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

mtn-close-up.jpg

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

Green Park Bike Station and Lezyne Tools

Green Park Bike Station does a lovely overview of how to tune up a bike and perform basic maintenance tasks using a number of Lezyne tools.

In a dark greasy corner in a bike workshop in Bath lurks a beast, of a pump!  Seriously the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive has been in use in our workshop for around 6 months now and has proved indispensable. Firstly its appearance, it looks solid especially the nice aluminium feet at the base, they’re textured to give grip and reassuringly long to keep the pump upright.  The hose clips over the pump handle using the threaded ‘flip chuck’ valve to clip it to the base of the pump, this makes it look really neat when storing it.  The handle is one of the nicer features, a bit thinner where your palms rest to aid grip and made of a very durable varnished wood.  With all the use in the workshop some of the deeper grooves in the grain have become embedded with black grease, giving it an aged appearance which is nice.  The barrel is pretty plain, painted in a variety of colours but really its just a simple tube.

In use the pump is really great.  The barrel and piston is long enough to not have to double over when pumping which is great for your back.  The best thing about it is that it takes very few strokes to get a tyre up to full pressure, road tyres can be up to 110 psi in a matter of 10 strokes!  The flip chuck is a great mechanics friend, you screw the chuck onto the valve and of course you’re guaranteed that it will always push air into the tube and its never going to pop off.  Also when removing it you never have to struggle with a QR lever and the subsequent ‘kickback’ when you release the lever.  It really is much easier to get on and off than the lever types of pump.  I have had issues with it taking out the valve cores on presta valves, but Lezyne have updated the pump with an Air Bleed System (ABS) button, which releases all the pressure in the tube and means valve cores stay put.  If you already own this pump or any Lezyne pump the new ABS chucks can be bought separately.  The guage is housed in a big chunky ring of engineered aluminium at the base of the pump, I’ve got to say its become pretty obscured at times by dust and muck from the workshop.  A quick wipe gets rid of the muck and the dial can be seen again, mind you it is necessary to get down a bit and take a squint at it as the numbering on the dial is ‘sparse’.  Having said that it doesn’t detract from the pleasure of using such a solid feeling pump. The video below shows it (and me!) in action thanks to Bath Uni CC.

ABS-system

View The Green Park Bike Station Review Here

Lezyne Alloy Dirt Floor Drive Pump Review

Lezyne Alloy Dirt Drive

Lezyne Alloy Dirt Floor Drive Pump Review

Once again, BikeRumor.com has exposed the newest and greatest features among Lezyne’s product line. He highlighted the ABS Flip Chuck and Slip Chuck and demonstrates how well they work with Lezyne’s Alloy Dirt Floor Drive…..unreal.

Lezyne’s Alloy Dirt Floor Drive pump is a tool with a purpose. That purpose?  Seating and inflating tubeless mountain bike tires.  As anyone who’s tried to get a reluctant tubeless mountain bike tire to seat using a floor pump knows, that job can require a lot of air in a small amount of time- more than most floor pumps can deliver.  While a half-decent excuse is all most guys need to run down to Sears for an air compressor, Lezyne’s big-bore Dirt Floor Drive series of pumps are an appealing alternative.  Hit the jump to find out why…

Lezyne Alloy Dirt Drive Floor Pump Review

In order to provide the air volume that tubeless tire seating requires, Lezyne have increased not only the pump barrel’s bore, but also the hose and internals to minimize air flow restrictions.  In practice, this has allowed me to seat all of the true tubeless and most of the tubeless-ready tires I’ve tried.  Why use a pump when, in my case, there’s a perfectly good air compressor really close by?  In short, because the compressor is awfully noisy in my small workshop and, by the time it’s been switched on and reached pressure I could have used the Dirt Floor Drive to seat the tire.  Besides, nobody likes getting kicked out of bed in the middle of the night to turn off an air compressor they’d left on.

Lezyne Alloy Dirt Drive Floor Pump Review

The middle of three Dirt Floor Drive models, the tested $85 Alloy Dirt Floor Drive has a nice wood handle and polished aluminum barrel- a step up from the $75 Classic Dirt Floor Drive’s steel barrel and a step down from the blingtastic $110 CNC Dirt Floor Drive, which has still more machined aluminum hardware and an aluminum handle. For 2012, all three use Lezyne’s presta/Schraeder reversible ABS Flip-Thread Chuck and come with a hose that is long enough to comfortably reach the wheels of bicycles mounted in workstands. The gauge is located at the substantial cast base- not great for legibility, but probably the best choice given its size and heft.  With the large barrel entirely unsuited to road bike use, the gauge only goes up to 70psi, making small pressure differences easy to read.

A big reason that the Lezyne has been so eagerly adopted as part of my workshop is that it’s plain satisfying to use. The polished aluminum makes it look like a serious piece of equipment and the stained wood handle is not only pretty but a pleasure to hold. The height of the pump is just right, allowing average-height adults to manage full strokes without uncomfortable bending- and making shorter pumps feel oddly child-sized by comparison.

