Lezyne Deca Drive front light

7
£139.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Very well constructed light with great road beam pattern; mode selection is frustrating though
Weight: 
212g

Daily Deals

Lezyne's Deca Drive is their second tier light in terms of output, pitting out a claimed 900 lumen. Perfectly bright enough to see on unlit roads when paired with the broad, flat beam though the mode setting selections don't quite give you the light you need when you want it.

Let's start with the positives. The Deca Drive is a very good looking light and certainly well built with an all alloy CNC machined body and battery cover. There are plenty of cooling fins to disperse heat from the three LED's and the front of the body extends to create an eyelid keeping any light spillage from shining up into the rider's or oncoming drivers eyes.

USB rechargability is great for commuters that have access to a computer and if you go for the Fully Loaded package you also get a spare Li-ion battery that can be swapped over in about thirty seconds.

The whole light is hugely weatherproof and neat little finishing touches of the alloy clasp and hinge on the battery cover keeps the rain out with a tight seal.

As far as the beam pattern goes it's a good one for road use. The three LED's are mounted in a kind of arc which when added to the reflector puts light both on the road in front of the rider as well as a further reaching beam to pick out corners and potholes.

In the Overdrive Race mode the full 900 lumen is used and it's plenty to ride at daylight speeds on unlit country lanes. The pure white light picking up obstacles in the road and giving very clear vision of both verges. This will last for 90 minutes so the burn times aren't huge but acceptable for the size of the 2 cell battery.

The button acts as a fuel warning light changing from blue to green to orange then red when you are virtually out of juice.

My main issue with the Overdrive Race mode is that you can have the full 900 lumen or the 250 lumen of the economy mode. The full beam is bordering on being too bright for oncoming drivers when set at a sensible level on the handlebars so if you dip your beam you go from plenty of light to barely enough to see where you are going. The button being flush with the cooling fins means it's also a nightmare to change modes with gloves on without taking your eye off of the road.

Out of Overdrive mode you get 400, 700 and 250 lumen modes which gives you more options for varying road lighting conditions though lacking the serious punch of the Overdrive. You can't change between the two modes without turning the light off and holding the button for five seconds so its not something you can do on the fly.

The 400 lumen mode is enough to see by on unlit main roads with white lines and cats-eyes and will give you three hours of burn time. If the roads are wet and you aren't getting much reflection you need the 700 at a minimum which limits your ride to two hours.

If you are in town there are two flash modes, one uses two LED's on constant at low power with the third giving a more powerful flash while the second option is two LED's on flashing mode, I prefer the first for more all round visibility and the 350lumen allows you to go through unlit patches without having to change mode.

The bracket is a composite material which tightens with a thumb wheel and it fits pretty tightly and secure. It does look cumbersome though in relation to the sleek body design. I'd prefer to see something like Exposure's alloy mount at this price. You get one mount for each 31.8 or 25.4mm handlebar diameters.

Overall I'd say the Deca Drive is brilliant if you do the occasional night ride and don't see much traffic so you can run it at full. The beam pattern is very good and usable but needs to be in those higher two outputs to really give you the light spread you need. If you're a daily commuter you will be constantly charging it or sacrificing power to achieve decent burn times.

The £139.99 prices is on par with the quality of the build and while you can buy cheaper lights for the same power output I'd say the Lezyne is a better long term investment. The weight at 212g is acceptable for an alloy light with inserted battery.

A real mixed bag, lots to like but just as much to irritate.

Verdict

Very well constructed light with great road beam pattern; mode selection is frustrating though

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Lezyne Deca Drive front light

Size tested: n/a

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 Deca Drive is an all round road light thanks to a wide flat beam and the option to switch through modes to balance power with battery conservation. I'd say it is best for riders who mix urban with a bit of country lane riding.

Lezyne says:

The Lezyne Deca Drive is designed with a sleek CNC-sculpted aluminum body in a compact, self-contained configuration. It features Constant Lumens power management that drives three LEDs at a steady and bright 900 lm. Overdrive Race Mode makes it possible for quick switching between Overdrive and Economy, and its Infinite Light design allows for on-demand battery replacement. The Intelligent Power Indicator button allows the user to check the power level any time. It is recharged either with fast, high efficiency, 2 Amp recharging with a compatible wall adaptor, or via a Micro USB cable for ultimate convenience. The Deca Drive's Composite Matrix hard mounts secure the light to 31.8 mm and 25.4 mm handlebars. It is also available in the Fully Loaded package with aluminum handlebar mounts (31.8mm and 25.4mm), a spare battery pack, a Micro USB charging cable, and CM storage case.

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

MAX LUMENS: 900

RECHARGE TIME: 12hrs (1A) / 6hrs (2A)

BATTERY: LIR18650 2 Cell (included)

COLOURS: Black or White

LUMENS/BURN TIMES: 900 / 1:30

700 / 2:00

400 / 3:00

250 / 6:00

350 / 6:30 (Flash 1)

150 / 21:00 (Flash 2)

BAR DIAMETER: 31.8 & 25.4

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The alloy machined body is smart and well finished as are the electronics which keep a constant flow of power to the LEDs so no variations in brightness.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
6/10

The Deca Drive is easy to use, the Standard or Race Overdrive settings are easy to change when the light is off and the instructions are easy to follow. When riding though there are some serious flaws, only having the 900 lumens available alongside the 250 leaves a big gap between brightness levels for instance. On the other Standard setting if you want to scroll through to use the 400 lumen after being on the 700 you have to go through two flash modes. Not ideal on unlit roads.

Finally the button isn't pronounced enough over the top of the cooling fins so mode changes are a nightmare with winter gloves on.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
7/10

They clamp well although they are bulky with the thumb screw fixing. I would prefer to see an alloy clamp at this price.

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

No problems at all in heavy rain.

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

For the size of the battery I'd say the burn times are pretty good as is the recharge time.

Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10

A really good beam pattern and performance is impressive on the Overdrive mode, it does lack punch on the lower settings though.

Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10

Well built and solid alloy construction, worth paying extra for reliability

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

Decent for an all inclusive light/battery package.

Rate the light for value:
 
8/10

A sound price taking everything into account, build quality, beam pattern, etc.

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

If you don't have to change modes regularly while riding the Deca Drive is a really good light. Beam pattern and reliability are the two most important things in my eyes when it comes to front light and the Lezyne is great in those respects. Its just a shame its so frustrating to live with if you like to use different modes for different conditions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The beam pattern.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

The annoying mode settings and difficult to find button.

Did you enjoy using the light? Mixed views really.

Would you consider buying the light? No, it doesn't work for me.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes, if it suited the style of riding they do.

Anything further to say about the light in conclusion?

IT might sound as though I'm being harsh with the Lezyne with regards to the mode settings but it just seems so over complicated. On a light with such short burn times you need flexibility of light output to get the most from it and scrolling through flashing modes to get to high and things like that just irritate when riding, especially when the button is so difficult to push.

All that aside it is a very good light in terms of construction, beam pattern and power.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Kinesis T2  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien

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,

 

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!