Topeak vs. Lezyne: Handpump Comparison

Topeak vs. Lezyne: Handpump Comparison

Topeak vs. Lezyne: Handpump Comparison

A great side by side of two very similar products: Topeak and Lezyne pump. And……….Lezyne wins.

Is there anything more frustrating than a lousy handpump? In our short cycling career I must have gone through a dozen pumps, most of which are now landfill. There are two main requirements for a good handpump in my humble opinion: it must fasten securely to the valve stem, and you must be able to apply sufficient pressure when pumping.

We have two pumps which meet these criteria: a Topeak Roadmorph, and a Lezyne something-or-other, both of which are pictured below for a side-by-side comparison. The Lezyne is the shiny one.

When fully compacted, both pumps are about the same length. The Topeak is slightly longer (with a corresponding increase in stroke length) and slightly slimmer. The Lezyne has more girth because its rubber hose is wrapped around the body, whereas the Topeak’s rubber hose has a sliding insertion into the housing of the pressure gauge.

In both cases, the rubber hose is a significant plus. The hose enables you to place the pump on the ground and apply good, hard pressure. Pumps without a hose require you to secure one end of the pump against the valve and then apply pressure with only the strength of your arms. I’m a weakling – it doesn’t work for me.

Both pumps have a small lever on which you can brace your foot. In practice these are not very useful unless you have the flexibility of a gymnast.

The pump handles have been designed to let you press down hard without spearing your palm. They both work moderately well, though I find the Topeak handle a bit less comfortable than the Lezyne. (The Topeak handle has not been spread out in the photo below.)

The most significant functional difference between the pumps is the way they secure themselves to the tyre valve. The Topeak uses a cam lever to clasp itself to the valve, whereas the Lezyne is threaded on directly. The Topeak is faster to put in place (if you get it right the first time), but the Lezyne is a more “positive” fit.

Also, the valve fitting of the Lezyne is dual-purpose. It can be removed and flipped to either a Schrader or Presta fitting, whereas the Topeak is single-purpose. This is a big feature for me. When I take the Lezyne, I know I don’t have to worry whether I have grabbed the right pump for the bike I’m riding.

Finally, both pumps have a pressure gauge. The Topeak’s gauge has very tiny numerals and is harder to read for those of us with tired eyes. On the Lezyne you can see the mechanics of the spring mechanism that measures pressure. However, its numerals are stenciled on the outside of the barrel – I don’t know if they will wear off over time.

In neither case is the gauge smooth. They adjust to an initial reading on the first stroke, and then stay put for the next 4 or 5 strokes before jumping to a new reading.

These are the best two hand pumps I have come across. When touring I like to give the tyres a boost in the morning to about 110 psi, and both pumps perform extremely well. I find the Lezyne slightly more comfortable to use, and the dual-purpose valve fitting is a major positive for me. Besides, its pressure gauge is very cool.

Topeak vs. Lezyne: Handpump Comparison

Topeak vs. Lezyne: Handpump Comparison

Topeak vs. Lezyne: Handpump Comparison=

Topeak vs. Lezyne: Handpump Comparison

Lezyne Super Drive Front Light Review

Lezyne Super Drive Front Light Review

Lezyne Super Drive Front Light Review

Smart light good for those who want a commuting torch powerful enough for occasional on and off-road night riding.

Lezyne have built a solid reputation in five short years for revolutionizing the multi-tool market, making tools for the first time sexy.

They’ve since expanded the range into other areas, the latest addition is a range of three LED lights. We’ve got our hands on the most powerful of the three, the Super Drive.

Packing 450 Lumens, this is the brightest on offer (the Mini Drive, reviewed here, has an output of 150 Lumens, while the mid-range Power Drive puts out 300 Lumens), and with a price tag of £99.99, it’s immediately clear you’re getting a decent whack of illumination for little money (it is significantly cheaper, for example, than the Exposure Lights Joystick, which only manages 325 Lumens ).

So already it’s off to a good start. A rechargeable Li-Ion battery provides 1.5 hours of juice on the full 450 Lumen mode, while the rubber button on the top of the light can be used to cycle through the other three modes; medium, which sees battery life extended to a more useable 2.5 hours, low and flashing.

Lezyne developed their own lens to make the most of the available output from the Cree LED. Combined with a mirror polished parabolic reflector, the 450 Lumens spill out with a very wide beam.

