Lezyne Super Drive LED light – review

Lezyne have built a solid reputation in five short years for revolutionising the multi-tool market, making tools for the first time sexy.

They’ve since expanded the range into other areas, the latest addition is a range of three LED lights. We’ve just got our hands on the most powerful of the three, the Super Drive.

Packing 450 Lumens, this is the brightest on offer, and with a price tag of £99.99, it’s immediately clear you’re getting a decent whack of illumination for little money (it is significantly cheaper, for example, than the Exposure Lights Joystick, which only manages 325 Lumens ).

So already it’s off to a good start. A rechargeable Li-Ion battery provides 1.5 hours of juice on the full 450 Lumen mode, while the rubber button on the top of the light can be used to cycle through the other three modes; medium, which sees battery life extended to a more useable 2.5 hours, low and flashing.

Lezyne developed their own lens to make the most of the available output from the Cree LED. Combined with a mirror polished parabolic reflector, the 450 Lumens spill onto the trail with a very wide beam. Focused around a tight spot that picks out trail obstacles, the light makes the most of the available output. It’s not a patch on the really powerful lights available at the top-end of the market, but for many it will be more than enough.

Charging is simply a matter of using the supplied USB cable, removing the light from the mount and, turning it upside down to reveal the charge port cleverly tucked underneath a rubber protective flap. Charge it at your desk during work hours and it takes about 4-hours to top up from empty.

The clever mount – it uses a knurled thumb screw designed to prevent over tightening – keeps the light securely in place. Very little bounce occurred even over some of the rougher paths we encountered on our first test ride. Each light comes with two mounts, for 31.8mm and 25.4mm bars.

A very useful touch, and something that shows Lezyne really do pay attention to the details, is the small amount of rotation the clamp design allows. You can point the light just where you want it, removing any effect the sweep/rise of your handlebars might otherwise have it it, especially useful if you can’t or don’t want to fit the light right up beside the stem (if you’ve have a Garmin fitted for example).

Lezyne’s first entry into lights is a well priced, nicely designed and focused light that offers a surprisingly powerful beam. When the helmet mount is available it will make a useful second light to accompany a more powerful bar mounted light for the serious night riding enthusiasts, while for everyone else it’s the perfect way to get into night riding.

Performance

It should be pointed out that Lezyne are clearly not going for the serious trail rider with this range of lights. It’s set its sight more on cycle commuters and those after an affordable, small and light unit that doesn’t break the bank.

However, that said 450 Lumens is still a decent whack of output (certainly more than we had when we first started night riding ten years ago) and we found it manageable for night riding at a reasonably speed. The race to offer more and more Lumens has seen the rapid expansion of trail riding lights available for mountain bikers in the past five years, but sometimes less is more, as the new Super Drive from Lezyne shows.

If you’re coming from something a lot more powerful it can take a while to get used to, and if you’re after a race-ready light, it’s not for you.

There’s no helmet mount (we’re told one might be on the way) but we managed to rig it up with a clamp from another  light that just happened to fit nicely. In this capacity, combined with a more powerful main beam, it made the ideal filler light for those bits of the trails, particularly corners that the fixed main beam can’t reach.

As lights have got brighter, so the prices have risen. The very best trail lights cost close to a small fortune, and many argue that you just don’t need that much light. Rather than competing with these titanic lights, Lezyne has gone for the mid-range, pitching each of its three lights under a £100.

Verdict

A smartly designed light good for those who want a commuting light powerful enough for occasional off-road night riding.

£99.99 from www.upgradebikes.co.ukwww.lezyne.com

  1. keith

    Is this a reveiw of the superdrive or the powerdrive??

    1. Alan Boden

      It said “Superdrive” at the beginning (3rd sentence).

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