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Verdict: 
Good extra visibility aid and easy to use, but waterproofing issues mark it down
Weight: 
52g
Lezyne Femto Duo
5 10

I like the Lezyne Femto Duo: it's a simple design with a range of blinky and constant settings that you fit to your helmet to use as a secondary light for both front and rear. It's mostly good news, but the Femto has historically had issues with waterproofing due to its combined lens/switch design and it continues to be an issue here. Unless you're planning to avoid wet weather riding you'll need to be vigilant to dry them out if they get wet.

Effectively this is just two single Femto lights with the backs removed, screwed onto a single helmet mount. Simple enough, and it works. You stick it on your lid by feeding a Velcro strap through the vents, so if you're using an aero/pisspot helmet you might be out of luck unless you stick the mount on with VHB tape or something similar. Anyway, if you have holes, it's easy. The width of the mount keeps it pretty stable but it does mean you can't fit it to the underside of your drop bar and use it as a running light there, which would be a useful second string to its bow.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Using the lights is simplicity itself: hold down the lens to turn them on, click the lens to change modes, hold down to turn off. The two lights work independently so you can have any combination of the four flash modes and static beam. Lezyne claims a 60-hour runtime on two 2032 button cells, so if you're commuting half an hour a day you'll probably make it through the winter without having to replace them, and they're cheap as chips when you do.

Lezyne Femto Duo - back.jpg

Lezyne Femto Duo - back.jpg

You can't legally use this as your only light but it's more of an extra bit of visibility at a different height, to complement your main light. The fact that it's higher up means it's visible over stuff, and through stuff, that your main light might not be. So it's a helpful extra visibility aid after dark. And it's so light that you'll not even notice it on your helmet.

There's a thorn in the Femto Duo's side, though, and that's waterproofing. The lens has to move against the body to work as a button and water, it seems, can creep in there. After five minutes with me in the shower (and it's not even a very good shower) there was water in both front and rear compartments. Not much, but it will corrode the electrics and short the batteries if you leave it in there.

> Need more power? Check out our guide to the best front lights and our beam comparison engine

I dried my Femto Duo out on the radiator and it suffered no ill effects at all. If you're fastidious about doing that each time it gets wet then you'll probably have no issues, but really you want the Femto to be a fit-and-forget light, not one you have to remember and care for.

Verdict

Good extra visibility aid and easy to use, but waterproofing issues mark it down

road.cc test report

Make and model: Lezyne Femto Duo

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the light set 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?

Lezyne says: The Femto Duo is a two-in-one safety light integrated into a versatile helmet mount. Evolved from our popular Femto series, the unit features a front and rear light coupled by a composite matrix junction that's compatible with nearly all vented-style helmets. The LEDs are housed in a super compact, lightweight and durable machined aluminum body, and the high-grade polycarbonate lenses provide side visibility and double as the power button. The front emits 15 lumens, while the rear puts out 7 lumens; both feature three different output modes. With easy to replace CR2032 batteries, the Femto Duo is a simple front and rear lighting system for increased nighttime visibility.

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

MAX LUMENS: 15

BATTERY: CR2032 (4 included)

Rate the front light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the rear light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Nicely made, the Femto feels more solid than in previous incarnations.

Rate the light set for design and ease of use. How simple were the lights to use?
 
8/10

Super simple to use, the only issue being it's easy to accidentally turn them on in a bag. Most of the time they're on your hat though.

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

Simple Velcro strap, easy to fit to most helmets. A pity the clamp design doesn't also allow you to fit to the bottom of your drop bars.

Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
4/10
Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
4/10

Five minutes in the shower and there was water inside both the front and rear parts of the light. It creeps in around the edge of the lens. Not much but enough to be an issue.

Rate the front light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
9/10
Rate the rear light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
9/10

Put them on flashing and they'll last most of the winter.

Rate the front light for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the rear light for performance:
 
7/10

They're not going to be any good for off-roading in the dark but that's not the point.

Rate the front light for durability:
 
6/10
Rate the rear light for durability:
 
6/10

Water ingress issues will mean a fairly short life if you're not careful.

Rate the front light for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the rear light for weight:
 
9/10

Very light, you wouldn't know it was there.

Rate the light set for value:
 
7/10

Not expensive for what you get.

Tell us how the lights performed overall when used for their designed purpose

Pretty well, some extra visibility at a useful height.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the lights

Simple, light, good battery life.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the lights

Waterproofing needs improvement.

Did you enjoy using the lights? Yes

Would you consider buying the lights? I think the waterproofing issues would put me off.

Would you recommend the lights to a friend? Probably not unless they're a fair-weather cyclist.

Use this box to explain your score

Performance is good and they're not expensive, but the issues with water ingress mean they're not ideal for UK winter conditions.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

5 comments

Avatar
huntswheelers [105 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Mrs has one of these....... excellent and waterproof.... the only drawback is Pedestrians bleat the front light is too bright, now the council around here have removed some street lights, replaced others with the soft white LED and dimmed them, this helps with her getting home on the dark roads http://brightside.bike/product/topside-helmet-light/

Avatar
muppetteer [95 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I've got Lezyne Femto's as secondary lights on three bikes, and they're great. I've also got them on my backpack too with the newer clip/strap mount thingy. 

I ride all year around and have never had a problem with during rain. And they've been in some quite substantial downpours. 

The only issue I've got with them, is that the screw mounting is a little weak. It would be much better if the thread wasn't flimsy plastic. My GF's threaded two already changing batteries. 

Avatar
bikebot [2119 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
huntswheelers wrote:

Mrs has one of these....... excellent and waterproof.... the only drawback is Pedestrians bleat the front light is too bright, now the council around here have removed some street lights, replaced others with the soft white LED and dimmed them, this helps with her getting home on the dark roads http://brightside.bike/product/topside-helmet-light/

I have the Moon light equivalent, bought for winter commuting into London when I want a bit of visibility above the taxi rooftops.  Same issue, too much of a beam that dazzles if you look at someone. Solved it by scavenging a cap off of something in the kitchen, that fitted over it as a diffuser. As the plastic also lights up, I think it gives better side visibility too.

 

 

Avatar
The _Kaner [1147 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

You can diffuse the light by spraying hairspray on the lens. Several thin layers, allowing to dry inbetween.

Might need to respray after heavy rain though.

Or try a very thin coating of PVA glue.

Avatar
Aidan Gribbin [2 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Thanks for mentioning the Topside light "huntswheelers".

 

I use a Topside light all the time and yes it's bright. I've not had any complaints yet but I am a big fan of a helmet light, who's ever it is....!  Having a light at a driver's eyelevel is an excellent way of keeping oneself seen as it's not vanishing behind cars etc.

Thanks again

 

Aidan from Brightside

 

huntswheelers wrote:

Mrs has one of these....... excellent and waterproof.... the only drawback is Pedestrians bleat the front light is too bright, now the council around here have removed some street lights, replaced others with the soft white LED and dimmed them, this helps with her getting home on the dark roads

http://brightside.bike/product/topside-helmet-light

 

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