Charging is simply a matter of using the supplied USB cable, removing the light from the mount and, turning it upside down to reveal the charge port cleverly tucked underneath a rubber protective flap. Charge it at your desk during work hours and it takes about four hours to top up from empty.

The clever mount – it uses a knurled thumb screw designed to prevent over tightening – keeps the light securely in place. Very little bounce occurred even over some of the rougher paths we encountered when taking the light off-road. Each light comes with two mounts, for 31.8mm and 25.4mm bars.

A very useful touch, and something that shows Lezyne really do pay attention to the details, is the small amount of rotation the clamp design allows. You can point the light just where you want it, especially useful if you can’t or don’t want to fit the light right up beside the stem (if you’ve have a Garmin fitted for example).

All in all, Lezyne’s first entry into lights is a well priced, nicely designed and focused light that offers a surprisingly powerful beam.

Performance

Lezyne have set their sights on cycle commuters and those after an affordable, small and light unit that doesn’t break the bank.

However, that said 450 Lumens is still a decent whack of output (certainly more than we had when we first started night riding ten years ago) and we found it the beam ideal for riding on unlit roads when using the most powerful setting, although the battery life is limiting for extended rides.

We’ve also found the Super Drive to pump out enough light for off-ride night riding, providing your sticking to a reasonable speed on familiar trails. However, the launch of Lezyne’s helmet mount (available separately for £16.99) means it can be combined with a more powerful bar-mounted beam, making the Super Drive the ideal filler light for those spots, particularly corners, that the fixed main beam can’t reach.

All that makes the Lezyne Super Drive a smartly designed torch good for those who want a commuting light powerful enough for occasional on and off-road night riding.

www.upgradebikes.co.uk

www.lezyne.com

Lezyne Super Drive Front Light Review

Lezyne Super Drive Front Light Review

Lezyne Super Drive Front Light Review

Team UK Youth reveal 2012 kit and sponsors at Gran Canaria Camp and runs Lezyne

Team UK Youth

Team UK Youth reveal 2012 kit and sponsors at Gran Canaria Camp and runs Lezyne

Team UK Youth have revealed their full team line-up and new kit for the 2012 season at their recent training camp in Gran Canaria and are working with Lezyne tools and tech.

In 2012, the team will ride bespoke bikes from WyndyMilla and take on an increased programme in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world; spreading the message of charity UK Youth further afield.

The team will still be supported and sponsored by Formula 1 world champion Nigel Mansell CBE and headed up by Paris-Roubaix winner and Tour de France rider Magnus Backstedt.

“The camp has been an excellent experience for us,” said Magnus Backstedt. “The team are getting on well, I think we’ve got a strong and very powerful team here for 2012 as we look to race an increased and improved calendar as a UCI Continental team.”

Other key sponsors include Mercedes Benz and Rygor Commercials Ltd, suppliers of the team’s vehicles. Riders are powered by Maxifuel. Their WyndyMilla bikes feature Reynolds wheels, Continental tyres and Speedplay Pedals.

Riders enjoyed the chance to try out their new kit and accessories. The 2012 Team UK Youth team will wear adidas Eye Wear, Bont shoes, Tec helmets and use Lezyne tools and pumps.

Backstedt continued: “Gran Canaria provided a great backdrop for us to train consistently for two weeks, with some stunning and challenging climbs helping us prepare for some of the toughest races this season. The team looks fantastic and we’re just looking forward to representing UK Youth in 2012.”

The new Team UK Youth website has now been launched at www.teamukyouth.co.uk.

Founded in 1911, UK Youth is a leading national youth work charity supporting over 750,000 young people, helping them to raise their aspirations, realise their potential and have their achievements recognised via non-formal, accredited education programmes and activities.

Team UK Youth 2012 riders and staff

Magnus Backstedt
Yanto Barker
Niklas Gustavsson
Chris Opie
Freddy Johansson
James Stewart
David McGowan
Richard Tanguy
Greg Mansell
Gruff Lewis
James Lowsley-Williams
Christofer Stevenson

Staff

Nigel Mansell CBE – Team Owner
Leo Mansell – Managing Director
Becky Frewing – Team Manager
David Povall – Directeur Sportif
Steve Davis – Team Mechanic
David Hart – Mechanic

TwentyNineInches.com Reviews the Super and Mini Drive LED Lights

TwentyNineInches.com Reviews the Super and Mini Drive LED Lights

TwentyNineInches.com Reviews the Super and Mini Drive LED Lights

Guitar Ted reviews our Super and Mini Drive lights. An honest and well-thought out review. Thank you sir.

