Category Archives: Reviews

BikeRumor with Another Great Review of Lezyne Product

BikeRumor with Another Great Review of Lezyne Product

“It’s become my default pack pump.”

Lezyne’s Pressure Drive mini pump is a CNC aluminum mini pump that claims to go to 120psi. The overlapping barrel and handle with a detachable threaded hose makes for a compact package that easily slides into even the smallest hydration pack. It even does well inside a jersey pocket alongside a tube to keep it from bouncing around or sliding out too easily.

Lezyne claims the oversized barrel reduces the number of strokes required to fill a tire. I didn’t keep count, but getting a tubeless mountain bike tire or cyclocross tire up to riding pressure wasn’t terribly laborious. Filling a road tire wasn’t as much fun, which is sort of a shame because it does fit so well in a jersey and it’s really lightweight. That said, it’s far better than some other compact pumps I’ve used.

Fill up with the details after the break…

The ABS flexible hose threads onto the valve stem and has Presta on one end and Schrader on the other. Because it’s not a fixed part of the pump, you can really put some elbow grease into the pumping without fear of breaking the valve and ruining your ride (or at minimum your tube).

The threaded attachment has a pressure release valve to let air out of the pump hose before removing it to ease the release and keep it from popping off. The downside to threaded attachments is that they tend to pull removable valve cores with them, letting all your hard earned air right back out.

This problem isn’t exclusive to Lezyne. Some of their pumps include adapters to simple press onto the stem, so you could order one of those with your pump. Or you could get a threaded Presta-to-Schrader adapter and use that, but it takes away a little of the magic. And press-on tips aren’t going to stay on as well during vigorous pumping. A better solution is to get tubes or tubeless valves without removable cores, which is what I’m slowly replacing all of mine with.

When you’re done, you simply unthread it, slide it into the other end and thread it in flush:

Even with my large hands, it was comfortable to pump and didn’t heat up too much. Action is smooth and tight, it feels well constructed, and no air leaked out around the valve. It’s become my default pack pump.

The Lezyne Pressure Drive comes in gold (tested), black, red and blue and retails for $44.99.

BikeRumor’s review found HERE

Lezyne CRV 20 Multi Tool Review by BikeRadar

Lezyne CRV 20 Multi Tool Review by BikeRadar

Big and tough…ideal for tourists and off-road enthusiasts.

This is a great review by the guys and gals at BikeRadar. Radical work people.

The Lezyne CRV offers 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Allen keys but no 10mm. Flat and Phillips screwdrivers along with a T25 Torx wrench.

There’s also a combined tyre lever and 10mm open-ended spanner, plus a disc brake pad separator/bottle opener combo. The large chain tool has Mavic, 3.22 and 3.45 metric spoke head slots. Unusually for a bike tool, the CRV 20 also has a serrated 2¼in blade.

The tool has a long body, which makes it a great choice for bigger leverage jobs like removing a sticky pedal or retightening a loose crank arm. Because the chain tool is fixed it can be a little awkward to use; it’s fine in an emergency situation but we wouldn’t recommend it for workshop use.

The 3mm Allen is fixed, which meant we had to find a spare one when the CRV20’s bolts started to loosen. The multi tool comes with a Neoprene wrap to hold everything in place when pocketed and give you protection from any spiky bits.

Build quality is excellent, with thick, forged aluminium side plates. The individual tools are hardened and we haven’t managed to chew any of the ends up yet. They’re also corrosion resistant, providing you give them a squirt of WD40 or the like now and again.

Lezyne CRV 20 Multi Tool Review by BikeRadar

Lezyne Power Drive Quick Review by Kansas Cyclist

Lezyne Power Drive Quick Review by Kansas Cyclist

Lezyne Power Drive Quick Review by Kansas Cyclist

Kansas Cyclist did an extremely thorough review of Lezyne’s Power Drive. Tip of the cap to ya gents.

I recently purchased a new bicycle headlight, a Lezyne Power Drive. This is a quick look at the device, and some initial impressions on its performance.

Lezyne Power Drive Quick Review by Kansas Cyclist

The Power Drive is an LED headlight, and is the middle offering in a three-tier line from Lezyne:

  • Lezyne Super Drive: 450/300/150 lumens, 1.5/2.5/4 hours runtime, 18650 battery, $110 list
  • Lezyne Power Drive: 300/200/100 lumens, 2/3/5.5 hours runtime, 18650 battery, $90 list
  • Lezyne Mini Drive: 150/100/50 lumens, 1/1.5/3 hours runtime, CR123 battery, $70 list

The Power Drive, like the Super Drive and the Mini Drive, is available in black, silver, or gray. I opted for black.

My thinking, in choosing the Power Drive, was that 300 lumens was plenty for riding paved and gravel roads at night, and that 100 would probably be fine as well. I was also wanting to optimize run time, and the 5.5 hours at 100 lumens seemed to be the best in that regard.

