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review

Lezyne KTV Drive Pro+ LED Rear Light

6
£32.00

VERDICT:

6
10
Compact and potentially very bright, but mostly pretty average – and this design is starting to feel old
Sturdy build
Compact
Pretty bright
Waterproof bung isn't tethered
Won't charge from all USB sockets
Relatively small lens
Weight: 
55g

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The Lezyne KTV Drive Pro+ LED Rear Light is fine. It gets the job done, feels very much like it will last and the price is fair. It doesn't do anything particularly badly. The problem is, there's plenty of competition that does it all a little better. You can check them out in our guide to the best rear bike lights.

The KTV Drive Pro+ is basically a shrunken version of Lezyne's older Strip Drive lights, and while that means it's rugged and well sealed against rain, it also means it feels, well, a little dated.

Instead of a port for the usual charging cable, this has a male USB spade that plugs directly into a computer or wallplug socket. It's hidden under the large rubber bung beneath the lens.

This works just fine in the sense that it's very well sealed – the waterproof rating is IPX7, which means it can sit in a metre of water for 30 minutes – and no amount of normal-riding shock is going to make it fall off, assuming you've pushed it fully home in the first place. In fact, I've been running a Strip Drive 150 for years with this same design, and the USB contacts are still clean and bright. Wear from the rubbing of constant capping/uncapping is minimal.

There are issues, though. As the cap is completely separate it's possible to lose it while you're charging; do that and your light is very vulnerable. A small tethered bung over a socket, as most lights have, doesn't suffer that problem.

2023 Lezyne KTV Drive Pro+ LED Rear Light - 4

It's also very important not to get ANY dirt inside the rubber bung; it's a tight fit and even tiny particles will start scratching the electrical contacts each time you install or remove it. Plugging a wet, muddy unit directly into a plug or computer is a lot less convenient than being able to use a long lead, too.

Also, even though the spade on the KTV is several millimetres longer than on my older unit, it's still not long enough to work in every socket. The very first charging plug I tried, in fact, wouldn't work. Even a slight recess to the socket can make getting a connection impossible. Again, the little USB-C ports we typically see don't have this problem.

The final issue is that the lens can't cover the unit's entire height because the bottom section is the bung, and that – coupled with decent if not outstanding side coverage – is a shame when others are making lights that are more lens than case. The Cateye Viz 150, for instance, is almost entirely translucent, and it's actually slightly cheaper at £29.99.

Value

Still, on price the KTV is competitive, and very close to a host of similar lights – though many aren't as powerful.

The Magicshine Seemee 100 is only two-thirds as bright, for instance, and is also £29.99, though it does pack in a braking mode too. The BBB SignalBrake Auto Brake offers a (you'll never guess) brake function, but maxes out at 50 lumens and is £36.99.

Then again, the Gaciron Loop 100 Smart Brake Light also isn't as bright but still manages 100 lumens, has that clever brake light function too, and is nearly £10 cheaper at £22.64.

Modes & run-times

There's no brake light mode on the KTV, but not everybody is a fan of those anyway – they make battery life hard to judge and don't always work that reliably – and the six modes you do get are well chosen. It features two solid modes, two flashing ones, an always-lit pulsing one and a dim (5 lumen) backup that lasts up to 20hrs.

Only the Day Flash uses the full 150 lumens, and it's bright; the regular Flash 1 is just 25 lumens. It's a shame it's not 50 lumens as the Blast and Pulse modes are, and you can't blame the relatively small battery (400mAh) for that decision. Okay, the 25-lumen flash ekes out an impressive 18hrs (claimed and accurate) from the battery, but that 400mAh cell still manages 10.5hrs on the 150-lumen flash. A 50 or even 75-lumen flash would still give very usable run times.

2023 Lezyne KTV Drive Pro+ LED Rear Light - 3

That small battery means charging is usefully fast, at 2hrs 10mins from flat via a 2A USB wall plug.

If you're wondering why I haven't mentioned the mount yet, it's because that's also perfectly okay. It could be better – making one end captive would remove the risk of losing this part as well – but it's easy to attach and perfectly secure once on.

Conclusion

Overall, the Lezyne KTV Drive Pro+ is pretty effective and easy to use, and the price is decent. A fair few aspects of the design, however, just feel a bit more compromised than you might expect in 2024; there are neater creations out there you could go for instead.

Verdict

Compact and potentially very bright, but mostly pretty average – and this design is starting to feel old

road.cc test report

Make and model: Lezyne KTV Drive Pro+ LED Rear Light

Size tested: 150 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: "The KTV Drive Pro+ Rear is a compact, aero seatpost-compatible rear bike light providing up to 150 lumens and six output modes. It offers up to 20 hours of max runtime and a highly disruptive Daytime Flash mode."

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

Lezyne lists:

Max Lumens: 150

Max Runtime: 20 hours

Battery Capacity (mAh): 400

Recharge Type: USB Stick

Weight: 50g

Dimensions: 60mm, 41mm, 64mm

Features: IPX7, Daytime Flash

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
6/10

Very easy to use, but some aspects of the design seem outdated for 2024. 

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10
Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the light for value:
 
5/10

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

Gets the job done.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Solid-feeling build.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Waterproof bung isn't tethered and could be lost; shape doesn't work with all charging ports.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's within a few pounds of a lot of similarly simple lights.

Did you enjoy using the light? It was fine.

Would you consider buying the light? Yes, but then I'd choose something else.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Not especially.

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is bright, pretty effective and pretty easy to use, but the design feels a little clunky and outdated against much of the competition. Really it needs more lens and fewer separate pieces to match today's slicker designs. Overall, it's 'quite good' and a 6.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,

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2 comments

Avatar
a1white | 4 months ago
1 like

I've got a much older model (but the same physical design), but noticed after about a year that I'd get home and the light was out. It developed a lose connection inside and kept turning itself off randomly, so I had to stop using it.

Avatar
Miller | 5 months ago
1 like

this has a male USB spade that plugs directly into a computer or wallplug socket. It's hidden under the large rubber bung beneath the lens.

Having had an older one of these until some skank stole it from my bike at the weekend, I will say that the Lezyne rear light was durable with good battery life. But I didn't like the spade design at all, it demands physical space for the light on the charger and that's not always convenient, and those separable bungs are very losable.

 

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