We at Twenty Nine Inches received a pair of Lezyne’s 2012 LED lights a while back for test/review. We had heard about these new products last year at a Press Camp attended by Grannygear and when the products were ready, Grannygear and Guitar Ted each got a sample to test out. Granygear received the Mini Drive while Guitar Ted reviews the Super Drive here. Without further adieu, here are their thoughts on these new for Lezyne products, the Super Drive and Mini Drive LED lights.

TwentyNineInches.com Reviews the Super and Mini Drive LED Lights

Guitar Ted’s Super Drive Review: When I heard Lezyne was going to do a line of LED lights, I was intrigued. I have used their pumps and have seen their accessories for cyclists, so the overall look and function of their products was well known to me. Would a line of LED lights live up to expectations? Grannygear’s trip to vist Lezyne only whetted my appetite even more after he described some of the lights he saw then to me over the phone. To say that my expectations were set at a high level is an understatement.

Impressions And Tech Intro: I received the Super Drive and was immediately struck by how diminutive it was for a rated 450 Lumen of lighting power. The pewter anodized look was typically elegant for a Lezyne product, and as far as aesthetics go, this met my approval and expectations right out of the box. The battery for the unit is a 18650 Li-ion button top 3.7V cell with built in protection for overcharging and over discharging, but it isn’t unusual enough that a serviceable replacement couldn’t be found. (Note: Lezyne says only their battery should be used in the Super Drive). Lezyne does sell spare batteries if you want to have back ups available. You also get mounts suitable for 31.8mm or 25.4mm bars in the box along with the USB type cord for recharging duties.

TwentyNineInches.com Reviews the Super and Mini Drive LED Lights

The battery needs to be charged out of the box, and the port for the cable is located underneath the light body, covered by a thick, rubber piece that is tethered to the main light body. Plug in the USB cord to any computer or USB compatible wall charger and the Power Drive blinks softly to let you know it is taking a charge. It stops blinking when it is done, and to double check the level, you unplug, then plug in again, at which time the light should blink once and cease. I had to do this three times upon the first charging to see one blink, and the total time to charge was about an hour and a half out of the box. This went away and the light charged as described in the instructions after a couple of uses.

The mount is simple, made of plastic, and has a thumb screw style attachment. The light clips into this base in a rather simple but effective manner. It allows the light body to swivel a few degrees so you can center the beam pattern and of course, you can swivel the entire mount around your bars to attain the perfect beam spot pattern on the trail that you are riding. Note: I never had any issues with the mount in rough terrain. It always held the light body firmly in place. The Lezyne Super Drive weighs in at 140 grams with the 31.8mm mount. Just recently a helmet mount was announced by Lezyne that fits all the LED lights in their line-up.

TwentyNineInches.com Reviews the Super and Mini Drive LED Lights

Run times are as follows:
High: 450 lumens- 1.5hr
Medium: 300 lumens- 2.5hr
Low: 100 lumens- 4hr
Flash: 300 lumens- 5hr

Run times seemed pretty consistent with spec, and when you run out of time, the Super Drive resorts to the 110 Lumen setting, and blinks intermittently to let you know you are running on the 15 minutes of reserve power.

The light has a simple protocol for the single button which has a rubber cover and is located near the front of the light body on the top side. Press the button for a couple of seconds and release to turn the unit on. This gets you to the highest setting, which is rated at 450 Lumen. Press once to lower the output to 300 Lumen, and once again to drop down to 110 lumen. One more push will yield a blinking pattern at the 300 Lumen level. Finally, hold the button down for a couple of seconds in any mode to shut the unit down. You do have to toggle all the way through the settings to get back to a higher out put. Maybe not an ideal set up, but the Super Drive does retail for MSRP $110.00, so I can forgive this little annoyance.

Performance: Lezyne makes some pretty heady claims for the Super Drive’s light performance. A light- no matter the power rating- is only as good as its optics. Would the Super Drive measure up? In a word: Yes. The beam pattern shows no “hot spots”, corona effects, or any weirdness at all. The light color is neither too blue or too warm/yellow, (for my eyes, at any rate. Yours may vary.). The intensity at 450 Lumen is great, and typically I stayed with the 300 Lumen setting to milk more run time from the light. But this was not a big compromise in my mind. The difference between 450 and 300 Lumen being negligible as far as what I could see.

