Friday, October 28, 2016

Long Term Review: Lezyne Power Drive and Strip Drive Pro



Last year I wrote about wanting to update my battery-powered lighting with something that was bright enough to ride confidently in the countryside, simple to recharge, and convenient to share between different bikes. I ended up with a set of lights from Lezyne that fulfill all of these criteria: the Power Drive 900 XL (which Lezyne has since upgraded to the 1100 XL) and the Lezyne Strip Drive Pro  I have been using these lights for about 10 months now. And as the season of early nightfall is once again upon us, I thought it was about time for a review.



The Power Drive 900 XL was actually not my first choice of headlight. I initially bought the even-brighter Deca Drive 1500 XXL (the model numbers refer to the lumen output) while getting the 900 XL for my husband Gary.

However, I soon realised I'd made a mistake. Don't get me wrong: The Deca Drive 1500XXL lit up the road like a floodlight. But it was quite a bit heavier than I expected (truth be told, like having a brick attached to the bike). And, with its screw-on mount and system of shims to accommodate different handlebar diameters, sharing it between bikes proved a cumbersome process.

In comparison, Gary's 900XL was featherweight and took milliseconds to attach and detach to any bike. He insisted it was bright enough to light up the country roads. So I tried his light and immediately realised that this was the model I should have gone for as well. I then returned the Deca Drive 1500 XXL and exchanged it for a second 900 XL. We now each use a 900 XL and remain very pleased with the choice.



As this backstory illustrates, the benefit of the Lezyne Power Drive 900 XL is not in its brightness alone - but in its brightness, to weight, to ease-of-use ratio.

While the model is not the most luminous available, it is sufficiently bright for me to cycle confidently on unlit country roads and forest trails for the duration of my commute, which fulfills my brightness requirement.



At the same time, it is lightweight (146g). And let me just say that I never thought I cared about the weight of lights until I tried its heavier sibling. I could actually feel the awesome heft of the 1500 XXL in my handbag, whenever I had to shlep it around with me all day. At nearly half the weight, the 900 XL is a much easier light to live with.

And, at the same time, it is extremely - ridiculously - easy to share between multiple bikes. This is because instead of a screw-mount system, this headlight is lightweight enough to use with a silicone mounting strap. The strap is not only quick to affix and detach. But, by virtue of being stretchy, it fits over any size and shape handlebars without requiring finicky adjustments or the use of shims.



The Lezyne Power Drive is charged via USB lead. And it does require regular charging. In its brightest (900 lumen/ "overdrive") mode, it lasts only 1 hour and 15 minutes, in its second brightest (650 lumen / "blast") mode 1 hour and 45 minutes, and in the more economical 450 lumen "enduro" mode 2 hours 40 minutes.

There are modes that are more economical still, but in country-dark conditions they are insufficient, so those three are the ones I alternate between - which means that I need to charge the light after every use. It's a pain, but for a non-dynamo light that is shared between bikes it is inevitable, and still beats disposable batteries. So what we've done now is set up a dedicated charging station for our lights and instituted a ritual. We come home at night and immediately put the lights on the charger. That way, they are always ready to go.



Getting back to its illuminating properties, I use the Lezyne 900 XL both on homeward commutes and on road rides that run late. Over a variety of circumstances, the light has proven sufficiently bright for me at both commuting speeds and roadie speeds, on very dark country roads. I have also ridden with it on trails, albeit slowly (I do not think I would feel comfortable riding trails at speed at night with any lighting setup, so I am the wrong person for feedback in that context).

Aside from repeating that the light is sufficiently bright for my needs, I am afraid I don't have any nuanced feedback about how its beam pattern compares to others, etc. I just know that it works for me, to the extent that I can see bends coming up ahead and potholes directly in front of me, and I am able to ride with a calm confidence even on moonless nights.

The elastic strap and pivoting mount make the beam easy to adjust from both the higher position of upright handlebars and from the lower position of drop bars. The only problem is, using it on a bike where a hefty front bag blocks the beam. I have yet to rig up an elegant system (i.e. one not involving the use of a tree-branch) for attaching the light to the very thin tubing of a front rack. But if you are dealing with an unobstructed front end, adjusting the aim of the beam is a wizzy-wig process, even on the go. Switching it on and off, and changing modes, is also easy: There is just one large button, which you press multiple times. It remembers the mode you last used after being switched off and on.



