Just In: Always have the right Light with Lezyne’s Mega Drive, Super Drive XL, and Zecto Drive Pro

Lezyne Mega Drive Super Drive XL Zecto Pro Lights658

Among the expensive products that I’ve used that seem to be worth their weight in gold for extending the riding season, lights are first, and Winter boots are second. Ride time doesn’t always coincide with daytime, and a good set of lights can make the difference between a great ride and sitting on the couch. Like many cyclists who have been riding for awhile, I started out with 5 or 10w halogen systems where the battery weighed as much as a small child. Lezyne’s newest crop of lights couldn’t be farther apart than what I started with and offers trail blazing performance that cuts the cord.

One of the best features of the Lezyne headlights is that when your light burns out, you’re still not done. See what we mean after the jump.

Lezyne Mega Drive Super Drive XL Zecto Pro Lights659

As Lezyne puts it, just a few years ago there were no Lezyne lights. Now, they’re practically an electronics company. The Super Drive XL, Mega Drive, and Zecto Drive Pro offer just a small glimpse into their line up from the 160 lumen Zecto Pro to the blinding 1200 lumen Mega Drive. Most of the headlights feature a fully CNC machined body and a self contained design – no battery packs and wires required. Thanks to the advances in LED and Lithium ion battery technology performance found in massive light systems just a few years prior is now available in one compact unit.

Lezyne Mega Drive Super Drive XL Zecto Pro Lights660

Each light has a built in fuel gauge letting you know how much charge you have remaining. For the two headlights, the gauge is built into the on/off button and lights up green (100%), yellow (50%), Red (10%), and flashing red (5%). On the Zecto Pro, there is a slick gauge on the side of the light bezel with blue (100%), green (75%), orange (50%),  red (10%), and flashing red (5%) LEDs. The battery gauges double a charging indicators flashing until each light is fully charged.

Lezyne Mega Drive Super Drive XL Zecto Pro Lights661

Lezyne Mega Drive Super Drive XL Zecto Pro Lights662

In addition to the 160 lumen head light, the Zecto Pro has a neat trick up its sleeve – hold the power button down for 5 seconds and it turns into a rear flasher. Two of the light’s LEDs are white, while the remaining LED is red. Each mode has a number of settings including multiple flashes, economy, blast, and day time which each have their own lumen settings. Run time varies from 3hr 10min to 6hr 30 min.

As one of the most versatile flashers I’ve tried, I like the Zecto Pro for a number of reasons. I’ve mentioned before that I like things with multiple purposes, and the Zecto Pro is just that. Done riding for the night, but need to walk the dog? Slip the Zecto Pro’s clip on your belt loop and use the front flasher so cars see you. Ride too late with just the rear flasher on, and need some light to see the front tire? Flip it around and use it on the front. The compact design and clip or rubber band mounting makes for many possibilities. The only downside to the light is that when strapped to a seat post, there is no adjusting the tilt of the light. Fortunately the design of the lens makes it visible regardless of angle. When mounted to the handlebar that isn’t an issue, since the strap is perpendicular to the ground.

White LED:

zecto_pro_white

 

Red LED:

zecto_pro_red

 

Lezyne Mega Drive Super Drive XL Zecto Pro Lights663

Lezyne Mega Drive Super Drive XL Zecto Pro Lights656 Lezyne Mega Drive Super Drive XL Zecto Pro Lights657

On the headlights, there is a little more to the package. Both the Mega Drive and Super Drive XL were shipped to us in the “Fully Loaded” box. The Super Drive XL is a beefed up version of the 450 lumen Super Drive, while the Mega Drive is their new powerhouse at a whopping 1200 lumens self contained. A million times better than a Loaded Box from Taco Bell, the Loaded boxes include a number of mounts for handle bars, helmets, charging cables, and extra batteries.

Lezyne Mega Drive Super Drive XL Zecto Pro Lights664

Lezyne Mega Drive Super Drive XL Zecto Pro Lights665 Lezyne Mega Drive Super Drive XL Zecto Pro Lights666

Extra batteries? I thought they were rechargeable? Yes, and yes. Rechargeable batteries have their obvious advantages, but run out of light on the trail and you’re SOL. Well, you would be if you weren’t carrying a spare battery for your Super Drive XL or Mega Drive. Even at full power, the 1200 lumen Mega Drive and 575 lumen Super Drive XL offer decent battery life at about an hour and a half. Drop down to Enduro mode and the lumens are halved and the time doubled. But if you do run out of light, you can simply pop in the spare battery that is included with the Full Loaded kit and keep on riding.

Super Drive XL:

super_xl

Mega Drive XL:

mega

The Super Drive XL houses the battery in a threaded barrel with a battery spring, while the Mega Drive uses a hinged clip to keep the battery compartments water tight. The Super Drive XL also includes a battery case to store the spare inside, apparently the larger battery for the Mega Drive is ok on its own.

When it comes to charging the batteries, the secret (at least for the Mega Drive) is to find a USB port capable of High Efficiency charging which will cause the battery indicator to light up blue instead of green. I was only able to find one outlet that was capable of this – the charging block from my iPad. All others that I tried, computer, cameras, phone, and GPS USB chargers were only able to charge the light in green (normal) normal mode, which takes 4-6 or 6-10 hours depending on the light. The high efficiency charge cuts recharge time in half. Interestingly, even though it is listed in the user manual as a feature, the same outlet that would charge the Mega Drive in HE mode would not charge the Super Drive XL in HE.

