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Verdict: 
Light, relatively bright, and easy to use but easily cross-threaded end caps let them down
Weight: 
58g
Contact: 
www.upgradebikes.co.uk
Lezyne Hecto Drive lights - front & rear
5 10

The Lezyne Hecto Drive front and rear light pair are light and relatively bright strap-on USB charged LED lights.

This test didn't start particularly well. After unscrewing the plastic end caps to uncover the USB plugs and charging the lights in a laptop USB port we found them fiddly to refit without getting them cross-threaded. It's not a big deal but we had the same issue almost every time we recharged: patience is needed to ensure accurate threading.

Apart from that, we liked almost everything else about the function, the weight and the small size of the Hecto Drives and we'd say they're reasonably well priced for a pair of aluminium bodied lights.

The front light claims 100 lumens at full brightness, the rear 15 lumens. Both offer full and economy constant light modes plus two flash modes and a pulse mode. We were getting just under the claimed 150 minutes from the front light on full beam.

Lezyne claims 5 hours run time for the 50 lumen half beam and 10 hours for the flash and pulse modes. The rear light managed just under 5 hours spread over a few rides before it needed a recharge, but the economy modes should give you about 12 hours between charges.

Inevitably, as with all rechargeable lithium-ion light units, we were flicking between modes in different road conditions and charging up long before they ran out.

The soft top button is simple to use with gloves and as with most lights like this you press it once to go between modes and press it for longer to turn the light on or off. The button also lights up green or progressively into red to show how much charge is left: flashing red means it's close to empty.

The lights sit in tightly fitting front and rear specific cradles with tough stretchy straps for fitting to different sized handlebars and seat posts. The straps are easy to use and very secure. The rear light cradle is angled properly for most seat posts but the front one can't be swivelled from side to side so you'll need to fit it on the flat central part of the handlebar, which is pretty normal anyway.

Charging is easy. The flashing green light in the button becomes a constant green light when fully charged: this can takes up to four hours from empty but frequent recharges are quick and easy from any powered USB port.

Most riders find that a 100 lumen front and 15 lumen rear light give out about the right amount of light for casual urban use but 100 lumens is not really up to picking out the finer detail of road surfaces when riding at speed on rough, dark rural roads. The beam simply doesn't give a big enough spread.

Still, for the price these aren't bad. They remained damp proof through the test period and our only real gripe was the cross-threading issue with the end caps.

Verdict

Light, relatively bright, and easy to use but easily cross-threaded end caps let them down.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Lezyne Hecto Drive Pair - Front and Rear

Size tested: Black - Front and Rear

Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

It's a 100 Lumen (max) urban lightset with enough brightness for casual use on rural roads. Pocket sized, easy to use and does the job.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

Front light is 100 Lumen max with economy/flashing/pulse settings. Rear light is 15 Lumens with a choice of settings. Long periods possible between recharges but top-ups are easy, via powered USB ports.

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
6/10

Generally tough but the fact that the end caps, which you need to remove for recharges, are too easy to cross-thread is a deterrent.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
7/10

Easy to use apart from the cross-threading issue on the end caps that cover the USB plug.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

Clamping system is great. Perfect seat post shape out back but you can't swivel the front light for beam direction.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10

So far totally weather-proof.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10

Very long battery life on economy settings and easy to top up frequently if you're using full beam constantly.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

Not really bright enough for high speeds on rough dark roads but great for everything else.

Rate the light for durability:
 
6/10

Cross threading issue on end caps could limit long term durability.

Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

Very light.

Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Generally good.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Light weight and small size. USB port recharges.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Those plastic end caps that cross-thread too easily after recharges.

Did you enjoy using the light? Frustrated by those end caps.

Would you consider buying the light? No.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? No.

Anything further to say about the light in conclusion?

A great little lightset let down by fiddly threads on end caps every time you need to recharge.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 58  Height: 181  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Merlin Ti  My best bike is: Ibis Silk SL

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,