I think you could definitely use the Super Drive as a casual single track light, and it is overkill for a commute. In fact, the 110 Lumen setting may be all you’d ever use in a city setting, the beam pattern and throw is that good. Plus, you’ll get more run time out of it. I used this light during a 65 mile snow bike event that took me from day into night. The 110 Lumen setting against a snow covered trail was all I could ask for in terms of not washing out the contours and giving me plenty of light thrown down the trail to cover ground as fast as I wanted to go.

Conclusions: The Super Drive is just, well…super. I can recommend it for anything from commuting to casual single track riding off road. Back road riding, gravel roads, or service roads would be this lights domain for sure. The mount is secure enough for rough riding, but severe, rock infested, fast down hill type mountain biking isn’t where this light should be used. Maybe as a good back up/bail out light for your current, high powered system perhaps.

The light charges as stated after a few charges, and otherwise I have no concerns about the Super Drive. The beam pattern is near perfect, and the performance for the dollar says “high value” here. I highly recommend this torch.

Mini Drive Review:

I received the Mini Drive model to review, the least powerful of the range of Lezyne’s LED bike lights.  Rated at 150L (lumens) on high, and with light level options for a 100L, 50L, and a high rate and slow rate flash, the Mini Drive looks poised to be a commuter special more than a true off-road bike light, but we shall see.  It charges like the bigger brother Guitar Ted tested, with a USB cable and a blinking LED (the same one that lights your way) to tell you the charging state.  I had some issues the second time I charged it in that the LED never stopped its slow flash even after all day of charging.  It is supposed to stop blinking when it is fully charged.   The circuit protected CR123a battery measured to be at its full capacity (with a DVM), so that seems like a bug with the programming of the unit I had.  I also played around with the cooling abilities of the Mini Drive by turning it on high and letting it sit at room temp while I hit the case with an infrared temp gun.  Beginning with 68.5* ambient temps, after 20 minutes it reached a high of 93* right at the emitter end of the unit.  However, putting a bit of air across the Mini Drive dropped the temps to 89* within 3 minutes.  Putting the light outside on a breezy 45* day, the external case temp plunged to 60* in 2 minutes.  It never got hot enough to self protect (the driver will lower the current if it overheats) and it would seem that the small case is plenty to keep up with the demands of the 150L output.

TwentyNineInches.com Reviews the Super and Mini Drive LED Lights

The physical size is super for the light output and the Mini Drive looks solid and tough.  It does not feel like a toy, but looks like a high quality flashlight.  The clamp holds the light well and it never bobbled or slipped on the bars, holding the light body very securely.  The beam pattern of the Cree XP type emitter and reflector is very spot in nature rather than flood so even with the 150L limit, it reaches out pretty well.  I used it off road and even at 20 mph speeds on fireroads, I had enough distance to the beam.  However, the overall pattern is not that pleasant as the hot spot gives way to a shadow quickly off center.  As well, there are some artifacts from part of the lens holder ‘fingers’ that I could see in the beam pattern that were annoying.

Battery life seems to be a bit limited and that is typical of an All-In-One light like this.  The battery can only be so big and still fit in there.  I would anticipate that a regular user of this light would charge it every time after use or expect a dim light mid-ride.

So what do we have in the Mini Drive?  I think the off road potential is limited, not just by the beam pattern, but the run time.  But really, no serious night rider will be looking at a 150L light for his main light source, and if he was, having to cycle through the High-Med-Low-Fast Flash-Slow Flash to get all the way around to High again is really annoying and a bit dangerous in a true off road light where you may need to go from Med to High in a moments notice.

TwentyNineInches.com Reviews the Super and Mini Drive LED Lights

But let’s step down our expectations a bit and put this light on a commuter’s handlebars, or a recreational rider that needs a light source for under a 2 hour ride. Now there the Mini Drive would be very good.  Most commutes are under an hour one way and as long as the light was charged while you were at work, it would have more than enough capacity for the journey.  And the flashy modes, something that is just annoying to a dedicated off road night rider, gains value as a ‘can you see me now?’ factor, even in the daytime.  Although Lezyne does not suggest it be used as a stand alone flashlight, obviously it could be removed from the bar clamp and used for roadside repairs, etc, especially since that typically would be done at less than the full 150L High setting.

