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Lezyne's Strip Drive set consists of a pair of rugged and user-friendly front and rear safety lights with generous surface areas and no fewer than nine modes each.
These comprise blast, enduro, economy and six flashing, from 125-15 lumens at the front, with a more modest 25-5 lumens at the rear. On the one hand, with this many sequences there's no danger of being drowned out by competing town centre illumination, but on the other, I imagine most of us will stick with three, maybe four at most.
The lights are made from a rugged co-moulded body, with the rubberised material enveloping the acrylic lens, creating a clean, weatherproof join. FL1 standard basically means waterproof when subjected to torrential rains. These have also passed my hosepipe torture test with flying colours, which is reassuring, and they come with a two-year warranty.
Beam quality up front is relatively pure, with blast and enduro modes up to scratch through the suburbs and useful in darker sections, should your main unit go kaput on a longer commute.
Run times are pretty favourable too. Up front I've had a consistent 1hr 53mins (blast), 3:51 (enduro), and 10:56 (economy). The rear isn't quite so frugal: top whack meant 1:33, (blast), 3:52 (enduro) and 7:54 (economy), although this is still pretty good by rechargeable standards.
Flashing is my default, and I've found the intermittent strobes particularly useful at snaring other road users' attention. Through pitch black lanes we're talking a good 650m from the front light, further on a clear night; around town or when things turn misty this dips to nearer 350. I'm assured by friends and the odd pundit-in-pursuit that it's much the same story from behind.
Despite some initial scepticism, I found the 25-lumen daylight setting particularly useful for being seen from the rear during cloudy afternoons as natural light diminished.
Don't be deceived by the economy tag either; I couldn't believe the front was a mere 15 lumens, and its cell-sipping frugality is perfect for an all-nighter. This appears to have been achieved by slower pulsing diodes.
Curiously, peripheral visibility – at least in the lower modes – doesn't match the front end. This wasn't an issue when bike-mounted, but it proved less effective when fitted horizontally on my low-slung touring trailer – especially at roundabouts.
On the subject of fitting, if your post is consumed by a big wedge pack or SQR type saddle bag, the rubberised straps seem very accommodating of other tubing and, surprisingly enough, the oversized versions still offer limpet-like tenure to pencil-thin seatstays or fork legs.
At the front, bigger bars/extension brackets proved tricky customers, even with the longer strap, so I often tethered it around the head tube, which had a positive effect on peripheral punch.
For refuelling, Lezyne has gone the 'lolly stick' route with the integral lithium polymer battery, so it's simply a matter of removing the cap and slotting the unit into your mains or PC port. Zero to hero, we're talking three hours cosied up to the laptop or similar device, 20 per cent quicker when sipping from a wall socket via the mains adaptor.
A charge/indicator is integrated within the bank of five LEDs, pulsing until fully juiced, whereupon it goes green. When reserves fall to around the 30 per cent mark, a red light chimes in alongside, which gives the option of toggling down to conserve power long before trouble strikes. Unlike old school AA/AAAs, output remains consistent right until the cell is completely spent.
Switches live at the opposite end to the USB stick and are easily engaged when you're wearing winter gloves, but accidental power-ups in pockets or bags are highly unlikely since they need a sustained two-second prod.
Ultimately, I liked the Strip Lights' user-friendly, refined and tuneable nature, and they also seem good value alongside similarly sophisticated rivals.
Potent, tuneable safety lights for general riding, though maybe more modes than required
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lezyne Strip Drive set
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product 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: "Powerful five LED cycling light. Light and durable co-molded lens/body construction. Unique aero and round bar compatible design. Five ultrahigh-output LEDs delivering up to 120 lumens. Mode Memory function returns to selected mode after turning off. 9 combined lumen and flash modes. Enhanced MOR (Maximum Optical Reflection) lens with built-in side visibility. Integrated cable-free recharging USB stick.
Powerful five LED cycling taillight. Light and durable co-molded lens/body construction. Unique aero and round bar compatible design. Five ultrahigh-output LEDs delivering up to 25 lumens.
Mode Memory function returns to selected mode after turning off. 9 combined lumen and flash modes. Enhanced MOR (Maximum Optical Reflection) lens with built-in side visibility. Integrated cable-free recharging USB stick."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Strip Drive Front – Nine modes: Blast, Enduro, Economy and six flash modes.
Strip Drive Front - Output rating: Blast 90lm, Enduro 45lm, Economy 15lm, Flash modes 40lm – 120lm
MAX LUMENS: 120
WEIGHT: 69g (without strap mount)
SIZE: 87x37x34 mm
RECHARGE TIME: 2.5hrs (1A) / N/A (2A)
Strip Drive Rear - Nine modes: Blast, Enduro, Economy and six flash modes.
Strip Drive Rear - Output rating: Blast 25lm, Enduro 10lm, Economy 5lm, Flash modes 5lm – 25lm
MAX LUMENS: 25
WEIGHT: 69g (without strap mount)
SIZE: 87x37x34 mm
RECHARGE TIME: 2.5hrs (1A) / N/A (2A)
Burn times: 1:40hr - 11hr depending on mode.
Waterproof (FL1 standard).
2 year warranty.
Charge times have been consistently reliable and within a few minutes of those quoted by Lezyne. Performance suffers a little when mounted horizontally, say on a low slung touring trailer and on balance I'd stick to the 360 degree wand types on child/utility trailers.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, it's an extremely versatile and user friendly set of safety lights. Although some will argue nine modes are OTT, the flashing settings are extremely extrovert and won't get drowned up by competing town centre illuminations. However, its highest modes weren't the most efficient, depleting the lithium polymer cell's reserves relatively quickly.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Sensible size, output and mounting. Memory functions are nice luxuries if you've a preferred default setting.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing glaringly obvious, although some oversized bars/brackets gave the rubberised strap indigestion.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Good safety lights that should get you seen around town and on darker lanes.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike 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, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)