In the almost nuclear arms race of willie-waving, lumen-touting, my light is better than yours claims, it feels strange to have to pen a piece about a small LED light that isn’t brighter than the sun and which promises nothing more than ensuring that you are seen on your bike rather than being used to see with.
Some mistake surely? Who would want such a product? Well if you are willing to read on, it may well be you…
Over the last few years, Lezyne has worked hard at building a reputation for well thought-out, affordable bike accessories. Given the range of lighting products which it now offers, you could almost be forgiven for believing that it is first and foremost and electronics brand which decided to jump into the bike trade.
Rather, Lezyne started in 2007 with the intention of manufacturing premium quality cycling accessories at an affordable price entering the lighting market in 2011. In less than four years, it has become a major player in the market which – given the level of competition from the likes of Cateye, Exposure and Lumicycle – is no small achievement.
With the Zecto Drive Pro, Lezyne set out to produce a safety light that would ensure that you would be seen by other road users both during the day and at night. As anyone who has driven on a wet or misty day would agree, it’s far easier to see a cyclist if they have a light on and offers that little bit of extra insurance that hopefully means that you and your bike are not used for target practice by an errant motorist.
What’s in the box?
Comprising three LEDS within its compact composite body, the Zecto Pro Drive offers greater flexibility than most other lights on the market, in that it has both red and white led lights built into it. This means it can be used as either a front or a back light. The standard of finish of the light is high. The gnurled metal ring on the front gives a real feeling of quality while the access port for the (supplied) micro USB cable which is used to charge it, has a rubber seal.
This sits tightly over the port and has thus far ensured that no water has gotten into the unit, despite being used in often torrential conditions. Weighing approximately 50 grams, the unit comes with two mounting options of either an inbuilt clip which can be attached to a bag or waistband, and a detachable and replaceable rubber mounting strap which can be used to attach the unit to a frame or even a helmet with a bit of cajoling.
When used as a front light, there are six modes on offer which can be cycled through by pressing the rubberised on/off button. Two constant options of up to 80 lumens on a two-hour burn time are available. Flashing options range between 40 lumens and 160 lumens with up to five hours of lighting available. Just don’t be tempted to look at the light in daytime flash mode as it is seriously bright. I did that for you, so you don’t have to!
Pressing and holding down the button toggles between the white and red LEDs. In rear mode, you can have up to 40 lumens of brightness in daytime mode, for over six hours of runtime. To round things off, there is a neat in-built power indicator which is built such that there is an element of side visibility too.
Light up your life.
In use, the lights have proven themselves to be reliable irrespective of how cold and wet the conditions are. The actual burn times are pretty much spot on, while the supplied rubber mounting strap means that it’s a very quick process to attach or take them off the bike. In practice, they work best when mated to oversized 31.8mm bars and wider diameter seatposts, seating securely even on bumpy off-road excursions.
The fact that the rubber strap is replaceable is a real bonus in my eyes. The design could be improved slightly by adding a small rubber stopper on the outside of the clip in order to reduce rubbing against the bars or seat post. Recharging from fully depleted only takes a couple of hours with the cable, which can be used with the likes of an mains plug adaptor for added flexibility.
Having ridden behind one both in daytime mode and at night, drivers have no excuse for not seeing you with these lights. They are bright without being blinding to other road users. Off road, they saved my bacon from a long walk home in the dark when I lost the use of my main light. Doubling up at the front and setting both lights in boost mode gave me enough light to ride home at a reasonable pace through the inky blackness.
The Zecto Pros are a worthy addition to your night riding armoury and a worthy alternative to Exposure’s similarly priced Flash and Flare. With the exception of perhaps having a slightly longer burn time on full power (well it wouldn’t be a review if I couldn’t find something to improve upon!), these are truly excellent lights and should be at the top of anyone’s list.
|Product:||Zecto Drive Pro light|
|From:||Upgrade Bikes, upgradebikes.co.uk|
|Tested:||by CJ for five months|