Lezyne Macro Drive front light  £54.99

8/10

Top performing commuter light for a good price, but bracket needs tweaking

Weight 106g   Contact  www.upgradebikes.co.uk

by Stuart Kerton   February 22, 2014  

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The Macro Drive is part of Lezyne's Sport range of LED lights, the next level down from the performance high-output front lights and designed as more of an all-rounder.

The CNC-machined body has a smooth finish with a couple of cooling groves to dissipate heat plus the lens end has a couple of notches to allow some side visibility.

The LED, electronics, and rechargeable battery are all stored inside the main body which gives a compact overall size of just 100x30mm. Recharging is taken care of by removing the plastic cap at the rear and attaching the included USB cable. It charges using the same fitting as most smartphones (except Apple of course) which is ideal for the office if you already have USB cables for other multimedia devices.

Using the three constant modes you get between 2:15 and 8 hours of burn time for the 300 Blast / 200 Enduro / 100 Economy lumen outputs. You also get two flash options '' one fast, one slow '' and they share a 150 lumen output for 10 hours apiece.

Should you need a little more oomph though there is an Overdrive Race mode which you activate by holding the on/off button for five seconds (standard mode is two) to get 350 lumens for a two-hour burn. You also get to toggle with the Economy setting when in this mode.

Charge times are pretty quick as well, four hours from flat to full which you can cut to three hours if you use a wall adaptor with the 2 Amp charging cable. The on/off button flashes while charging and goes solid when full. In the other direction it becomes a fuel gauge going from green to amber at 50%, to red at 10% before flashing red for 'oh bugger' 5% mode.

Performance out on the road is pretty impressive, better than I expected to be perfectly honest as the single LED chucks out a good spread of light.

On unlit country lanes you get a decent amount of light from the front of your tyre which then increases in intensity right up to the main spot, a good ten to twelve feet ahead depending on how you've got it set up on the bars obviously.

The Macro Drive provides enough visibility on Overdrive mode to be able to see potholes and the like up to about 40km/h on dry roads but I wouldn't really want to be travelling any faster on unknown roads. As you'd expect the speeds drop as you go through the lower output modes but the Enduro is plenty bright enough on busy main roads with the majority of light to see by coming from other traffic.

In town is where the Macro Drive really comes into its own especially in the flash mode. The LED provides a very white light which stands out even in daylight above the sea of LED daytime running lights found on new cars come commute time. The faster of the two flashes provides the best visibility as you filter or enter roundabouts and the like. I'd prefer a pulse as found on Exposure lights as with flash there is always the risk on that micro second when you are unlit.

There are a couple of niggles, as always. The plastic bracket could do with some rubber between itself and the bars to stop it constantly rotating around them over bumpy road surfaces. It is easy to attach and remove though making it ideal for city commuters that have to leave their bikes in the open.

The other thing is that its quite easy to cross thread the plastic recharging cap and continued use could see it wear quite quickly. I'd need to charge it daily for example if I was to use it as a main light on my commute.

On the whole though the Macro Drive offers some decent performance for its fifty quid asking price pretty much matching my double-the-price Exposure Sirius everywhere except for overall finish and dare I say it quality. That's not to say the Lezyne is fragile, it comes with a 2 year warranty and it stood up well through the latest batch of storms.

The burn times were bang on 95% of the time and only then it was down to the temperature being pretty close to freezing.

The Macro Drive gives you the flexibility to ride around town or get out onto the unlit lanes should you need or want to. Not only does it have the power but a decent burn time to, a full charge easily fitting into the working day as well. Overall its an ideal light for the streetlit commuter or occasional night rider.

Verdict

Top performing city commuter light with a beam capable of lighting up the country lanes for a good price. The bracket will need a little bit of modification though.

The light comparator

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Lezyne Macro Drive Front light

Size tested: Sliver, Front Light

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?

Part of Lezyne's Sport range the Macro Drive is designed as more of a 'be seen' light as opposed to a 'see by' one ye tthe 350 lumen and decent light spread puts enough light out for the odd country lane blast.

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

Aluminium CNC body

Composite charging cap

Power Level gauge

Water resistant to FL 1

180 deg visibility

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
7/10

It all fits together nice and tight but its nothing out of the ordinary.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
9/10

Pretty simple to use and easy to work. A quick scan of the instructions will tell you everything you need to know.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
6/10

The hard plastic clamp doesn't grip the bar surface very well so the light tends to move about on rough surfaces.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10

No issues even using it in very heavy rain and storms.

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

Settings:

Overdrive 350lm 2:00hrs

Blast 300lm 2:15hrs

Enduro 200lm 4:00hrs

Economy 100lm 8:00hrs

Flash 1 & 2 150lm 10:00hrs

It achieved these 95% of the time

Recharge time: 3/4 hrs USB1/2

Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
7/10

An easily cross threaded composite cap could cause some long term issues

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

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

Very well indeed. It's an ideal light for commuting duties especially under streetlights. The added bonus of a decent beam pattern means it'll provide enough light to ride on unlit roads as well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The beam pattern and price.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

The clamp moving around the bars.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.

Would you consider buying the light? Yes, the clamp would be easy to modify.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course!  My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I have used this as my primary light in London and it is superb.

It once fell off at 30kph+ training laps early morning in the dark @ Regents Park (as I had not attached it properly) and apart from a small scratch it was fine. I use it in flashing mode day and night and people have told me it gets noticed.
All the reflective signs and car number plates are flashing as far up as I can see well into the distance in a straight line.

I also use it with constant on mode when totally dark in the park with the weekday morning club rides in the park and it provides enough visibility at speed to see if there is a hazard.. like a bottle or something.

Lastly I have no trouble with the bracket moving and I actually have the torch mounted next to the stem but under the bar and out of the way of my computer and second mini LED on the other side... It has not fallen out - even with a fall on black ice down some lanes near Windsor in January.

This is a great all round lamp.

willdeath's picture

posted by willdeath [27 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 9:52

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Both criticisms have been resolved. The new lights for 2014 have a rubber insert in the bracket to stop them rotating, and the thread on the plastic end plug has been beefed up to reduce cross threading. And the price has stayed the same.

posted by velorules [7 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 11:22

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Mine is a couple of years old and had a rubber bit stuck to the bottom of the clamp but it soon fell off. I stuck on a bit of bar tape instead which sorted it.

posted by drfabulous0 [274 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 12:48

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love these lights have been using mine for about a year they are really good value for money compared to other lights of the same amount of lumens. they are also really good quality and well made. bought mine for £41.99 from the link bellow cheapest i could find.

http://www.charleysbikeaccessories.co.uk/collections/bike-lights/product...

posted by markwill [18 posts]
22nd February 2014 - 23:25

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I got one new on eBay this week for £25 I think it at this price it was an absolute bargain.

posted by hammond83 [30 posts]
23rd February 2014 - 0:02

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I bought one of these based on your last review of it in December '12, and back then the rubber band mount had a longer lip at the back that sits under the plastic bracket between it and the bar. No longer the case?

posted by Nick T [763 posts]
23rd February 2014 - 8:36

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Had one for about 6 months. Worked great then the bulb went.Got a refund under the warranty. Also have a lenzyne femto rear light. Works but can be fiddly to switch on and off.Will not buy lenzyne lights again.

posted by Sub5orange [27 posts]
26th February 2014 - 13:48

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