TwentyNineInches.com Reviews the Super and Mini Drive LED Lights

In this mode of use I can overlook the faults of the Mini Drive and enjoy the small size, great build quality, easy charging, great mount (no silly rubber O rings) and decent price ($69.95 suggested retail) + bike shop warranty support.  It also has good potential as a helmet light for an off road rider, as long as the Mini Drive helmet light was in addition to the main bar mounted light.  For a first shot at lighting your bike’s path, Lezyne has hit the ball well.  Maybe not out of the park yet, but the fence is coming up fast.

NOTE: Lezyne sent out the Super Drive and Mini Drive lights out at no charge for test/review. We were not bribed nor paid for this review. we strove to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

Specialized Lululemon Racing Team Ride With LEZYNE in 2012

specialized_lululemon-logo-lo_res

Specialized Lululemon Racing Team Ride With LEZYNE in 2012

San Luis Obispo, CA – Lezyne is proud to continue its commitment to professional women’s cycling by sponsoring the newly formed Specialized-lululemon team.

lululemon-team-pr-r0

Last October, Velocio Sports announced that the extremely dominant HTC-Highroad women’s team would continue in 2012 with new management and new title sponsors: Specialized Bicycle Company and lululemon athletica. This new dream team is made up of several current and former national champions, an Olympic gold medalist, and a several promising young athletes that are destined to be a driving force in the women’s peloton.

Returning members of the team include current German national road race champion Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, U.S. national time trial champion Evelyn Stevens, and former world time trial champion Amber Neban (USA). Velocio Sports Director, Kristy Scrymgeour and team manager, Ronny Lauke will use their extensive experience and success from Highroad Sports to lead this team to success.

“The team is made up of immensely strong women who also happen to have sterling careers to back them up,” says Lezyne Marketing Manager Patrick Ribera-McKay. “Lezyne is more than happy to partner with an industry standard and truly valued group of women such as these. Just as Lezyne is pushing at the forefront of product design and engineering, these women are pushing not only cycling in general, but women’s cycling forward at such a spectacular pace that we are simply trying to keep up. With a shared passion for perfection and a keen eye out for cycling and it’s future, Lezyne is extremely proud to be a partner of Specialized-Lululemon and the amazing women that encompass it.”

Lezyne’s Marketing team was in Carlsbad, California last December for the team’s winter training camp. There, Lezyne had the opportunity to sit down and interview some of the riders and get an inside look at the women who make up this amazing team. This overview video is the first of three videos that Lezyne captured at the camp.

The team wasted no time getting its first wins under its belt in 2012. On January 1st, Australian Chloe Hosking won the first round of the Jayco Bay Series in Geelong Australia. This was quickly followed the next day by teammate Loren Rawney, who took the first win of her professional cycling career at the second round of the Jayco Bay Series.

The Team will be riding with Lezyne hand pumps, multi-tools, tire repair, organizers, and saddle bags. The Team’s mechanics will use Lezyne floor pumps and shop tools.

To learn more about the Team click on the following links:

Specialized-lululemon official team page >>

Lezyne Ambassador Bobby McMullen Gets 3rd at CCCX

Lezyne Ambassador Bobby McMullen Gets 3rd at CCCX

Bobby McMullen killed it this last weekend. No news there.

Bobby McMullen kicked off the 2012 Season by taking third place in his division at the CCCX X-Fusion SuperD at Toro Park in Monterey on Sunday, January 22.
McMullen, who is legally blind,  competes alongside (often ahead of) fully-able racers…….and kills it.

Bobby was gracious enough to join Lezyne at our Headquarters in San Luis Obispo with his friend and guide, Peter Lucas to allow us to take some video and photo of him for this upcoming year. Above is a teaser of images to come!

L&M Urban 300 vs. Lezyne Power Drive

L&M Urban 300 vs. Lezyne Power Drive

L&M Urban 300 vs. Lezyne Power Drive

Light comparison between Light and Motion’s “Urban 300″ and Lezyne’s “Power Drive”.