Lezyne Power Drive Quick Review by Kansas Cyclist

I was a little reluctant to switch to 18650 batteries, since I’ve used mostly AA and AAA batteries in the past. The great thing about the AA/AAAs is that they’re available at any convenience store. The 18650 is a much more specialized battery size (it is not yet available at Wal-Mart, for instance), though it seems to be gaining ground.

However, most of the competing bicycle headlights were using proprietary batteries or battery packs, and I did not want to get locked into a single-source (translation: expensive) solution. Also, some of the competing lights had external battery packs; I appreciate that Lezyne offers a small, self-contained unit.

The 18650 size is very popular in the flashlights field. The 18650 appears to offer a higher voltage and a larger capacity, in a smaller space and lighter weight, compared with two AA’s (and only slightly larger/heavier than 3 AAAs).

Lezyne Power Drive Quick Review by Kansas Cyclist

The big selling points for me with Lezyne lights is that they use standard batteries that are easy to swap out (so it’s relatively easy to carry spares), and that they are optimized for bicycle use (rugged, easy mounting, water resistant, sensible modes). Flashlights might offer more bang-for-the-buck, at least initially, but since they are optimized for handheld use, they often feature strange modes (SOS?) and kludgy handlebar mounting. Worse, they don’t (in my experience) withstand the vibration of bicycle use for long. Most cheap flashlights are not rugged, but many better-quality flashlights cost nearly as much as the bicycle-specific lights.

Here’s how Lyzyne describes the light:

300 Lumen cycling light purpose built for night riding. Uniform Power Beam reflector and lens assembly produces a dual purpose beam pattern that illuminates both near and far terrain without sacrificing visibility in either field of vision. 100% CNC-machined aluminum body and battery cap. High-capacity Li-ion battery is USB rechargeable and replaceable. Programmed with three steady modes and one high-visibility blinking mode. Comes with two durable Composite Matrix handlebar mounts (31.8mm, 25.4mm) with thumb screw for easy installation and secure attachment. USB charging cable included.

Here’s what you get with the product:

Light, battery, instructions, two sizes of handlebar mounts, and a USB cable.

The battery is Lezyne-branded, and is rated at “3.7V 2400 mAH 2 Amp Protected”. According to the instructions, “only Lezyne branded LIR 18650 2 Amp Protected batteries may be used”. However, when I contacted Lezyne, they told me that other brands may be used, but that Lezyne developed their batteries to have “super long life”. The Lezyne battery carries a 6-month warranty (the light itself is warranted for 2 years). Using another brand of battery does not explicitly void the warranty. The list price for the Lezyne battery (LIR 18650) is $19.99.

Lezyne Power Drive Quick Review by Kansas Cyclist

Here’s a look at the bottom of the light and the battery compartment:

The tail of the light twists off, and you insert the battery into the tube, then thread the tail cap back on. It’s good that the battery polarity is marked on the case, and the threads appear to be of good quality.

Here you can also see the rubber gasket over the USB port, and the mounting tab that slides into the handlebar mount.

Here’s a look at the USB cable attachment:

The USB connection is a mini-USB size. To access it, you lift up the little rubber flap (which acts as a gasket when attached to the bike). Inserting the cable took a bit of fumbling, since the rubber kind of gets in the way, but it does go in.

Once attached to a power source, whether a computer or a USB AC adapter, the light begins to flash softly during the charging period. Once it stops flashing, the charge is complete. The battery has internal protection to avoid over-charging, so you can leave it connected overnight without risking damaging the cell.

Lezyne claims a 4-hour charge time. My initial charge time was about 1.5 hours. After using the light on a 2.5-hour ride (mostly on “low”), the recarge time was again about 1.5 hours. I have not yet run the battery to exhaustion and measured the full charge time.

Weight of the light, battery, and mount is 139 grams (4.9 ounces). Pretty impressive.

Mounting the light to the handlebar is easy enough, though I had to add a rubber shim to get it to fit on the handlebar of my Puch (though not needed on my Long Haul Trucker. Once mounted, the slight bit of side-to-side adjustment proved useful in fine-tuning beam placement, and of course for up-and-down adjustment, you just rotate the mount on the bar.

Frankly, I’d have preferred the simplicity of a rubber band mount, so that it could fit practically any bar size, but this system does work, and feels secure enough. Though putting the light onto the mount, and taking it back off, requires two hands, and is a bit of a futzy maneuver.

I’ve done one ride with the Lezyne Power Drive so far, and was suitably impressed. I found that low mode (100 lumens) was adequate for most conditions. The 200 and 300 lumen levels were brighter, but not enough to justify the shorter runtimes, at least in this limited test.

Throw was moderate, though not nearly as long as my Rayovac Indestructible, but compared to that cheap $15 light, the beam on the Power Drive was much more pleasing to the eye (white instead of yellowish), and with a nice even spread throughout the main beam focus. Beyond the main beam, the Power Drive’s spread was adequate to see the road and objects to the sides.

The “flash mode” on the Power Drive seems like it might be useful, operating at perhaps 5 flashes per second — fast enough to call attention during low-light conditions, but not seizure-inducingly-fast like some lights I’ve seen.

