:53 pm

      I received 2 Drift XL cameras the other day; they’re much larger and heavier than I anticipated. I wanted to mount one on my helmet but the weight of this camera is just too much for my old neck.

      Curious, how do you have your Drift XL cameras mounted to your bike? What mounts are you using for the rear facing setup?

      • giuliano on October 11, 2023 at 8:36 pm

        Hi Tim. I’m out of town until the 18th. I’ll look at what I’ve got and send it on my return.

      • giuliano on October 11, 2023 at 8:39 pm

        And, apologies for them being larger/heavier than you expected. I ride with both GhostXL and a Bright Eyes light on my helmet, so I guess I tolerate the weight better.

        • Tim Potter on October 19, 2023 at 7:26 pm

          Thx for letting me know what mount(s) you’ve found to attach your Drift cameras to your bike (rear facing) and helmet that aren’t hopefully too bulky. I’m seeing lots of very big, bulky mounts for sale on Amazon which just won’t work for me.

          • giuliano carlini on October 30, 2023 at 11:26 am

            Apologies for taking so long! I thought I was using a Drift mount and couldn’t find them. Well, it’s because I was using a this gopro mount with Drift’s gopro adapter:
            – mount: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01L2CQCJC
            – adpater: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0818J6H52



          • giuliano carlini on October 30, 2023 at 11:28 am

            Ah, and for helmet I just use the standard drift curved sticky mount. My helmet comes with a builtin gopro mount, but my light is on that.



          • Tim Potter on November 2, 2023 at 5:25 pm

            I see no way to reply to Giuliano’s last comment, so I’m replying to myself:
            Thanks for that info. on your mounts. I decided to return one of the Drift’s and got a good deal on a used GoPro Hero7 for use on my helmet which is lighter and less bulky. I’ll write up a proper review once I’ve had a chance to use them (soon!).



  6. Tim Potter on October 3, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    I really appreciate you doing this review for those of us who have been using video cameras for our commuting. I really need to get new cameras but just been lazy and have gone this whole season without any cameras.

    I strongly recommend a helmet-mount camera for those times when what you’re looking at might be off to the side and missed by your front mounted camera. Giuliano’s solution of running 3 cameras is ideal, but may not be affordable for everyone. Great solution though!

    I’ve shared with our Ride of Silence social media to help other bicyclists in our network world-wide.

    • Craig on October 3, 2023 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Tim,

      Great to have the Ride of Silence in these comments and joining our discussion!

      Craig

      • Tim Potter on October 5, 2023 at 5:39 pm

        Well, I am the RoS webmaster, but don’t represent the whole organization. Love what you’ve been doing with CVE over the years and totally support your passion. Bravo!

  7. Nigel on October 3, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    It would be helpful to share still images captured from the video you shared so we can see the resolution of the images. We need to be able to see the license plates clearly and also image captures of drivers.

    I ride with front and rear Cycliq cameras (I won’t share my do you recommend or don’t recommend thoughts on them here) but one of the things I like is that they very nicely show on still images the license plates of vehicles. I also always suggest riding with front and rear cameras. The reason is clearly demonstrated in your video where the vehicles do not have a front plate but I bet they have a rear plate which a front camera would have captured.

    Keep the conversation going!! There is so much more to discuss with respect to safety. One of my issues with cars is tinted windows. With bike mounted cameras, we need to be able to see who is driving for law enforcement to be able to press charges. Tinted windows present a huge problem of course for so many reasons!!!

    • Craig on October 3, 2023 at 7:43 pm

      Hi Nigel,

      I can tell you that the Brave 7 LE 2.7 K still images have clearly legible license plates. I hesitate to post images because these drivers were driving safely.

      We debunked the fallacy that you need to see the driver during one of our Town Hall panel discussions with two District Attorneys five years ago. It’s one of the precedents listed in the Precedents section of our home page. The article is titled “Groundbreaking Town Hall! Positive Driver Identification NOT Required In Cyclist Video Evidence!” This also addresses your tinted window concern.

      It’s important to note that I was riding in Nevada which does not require front license plates. A basic investigation can still determine the exact vehicle from the wealth of information contained in video evidence, but as you say it’s best to have a front and rear camera if possible.

      Craig

      • Nigel on October 3, 2023 at 11:36 pm

        Hi Craig
        Unfortunately while the DA in your interviews say that, where I am here in MD, local LE won’t do anything unless the driver is identified in the video footage. It then means that a report won’t ever be generated etc and a DA won’t ever see a case come before them.
        “Video that fails to depict the driver of the vehicle may still have significant evidentiary value, however would not be sufficient evidence alone to charge the registered owner with the violations captured on video. Additional investigative measures would be needed, especially if the suspected driver denies being the driver.” – correspondence from local LE. There are exceptions of course when the event is of a more serious nature.
        One of the difficulties many run into is when riders try to report a driver is the reluctance for local LE in their area to do anything, even when told that video footage was captured. I work in advocacy and have read and have been told about these so many times. It really boils down to if the officer you are making the report to is sympathetic to what they are being told happened.
        It can be frustrating to say the least and can make it difficult to justify to riders why it’s important to run front and rear cameras. I usually share my experience as to why they should.
        https://www.aacounty.org/sao/press-releases/drugged-driver-receives-20-years-death-cyclist
        This was captured fully on my front camera and was instrumental in helping to convict the driver. So in serious cases it’s different of course.

