The Lezyne Lite Drive 800XL boasts a bigger lumen count than its predecessor, the 700XL, but it has the same classic looks and costs the same
The Lezyne Lite Drive 800XL is a beefed-up version of the 700XL that won ‘best on test’ in Cycling Weekly last year. It has the same curvy, twin-headlamp design that looks like it fell off a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado. And, like its predecessor, its polished CNC-machined aluminium case also comes in silver, anodized purple, blue and red.
The eight modes the Lezyne Lite Drive 800XL offers have pretty much all night-riding bases covered. The highest power, Overdrive, is a super-bright 800-lumen blast that very effectively illuminates a dark lane, but only for an hour and 20 minutes. The lowest, Femto, is a low-powered 15-lumen beam that will give a claimed 76-hour burn. There’s also a ‘race’ mode, activated by holding the switch down for five seconds, that has just two modes: Overdrive and Economy (150 lumens, nine hours burn time).
We found the race mode was great for the evening chaingang where you don’t need a bright beam until you’re on the front, but we’d rather the 800XL had a function like the Cateye Volt 800 where you could toggle between Overdrive and a mode of your choice since Economy is on the dim side for solo riding on unlit roads.
The Lezyne Lite Drive 800XL mounts via a rubber strap that can stretch enough to wrap around the flat section of an aero bar if required. We found the strap worked fine for a regular set-up on a handlebar top: it held the light in balance but you have to swivel the light to get the rubber strap over its hook, sited directly underneath the light casing, and if you want the light next to the stem there’s not always the space to swivel it.
There’s a single top-mounted, positive-feeling button that stands proud of the casing and is easy to use with full-finger gloves but also means the light is prone to switching itself on in a bag if you’re not careful.
Charging is via a micro USB port in the rear that’s hidden behind a substantial rubber bung. An LED inside the button changes colour to indicate battery status (four different statuses), which we found useful. The battery is not replaceable. A great light for a great price but we’d like a shortcut to full beam from the other modes and not just while in race mode.
With its curvy, polished CNC-machined case and twin LEDs it's arguably the coolest looking light in its class, and it's super bright too, but ideally we'd like to be able to toggle between full beam and another mode of our choice.