Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lezyne Zecto Drive Front LED Light

I can't resist bike lights, especially when they come in a well designed package. Of course, they should also be easy to mount on the bike, and be easy to use. With this, let me introduce the latest addition to my array of bike lights!

On my Avanti Inc 3 commuting bike, I already have the NiteRider Mako 200 front light. However, I would prefer at least 2 front lights and 2 rear lights for each bike, for better visibility and also for backup. Therefore I got this new light for my Avanti Inc 3 commuting bike.

This is the Lezyne Zecto Drive Front Light, which is a dedicated front light. There is also the dedicated Zecto rear light, and a special front/rear dual purpose light. The Zecto Pro has both white LEDs for front usage and red LEDs for rear usage. It is best used as a backup light due to its dual colour LEDs, but it would be a pricey backup light!

Black coloured casing to suit my Avanti Inc 3. Look at the 3 LEDs enlarged by the lens!

The estimated runtime in the various modes. Is it good to have so many modes? Read on to find out.

The items that come with the light. A micro USB cable (which we already have too many of) and the rubber strap for mounting the light.

The casing seems to be built rather sturdily. Nice build quality.

The rubber cover for the USB charging port at the bottom of the light. Sealing seems OK.

Power button on top of the light.

The plastic clip at the rear of the light, for mounting onto saddle bags.

If you plan to mount it on a seatpost or handlebar, you can install the rubber strap for that.

This light has a good battery level indicator, with different coloured lights showing the battery charge left in the light.

Just press the ON button for a short 1 second and the battery indicator comes on.


Installation and Mounting:
Mounting this light on the handlebar is rather easy. Just loop the rubber strap around the handlebar and hook it on the bottom of the light. However, it find that it is quite a stretch to get it around the 31.8mm diameter handlebar. It is very secure, but I am concerned that the rubber strap may break after some time.

To charge the light, the light needs to be removed from the bike, which may or may not be troublesome, depending on how often the light needs to be charged. Or you could just get a long USB cable...

Usage:
To turn on or off the light, just press and hold on to the ON button for 2 seconds. The light will turn on in the first mode, which is the Economy mode. To change to the other modes, just press the ON button briefly and it will cycle through the modes.

Economy Mode: Steady 20 lumens of light
Blast Mode: Steady 40 lumens of light
Flash 1: Top LED stays lighted, while the 2 bottom LEDs blink alternately
Flash 2: All 3 LEDs flash on and off
Flash 3: All 3 LEDs blink sequentially
Daytime Mode: All 3 LEDs flash rapidly for 2 times, before turning off for 1 sec. Flashes at 80 lumens.

From what I see, the more useful modes for me are the Flash / Daytime modes, as the blinking will catch more attention than a steady light. The curious thing is that the brightest mode (Daytime mode) actually also has the longest battery runtime. It is probably due to the short time that it is actually lighted compared to the other modes.

In this case it is a no brainer to always use the Daytime mode, since it is the brightest and lasts the longest. The other NiteRider Mako 200 light on the Avanti Inc 3 will then be used in the Low steady mode, as a to-see light.

However, what I don't like about this light is that when I turn it off, it will always start up in the Economy mode the next time I turn on the light. This means that I will have to click through all the modes before I get to the Daytime mode that I use. This is when I feel that there are too many modes, when I have to click through everything to get to the last mode.

It would have been much, much better if the light turned on at the last selected mode. Eg. If I turned off the light in Daytime mode, the next time I turned it on, it would start in Daytime mode.

Compatibility with Wireless Speedometers:
I have tried this light when it is mounted next to the Cateye Strada Slim wireless speedometer, and there is no interference with that. This would be down to good engineering on Lezyne's part to ensure that their electronics don't interfere with wireless speedometers.

Lezyne Zecto Drive mounted next to the Cateye Wireless Slim, with no electromagnetic interference between them.

Turning on the light. This is the Economy mode of 20 lumens

Pretty good as a to-be-seen light, especially if using the bright Daytime mode.

To conclude this short review, here is a summary of the good and bad of this Lezyne Zecto Drive Front LED light.

Plus Points:
1) Useful battery level indicator
2) Easy mounting method
3) No interference with wireless speedometer
4) Good battery life, especially on Daytime mode
5) Good build quality and attractive design
6) Brightness is quite good for a small sized light
7) Many modes to suit different users and preferences
8) Lightweight, good for weight conscious road bikes

Downsides:
1) Rubber strap may not be suited to oversized handlebars, as it feels overstretched
2) ON button is a bit hard to activate, and the tactile feeling of the click is not strong enough
3) Does not turn back on in the previously selected mode, making it necessary to cycle through the modes to get to Daytime mode

Would I buy this light again?
Yes

Overall, this bike light is quite good, packing a lot of brightness into a small package. The battery life is good, and the design of the light is also quite attractive. It is a great addition to any bike, as a high quality to-be-seen light. In fact, a pair of these lights would work really well on the handlebar, boosting visibility to other road users.

2 comments:

  1. Hi there good sir,

    I know this may not necessarily be directly related to Lezyne LED lights you reviewed but I am very curious to see that you have managed to mount the torch to the front truss of your Dahon. Would you be so kind to share with me on how you managed that? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. If you check out this link, you can see that I have used a front adaptor to mount the Lezyne SuperDrive XL to the luggage truss. What you need is just a fork accessory bracket which you can find online, such as from sjscycles.co.uk.

      http://handsonbike.blogspot.sg/2012/10/lezyne-super-drive-xl-in-depth-review.html

      http://handsonbike.blogspot.sg/2012/05/fork-accessory-bracket-on-dahon-front.html

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