Late last year as the shorter days were encroaching the wife and I needed some proper lights for commuting. We both don’t fancy dynamos and the old basic 5 LED Knogs we had just weren’t cutting it.I have a DIY LED set-up for MTB riding from about 6 years ago, an ancient 10w halogen and I had the misfortune of owning a NR Mi-Newt Ni-cad (battery had a very short life and not worth the trouble to replace). We live in the city and run lots of errands – so lots of hopping on and off the bikes… battery packs/connector cables and straps just get in the way.

Being the geek that I am, I figured I’d buy two different lights just for the fun of it. We’ve now been regularly using the lights for around 3 months.

Both the Urban 300 and Power Drive are rated at 300 lumens, both self-contained units/single button/hi-med-low-flash cycles, both weigh about the same ~115gm and have roughly the same burn times (2:20 & 2:00 respectively). However the Urban 300 costs around $30 more ($115 vs $80 – Amazon) – but many reviews of L&M lights said that their optics are worth the premium.

Construction
Both lights are small and compact. They’ll both fit easily in your pocket/bag. As mentioned above, they really don’t weigh anything, but both feel very solid.

The Power Drive is typical Lezyne – machined, elegant and purposeful. The machined aluminium body induces that mag-lite-quality type of reassurance. We’ve yet to drop it, but it seems as if it would only be cosmetically damaged.

The Urban 300 is also well built. I’ve actually dropped it onto the pavement, plastic rear end first- not a scratch! I do agree though that it’s more likely to crack on hard impact, in this case I’m pretty sure the few extra grams for a full Alu casing wouldn’t go astray for piece of mind.

I’d say overall that the Lezyne edges just a little out in front – but only time will tell. Both lights are waterproof and have worked flawlessly through heavy rain/snow.

Both of the lights’ rubber switches work well and feel solid. To turn the Power Drive on, you have to depress the swtich for a second, then release (the light turns on during this second at very low intensity) > switches off the same way. The Urban 300 switches on immediately and needs a 2 sec long press to turn it off – It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I could for-see accidentally turning the Urban 300 on in your pocket or bag.

Mounting System
The Power Drive is supplied with a tool free plastic bracket for your bars (one fastening screw, one holster for the light, one 25.4mm and one 31.8mm bracket). This isn’t your cheap and dreadful plastic mount from “generic made in China 5 LED re-branded crap” – it’s quality resin that is well made. On the light itself, a protruding metal tab inserts into the plastic mount. This means that in the off-chance that you break the mount, it’s just the mount you’ll have to replace and not the light itself. The light can be swiveled a few degrees left to right and the wife’s had no issues of the light moving round, even when riding over the less than flat cobbled streets. It’s also worth noting that it’s possible to screw the clamp down so that it no longer can be moved left-to-right. In conjunction with a piece of old innertube the mount has stayed in place – no issues. It’s really easy to get the light in and out, simply push the plastic tab (beware that if you don’t do this when inserting the light, it’s not securely locked in).

The Urban 300 employs a rubber strap and hook system. Easily adapts to any bar diameter – including those transition areas between your grips/the tops and the stem clamp. Again, not your average cheap rubber band/plastic- The hook could be damaged and I assume the rubber will eventually harden up and crack, but it looks easy enough to replace (hex screw on the bottom). The light can also be swiveled a few degrees side to side and has never moved over those same cobbled streets. Even in the wet the rubber strap holds firm (all my handlebars are anondised alu, if you have glossy carbon bars it may not work as well). The hook for the strap has enough space so that you should be able to fold the excess strap and hook it down – this unfortunately doesn’t work so well, so the excess ends up flicking up. It doesn’t affect the function of the light though.

Overall both systems are great. As an owner of multiple bikes, it’s definitely easier to move the Urban 300 between bikes whereas the Power Drive is a bit more of a fiddle.

Charging & Battery Life
The Power Drive charges via Mini USB, common with most P&S cameras and portable HDDs. The battery itself has built in over-charge protection. There isn’t a charge/ing indicator per se. Charging is indicated by a low intensity flash of the light itself. It’s meant to stop flashing when fully charged. If you’re charging the light at work (wife works on an iMac) the flashing can be distracting, but it’s easily solved by covering it up. Unfortunately the light doesn’t always stop flashing after the alleged 4 hours. It may just be a bug, but it’s easy to set a timer. I should also mention that the battery is ‘commonly’ available from electronics stores (although Lezyne sell spares). It’s just like a big fat AA. Burn time has been pretty accurate so far – does what it says on the tin. Although as to be expected, battery life is slightly reduced due to the cold temps we have at the moment. Personally I find the lack of battery indicator to be a pain. Sure, the light has a ‘low battery mode’ when it hits 15% but it really requires you to log in which modes and for just how long you’ve used (the wife’s been caught out once – but we always carry a back-up). Then again, with USB charging it’s easy to top off the battery.