        • Craig on October 4, 2023 at 7:02 am

          Hi Nigel,

          The comments you quoted from your local Law Enforcement say that video evidence “would not be sufficient evidence alone.” That’s rhetorical obfuscation and diversion. No one ever says to use cyclists’ video evidence alone. As DA Hora stated in the video recording of our panel discussion, video evidence is the best possible evidence upon which to launch an investigation.

          DA Hora said not to confuse identity with what the driver looks like. He went on to say “you can use lots of evidence to figure out who it was” and to “treat every crime as if the guy was wearing a ski mask, I don’t need to know what his face looks like, I just need to know who he is” and “was he getting gas at the Shell station five minutes before, where there is a crystal clear video of him there, even though the rider didn’t see him when he was getting mowed over by the truck?”

          What you are experiencing is Law Enforcement choosing to not provide cyclists with equal protection under the law by investigating and enforcing existing laws for cycling safety. This manufactured barrier is all too common across the country. You can read my recent article San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury Confirms Systemic Anti-Cyclist Bias Across Law Enforcement and the Legal System.

          Waiting until there are serious injuries and deaths to enforce existing laws is the definition of insanity. Cyclists and potential cyclists are rational actors who choose not to risk their lives to ride a bike. This is why the cycling population is stagnant in cities across the country.

          A California Highway Patrol Commander told one of our members that “Riding a bike on the road is like riding a bike in a shooting range.” The irony is that Law Enforcement could proactively change dangerous drivers’ behavior by sending three-foot warning letters and enforcing existing reckless driving and assault laws for criminal near miss incidents.

          Yet, all that said, there is a huge benefit to riding with cameras and using our free Incident Management System to document, map and analyze all of your near miss incidents. You can document dangerous areas – before collisions occur – and share your near miss data with local agencies that can leverage it to their competitive advantage when competing with other cities for road safety improvement grants and funding. You can also search for repeat offenders which can help Law Enforcement in charging serially dangerous drivers.

          Craig

          • Nigel on October 5, 2023 at 1:59 am

            Hi Craig
            I completely agree. I am a Californian and am glad to see and read about your efforts in your area. Here in MD, most folks use upride to upload their video. I agree about your assessment of what some LE agencies do. One of our local advocacy groups in the county has had great success partnering with their local LE agency and also increasing awareness with the county’s states attorney’s office. This county has charged several drivers with the VRU law that I and others advocated for and that I was the poster boy for that we finally got passed in 2021. They have also charged drivers based on video evidence with 3-Foot violations. But again it has to do with the local LE agency deciding to investigate. I appreciate you sharing your experience here and it will come in handy.
            We are trying with the state to improve safety on the roads. At a recent meeting at a committed meeting involving several representatives from our various state agencies, I asked why can’t DOT be more proactive instead of reactive. That it feels like there has to be a certain number of deaths before anything is done. The DOT engineer spoke up and shared that they want to be proactive and many times when they try to be, measures they try to institute are objected to by the community and local political leaders leaving them unable to act. It’s frustrating to them. Anyway, I digress.
            Thanks again for the insightful exchange and for what you and others are doing. Perhaps one day, hopefully we can get the protected infrastructure and other changes needed to make our roads safer for everyone, but hopefully not at the price of the alarming increase in fatalities we are seeing everyday.

            I saw Tim Potter’s note. I am on the ROS Coordinators FB page also which is how I became aware of your page because he shared it in the group.
            Best regards,
            Nigel



          • Craig on October 6, 2023 at 1:43 pm

            Hi Nigel,

            Whereas Upride is a passive video repository, we are actively engaged on the ground with our members. We work with our members to help shepherd their cases through the legal system, and partner with Law Enforcement, cities, counties and states to realize a competitive advantage when competing for road safety improvement grants and funding.

            Our free Incident Management System (IMS) empowers cyclists with tools to not only map their incidents, but to also analyze, edit and update their cases throughout the case lifecycle.

            When a cyclist reports an incident to Law Enforcement (LE) it begins the case lifecycle that can end quickly if LE erroneously rejects it out of hand as we discussed above, or it can be accepted, the driver cited for specific violations. charged, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced for the same or different violations.

            Our incident submission form dynamically adds fields based on how far the case progresses. This allows cyclists to maintain a fully documented historical record of every incident and how LE and the legal system responds.

            Every incident report also includes perceived risk information documenting the psychological and emotional impact cyclists experience ranging from feeling vulnerable to afraid to ride. This is the most accurate accounting of the factors that cause cyclists to conclude it’s not safe to ride on the roads.

            The incident/case data is valuable for identifying dangerous areas before collisions occur, providing LE with an opportunity to proactively change dangerous drivers’ behavior, and cyclists with the ability to analyze LE’s enforcement of existing laws for cycling safety.

            The data also helps cities, counties and states understand how near misses and perceived risk suppress their potential cycling population.

