A quality set of lights which offers the reliability you need in the winter months. Some minor design quibbles over the rear light's USB stick and front mounting system, but great value for money and the front beam illuminates the road ahead very effectively.
Great value for money
Evenly dispersed light
On/off buttons easy to operate
Rear light's integrated USB stick is awkward
Front light mount quite tight on the bars
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Lezyne burst onto the 'big lamp' lights market in 2016, with the Deca Drive. It was a huge step up from the initial 2011 collection of blinker beams, and when the lump of metal smashed off my handlebars for the second time and started emitting a faint hum, personally I was ready to throw in the towel.
- Read more: best front and rear bike lights
- Buy now: Lezyne Lite Drive 1000XL and KTV Pro rear light set at Wiggle for £90 (opens in new tab)
If you were an early adopter, and like me were put off by the experience, then I'm here tell you that it's now entirely safe to return to Lezyne's offerings.
The 1000 lumen option in the line up is now called the Lezyne Lite Drive 1000XL, and the range has completely transformed itself into an attractive yet affordable offering, promising the reliability and usability that we all crave come the winter months.
The front light puts out 1000 lumens and Lezyne has used its own 'Maximum Optical Reflection' to ensure that the illumination is evenly dispersed.
I was able to ride on unlit streets at a decent pace with this, though I'd suggest you'd need closer to 1500 lumens to really hammer it and be sure of seeing potholes in plenty of time; the collection goes up to 1800 lumens so there's ample choice available.
As per the brand's trademark aesthetic, the body is made from CNC machined aluminium, promising a good degree of in-backpack smashability. Ridged cooling fins along the outer edges are designed to prevent heat build up from the LEDs.
Battery life lasts anywhere from 1.5 hours on the highest mode to 87 hours if you go right down to the 15 lumen emergency option. There's a 'day flash' option for use when the sun is up, and switching modes was easy via the top mounted button which also serves as an indicator of how much juice is left in the tank.
When it's time to top up, the unit is USB rechargeable via a rubber covered flap at the rear, and a full charge takes around four hours.
My greatest dissatisfaction with the 2016 model was the mount and its ability to cope with the weight of the light. Lezyne moved on from the original design pretty quickly and now uses a rubber strap. This is infinitely better.
However, in order to be effective it has to be quite tight, and personally I'd prefer an option that allowed me to remove the light and leave the mount attached to the bars for ease of use, especially when gloved up, I found this a bit of a struggle.
The light came in on my scales at 152g. This is not the most featherweight on the market. However, when considered alongside the RRP - £90 for a front and rear set - it's excellent. As an example, the Exposure Axis MK7 puts out 1150 lumens and hits the scales at a luxurious one third less (102g), but costs £190 for a front light only.
The KTV Pro rear emits up to 75 lumens and lasts anywhere between 4 to 19.5 hours, with a daylight mode available and promised 270 degree visibility. It came in at 52g.
A simple on/off button is easy to activate even in cricket batting worthy gloves, and it's shaped to fit an aero or round seat post - though I did find on my round post the unit had a tendency to sit slightly off-side unless carefully positioned.
Whilst the front light uses a USB cable, the rear comes with an integrated, rigid USB stick. Initially, this method seemed like an excellent idea.
In practice, I found that plugging the light into a laptop meant I had to bend it awkwardly or dangle it vulnerably over the edge of a desk whilst inserting into a wall mounted version meant the second USB port (which I wanted to use for the front beam) was covered.
The standout feature for this light set has to be quality at a value for money price point. I'd not proclaim this 'the best 1000 lumen light', but as a set it's certainly the best I reckon you'll get for under £100.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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