The light is also highly visible to oncoming road users. One time I was cycling home after dark form town, when I heard shouting behind me. "Hey, wait! Jeez, will you wait!" and so on. I realised it was my husband. He had come to meet me half way, so that we could cycle home together. But as he intercepted me on the road, I ignored him. He had to make a U-turn and chase me down.

That's odd, I said, I did not see you coming toward me. In fact, I've seen no other cyclists on the road tonight. Only a motorbike a little while ago... Oh!!!

Only then did it dawn on me that his headlight shone so brightly and appeared so large from a distance, I had mistaken him for a motorbike. Come to think of it I did wonder why that motorbike was so quiet.

Like I said, the Lezyne 900 XL is not the brightest model available. But we find it bright enough - which, together with its other features, makes it the ideal light for our purposes. According to the manufacturer's specs, the recent 1100 XL update should have those very same features (the stated weight seems to remain unchanged), with 200 lumens of additional brightness. And the 900 XL remains available from many online sellers.



When both of my Cateye TL-LD610 tail lights broke after seven years of use, I was drawn to the Lezyne Strip Drive because of its similar shape, combined with its versatile silicone mount and direct-charge USB design. Also, since I was already going with a Lezyne headlight, I thought it would be nice for the tail light to match.

There are two versions of the Lezyne Strip Drive model: the regular, and the "pro." The latter offering  greater luminosity for only a marginal difference in cost (at least for the European market), that was the version I chose.



With an output of 50 and 25 lumens in its highest two constant modes, and 100 lumens in its highest flash mode, the Strip Drive Pro is pretty bright for a tail light. When I cycle behind my husband (who uses the same model), I can see his tail light, no matter how far ahead of me he is, as long as he hasn't gone around a bend. When I cycle alone, cars overtake me in a way that suggests they'd seen me a good deal in advance. This alone has increased my confidence cycling at night along the utterly unlit country roads.



As I always use tail lights in constant mode, rather than as blinkies, my run times tend to be on the lower end of the range manufacturers boast. When used in its two brightest constant modes, the Lezyne Strip Drive Pro gives me between 1 hour 40 minutes and 3 hours of run time. (There are more economical modes available with up to 15 hours of run time, but they are useless to me).

So, as with the Power Drive headlight, the Strip Drive does need to be charged every single night. But again, I prefer this to using batteries. Not only because it is less wasteful and allows for the light to be more lightweight, but also because the USB gives me better control over ensuing the light is freshly charged at all times. It is especially convenient to stick it into my laptop's USB port while I'm working, should I want to top up the charge.



As with the headlight, there are no complicated or screw-on attachments involved with this tail light. The silicone mounting strap makes it quick and extremely versatile to use on any bike. It will fit seat posts of any shape and diameter. But if you don't have enough seatpost showing on your bike, or if you are sporting a saddle bag, the light can also be fitted on seat stays. Even super-skinny and unusually shaped seat stays. The mounting straps are stretchy, adaptable, and do not require superior dexterity. I can attach and remove the lights even with gloves on - which is useful in the winter cold.

Unlike other tail lights I've used, it can also be turned on and off with gloves on. The switch is in an intuitive location, and fingertip-shaped. When you turn the light off and on again, it remembers the mode you left it in. Easy.

Another thing I will say in favour of this tail light, is how durable it has been for me so far. The co-molded lens/body construction is rubbery and bouncy when dropped. And I've dropped it quite a few times. How long it will last in my clumsy, abusive hands only time will tell. But I'm hopeful.



One final thing I will note about the headlight and tail light both, is the side visibility. Lezyne describes both products as having "built-in side visibility." And they do, to some extent. But in my opinion, this isn't their strongest point (compared to, say, the Bookman Curve lights, and some of the Light & Motion models). Now, for my use case scenario, side visibility is far less important than extreme front/rear visibility. But those who frequently navigate intersections in the course of their nocturnal travels, should perhaps do some research into this particular feature.

Lezyne is a California-based company founded by a German designer, which could explain why they've always had pretty good European distribution. The Lezyne Power Drive 1100 XL retails at $99.99 USD, and the Strip Drive Pro at $49.99 USD. The prices from EU and UK sellers seem to fluctuate considerably, and (as of last time I checked) if you do some online stalking  you can get a pretty good deal.