There is no “low battery” warning, which might be a little unnerving if you think you might be cutting it close, but I guess peace of mind is what spare batteries are for.The user interface on the Power Drive is pretty simple: Hold the button down for 2 seconds, and it’ll turn on at maximum brightness. Press again for medium, again for low, and again for flash. Subsequent button presses will simple cycle through the modes again. Press and hold for 2 seconds to shut it off.

So for now, I’m feeling positive about the light. The only two problems I have with it are the fiddly rubber gasket and the awkward mount-unmount procedure. Both are minor points compared to the excellence of the light itself.

The question comes to mind: At $90 list, is the Power Drive six times as good as the $15 headlight I shared a few months back? There’s no doubt that it’s a better bike light. It definitely puts out much more light than the $15 torch, the beam pattern is much better, it has more secure mounting, and the flash mode has potential safety benefits. And since the cheaper light is almost twice as heavy and twice the size, the Power Driver will be much easier to carry in a pocket. So yes, I think it’s worth it.

Anyway, I plan to keep riding with this light, and hopefully provide a longer-term follow-up review in the future.

At this point, highly recommended!

Initial Review: Lezyne’s Compact Super Drive Headlight

Initial Review: Lezyne's Compact Super Drive Headlight

Initial Review: Lezyne’s Compact Super Drive Headlight

Thanks to all great folks over at BikeRumor.com, enlightening the world about all of the great and not so great products in the industry. In all honesty, I didn’t expect to like Lezyne’s Super Drive.  As a commuter who regularly starts and finishes his morning commute in the dark, I’ve been spoiled by trail-ready 900+ Lumen lighting systems and the vision -and visibility- that they guarantee.  Coming from substantially more powerful lighting systems, I wasn’t sure what a 450 Lumen light with a mere 90 minute runtime could offer- especially at $110.  After about eight weeks of near-daily use, I now know- and have taken quite the shine to the little light.  Click through to find out more…

With its replaceable internal rechargeable battery, the Super Drive is a slick little package.  Slightly smaller than an Exposure Joystick, the Superdrive is similarly built almost entirely from aluminum, making for a sturdy light.  Tool-free 31.8mm and 25.4mm Composite Matrix (plastic) bar mounts are included in the package, as is a Mini USB charging cable.  Though there is no battery gauge on the light itself, the LED itself flashes while charging.  Though it’s tempting to use the Super Drive as a flashlight, Lezyne warn users not to- without cycling’s air flow, the light can’t evacuate the heat generated by the LED emitter and the body can in my exterience get quite hot.

Initial Review: Lezyne's Compact Super Drive Headlight

Lezyne’s Uniform Power Beam reflector makes the most of the light’s moderate 450 Lumen claimed output (on high- medium and low put out 300 and 150 Lumen, respectively).  Though not as pencil-thin as the Joystick’s, the Super Drive’s beam is among the more focused I’ve seen on the bike and the concentrated center makes it seem a whole lot brighter than it should be.  The beam almost creates a tunnel of light for riding in- not really broad enough for bar-mounted mountain biking, but plenty wide for road and commuter biking.  Aimed properly, I haven’t found myself wanting for more than the Super Drive’s high output while commuting, even at 30mph.  The hooded is a nice touch and does a good job at preventing accidental self-blinding when standing for climbs. (Why doesn’t everyone do this?)

Initial Review: Lezyne's Compact Super Drive Headlight

Though it’s reasonably stable once fitted, the combination of the charging port seal and aggressive tab on the hot shoe-style bar mount makes mounting the Super Drive a 2-handed affair.  Despite tightening the thumb screw as much as I could, it remains easy to aim the light from side (and so also to knock it off center). The location of the charging port and its chunky rubber cover make it difficult to charge the light while it’s mounted- not a big deal unless you have an outlet near your bicycle parking spot.

About the diameter of a roll of quarters and the length of a smartphone, the Super Drive is easy to remove from the bike when locking up for the day.  The 90 minute runtime requires regular topping off- thankfully the USB charging port makes at-work charging easy.

Initial Review: Lezyne's Compact Super Drive Headlight

As good as it is, with its relatively focused beam and light 125g weight, the Super Drive is really screaming for a helmet mount.  This would make the most of the beam, allow the rider to catch the eye of drivers merging from side streets, and enable off-road use. Happily, one is in the pipeline and should be reaching distributors by the middle of February.  For the next generation, a bit of clipping at the top of the beam might be nice as well.  Aiming the center spot fairly far out makes the most of it’s punch- a rotated “D” shape might make a bit more of the light’s output while sparing oncoming traffic.  But these would be a minor change and do little to take the shine off the little Lezyne.

Though it may not seem like it on paper, the Super Drive is a heck of a package- and especially impressive for a first effort.  The price is reasonable, additional batteries are available if needed, and the output is surprisingly punchy.  The self-contained design has sidelined my more powerful headlight for commuting- and I haven’t missed that light’s higher output.  If the forthcoming helmet mount is half-decent, the convenience and safety of its high position could well make it the commuter light to beat.  Stay tuned for more…

Initial Review: Lezyne's Compact Super Drive Headlight

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

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.

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.

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