The Lezyne Zecto Drive Max 250 has a range of modes that start at sensible light output and increase to the ever so slightly insane with a mighty 250 lumens topping the bill. Each one has its use though and allows you to balance power with battery life whatever the conditions.
Pros: Plenty of mode options, impressive battery life
Cons: Hard plastic body can scratch seatposts
Lots of manufacturers are starting to include daytime modes to their lights and this is what Lezyne have done with the Max 250. You get two 'day flash' options both of which flash in bursts of two, gap, two flashes, gap etc. The fourth flash is the brightest – an attention getter if you like – at either 125 lumens or 250 lumens. The other three are around 35 lumens. You get nine hours run-time at the 250-lumen setting and 14 hours at 125 lumens.
The 250-lumen flash can be seen a good distance even in bright sunshine and for this reason I'd suggest never using it in the dark as it is downright antisocial for drivers sat behind.
The three constant modes are: 35 lumens (giving a run time of 6 hours); 20 lumens (9.5 hours); and 5 lumens (24 hours). There are also 3 flashing options that power the 3 LEDs in various combinations: Flash 1 – 35 lumen (7 hours); Flash 2 – 10 lumen (24 hours); Flash 3 – 35 lumen (6 hours).
Everything is controlled through the power button: a long press turns the light on or off and then a single press to scroll through the modes. The Zecto Max has mode memory too, so whatever setting you turn it off in is the one it'll be on when you start it back up again.
As you can see from those timings battery life is pretty impressive from such a compact unit and I was achieving +/-5% of those depending on conditions. Recharge time is just 2.5 hours via micro USB.
The charging port sits at the bottom of the light when it's attached to your seatpost and although it has a rubber cover you really need to make sure it is inserted correctly as it isn't the most perfect of fits. I'll be interested to see how it performs as the rubber ages.
If everything is fitted correctly though waterproofing is good and I had no issues with water ingress riding in the wet without mudguards. It passed my power shower test too.
To mount it you can either fit it to your seatpost with the rubber ladder strap or turn it the other way up and clip it your clothing or a bag loop. On the seatpost it's secure and stabl,e and the angled housing keeps the light pointing straight behind. The only criticism I have is that the hard plastic can scratch the lacquer on a carbon seatpost.
At £48 the Zecto is competitively priced. There are cheaper lights but if you want a bright light you're going to be looking at something like the Exposure Blaze with its 90-lumen output. The build quality of the Blaze is top notch but so it should be for £90.
The Lezyne is well built too and what it lacks in shininess it makes up for in robustness; it'll definitely take some abuse.
If you want one of the brightest rear lights on the market I'd probably not look any farther than the Zecto Max 250.
Great range of modes from bright to downright insane in a compact package
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lezyne Zecto Drive Max rear light
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the light is for
Lezyne say, "The Lezyne Zecto Drive Max 250 is a super compact, ultra-visible taillight with increased battery capacity."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Max 250's three LED system produces up a 250 lumens in Daytime Flash mode.
Eight total modes including the long-lasting Economy Mode for up to 24 hours runtime.
Durable composite matrix construction featuring a machined aluminium faceplate. Patented versatile 2-in-1 clip and strap mountain system.
Recharge time: 2.5hrs
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's hard to knock performance wise as it delivers a range of outputs and light patterns to suit the conditions and battery life.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Hard plastic clamp can scuff seatposts
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Against the competition it offers a lot of light and battery life for the money and it's simple to use. The only things to take away top marks are that plastic mount and how the battery cover will perform once it starts to age.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike 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,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.