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Lezyne Zecto Drive 250 front light

8
£34.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Big, bright and rugged with very useful burn-times, but a potentially awkward fit with drop bars
Big and bright
Really usable run-times
Excellent build
Easy and secure mount
Square bulk not well suited to drop bars
Overcomplicated power indicator lights
Weight: 
51g

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 Zecto Drive 250 front light has changed little since we last reviewed it in 2015 – in fact, outwardly it's identical to that model. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Mostly... it's big, bright and extremely well made, but there are a a few small tweaks it could still use.

Though the bezel is now smooth instead of shaped like it should turn, and the output is far higher (250 lumens versus 80), this Zecto remains virtually indistinguishable from the 2015 model reviewed here.

Consequently, all the details David mentioned back then about the very solid composite plastic body, the useful clip, strong ladder strap and great waterproofing remain true.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

I've personally been running a set of these since around 2015/16 as well, and can vouch for their longevity. Mine still work perfectly, and there's no reason to think the 250 won't stay the course too.

Modes

This version gets three solid modes, three flashes and a 'Day Flash' – the only mode to actually feature that super-bright 250-lumen rating. It really is explosively bright, though the pattern is interspersed by enough lower-power pulses to keep it from being too obnoxious.

For rural roads on dull days, I found it more than I needed, but for being noticed on sunny days or in busy towns, it's ideal. At 4.5hrs, the run-time is more than usable for that, too.

That's not actually the shortest burn – the brightest (80-lumen) solid setting, Blast, is claimed at 3.5hrs, which I found accurate. That's good enough for many people's training rides or probably a fair few commutes, and no other mode lasts less than 6hrs if you need more.

Personally, I prefer a solid light on the front (hoping to make it easier for drivers to judge my distance) and flashing at the back (hoping it flickers across their phone screens so they stop texting and look up), and felt happy with the 40-lumen Enduro mode.

With three LEDs and that big round face, it's pretty noticeable even on gloomy days. For busy nighttime streets, though, Blast is the best bet.

Issues

Two things haven't changed over the years, but I wish they would: the big square body that doesn't work that well around cables and accessory mounts, and the confusingly overcomplicated charge indicator.

The corners of the body do at least curve away from the handlebar so cables slide rather than stick behind it, but finding the space – especially on a road bike, and especially with an out-front mount on there too – can be tricky.

Meanwhile, the charge indicator still uses two systems at once, namely colour coding (blue/green/amber/red, with blue for some reason representing full charge) and numbering (4, 3, 2, or 1 lit, or one flashing).

Throw in a momentary green light when you switch on, a constant amber light when it's not displaying charge, and the fact that full charge when it's plugged in is represented by the green light instead of the blue one, and it's hardly at-a-glance stuff.

2021 Lezyne Zecto Drive 250 - charging port.jpg

Every time I get these lights out I have to read the instructions to remind myself what they're trying to tell me.

Value

At £34 the price is pretty good – it's right there with lights of a similar output, and beats many for sheer quality.

The 350-lumen Knog Plugger Front Light offers yet more power and is only a bit more at £36.99, for instance, and its run-times are good, but it has some meaningful flaws with the clamp, beam and modes.

Lezyne's own Strip Drive Front is another option at £37 because, although it's heavier, the long, thin shape (and useful stand-off from the bar) may suit your cockpit better. It's also brighter at 400 lumens.

> Buyer’s Guide: The best 2021/22 front lights for cycling

Alternatively, the £30 Vel 300 Lumen Front Light is small, very easy to fit (because it sits on top of the bar), and has a very intuitive charge indicator. It's a bit slow to recharge, though.

Overall

The Zecto is rugged, bright and very reliable, and its big round face is very visible. If it fits between your cables, mounts and hands, it's an excellent option that promises years of service.

Verdict

Big, bright and rugged with very useful burn-times, but a potentially awkward fit with drop bars

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Lezyne Zecto Drive 250

Size tested: 250 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: "Low profile, high visibility light with three ultra bright LEDs. Up to 250 lumens and seven output options. Lightweight and durable composite matrix body with machine aluminum faceplate. Intelligent Power Indicator displays battery life and provides side visibility."

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

From Lezyne:

MAX LUMENS:

250

WEIGHT:

47g

MAX RUNTIME:

15 hours 30 minutes

(in Flash mode)

RECHARGE TIME:

2.5 hours

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
7/10

Easy to physically attach and choose modes, but placement on drop bars can be tricky and the charge indicator lights are overcomplicated.

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

Bright with good burn times and a simple, very durable build.

Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

The price is pretty good against the competition, while the quality means it will last years.

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

On the one hand it's big, bright, extremely well made and runs for usefully long times. On the other it can clash awkwardly with cables/computer mounts/hands and the charge indicator is needlessly complicated. If it fits okay, though, it's great at getting you seen.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Excellent build, big lens, good battery life, bright.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

An awkward fit on road bars or with other accessories, and the complicated battery level indicator.

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

At £34 the price is good – it's right there with lights of a similar output, and beats many for sheer quality.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes (I did, years ago...).

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is big, bright and lasts for ages, both in terms of battery run-times and years of service. It's quick and easy to attach securely, too. The over-designed battery indicator is a niggle but still usable – the reason this gets a lower score than the near-identical rear version is that the shape just doesn't suit handlebars nearly as well as seatposts.

Overall rating: 8/10

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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