Leyzne Macro Drive - review

Tim O'Rourke Tim O'Rourke

Last month we took a ‘first look’ at the Leyzne Macro Drive. Click here for details of modes and run times. 

The Macro Drive is at the top end of Lezyne’s commuting range (they label it Sport, but we tend to disagree), and punching out a respectable 300 Lumens from its Cree LED through what the manufacturer calls an MOR lens (Maximum Optical Reflection), it’s a neat addition to your handlebars.

Lezyne Macro Drive helmet mount
Lezyne Macro Drive – helmet mount

The helmet mount, however, offered further possibilities. The low weight of the Macro Drive meant it made sense as a ‘point and shoot’ helmet light; a deployment that increased its usability.

My initial criticism of the beam pattern was that while the spread is good (125 degrees if you exclude the small cutouts on the side) the central part of the beam was almost too focused, with an incredibly bright hotspot and crisp edges between the central zone and the wash of the rest of the light. When mounted on the handlebar, this meant that we found it difficult to get the balance right between illumination just in front of the wheel and lighting up the road ahead.

Mounted on the helmet, however, where the ‘hot spot’ tracks with your head movements, and with the angle set correctly, we were able to illuminate exactly what we were looking at: corner apexes, potholes caught on the periphery of the main light, and drivers at junctions or coming towards us. Using it in this manner, effectively as a mini spot light, is, in our view, a better use of the Macro Drive than as a solo bar mounted device.

Riding at the front of a pack, with fast moving colleagues on an evening club run, we found that the Macro Drive just wasn’t bright enough when used as a solo front light. It was overwhelmed by the more highly-powered equipment of the riders with which were variously paired. As a high level, helmet-mounted highlighter, however, the Macro Drive came into its own.

Lezyne Macro Drive front light - illuminated
Lezyne Macro Drive front light – illuminatedLezyne Macro Drive front light – illuminated

It’s worth bearing in mind that if speed missions on unlit country lanes are not part of your riding repertoire, and commuting in town under the glow of street lights is, the Macro Drive is likely to offer all the illumination you’ll need.

USB recharging proved a doddle. The standard connections mean that, if you have left the supplied cable at the other end of your commute, someone at home or in the office is likely to have a spare you can borrow. The resin end cap and seal protected the electronics inside from the torrential rain that blighted much of our test period, and the unit has survived one accidental drop onto tarmac, as well as a full immersion in a pint of beer to prove a point. The button acts not only as the on/off  control; it also provides a useful indication of the state of charge. Green and red LEDs illuminate under the rubber nobble to warn of low power or to indicate a fully charged unit.

We considered the side cuts in the lens housing to be insufficient when using the Micro Drive, and we have the same opinion of those on the Macro Drive. A deeper scoop from the housing would be more effective, in our opinion, especially when mounted on the handlebar, where the side of the light is partially obscured by the brake lever hoods.

The Lezyne Macro Drive sells for £54.99 when bought as a single unit, or £84.99 when purchased with the Micro Drive rear light. The combination offers a formidable commuting set up. Add the helmet mount to broaden the Macro Drive’s use to include more intense, faster paced riding, but don’t select it as a sole bar-mounted device for riding at high speed on unlit roads. Something more powerful is required for such use.

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