Lezyne Alloy Dirt Drive Floor Pump Review<

Back in April’s initial review of the Alloy Dirt Floor Drive pump, I complained about the 2011 Flip-Thread Chuck’s tendency to either thread tubeless valves through their locknut and into the rim and, when removing the chuck, inadvertently removing valve cores (and with them the tire’s contents).  Properly tightening locknuts addresses the first problem and, for 2012, Lezyne’s new Air Bleed System (ABS) chucks address the second.  Now shipping with all Dirt Floor Drive pumps and pictured above, the ABS Flip-Thread Chuck allows the rider to bleed pressure from the pump’s hose after inflation.  This reduces the amount of pressure on the seals and prevents the chuck from unthreading valve cores.  Hooray!

The ABS Flip-Thread Chuck is never going to be the fastest to use (oh! those valuable seconds!), but it makes up for it in simplicity and durability.  The $4 Speed Chuck (pictured below, on the gold Flip Thread Chuck), which is also shipping with new Lezyne pumps, is faster but can be fiddly and leaky in use- so I tend to leave it on the bench.

Lezyne Alloy Dirt Drive Floor Pump Review

At $85, the Alloy Dirt Floor Drive is awfully close to the price of an inexpensive consumer air compressor, which makes it a hard sell on paper.  After working with it for nearly a year, I can speak to its durability- in fact my local shop uses Lezyne pumps on their floor and in their workshop because of the Flip-Thread Chucks’ resistance to sealant fouling.  Unlike an air compressor, the Dirt Floor Drive is  also easy to take to the races- and is miles better than small car-oriented portable air compressors.  When rain means it’s time to switch a 24-hour team’s bikes to mud tires, the Alloy Dirt Floor Drive could almost pay for itself in CO2 cartridges.  Leaving a (nice to have but not essential) tire bleed valve the only thing that I can think to wish for, Lezyne have done a very good job with the updated Alloy Dirt Floor Drive:  it’s a well made tool that does exactly what it’s meant to.  And it looks darn good doing it.

LED Helmet Mount Finalized and Available Next Month and Super Drive Review

helmet mount

San Luis Obispo, CA – Lezyne LED users will be happy to hear the Lezyne LED helmet mount will be available next month. Production of the long awaited mount began this month and the first round of mounts have already shipped to Lezyne distributors worldwide. Available to the public early February. The helmet 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 $19.99. Look for these in your local shop next month!

helmet mount

road helmet

close up helmet

nmountain helmet

MTBR.com Releases In-depth Review of Super Drive LED

To add to the LED news, the guys of MTBR.com have released an in-depth, 2-page review of the Super Drive LED. Here is what Francis of MTBR.com had to say about the Super Drive LED:

“[The Super Drive] is a ground breaking new light from a new light company.  They could sell a few of these lights at $250 so we suspect they will sell a lot at the $110 price. It is a great beam pattern that accomplishes a flood and a decent spot at the same time. And the real bonus is if you want it brighter, buy two. If you want more run time, buy more Lezyne batteries.”

“The Lezyne Super Drive is not the brightest but it is the most compelling because of its quality and $110 price. We also want to note its honesty in reporting.  Claiming 450 lumens for a measured output of 421 lumens is one of the most honest we’ve seen to date as the industry usually 30% off.

Follow this link to read the full review >>

LED TECH Page to be Launched

LED Tech Page

To help consumers learn more about the new LED lights, Lezyne will be launching a new LED Tech Page on our website later this month.  It will contain useful information about LED lighting, in general, as well as in–depth details and FAQs about our lights. Check our Engineered Design page for updates and more Lezyne Tech

Lezyne SV Tool Review

Lezyne SV Tool

Lezyne SV Tool Review

SV10 Multi-Tool review by Wojtek Wysocki for the Atlanta Sports Gear Examiner. Thanks Wojtek!

Andy Johnston has spent most of his life in the bike world, and over 20 as a Mechanic.  There are a myriad of multi-tools out there, but few as finely crafted such to appreciate the detail as the Lezyne SV multi-tool.

The SV 10, as implied, includes 10 tools: hex wrenches of 2,3,4,5,6 and 8, Phillips screwdriver, T-25 and T-30 torx wrenches, and a chain breaker for 9 & 10 speed chains.  Price is $45.

All bits are stainless steel for extreme durability and rust resistantance.  Forged Stainless steel bits means a hard, long lasting tool and no rounded off corners for the hex wrenches.  Side plates and chain breaker are CNC aluminum to keep the weight at 101 grams.

The chain breaker is the most ingenious component for its simplicity and lightweight.  A threaded pushpin attaches to the tool and a machined aluminum chain breaker body threads onto that.  Chain pin removal is easy, but to further save grams, there is no method for reattaching a pin.  It is assumed most racer-oriented trail repairs will be made with a master link, so be sure to have a spare or two on hand.  Lower down the Lezyne line the chain breakers do have this option.

Lezyne SV Tool

Lezyne SV Tool Review

Chris Verbick installation with Lezyne Pumps

As a sponsor for ARTCRANK London 2011, the Lezyne bicycle products company were interested in showcasing their fine track pumps in an innovative way.

The production team for the show wanted to bring what we called “the red carpet effect” to London’s second ARTCRANK show. Thus this rope barrier was designed and constructed with specially-sourced pink inner tubes. The branding for ARTCRANK, Look Mum No Hands! and Lezyne were all highlighted in the installation.

The design allowed for the bikes to remain functional during the event—something of which many of the show attendees took full advantage.