Self-contained lights are becoming seriously impressive. We got a first look at the Lezyne Super Drive earlier in the year, and now we take a look at its sibling the Power Drive XL, and compare the two lights. These small self-contained lights are targeted at commuters and recreational cyclists, and include simple, easy to use handlebar mounts.
In typical Lezyne style, they cost similar to lights of similar lumen ratings, but come with a full aluminum enclosure and feature the nice touch of a replaceable internal battery.
We tested both lights back to back commuting in the city, and riding singletrack in woods. What is the difference between them, and which one is the winner? Click more to find out…
Looking at the specs, it is hard to understand why Lezyne chose to offer both of these products. Separated by only $20, 100 lumens, a small visual treatment and small run time differences, the lights are extremely similar. Both lights feature the same mounting system, same battery, same options of silver or black, same side cut for 180 degree light visibility, and the same 5 modes, only changing the run time and light output slightly in those modes. This isn’t a bad thing, as it gives the consumer choice on what is more important to them, lumens (700 lumens for $119.99) or money (600 lumens for $99.99).
Each of the lights comes complete in the box with the internal, replaceable battery, charging cord, handlebar mount kit for 31.8mm and 26.0mm handlebars, and rubber shims to fit variances in those handlebar sizes. In our testing units, the black light is the Super Drive XL and the silver light is the Power Drive XL, but both lights are offered in both colors.
Both units use the same battery and mounting system, which can make it easy to swap them around if you have more than one light.
With only 4 grams between them, and the overall dimensions being the same, there is no real difference in the weight or size of the main light units.
The only small complaint that I have is the micro USB charging port. Seeing this, I was initially excited at being able to use the same charging cord from my Samsung phone. However, the Lezyne cord is a custom peice, with a longer than normal tongue to reach into the recessed port on the light. This is most likely done to allow the rubber seal to snap into place and keep everything protected from the elements, but it meant that even though the cord is a Micro USB standard, you need to keep track of it in order to charge these lights. Spare batteries are available and easily replaceable for these lights since they are a common standard size. External chargers are even available on Amazon.com, but Lezyne recommends only using the Lezyne branded LIR18650 battery.
I used both lights back and forth commuting in the city, and could not tell the difference between the two units. Trying them on trail, I used one on the helmet and one on the bars, and had more than enough light to ride singletrack.
So which one should you get? Get both. With the full aluminium housing and replaceable battery, these lights are sure to be durable items, not throw-away short-time electronics. Pick up the optional $9.99 helmet mount, put one on your helmet, and have enough lumens to illuminate the singletrack at night. Electronics with sealed internal batteries that are not replaceable disappoint me (yes, I am an Apple hater…), so I really applaud Lezyne for making the batteries easily replaceable and available. Spare batteries are only $19.99, and of a standard size you can find on Amazon.com, so you can even carry a few charged up spares with you, and be assured to always have light.