The lights reviewed were a personal purchase, and not items I was requested to review. They are not the first products I've owned from Lezyne. For years I have used and loved their wonderful mini-pumps, which I am never without. When I decided to try their lights, I was hoping for the same quality, reliability, compact design, and user-friendliness. And after 10 months of use I am not disappointed.




36 comments:

  1. Those see pretty great, and a cut above the similar NiteRider Lumina I used for a long while, and a huge improvement over AA battery lights.

    I don't know how cold it gets in the winter in your area, but I know in Boston I had trouble with USB-rechargeable lithium ion batteries in headlights due to cold. Whenever it got below freezing, the run time of the lights would go way way down, sometimes as short as 15 minutes. And of course the coldest months are some of the darkest and iciest, hence when I want the lights the most.

    I started keeping a light with double As in my bag as a backup. While not terribly bright, it was much better than nothing.

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  2. I have a similar rear blinkie light from Serfas (can't remember the name). It too is quite bright, has the silicone straps and is USB chargeable. It is bright enough that I can also tell that drivers must have seen me from a good ways back. It has two downsides, in comparison to the Lezyne. I have always had difficulty pressing the button with gloves on and it doesn't remember the last setting (it has 4 modes and I typically use the fourth one, so I have to cycle through all of them). The Serfas light has also held up well in a couple years of use.

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    1. I'm gonna bet it is the Thunderbolt. I use one and a few riding friends have been so impressed, they use them too. And, my LBS carried them after I suggested it!

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  3. There are several quite good comparison sites online that allow side by side views of lights output. It is to be taken with a pinch of salt as real life conditions for lights I own never seemed to match the individual pictures, but I think they are a useful comparative tool. Road.cc's is at http://lights.road.cc/index-wide.php and Evans is at https://www.evanscycles.com/bike-light-guide. Road.cc have more lights listed.

    Peter White Cycles have some good shots of dynamo systems, but don't seem to do the side by side view that the others do.

    I'm sure I've seen others on t'interweb too.

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  4. Love that first photo. The price is surprisingly reasonable. FYI the 900 seems to be a clearance item on sites that still have it in stock. I may just give it a try. Thanks.

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  5. If you don't mind my asking, what happened to your Cateye lights? I could be wrong, but I thought they had a lifetime warranty.

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    1. I've heard others say they have a lifetime warrantee, but this is incorrect. They have a 2 year warrantee (see here).

      On one of the TL-LD610s, a piece of the red housing covering the LEDs cracked and broke off. So now it looks like half of the beam shines white and half red. On the other, the on/off button no longer works reliably. So totally different issues, and in fairness I think 7 years of frequent use was a pretty decent run.

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  6. I have one of the Light and Motion Urban 350's and like it for similar reasons, strap mount, easy recharge. The 350 is bright enough for urban and small town riding, but if I were to do trail riding or go out in the boondocks I'd opt for a brighter version of the light.

    I've never clocked the run times, but under normal conditions the high run time of an hour and a half seems accurate. When I lived in Wisconsin for a while the near and sub zero winter temperatures knocked down run time a bit.

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  7. This is a great review, and it speaks to all but one concern I have with USB rechargeable lights: battery capacity over time. Most li-ion batteries suffer a noticeable loss in battery capacity after a year or two depending on recharging practices. Is this something you or any commenters might be able to speak to with regard to bike lights? At the price points charged for high-quality lights, I'd not want to replace them every two years, which is why I stick with AA/AAA battery lights.

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    1. These are the first USB rechargeable lights I've tried, which I have used regularly. So far (after 10 months) I do not notice a loss in capacity. Unfortunately I can't speak of what will happen after the 1-2 year mark.

      There are benefits and drawbacks to both rechargeable and battery systems. So far, I have been pretty happy with the switch to USB but time will tell whether that is permanent.

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  8. Another aspect of using the more powerful USB rechargeable lights is that they will interfere with a wireless cycle computer. I have a Cateye computer, and it can't be within 8" or so of my NiteRider Lumina OLED 600 or the mph drops to zero when the light is turned on, and the odometer stops working.

    Since I can't physically separate them that far on my handlebars, (this bike has fairly narrow mountain bike type bars), I ended up moving the light to the side of my front fork. Bike Nashbar tech support claims that ALL their powerful lights interfere with ALL their wireless computers. Perhaps it's time someone came up with a solution for this.

