Throughout the winter I’ve been using the Lezyne Macro Drive front and Micro Drive rear lights at least 3-4 times a week and sometimes more. Now that it’s starting to get a bit lighter in the mornings and evenings I’m still using these lights on every ride and anticipate doing so for a while yet before they get put away for dull days only. It’s a time of year where lights are still very important and these are a terrific set for everyday use.
The Lezyne’s are the first high quality lights I’ve used on my bike and quite simply I’ll never go back to the cheap ones – they’re that much better.
For a start they’re beautifully made with strong aluminium bodies and tough resin screw caps at the rear. They’re rechargeable by USB socket ( using a USB to micro USB cable for the Macro Drive front light) and they feel like a Maglite in quality, which to me is high praise.
The real reason, they’re so great though (aside from the quality manufacturing and stylish design) is that as lights they work brilliantly. They are powerful for their size and give a strong bright light from any of the multiple modes they offer. I have two regular riding buddies and both have now bought sets of the lights as well, as like me, they couldn’t help but be impressed by the Lezynes. I’ve even been stopped in the street by someone who wanted to know what lights they were so he could order some (he was also quite taken by my TK3) and that has never happened before in my years of riding.
For group riding in the winter, these are terrific. They’re compact, have a good run time and according to my riding companions they are more noticeably visible at a distance than up close, which is a real bonus when you’re riding with friends as they’re not getting blinded up close. We’ve had rides were we’ve been split up by a climb and the Micro Drive rear light has been a beacon for those needing to catch up (really helpful if you’ve turned onto another lane. The Micro Drive rear even has a super bright mode for daylight riding but to be frank I’ve never felt the need for it as there simply hasn’t been enough sunshine to try it out.
Both lights have a clever feature where if you give the on button a quick press it gives you a flash of green/red to show you how much charge you have left. I’ve yet to run out the charge on the front Macro Drive on a ride but when the rear Micro Drive is about to give up, it changes from a flashing pattern (my default choice for riding) to a solid red light until it goes flat.
The front Macro drive is also such a good light and size that I take in my pocket when I’m out walking when the light is fading or at night. There is an unlit path near my house and it’s perfect for carrying in a coat pocket and it’s also been a good way of trying out all of the modes.
Both the lights are relatively small and whilst I can’t find fault with the quality of the rear light, the front isn’t really suitable for riding at speed in very dark conditions (e.g. country lanes). My eyesight struggles a bit with very dark conditions and I found the Macro drive good at low to medium speed on dark lanes. It’s brilliant as a commuting light though or for general low light recreational riding. However if you’re doing “proper” night riding you’re going to be looking at much more serious lights than these (the Micro rear would do just fine though).
It’s not all perfect though, I’ve found the charging time for the rear light is longer than I would have thought and seems to have got longer over time. It’s not a problem though, I can just leave it plugged into my laptop charging at work and it’s always fine for the ride home. Both lights flash green as they charge and then change to a solid green when they’re fully charged. The front Macro drive uses a USB to micro USB conversion cable for charging and I keep hoping I don’t lose it as I don’t have another. If you do lose one of the Garmin style rubber bands (or the Micro USB lead) you need for both standard mounts, you can buy replacements cheaply, which is a plus.
This brings me to the other small irritation for the lights and that’s the mounting brackets. They’re made of a resin plastic and the lights clip into them. I’ve read of other people occasionally having problems with them bouncing out over bumps and to stop that I’ve always used a spare Garmin rubber band wrapped around the rear light and it’s worked perfectly. However, the Micro Drive rear mount won’t work with an aero seatpost. One of my friends who rides an aero bike in the winter has taped his Micro Drive to his seatpost with insulation tape. Not elegant but it’s a workaround.
Here’s a video from Lezyne on installing them…
The Macro Drive front light mount I’ve found is hard to keep flat and as a result the beam slowly rises up as I ride along thanks to bumps in the road. This again is only a minor irritation and one that could be easily fixed by a little insulation tape around the mount and the bars but as my commute is mercifully short I haven’t bothered and just adjust it as I ride. The upside of the rubber band mounting system is that the lights are both very quick and easy to swap across bikes. Twenty seconds and you’re good to go.
Another bonus is there is a helmet mount available for the Macro drive too and I think in conjunction with a powerful light, it would be a great combination for full on night time riding with the Macro Drive light moving with your head as a secondary light. I’ve not tried it but I think it would work well.
Overall though, I’m delighted with these lights. They look great on any of my bikes, they give excellent strong light from both front and rear. They’re easy to charge and to live with and I can see myself using them throughout the year whenever the light isn’t great. The couple of minor irritations haven’t taken any meaningful gloss off the ownership experience across the last 3 months of almost daily use . They’re definitely a solid 8 out of 10 for me and I look forward to continuing to use them, which is a new experience for me with lights. I have a number of Lezyne products in my collection now and I’ve yet to find one that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy owning. The Macro Drive and Micro Drive easily keep this record intact.
The Macro Drive and Micro Drive combination retail for £84.99 as a pair. The Macro Drive front light can be bought on it’s own for £54.99 and the Micro Drive rear for £39.99.
For some other reviews of the lights do check out these links too:
Cycling Plus also had a very positive review in issue 270 (January 2013) and scored the set 4 out of 5 too.
My first thoughts are here: http://girodilento.com/just-in-lezyne-macro-and-micro-led-light-set/
Thanks for reading