First Impressions:

The ability to obtain the same amount and quality of light as my current setup without external batteries and cables was a big part of why I was so excited to test out these lights. No more wires wrapped around the frame, batteries on your seat post, or your helmet being tethered to your hydration pack. So far, Lezyne’s small but mighty lights have proven to be up to the challenge. I’ll admit that charging is much slower than that of my Light and Motion lights, but with the extra batteries it becomes a much smaller issue. The ability to run the Super Drive XL as both a helmet and bar mounted light is great, though the helmet mount could use a little improvement – the ball socket provides the ability to truly point it wherever you want, but the small lock ring makes it very difficult to tighten it sufficiently.

Using the Super Drive XL as a helmet light and the Mega Drive as a bar mounted light, the combo is more than enough for serious mountain biking, while the Super Drive XL alone would be a great bar mounted light for road riding. Use the Zecto Drive Pro as a rear light to get you to the trail and you’re set. These CNC machined beauties pack a lot of value into some excellent lights for $49.99 (Zecto Drive Pro), $119.99 ($154.99 as tested, Super Drive XL), and $199.99 ($249.99 as tested, Mega Drive). I doubt the final result will be much different, but we’ll keep you posted.

 

Comments

nof - 01/08/14 - 6:43pm

You need a USB charger that does 1 or 2A (instead of .5A like on computers) “high efficiency” doesn’t mean anything.

Other than that, you can get equivalent lights off ebay/amazon for $50 if you look at flash lights.. all you need is a mount… except they last 5hrs and don’t weight more. Look for CREE leds.

greg - 01/08/14 - 8:11pm

those ebay/amazon flashlights typically have extremely optimistic quoted output and poorly designed reflectors that leave dark spots all over the place. you get what you pay for in this case.

Negley - 01/08/14 - 10:39pm

The SuperDrive XL is nice, but the helmet mount puts it too high off the helmet. It makes it very top heavy and causes too much movement while riding for my liking. Works great as a bar mount for road riding though.

Champs - 01/09/14 - 12:44am

Greg, I’m not at all impressed by the glorified flashlights they sell as bike headlights, either. 300 lumens can be quite effective, but optics don’t win the arms race that sells new lights with bigger numbers.

Psi Squared - 01/09/14 - 1:11am

Just because a light has a Cree LED means nothing. Just because a light puts out 1000 lumens means nothing. What matters most in terms of light for a rider is the illuminance (the amount of light falling on a given area, like lux = lumens/m^2) as a function of position in the illuminated spot and the shape of the spot. Unfortunately, as alluded to above, a light with 300 lumens, a suitable beam spread and the desired illuminance isn’t nearly as tempting to the average Joe as a generic light on eBay that advertises big lumens.

My 300 Lumen Ay Up light is great for riding dark country roads or mountain descents at night.

Ian west - 01/09/14 - 3:29am

Just bought the super drive loaded as my first road bike light and I’m really impressed. I found it more than enough on the normal high setting but on the 575lmns it is fantastic.

Like the review says they get rid of the cables, which was my main driver looking for a light for the road bike. The light spread on the ground is good too, get a spot of bright light in front with an even spread of light outwards which covers a good section of road in front of you.

Really impressed and a great light.

Pabcor - 01/09/14 - 5:02am

Mega Drive and Super Drive XL good light but bit expensive. See comparative http://reviews.mtbr.com/2014-mtbr-bike-lights-shootout. Amazón/ebay 50$ have poor light and did not last long.

Chris - 01/09/14 - 5:29am

I have exactly this set. I use it for commuting and night-training on both racing- and mountainbike. Very satisfied

Murdoch - 01/09/14 - 5:52am

“The only downside …. Is no adjusting the tilt of the light” (zeeto pro) – this is not the only downside – you can see clearly in picture 5 that that the concave shape to the back of the clip is off centre. Therefore when the light is used as a rear light it is not central on the seatpost causing your thigh to rub against the light on one side which is unformfortable, ruins material of your shorts and may push the light sideways so it no longer sits straight. I have the standard rear light not the reversible front/rear version, but the physical design is the same. It is such a fundamental design flaw it makes the light virtually unusable as a rear light. Much much better out there for a lot less money.

TigerCat - 01/09/14 - 11:08am

@Murdoch: The Zecto Pro (not zeeto) fits well under the seat. I’ve been using mine for a couple months as a rear light with no thigh rub. I am a person with thigh rub and many shorts with holes from saddles and saddle bags. The light is great on the seatpost, although maybe my thighs are not thunderous enough… Also daytime time flash setting makes my wife feel better about me commuting during the day. The clip allows you to use the light for cooking when camping making it a great multipurpose light.

binny bin - 01/09/14 - 12:25pm

love the mega drive but hate the mounting clamp….even the aluminum one is way too whimpy and continues to slip on my easton carbon handlebars. anyone else have this problem? for such an awesome light, i was hoping for a better handlebar clamp. will they come out with a better mount in the future?

Stephen - 01/21/14 - 5:01pm

Did your lights ever have trouble charging? I’m on my second light now and can’t get the HE mode to engage, although worse is it requires lots of trail and error to actually get the lights to go solid green indicating charged. 24 hours on a 2A charger isn’t doing it.

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