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    1. I have only used wired computers and GPS, which would explain why I've never experienced this problem. I have now looked into it... and yeah. RF interference.

      Seems that it happens with some, but possibly not all, light/computer combinations. Unfortunately I do see mentions of Lezyne lights interfering with Cateye wireless units. So, something to be aware of, and thanks for bringing this up.

      {see also: My favourite post on the subject so far.}


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  9. Does the 1100 XL use "Infinite Light", the Lezyne branding that means it has a removable 18649 Li-ion battery, like the older Lezyne models did? If so, this both addresses Martin's concern about the battery losing capacity in a year or so, and it also means that spare batteries can be carried in a pannier for travel that takes longer than the 90 minutes the first battery will last.

    However, I am a fan of dynamos with permanent front and rear lights that switch on as soon as one starts to ride, day and night, with the small battery that keeps them lit at stop lights for night safety ("be seen" mode rather than "see & be seen" mode when riding). I have converted all my front hubs to dynamo hubs with LED lights that come on as soon as I start riding. During the day, it is to be seen, at night it is both. With modern hub dynamos (and built in hub or roller brakes), it is one less thing to worry about.

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    1. Interesting. I had no idea about this, as the current Lezyne literature describes the battery as merely "advanced Li-Ion battery for superior run time." So I looked into it, and it seems they stopped doing the removable batteries around 2 years ago. That is a shame.

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    2. Some of Cygolite's headlight models have a removeable battery. My main light, a Cycgolite Expilion 800, is one of them (since replaced by the Expilion 850). I don't like removeable batteries in my lights because road vibrations on bumpy roads (that is to say, every road in New England) tends to make the battery come loose in it's socket.

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  10. I've been using the same USB rechargeable tail light for about 4 years now and I've just now started to think that it might not be holding quite as long of a charge as it used to. My headlight is about 2 years old and I haven't noticed a reduction in run time. As I posted above, I did notice a pretty big reduction in run time while using them in the winter in central Wisconsin, but with that kind of cold everything works differently. If I forgot to put my cell phone next to my body while riding, I'd have to wait about 5 minutes for it to warm up after riding to use it. My camera batteries also tanked out pretty quickly.

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  11. WOWEE! Chock full of good information!

    Some of your issues sound pretty familiar and I'm coming around to the same preference for stretchy band mounting as well, after having thought it was cheesy.

    I use various small, lightweight models from Cygolite, one is 280 lumens and the others are all 320 or something. My experience with Usb rechargeable Li-Ion batteries makes me think that while not perfect, they're the best solution short of a fleet of bikes with nice generators. But that issue of diminished run-times over time and the way they go dim so quickly at the end of a charge has left me in a tidy little mess a couple of times. If you charge yours after every ride when the battery is typically only partially discharged, I think you end up reducing the maximum level of charge the battery will take(my experience seems to support this). I might be wrong about this but that is certainly true about some other similar types of battery. I now just carry two lights all the time. One on the bars for back and forth to work and short trips with a fully charged back-up in the handlebar bag or a pocket. If the one on the bars starts to flag I just switch it for the other.

    By using 2 lights I can run one down completely before charging it and still have a nice lightweight, equally powerful light in reserve, or use TWO AT THE SAME TIME!(mind blowingly amazing, right?) It works great for me, especially on longer, even all night rides like our Club "Dynamo". I use one at a medium setting for a long run time(about 6+ hours with my Cygolites) and a second at medium or a higher setting aimed farther down the road that I only click on when I need it. On most rides the second one is on significantly less than half the time. I get ALOT of light with both on since it's spread out more and if one starts to give me the Low-Battery warning I can go back into conserve mode using a single light or a lower setting. If I want to really light things up I can turn both on High and illuminate more of the road than one more powerful light often can. It's still an imperfect system with more stuff strapped to the bars than I would prefer, but it's way better than any other set-up I've used and is inexpensive enough that I always have lights enough for all the bikes that need them. Nice generator systems are absolutely superior, but for me, I'm getting by pretty well this way. It sounds like you are too.

    Spindizzy

    P.S. Anyone have any experience with those seemingly nifty Velogic Rim Generators?




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    1. Great idea using two lights. I have the Cygolite 400 and it has served me well for two years. Very seldom do I use the brightest setting.

