Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lezyne Super Drive XL Front Light: First Impressions

A quick review on the latest gadget from Lezyne, the Super Drive XL Front Light! This is upgraded from the previous version, with a brighter and improved circuit. This is a year 2013 new product, and I am lucky to be one of the first few to get my hands on one of these front lights.

I previously had the prototype version, now I have the actual production version and there are some small differences.

As copied from the CRC website, here are the specifications for this light:

Lezyne Power Drive XL Front Light Features:

  • Rechargeable Front light.
  • MTB / Road / Commute.
  • No wires design, clutter free handlebars.
  • Up to 500 genuine lumens output.
  • Mode sequence optimized for daily rider. 4 main settings.

Lezyne Power Drive XL Front Light Specifications:

  • Race Mode: Access to toggle between Blast and Enduro settings.
  • Simple to re-charge: Micro USB charging cable included (common EU standard).
  • Easy to fit: No tools required, hard mount Composite Matrix bracket with angle adjust.
  • Quality materials: Fully CNC sculpted alloy body.
  • Highly water resistant: O-ring sealed to FL1 standard.
  • Side visibility design improves safety.
  • Uniform beam pattern: Even distribution of light optimized for cycling.
  • High Quality Lezyne Lithium Ion Battery (Interchangeable) LIR18650.
  • Battery indicator: Traffic light style intelligent power button when riding.
  • Battery check: With light off, charge level can be checked with quick press of button.
  • Compact: 33mm diameter x 102mm.
  • Lightweight: 149g with handlebar bracket.

Lezyne Power Drive XL Front Light Settings:

  1. Enduro (Medium): 350 lumens / 2.5hrs
  2. Blast (High): 500 lumens / 1.5hrs
  3. Economy (Low): 175 lumens / 5hrs
  4. Flash: 350 lumens / 5hrs
The set that I have is the "Loaded" version, which means that besides the light and standard bracket mounting, it also comes with an extra battery and the helmet mount.

Clean packaging

Top of box with CNC marks. Are the plastic boxes CNC milled at the top?

The manual with clear instructions and glorious full colour.

Unboxing! The stuff that comes with the "Loaded" version of the Lezyne Super Drive XL.

Besides the light and the standard bracket mount, it also has the extra battery and the helmet mount.

Overall look of the light. Sleek and clean design.

Super big and powerful LED, magnified by the lens.

Micro USB port at the bottom for charging. Protected by a rubber cover.

The extra rechargeable battery with the casing, exactly the same as the one in the light. Will need to insert the battery in the light for charging.

The helmet mount, with a ball joint for angle adjustment.

Two different sized clamps are available. With the rubber shims, they can fit pretty much any handlebar.

Before I got this Lezyne front light, I actually already have another powerful front light, the Busch & Muller IXON IQ front light. You can read more about it at the review here.

Comparing the size. The Lezyne light is much slimmer, at about half the diameter of the Busch & Muller light.

  Comparing the weights of the lights, including the clamps.

From the weighing scale (my new digital weighing scale! Only $12!), we can see that the B&M light is about 60 grams heavier. But it is also because the B&M light has 4xAA batteries inside it, which means it has a much longer runtime. 5 hrs in high mode, 20 hours in low mode.

Of course, there is no point comparing the size and weight of the lights, if the light is not bright enough! I haven't had time to test out the lights on the road yet, but I can say the the Lezyne light is really very bright! Even on the Economy mode of 175 lumens, it is more than sufficient for lighting up the path on an unlit road. The Enduro and Blast modes of 350 and 500 lumens are even brighter.

With 2 fully charged batteries, the light can last for 3 hours on Blast mode, and 10 hours on Economy or Flash mode. For extended night rides, it will be best to have at least two batteries in order to last the whole night. But for short night rides of a few hours, the runtime of 1.5-5 hours will be sufficient. With USB charging, it is easy to just plug the light into any micro USB plug to charge the light.

This is only the first part of the review, will follow it up with the review of the actual light usage!

The second part of the review is now up! Click here to see the in depth review.

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