The Lezyne Lite Drive 1000XL is a compact, high-powered front light which offers plenty of output options, a decent beam pattern and is very well made, plus it's probably one of the 'pounds-per-lumen' lights on the market. The modes could do with a fettle, though, and you really shouldn't need to scroll through flash mode to get back to full power.
- Pros: A lot of light for the money; top quality build
- Cons: Could do with better mode grouping; I prefer a proper handlebar clamp to keep the light secure
If you've read any of my other Lezyne light reviews, most recently of the Macro Drive 1300XXL, or Emma's thoughts on the Micro Drive Pro 800XL, it's plain to see we aren't huge fans of the grouping of the settings options, or the fact that you have to scroll through so many to get back to the first one.
There are eight settings in total, which gives you plenty of versatility for balancing battery life against output, and I wouldn't real cull any of them – well, maybe the Pulse – but I would definitely change the way you access them to make the light more user-friendly.
In standard mode you have access to all eight: five solid settings and three flashing.
Starting with the brightest, the Overdrive setting delivers 1,000 lumen with the battery lasting 1.5hrs. It certainly lights the road up far ahead of you for riding at speed on unlit country lanes. The beam pattern is pretty good, offering a decent central spot which spreads from verge to verge on a single-track road with more light tapering off to the sides. The bright white light colour gives good clarity and picks up the edges of potholes and drains clearly, even in the wet.
The next setting is Blast (500lm/3hrs), then Enduro (250lm/5.5hrs), Economy (150lm/19hrs) and Femto (15ml/87hrs), which finishes off the solid options.
Boost is still plenty bright enough to see where you are going on wide main roads with cats-eyes and the like, plus the Enduro will, too, at a push.
I didn't use Economy or Femto much, but it is nice to know they are there, should you start to run out of battery.
Flashing-wise, there is a DayFlash which pumps out the full 1,000lm for 7.5hrs, which grabs plenty of attention when riding in the sunshine or filtering during daylight, though it is way too antisocial to use during darkness.
You then have two 150lm modes, one a Flash the other a Pulse, with burn-times of 19hrs and 17hrs respectively. Both are bright enough to be picked out in urban light clutter from other motorists and street lighting, but I must admit I found the Pulse mode to be a bit distracting.
You scroll through the modes by the single button on the top, but my main issue with the Lezyne is that the flashing and solid settings aren't spilt into separate groups like they are on the Moon Meteor Storm Dual light or being able to double click to jump to full power from the mode you are in and back again like the Cateye AMPP 1100 light, to avoid having to scroll through disco flash while riding along.
True, Lezyne has gone some way to avoid this with its Race Mode, where you just have two settings, but the setting for the 'dipped' offering always seems to be too low.
What you get here for Race Mode are the 1,000lm Overdrive and 150lm Economy. The former is great – I've already mentioned how much light it chucks out – but it's too bright for oncoming traffic, and you also don't need it all of the time.
Switch to Economy, though, and it just isn't bright enough to see where you're going. If it was the 500lm Blast combined with Overdrive it would be spot on, and you'd be able to use it like the high/dipped beam of the Ravemen PR1600.
Mounting the Lezyne to the handlebar is taken care of by a rubber band, and it gives you plenty of options for varying diameters of tubing.
It holds the light pretty tightly, but I still got movement on the bars on rough roads and when trying to go through the settings with large winter gloves on. For a 'seeing by' light, I much prefer a proper clamp as the light is always in the right position and can't be knocked accidentally.
They are really the only flaws, though. Everything else about the Lite Drive 1000XL is pretty good.
For the size of the light the run-times are pretty impressive, often over-achieving not just hitting the targets, in use.
The button has an LED beneath it which moves from green to red through amber, allowing you to keep an eye on how much juice you have left, and a full recharge will take between four and five hours depending on where the power is coming from.
The CNC machined aluminium body looks quality and makes the light look way more expensive then it actually is. It's available in a range of anodised colours too, so you can achieve a bit of coordination with your bike.
Waterproofing is great as well. It dealt well with any rain it encountered and had no issues when given a blast in the bathroom shower.
The micro-USB charge port sits at the rear of the light and has a rubber cover with a tight seal. Even on rough gravel tracks, it never vibrated open.
The fact that Lezyne can deliver this whole package for £70 is impressive.
The Cateye AMPP 1100 I mentioned above has a bit more poke, but battery life is about the same, and it costs £109.99. Even the 800-lumen version is more expensive at £84.99.
Knog's PWR Trail front light also puts out 1,000lm. Shaun wasn't massively impressed with it, but when I tested it in 2018 I thought it was pretty good. You can edit modes and brightness via an app to get the light set up exactly how you want it, and it has a secure bracket, but again it is more expensive than the Lezyne at £109.99.
Overall, the Lite Drive 1000XL is a decent option for a rider who wants a powerful light for training with after dark without having to spend too much, and if you don't have an issue with the mode setup or the bracket there really is a lot to like.
For me personally, I wouldn't choose any light that scrolls through flashing as it just annoys me, but I certainly can't fault its quality and beam for the money.
Some niggles with the mode choices, but very well made and bright for the money
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lezyne Lite Drive 1000XL
Size tested: 1000 lumen
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, "A powerful, multi-purpose front light with up to 1000 lumens of output. Its machined aluminum body with cooling fins is lightweight and super rugged. It features eight output modes, with a class-leading 1000 lumen Daytime Flash mode. With its MOR (Maximum Optical Reflection) lens, light output is optimized and evenly dispersed. Battery runtime has increased by 11 hours for up to 87 hours of runtime. And its versatile strap securely mounts to variety of bar shapes and sizes. Remote Switch compatible."
It puts out plenty of light for fast riding and offers decent battery life.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
1000 lumen multi-purpose front light
Machined aluminium body construction
Integrated cooling fins stop overheating
Eight different light modes
Includes Daytime Flash mode
Maximum Optical Reflection lens
Up to 87 hours of runtime
Versatile strap mounting system
Compatible with a variety of bar shapes and sizes
Very good quality for the money.
It's a single button control which is easy to use once you've familiarised yourself with the instructions.
I'd prefer a proper clamping system to keep the light secure and in position.
No issues with water ingress at all.
Battery life is good for the size of the light, and recharging is taken care of in four to five hours.
For emitting light it is very decent, just let down by having to scroll through all of the modes.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It has a good beam and plenty of light output. I'm just not a fan of the modes.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Scrolling through flashing.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Compared to all of those I've mentioned in the review like the Cateyes, Knog and Moon, the Lezyne puts out more or similar power for a lot less money. It's well built too.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes, if I didn't have to change settings during a ride.
Would you consider buying the light? No
Would you recommend the light to a friend? I'd mention it but highlight its flaws.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Taking everything bar cost into the equation I'd be giving the Lezyne three and a half stars as it is a good light with just a few things that need fixing. The fact it has an RRP of just £70 gets it the extra half star.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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!