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    2. Very useful, thanks!

      Spindizzy, I'm using a Velogical, what do you want to know? I put my experiences so far here, but need to update. Short story: it works fine for running lights, has some issues in the wet (but I've solved them for myself,) and is a little noisy especially at medium speeds (around 10-12 MPH)

      https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum/board/message/?o=1D1&thread_id=635348&page=1&nested=0&v=v#635348

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    3. I had a bike with the Velogical. Setup took somewhat more fooling around than the B&M dyno. Upon figuring out I was very happy with the way it worked. Plenty of power, very light, barely noticed drag on the wheel.

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    4. Thanks for the input about the Velogical rim generators, I really want to try them on one or 2 of my bikes. I've already made a list of everything I'd need for the next time I have some nice freshly laundered money.

      Spindizzy

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  12. We live in a "bigger is better" society but for urban riders, when it comes to lumens, bigger can be overkill, down right dangerous. Brighter lights can blind oncoming traffic. I live, work and ride in Boston/Watertown. I use multiple headlight to see and be seen; a 350 bar light set on high or flashing and a helmet mounted Light & Motion w front & rear lights an a separate tail light on slow blink. I also have a screw in mount on my fork but haven't used it for possible low level pothole illumination. I use the headlamp to shine at others to get their attention. I believe Germany bans rear blinking lights and wonder why. I also believe research has shown helmet mounted blinkers are better for attracting attention. My L&M is very low output, I'd never use it alone, but in combo it seems to do the job. I also have sidewall reflective tires and wear a day glo wind breaker.

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    1. I can't ride at night any longer because of all the cyclists out there with strobe lights. It is getting to be a problem in daylight hours. Go to the theatre, if the production includes extreme lighting effects it will be in the program, the stage manager will make an announcement before the curtain goes up, and you may be warned at the box office as well. Strobes can cause seizures in the susceptible. They are dangerous.

      Go outside and get on your bike, you can do anything. You can put your helmet strobe right in my face.

      Flashing lights are for emergencies. If you think it is an emergency every time you go for a bike ride you should not be riding. You even put yourself in danger with flashing lights. In the dark and in a lot of other lighting situations there is no way anyone can tell if that flashing light is far away or up close. Human eyes can't do that.

      That is why flashing lights are illegal in Germany.

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    2. I am pretty vehemently against flashing lights and helmet/headband-mounted lights. I agree that headlights that dazzle oncoming road users are a hazard. And some tail lights seem to have a "piercing" quality to the beam, which I am so sensitive to, that even in constant mode I cannot ride behind cyclists sporting them.

      The lights reviewed here are pretty easy on the eye.

      As I've mentioned, my husband uses the same lights, front and rear. So I get to see the headlight beam when he cycles toward me, and the tail light when I'm behind him. No problems with either, even in the brightest modes. The headlight is highly visible to other road users by virtue of appearing wide and round, but it's not dazzling. The tail light is also very bright, but the red light is somehow "soft" and does not have that piercing quality to it. As a road user I am pretty happy.

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  13. One thing is not mentioned, what about charging on the run? A powerbank for each light- like you can use for a cell phone could be connected to the light when you ride and keep you much longer on the road yes??

    badmother

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    1. I have a Cygolite Metro 400 and I keep it charged "on the go" with a powerbank. Works with no issue. I can't imagine how any USB-charged light would be different.
      Now that autumn brings sundown before I'm even leaving work, if I want to take an evening ride, I'll have my light on the entire time. I can run my light at the "high" setting the entire time, and I don't have to worry about running out of juice on the battery.

      Wolf.

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  14. In Florida, Commuter Services told me a reflector is also required on bikes - front and rear. Most of my day time bike lights have built-in reflectors but I'd have to add reflectors of some kind with night lights.

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    1. Florida statute does not require a front reflector.
      "Every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear each exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear."

      http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.2065.html

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  15. Regarding built-in batteries, the lithium cells lose capacity eventually, but for most users, by the time this becomes a big problem, there is a nicer light available that they want to buy. However, lights at this price point have gotten so bright that this trend may have nearly run its course by now.

    Flashing lights are also illegal in CA, but I have never seen or heard of a cyclist being stopped or ticketed for one. Some rear lights (Cygolight) have a slow flash with gradual brightening that seems unlikely to be a hazard to those with seizure disorders. Flashing lights certainly attract more attention (some say too much), but at night they are fairly annoying to other riders, and I would not use them in a group ride.

