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Lezyne Micro Drive 600XL front light

7
£50.00

VERDICT:

7
10
A well-made and competent front light ideal for urban commuting
Weight: 
97g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Lezyne Micro Drive 600XL is a great commuting companion. The 600-lumen max output makes it a very versatile light for town/urban riding at night and during the day, although for rural night rides I'd prefer something with a bit more power and longer battery life.

  • Pros: 44-hour femto mode; compact and lightweight; build quality
  • Cons: Short battery life on brightest setting; too many modes

Riding at this time of year presents some surprisingly dark evenings and gloomy days where visibility isn't brilliant. Lezyne's Micro Drive 600XL performs well as a 'be seen' light and can also work as a main light in a pinch, if you find yourself caught out.

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I've been using the Micro Drive 600XL for a mix of commuting through town to uni and rides with friends. The low weight and bulk on the bar mean that it's no hassle to leave it attached, and when I've gone to charge it the rubber strap mount is quick to release, with easy charging via the USB.

Weatherproofing and build quality are very good, though I can't say that changing modes is the easiest.

I can't help feeling that nine different modes is a bit of an overkill; I certainly won't be making use of all four flash modes, for example. Others may feel differently and Lezyne has certainly made sure there is a setting available for every condition.

One of the main problems with having so many modes is navigating them. This is done using the single button on the top of the light. I've been doing a lot of riding in the 400-lumen mode, and switching to 600-lumen 'Overdrive' mode takes eight clicks of the button. If you then miss it, well... cue shouting.

Lezyne Micro Drive 600XL - button.jpg

The 600-lumen max power mode can only be used for an hour, making the light not suitable for prolonged night riding. Really, I've used it mainly as a feature to get me out of a sticky situation in an emergency, such as a tunnel at dusk or unlit lanes. Other than that, it does what it says on the box.

The 100 and 200-lumen modes aren't really bright enough to feel comfortable when travelling at speeds beyond 20kph, meaning my personal preference at dusk was to use the pulse mode as it clearly distinguishes you as being a cyclist and is definitely eye-catching.

Run-times are accurate, and the light does indeed charge in the claimed 2.5 hours from flat.

> Buyer's Guide: The best front lights for cycling

The website blurb states that this is a very versatile light, suitable for riding both day and night, and I have to say I've only been wanting a bulkier light a few times on commutes for faster speeds on unlit roads. Part of the issue is that the 600XL has a much wider beam pattern than other front lights I've used. This means the ground directly in front isn't as intensely lit and the light doesn't reach as far.

For the most part this is fine, only becoming an issue when travelling at higher speeds in rural areas, for example down hills. For urban riding, the wider beam, along with side cutouts, is superb and will help with visibility from all angles.

The 44-hour 'femto' mode will run for days. While commuting, this means that I rarely have the light switched off. Although not particularly bright at 15 lumens, it's certainly better than nothing.

Build quality

As with most of the Micro Drive range, the main body of the light is CNC machined from aluminium, which should aid durability. The light has stood up to some pretty horrendous Welsh weather and appears to be well sealed, with no signs of water ingress. One small niggle is that the waterproof rubber cover on the rear of the light isn't actually attached, and it's easy to misplace while charging; without it, the light isn't watertight.

Lezyne Micro Drive 600XL - USB port.jpg

At first, I was sceptical of the cable-free USB stick style charging, although after nearly a month of use I have been pleasantly surprised with how resilient it has been. The USB stick itself is made from fibreglass and feels plenty robust enough. As someone who often misplaces chargers and leads, it definitely makes life easier to have a light that can plug into any USB socket to charge. The USB stick is also positioned well, so it can be plugged into even the slimmest of laptops.

Mount

The strap is made from durable rubber and mounts the light securely – at no point did the light slip round the handlebar and point at the floor, even on the bumpiest of roads. It was a stretch to fit it on my road bike's bar with its aero profile, but it did. This is worth considering if the handlebar you plan on fitting it to is particularly wide, although replacement straps are readily available.

Value

The Micro Drive 600XL isn't bad value, although you can get the same output for less – the Xeccon Link 600, for example, at £43.99 – or another 200 lumens for an extra fiver: Blackburn's DayBlazer 800 is £54.99. Stick with Lezyne and there's the Lite Drive 800XL at £7 more, or the Micro Drive 500XL for £10 less.

Conclusion

Overall, the Lezyne Micro Drive 600XL is a competent light that will fulfil the needs of many, though it's more suited to urban commuting with the odd unlit section than full-on rural dark. However, if you don't need that extra 100 lumens you could save a tenner and get the 500XL. For unlit routes and night riding, I'd suggest looking at bigger more powerful lights in the range.

Verdict

A well-made and competent front light ideal for urban commuting

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Lezyne Micro Drive 600XL

Size tested: 600 Lumens

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?

Lezyne says: "An impressively bright dual-LED rechargeable cycling light with a rugged machined aluminium body. Integrated cooling fins optimize performance and side cut-outs provide side visibility. With up to 600 lumens of output and nine output modes, featuring a Daytime Flash mode, the Micro Drive 600XL is super versatile - day or night. It offers up to 44 hours of battery runtime (nine hour increase) and charging is easy with an integrated cable-free USB stick. It's available in two colours (Black, Silver) and its strap mounts securely to most bike bar sizes and shapes."

I'd agree that the light performs well in a wide range of situations, making it ideal for regular commuters.

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

Lezyne lists:

Lightweight at just 97g.

9 different modes including:

5 constant modes: 600, 400, 200, 100 lumens and 44-hour 15 lumen femto mode

4 flash modes: Day flash, slow/fast flash and a pulse mode

1-hour max power burn time

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Top quality stuff.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

Compact and lightweight design.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

An easy to use rubber strap.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10

No noticeable water ingress.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
5/10

A claimed 1hr for the 600 lumens is quite short, although I found that this was dependent on temperature. I was impressed that the light charged from flat in 2 hours.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

It appears well built and hasn't let me down yet.

Rate the light for weight:
 
8/10

Lightweight and compact, not a light you'd notice carrying around in your backpack.

Rate the light for value:
 
5/10

We've reviewed many front lights on road.cc, including from Lezyne, but not many 600-lumen ones – and not many at £50. It's not bad value, but Xeccon's Link 600 is £43.99, while the Blackburn DayBlazer 800 is £54.99. For many, the 800XL will be the better option at £10 more.

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

For commuting it was ideal, but for night riding I could have done with something a little more powerful when on unlit roads and lanes. That said, I can't think of any other £50 lights that could have done much better.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Its compact size and 2.5 hour recharge time.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

For unlit roads you'll want the light on its max power 600-lumen setting, but then you're limited to only 1 hour.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes, a well-made product.

Would you consider buying the light? I would consider it, but the 600XL's main competition seems to come from the same Micro Drive range...

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's a good light that does what it's supposed to, at a decent price.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 21  Height: 6ft  Weight: 70kg

I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking

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