Lezyne Power Drive XL front light  £84.99

7/10

Nicely made commuter lamp with enough oomph for occasional rural fun

Weight 184g   Contact  www.upgradebikes.co.uk

by Shaun Audane   December 2, 2013  

Lezyne Power Drive XL

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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

If you have a nice big screen you can click here for the widescreen version (1400x1000px)

Verdict

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)"

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Decent build quality.

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

Positive but very user friendly switch.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
7/10
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
7/10

Highly water resistant. Submersion aside, winter's wrath shouldn't make any inroads.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
6/10

Competitive with others of this genre.

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

No issues to date.

Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
6/10
Rate the light for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

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.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

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,

 

6 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

You can get it cheaper if you shop around and, crucially, there's not much price difference between this and the 575 lumen 2014 superdrive.

posted by bendertherobot [251 posts]
2nd December 2013 - 19:19

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Like (29)

If anyone is interested they have this on SportPersuit for £57 at the moment.

I bought one off there (with the extra battery and mounts) for half the usual price and its been brilliant, I use it on my daily commute along unlit cycle paths then in central london too.

great bit of kit!

http://www.sportpursuit.com/join/Chris_Brown_8337

posted by chrisb87 [64 posts]
3rd December 2013 - 7:34

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Like (21)

Well, I just popped in to post that as well! There's a single Super Drive as well, that will be gone soon.

Not awfully clear what the delivery date is as they've used the order date from when they did the last sale in September. THat's when I got my mega drive fully loaded for £104!

posted by bendertherobot [251 posts]
3rd December 2013 - 8:40

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Like (21)

I've got the older 2012 version that is rated at 400 lumens. Absolutely fine for riding on unlit country roads. I got the loaded option with a spare battery. I can get 3 - 4 hrs by switching between the 250 / 400 lumens settings on a single battery.

I take a spare battery for backup.

Great piece of kit and well made.

posted by jimmers [5 posts]
3rd December 2013 - 14:31

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Like (21)

Nice light, gives a good enough beam for rural riding around 16-18mph. Unfortunatly mine appears to be faulty as the battery indicator shows red (10% left) after only 30 -40 mins of use in low mode.

posted by postiep [1 posts]
4th December 2013 - 19:39

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Are you sure it's red? I thought the same but mine goes yellow meaning 50%, but it's hard to see the difference between yellow and red.

posted by bendertherobot [251 posts]
4th December 2013 - 23:02

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Like (24)

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