The Urban 300 has a small multi-colour LED at the rear of the light. It utilises as Micro USB port, common on most smart phones and probably the future standard for all non-smart phones. When charging the non-removable-internal battery through the different stages (from low to high) it flashes: red, orange, green… when solid green, it’s finished. It’s also equipped with over-charge protection. As the battery drains it annoyingly quickly moves from green to orange, then red and finally red flashing. It just makes me think that I have to charge my light more often than is probably required. I normally charge it after it hits red – solid (about 30% left). However, despite this flaw, it’s a lot easier to find out when you should top up the battery than the Power Drive. Burn times are again pretty accurate as to the claimed times.

The Light
Urban 300 angled down:

L&M Urban 300 vs. Lezyne Power Drive

Power Drive, angled down:

Power Drive angled down

Urban 300, facing towards the oncoming person/car:

Urban

Power Drive facing the oncoming person/car:

Power Drive facing the oncoming person/car

One big thing that’s noticeable is the lack of side-lighting of the Power Drive. The Urban 300 has two small ports that direct light to the sides and as you can see, they’re really effective where we cyclists often rely on reflectives to be seen from the side. The reflective on my gloves light up and I can read my road bike’s computer with ease.

In terms of beam pattern, the Power Drive has a distinct tight spot, it’s great for oncoming traffic since the light is very intense and noticeable. Whereas the Urban 300 has a wider spot with more light spilling available surrounding the spot. Personally I prefer the Urban 300 for fast road rides, especially unlit roads/streets, not that the Power Drive isn’t bright enough – it just doesn’t illuminate as much (but only a little). Both lights on low mode are great for well-lit city streets, although we tend to leave them on medium to try and get noticed out of the flood of street lights.

Conclusion
Given that battery and charging times are about on par for both, it comes down to the features for me. I really think that the side windows of the Urban 300 make sense in terms of safety- they don’t consume any more battery since they’re lit up by the same LED. Also the lack of dedicated charge indicator on the Power Drive can be a little worrying when you haven’t kept a log of just how long you’ve used the light. I can’t say enough about having a commonly available, user replaceable battery of the Lezyne- rather than having to send the whole light back to the manufacturer (major PIA and $$), just order one and pop it in and cycle on your merry way. IMO that makes the Lezyne better value as you’ll more likely get a spare battery rather than think about buying a new light (which I’d be more inclined to do when the Urban 300′s battery dies).

In essence I’d love these two lights to make a baby… the battery indicator, wider spot & side windows of the Urban 300 with the all aluminium casing & user-replaceble battery of the Lezyne. In retrospect, I’m not sure if the Urban 300′s extra features are worth the extra $30, but considering I ride a lot in the city – I think they are. Also I use the Urban 300 on my commuter and roadie, so not having to order an extra mount is a definite plus.

Overall though I think you can’t go wrong with either. They’re both fantastic lights, especially for the money. I’m really happy with my Urban 300 and the wife is happy with the Power Drive.

BikeRadar’s News Round-Up features Lezyne LED Helmet Mount

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BikeRadar’s News Round-Up features Lezyne LED Helmet Mount

Every week, we’ll be compiling a round-up of news that’s caught our eye over the preceding seven days but hasn’t been covered on BikeRadar. From the latest product news to details of routes and events, we’ll be bringing you short snippets of information in one handy article.

Product news

Lezyne launch new helmet mount

Lezyne have developed a new helmet mount for their lights, which has just gone into production and will be available from February. It combines an aluminium base with a composite pivoting cradle. A Velcro strap holds the mount to the helmet and a rubber pad on the underside provides grip and protection. It’s compatible with all their LED lights and will retail for £16.99 from UK distributors Upgrade Bikes. [Full details: Lezyne]

Lezyne Flow Cage Reviewed by Road.cc

Lezyne Flow Cage

Lezyne Flow Cage Reviewed by Road.cc

Lezyne Flow Bottle Cage – £7.99…..A good-value plastic cage that is a tenacious bottle holder

The Lezyne Flow is a bottle cage done a bit different. Lezyne have made a name for themselves by taking old, boring bicycle bits and bobs, giving them a bit of a zhush, making them work better, be more shiny and somehow muchly desirable… and that’s exactly what they’ve done here. Except it’s not that shiny.

