The Lezyne Power Drive XL front light provides plenty of light for urban and suburban riding and makes a good helmet-mounted secondary light for occasional green lane action. It's neatly machined with plenty of nice touches.
Lights with machined aluminium bodies are everywhere these days and with good reason. Aluminium is sturdy and conducts heat remarkably well, so it's an ideal material for bike light casings, as LEDs work best if they're kept cool.
The Lezyne Power Drive XL is powered by a removable lithium-ion battery so you can swap out a flat battery for a charged one, a feature Lezyne calls Infinite Light. That means you're not enslaved to a wall socket or access to a USB power source, though for serious mile-eating, a dynamo still takes some beating.
So you can take advantage of the Infinite Light idea, Lezyne offers a bundle kit including a storage case, helmet mount, cable and spare cell, for an extra £15.
It takes three hours to charge from its wall-mounted charger, more like four if plugged into a computer.
The switch has a traffic-light power indicator, so running out of power should not be a nasty surprise.
The light body is sealed with rubber plugs and O rings, which seem adept at keeping out the wet, though we're talking torrential downpours, not bog snorkelling. As usual I added a dab of Vaseline to help them seal.
The handlebar bracket is made from composites and has proven reliable. There are shims for 25.4mm and 31.8mm handlebar diameters.
These days, 475 lumens of light output will barely raise an eyebrow at the club house but it's pretty good when you've popped out for late Sunday lunch and your local authority has decided the taking your time over repairing street lights is an easy way to save cash.
The beam brightness and spread is better than that raw lumen number might suggest thanks to decent optics. The 'fish mouth' shape of the lens housing provides peripheral bleed so you're visible from the side.
Full power - what Lezyne calls 'Overdrive' drains the battery with with frightening efficiency, although I did always get a 90-minute runtime. Toggling down to Blast sacrifices seventy-five lumens but gets back 25 minutes.
Charging through better lit suburban stretches, Enduro mode mode gives plenty of light to see by while making everyone else aware of your presence. The flashing mode is visible from 250-400 metres on clear nights and 250-300 metres on murky mornings and gives a runtime of 11hr 22min. The 125-lumen Economy mode is okay for early afternoon scoots around town and with the light mounted on your helmet it's very handy for map reading, puncture fixing and other roadside mechanicals; it gives a 6hr 51 min runtime.
The light comparator
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Nicely made commuter lamp with enough oomph for occasional rural fun.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Lezyne Power Drive XL front light
Size tested: Silver
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?
"The Lezyne Power Drive XL is housed in a strong CNC-machined aluminum XL body that is lightweight, durable, and promotes LED efficiency. Constant Lumens power management drive the LED at a steady 475 lumens. The Side Visibility Cuts allow for 180 degrees of visibility, especially from the side. The Infinite Light design allows the user to replace the Li-ion battery on demand for longer rides. The Intelligent Power Indicator button allows the user to check the power level any time. It is recharged either with a fast, high eﬃciency, 2 Amp charging with a compatible wall adaptor, or via a Micro USB cable for ultimate convenience. Its Overdrive Race Mode allows quick switching between Overdrive and Economy to optimize the use of power for any occasion. The Power Drive XL comes with Composite Matrix handlebar mounts (25.4mm and 31.8mm) and 2 rubber shims. It is also available as part of a Fully Loaded package with CM handlebar mounts, a CM helmet mount, a spare battery pack, a Micro USB charging cable, and CM storage case". Broadly agree.
MAX LUMENS : 475
WEIGHT : 136g
RECHARGE TIME : 4hrs (1A) / 3hrs (2A)
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
"MAX LUMENS : 475
WEIGHT : 136g
RECHARGE TIME : 4hrs (1A) / 3hrs (2A)"
Decent build quality.
Positive but very user friendly switch.
Highly water resistant. Submersion aside, winter's wrath shouldn't make any inroads.
Competitive with others of this genre.
No issues to date.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Lezyne Power Drive XL is a large, barrel shaped design with excellent peripheral presence and reasonable output for most road contexts. However, its limitations quickly become apparent on extended rural rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Solid build quality, user-friendly, versatile design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Nothing given the design brief.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.
Would you consider buying the light? A little tame for my present neck of the woods.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Quite possibly if they wanted a decent commuter set with clout.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,