The Lezyne Macro Drive front light's versatility and construction quality make it very good value indeed. At this price, there aren't many other lights that can match it.
A sleek CNC machined housing holds a Cree LED providing a claimed maximum output of 300 lumen. The 18650 Li-ion battery is integrated into the housing eliminating the hassle of power cables and separate battery packs. All in (minus mount) weight is a very respectable 94g which, combined with the small form, makes for a very unobtrusive light once on the handlebars.
The Macro Drive provides 5 different lighting modes – 3 constant power levels and 2 flashing. These are scrolled through by a simple short press of the rubber button located within easy reach on the top of the housing. The modes provide quite a wide range of power levels and associated run times so you can maximise battery life depending on your current lighting requirements. The two flashing modes both output the same power but at slightly different frequencies. A long press will either turn the light on or off, whilst the rubber button itself glows green or red depending on the battery charge level.
The Macro Drive mounts via a stout plastic clip which is held in place using a ladder-like rubber strap. A number of thin rubber shims are also provided to prevent any bar scratching nastiness. The rubber strap can be adjusted to two different lengths to suit 25.4mm and 31.8mm diameter handlebars - the two major sizes - but with the addition of the shims, any size handlebar can be accommodated.
The light itself clips neatly and firmly into the plastic clip with no chance of it popping out of its own volition. The beauty of the system is that you just pop the light off when leaving your bike unobserved for any length of time - easy as.
Despite the simplicity of the system, the Macro Drive works well over rough terrain without the need for any re-adjustment. The lack of any nuts or bolts also means that it's super easy to swap the mount between bikes, or to adjust its angle quickly whilst on the move. Once clipped in, the Macro Drive can be slid forwards and backwards to achieve the correct weight balance.
The beam pattern is quite circular in shape, projecting a noticeable spot of light onto the road. Side cutaways are there to improve light dispersion off to the side, though these are more about being seen by traffic than providing additional visibility to the rider. For a handlebar mounted light, I would have liked a little more flood to the beam, though the spot does provide some punch when travelling at higher speeds.
The light works well in commuting situations where the flashing modes are powerful enough to catch the attention of oncoming traffic. However, its 300 lumen power enables the Macro Drive to venture beyond the realm of simple commuter light, and into night riding territory.
The power and beam shape provide enough light so that road riding at 20mph is possible on unlit roads. OK, it's not the most care free experience – you'll have to pay very close attention to pot holes and other irregularities – but it is doable. Heading out on early morning rides, I would often grab the Macro Drive over more powerful (and hence heavier) lights for that hour or so pre-dawn when I needed lights to see.
In conjunction with a more powerful (say, 1000 lumen) flood beam on the handlebars, the Macro Drive would be an ideal helmet mounted companion, for off road blasts. Indeed, Lezyne sell a plastic helmet mount separately, for precisely this purpose.
Charging is performed via the provided USB cable which engages with a port at the rear of the light. To access this, you'll need to unscrew the cap at the rear of the light, exposing some of the circuitry inside. Despite looking quite precarious and vulnerable, it's difficult to see how you could damage the electronics without being neglectful in some way, but it's worth taking care at this point. As such, charging is probably best done is away from any errant pets or children, or potential water spillage zones.
The cap itself is well sealed via a rubber o-ring and the threads provide little opportunity for water ingress when fully screwed in. Overall reliability looks promising - despite the torrential rain and flooding we've experienced in these parts, the Macro Drive is still going strong having been used almost daily. If previous Lezyne products are anything to go by, then this one should last the distance.
The Macro Drive is also available in silver, and in pairing with the Micro rear light for £84.99.
Extremely versatile, well made, and good value commuter light that's powerful enough for forays out in to the real dark.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lezyne Macro Drive front light
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 describe the Macro Drive as the "ideal Road, commuter and MTB helmet light". We'd have to agree.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
*Simple to re-charge, Micro USB charging cable included (common EU standard)
* Easy to fit: no tools required, silicon band and Composite Matrix snap fit bracket
* Quality materials: CNC alloy body; Composite Matrix end cap
* Highly water resistant, O-ring sealed to FL1 standard
* Side visibility design improves safety
* Uniform beam pattern: even distribution of light optimised for cycling
* High Quality Lezyne Lithium Ion Battery (built in) LIR18650
* Battery indicator: traffic light style intelligent power button when riding
* Battery check: with light off, charge can be checked with quick press of button
* Small: 26mm diameter x102mm
* Lightweight: 108g with handlebar bracket
* Helmet mount accessory available separately
5 lighting modes available:
1) Enduro (medium): 200 lumens/4.5hrs
2) Blast (high): 300 lumens/3hrs
3) Economy (low): 100 lumens/9hrs
4) Rapid flash: 200 lumens / 9hrs
5) Slow flash: 200 lumens / 9hrs
Rate the light for quality of construction:
A quality machined aluminium housing - a sturdy feel belies its light weight.
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
Very simple. A single button is used for operation: a short push scrolls through the light modes whilst a long push turns the light on or off.
Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
Very simple mount makes transferring the light to and from the bike very easy. Adjusting the light direction and angle is tool free and extremely easy to do. In use, the mount holds the light firmly with no rotation or movement over rough surfaces.
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
It has held up well to daily rainy commutes. It's rated to IPX4 so no totally waterproof, but capable of being "splashed from all directions".
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
The quoted burn times are quite accurate. Unfortunately, so is the charge time of 5 hrs. In practice though, charging is so easy that you should rarely need to perform a full charge.
Rate the light for performance:
As a handlebar mounted light, it could do with a little more spill to the sides. However, full power is good for road riding at 20mph which is pretty good for such a small unit.
Rate the light for durability:
Impact resistant up to 1m. We've not had any problems with it so far.
Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
Rate the light for value:
Excellent value considering the performance and its versatility.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Light weight, small form factor and ease of swapping between bikes.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Dislike is maybe a strong word, but the beam could have been a bit wider.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.
Would you consider buying the light? Yes.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes.
Age: 20 Height: 190cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced 2 My best bike is: Canyon Ultimate CF7
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, sportives, mtb,
And the late Murray Walker.
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