Made from a durable, fibre-reinforced Composite Matrix material that looks a lot like plastic, the Flow cage is all, er, flowy with its X-Grip architecture swooping up and around a bottle to cradle it securely, with big twin tabs at the bottom holding it in and smaller ones at the top making sure it doesn’t bounce out.

Bolting the Flow to a bike is easy because both mounting holes are over 12mm long. That means there’s plenty of wiggle room for any slightly sub-standard bottle-boss spacing in the frame or subtle cage jiggling to clear pumps, other bottles and frame tubes.

Removing a bottle from the cage requires a reassuringly firm tug as the reinforced Composite Matrix flexes to release its cargo. Returning a bottle to the Flow is a little less instinctive. It has to be inserted at quite an angle compared to more traditional bottle-cages in order to clear the pair of small retaining tabs at the top that do such a good job of holding onto a bidon.

A bottle needs to be offered up at about 45 degrees to the cage, give or take, and then curved into the cage via the wide mouth. It’s not difficult, it just requires a bit of fumbly relearning and soon becomes second nature, though this might be a problem if you ride a small or compact frame, or have a high bottle-cage position.

Once in, the Flow the bottle isn’t going to move. This particular Lezyne cage has been across a whole mountain range on the road and on numerous bumpy excursions on a cyclo-cross bike and the water bottle hasn’t budged an inch. There hasn’t even been a rattle. Lovely.

At 49g it could almost be considered a heavyweight in bottle cage terms, but it does cost less than a tenner, so light weight isn’t its prime selling point. Similarly, its fluid plastic construction suits flowy plasticy and swoopy hydroformed alloy bikes better. Owners of more traditionally tubed bikes might be better served by one of Lezyne’s more tubular bottle-cages if that aesthetic sort of thing bothers you.

Finally, and best of all, the Flow hasn’t marked any of the bottles that it’s had in its charge. No scratched logos, no scored bodies, no new bottles looking scruffy and dirty in a couple of rides. Smart. Literally.

As an aside, the Flow bottle cage is remarkably similar to the Flow Cage HP. Actually, it’s exactly the same but for the addition of two bits of sponge stuck each side of the body to support a Lezyne mini-pump and a strap threaded through the cage to hold it there. So if you want this cage but with mini-pump holding capability, go for that one. It weighs 3g more, thanks to the strap, and costs £4 extra.

Verdict

A good-value plastic cage that is a tenacious bottle holder

Video: Lezyne Launch Helmet Mount for LED Light Range

There was only one thing missing when we tested the Lezyne Super Drive 450 Lumen LED light last year, a helmet mount kit.

On its own it’s not really bright enough to be bar mounted but on the helmet, it’s the perfect partner to a more powerful main beam.

At the London Bike Show last week UK Lezyne distributor Upgrade Bikes had the first pre-production sample flown in from Lezyne’s HQ, and we got Rory Hitchens to tell us all about it.

The mount is made of a stamped and machined aluminum base and compression ring with a Composite Matrix spherical pivot cradle that holds the LED light. A long Velcro strap attaches the mount to the helmet and a rubber pad on the underside of the mount provides grip. The spherical pivot allows the user to adjust the position of the light in all directions.

The mount is compatible with all Lezyne LED lights and will retail for £16.99 and available from http://shop.upgradebikes.co.uk/Catalogue/Lights/Lezyne-Light-Spares

We tested the Super Drive last year, here’s reminder of how we got on:

Packing 450 Lumens, this is the brightest on offer, and with a price tag of £99.99, it’s immediately clear you’re getting a decent whack of illumination for little money (it is significantly cheaper, for example, than the Exposure Lights Joystick, which only manages 325 Lumens ).

Lezyne’s first entry into lights is a well priced, nicely designed and focused light that offers a surprisingly powerful beam. When the helmet mount is available it will make a useful second light to accompany a more powerful bar mounted light for the serious night riding enthusiasts, while for everyone else it’s the perfect way to get into night riding.

helmet mount

helmet mount

helmet mount

helmet mount