    Most rear lights have a fairly narrow beam, so the vertical angle of the light is important. Some can be mounted at any angle relative to the seat stays or seatpost; others (such as the one reviewed here) are fixed. Is the bright part of the beam directed upward with the angle of the stay? That would put most of the light in the sky rather than directed toward approaching drivers. If the light output is omnidirectional, it's still largely wasted.

    Jon

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  16. I have been considering USB lights, but one of my concerns in comparison to the B+M dynamo lights that I have on another bike, is that the USB light lenses don't have the same horizon cutoff; I worry about dazzling oncoming road-users.

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  17. The rubber band fitting does look clever. To fit it to a front (or rear) rack, you could use one of the brackets from B&M or R&K. I've got one (can't remember which it is now), used with a different light, and it's both neat and sturdy.

    You don't comment on the shape of the beam, except to say there's not much side visibility. Is it shaped at all or is it just conical?

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    1. I've been trying to think of how to characterise the beam... Best way I can describe it, is "wide and far-reaching at the same time." It is almost like having 2 lights, one pointed down to illuminate the road directly in front of the front wheel (for extra pothole visibility) and the other slightly more up to illuminate the path ahead. I am not sure what design technology allows this, and whether there is an official term for this beam pattern. Lezyne is fairly vague on this, mentioning only an "Enhanced MOR (Maximum Optical Reflection) lens" and nothing about the beam pattern per se.

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  18. The Lezynes seem to be good lights -- lights generally are **so** much better than they were 20 years ago when I carted around 2 NightRider Cyclops halogens, each with 2 lb battery (bad night vision -- though I do agree that more lumens is not necessarily better illumination). But now, with dynamo systems on 2 of my 4 bikes, I need battery lights only for occasional or supplemental use, and I rather regret that the best lights don't come with a good old alkaline option. I hate having to remember to plug things in, and AAs can sit unused for a year and still power the light when you need it.

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  19. Some time ago, I came up with a similar "charging station" for the bike lights. We have a number of power supplies plugged in to the wall near the bike-parking area in the basement. A simple surge-protector power strip lets us plug in 5 of the small power supplies that come with the lights, and we can turn them all on or off with the flick of a switch. I've found it important to use very long USB leads so that they can reach to the lights as mounted on the handlebars, and to keep the ends of the leads off the floor, else they might rust (especially after a rainy ride).

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  20. Nice reviews. It's a good point about the weight. I don't like leaving my light attached if the bike is locked up, so I carry it around with me.

    For my headlight, I use a flashlight holder that clamps to the handlebars and a 1" diameter flashlight snaps right in. They are inexpensive and easy to attach/remove so I have them on all my bikes. There are a lot of options with flashlights (batteries, focus, brightness, size), but I use it as an extra light off the bike and sometimes forget where I put it. Rough roads and cheap flashlights will cause rattling, so choose wisely.

    I think you have to be selective about using flashing lights, especially with the speed and brightness. I prefer a slow and dim flashing. Some people think the lack of depth perception with flashing is good because it makes people steer clear, but it can be dangerous too.

    I was driving behind a new truck this morning with annoyingly bright led brake lights and led blinkers. It was to the point I was squinting and wanting to look away, which is the opposite effect the engineers probably wanted.

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  21. Apropos of raising the light sufficiently high to shine over a front bag. Try using a Busch and Muller handlebar light mounting bracket. This neat little bracket is 'L' shaped with the shorter arm parallel to the handlebars and the longer arm reaching out from the 'bars. The longer arm can lowered or raised to allow the light to shine below or above an object in front. The shorter arm would be, I think, sufficiently long to accept the Lyzene holder with its silicone elastic. If not, the bracket can easily be modified. When you see it you will understand immediately. The bracket can be purchased from SJS Cycles (among others). At present I use one to overcome exactly the problem you describe. My light is a B and M dynamo (front and rear) that is powered by a Nordlicht dynamo that runs on the wheel rim. The front light has to be raised to shine unimpeded over my handlebar bag. The setup has proved itself over two, wet Manchester winters. I have used a lyzene light in the past; it was excellent, and I think my son still uses it (after 5 years) to light his way around the London streets. Regards, The Fossil

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