            Cities, counties and states all focus on collisions which are the worst possible lagging indicator of cycling safety, very infrequent compared to near misses, and highly underreported. Near misses are orders of magnitude more frequent than collisions and are therefore much higher resolution data. Near misses more accurately document cyclists’ actual and perceived threat environment. Near misses are also the top reason cyclists stop cycling and potential cyclists choose not to ride. It’s the critical factor suppressing the potential cycling population.

            Our IMS can also be used by Active Transportation users including pedestrians, runners and rollerbladers.

            You should enroll in our free membership and submit an incident report.

            Also be sure to use our Contact form to request a quick online training session and a potential pilot program in your community.

            Craig



  8. Steve Boswell on October 4, 2023 at 10:37 am

    It’s great to see that there’s a more affordable camera option for riders wanting to start recording video of their rides! I admire Craig’s mounting system for its innovation and effectiveness, but was glad to read that the Akaso Brave 7 LE is compatible with the GoPro/Garmin mounting systems that are widely available and many of us are using.

    Personally, I’ve used both GoPro and Cycliq cameras, front and rear. I prefer the Cycliq cameras for their longer battery life and have never had a problem with them. I use high capacity memory cards but still flush the camera’s memory before each ride – it makes it easier to search and find a particular incident after the next ride and I never have to worry about video (that I wanted to keep) being overwritten.

    I do not use the running lights built into the Cycliq cameras because it cuts down on run time. I use a separate set of Cygolite running lights – front and rear – that are brighter and have a wider beam pattern. It would be good to see Cycliq offer a less expensive/lighter-weight front camera without the built-in light.

    I use Filmora Wondershare and TechSmith Snagit software to produce videos of near-miss and reckless driving incidents, which I share with my local cycling community, the California Highway Patrol, and other law enforcement agencies.

    Always ride with a video camera!

  9. Glenn Kirby on October 5, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    The importance of having operable cameras on my bike when riding became clear to me following an incident in San Bruno, CA when I was forced off the road by the intentional aggressive action of a driver in a pickup. I learned much from that incident, including how reluctant the police and the County DA are in accepting credible evidence to actively pursue citing the illegal behavior of drivers in incidents that did not involve injury, property damage or the death of the cyclist. Much needs to be done to change the dynamic we face trying to make cycling safer for us while riding on roads along with traffic. As these incidents get more coverage, as it becomes apparent that capturing these acts on camera makes all the difference, having a significant number of cameras out there on the road will eventually bring about the change we hope for: A critical mass, so to speak, of amateur video photographers out there recording incidents. I am pleased that you are now providing a format for people to submit reviews of the best cameras available on the market, as well as those to avoid.

    I started out several years ago with the Australian company’s Cycliq cameras. I think it was during their start-up, might have been through a Go-Fund-Me appeal or something similar. I went with this company and got one of their first edition Fly-6 rear cameras. I expected there to be development problems, but I liked their appeal and approach. I got the next generation Fly-6, and when they came out with the front mounted Fly-12 I was all-in. I have now had several of their cameras but finally reached my limit of patience with the company. While I liked the design and the video quality, I had trouble early on with the software interface and eventually with hardware problems. They have apparently achieved a degree of marketing success and, in response to an increase in customer service requests, have initiated a complex user interface that is very unaccommodating to their customers. I still have one remaining operable Fly-6, although the others have become paperweights similar to what has been reported here. So, I really appreciate that you have expanded your site to include reviews of cameras available on the market because I am clearly in search of something more dependable at a reasonable cost. I will be checking in regularly to see what is currently out there and how well it is being received by the riding, walking and rollerblading public. And, if I try something, I will report on my experience.

  10. Matt Haber on October 21, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Craig. I wonder about the 1/4×20 tripod mount. In my experience, they don’t do well with vibration, and really only are good for their original use–stationary on a tripod. That’s why I like the 1/4 or 1/8 garmin type mounts–I have never experienced one to come loose.

    Glad this low cost camera works for you!

    Also, to the commenters about Cycliq. I’m aware that their reputation is poor. However, they replaced two rear lights under warranty (actually, outside the warranty period), and my rear light is still usable. I’ve subbed the TOOO, b/c it has superior stabilization and better battery life, but (in spite of their claims) does not overwrite files. Also, after initially responding positively about my review, I never heard from them again.

    The Cyclic front light also was very reliable. When battery life began to decline, I switched it almost a year ago for the Fly 12 sport, which is better in most ways, except lower initial battery life (this was well known when I bought it). Weirdly, my older Fly 12 CE, which worked when I bought the Sport, now does not work.

    • Craig on October 21, 2023 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Matt,

      I have been using the tripod mount for cycling and rollerblading and have not had any issues with vibration.

      Craig

  11. Todd Nelson on December 21, 2023 at 1:18 pm

    Sorry I’m late to the conversation. I use the Cycliq Fly6 and Fly12. I’ve been through two of the Fly6 – mostly became paperweights due to rain. Otherwise, they have been good. Since they are also lights, it minimizes the amount of stuff hanging on my bike. Personally, I always check out the reviews from DC Rainmaker.

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