The Bike List

Lezyne Zecto Drive Front and Rear LED Lights £55

Tested by Oliver Laverack, tester for The Bike List

I always feel safer on the bike knowing I've done my best to help other road users see me. Occasionally I get caught out at the end of summer, when the nights start to draw in and end up riding back in dusk without lights. It makes me feel more vulnerable on the road to think that someone might not see me, and I could have done something to prevent it. That's where lights like the Zectro Drive front and rear from Lezyne come in.

In the darker months, having a fully charged set of 'be seen' lights on my bike is an integral part of my pre-ride prep. Despite having a wide selection of lights to pick from I tend to opt for my Exposure Flash and Flare front and rear light combo and sometimes add the bigger but very robust Light and Motion Vis 180 rear light depending on the compatibility of the seatpost I'm riding. The 180 degree visibility gives me a little extra reassurance that I'll be seen by drivers when there's likely to be lots of traffic. So, I was looking forward to finding out how these lights would compare to my favourite 'go to lights'.

Both front and rear Zecto Drive units have a claimed weight of 47g (Our test units weighed a little more at 53g for the rear and 51g for the front) and look identical apart from the rear having a red lens (as you'd expect). Internally, however, the lights are a little different. The front unit delivers a maximum of 80 lumens in 'daytime mode' which is a fairly aggressive flashing mode that I think might actually blind drivers if it were used in the dark. Then you have the option of 20 lumens constant light in 'economy' mode which will last for five hours, 40 lumens constant light in 'blast' mode which will last three hours and three different night-time-suitable flashing modes which each put out 40 lumens. Interestingly flash mode two is significantly more economical, offering five hours of battery life instead of three (or 3h 40m for the others) so has to be the one to go for if you're worried about running out of juice.

On the rear unit the total output is lower, with 'daytime' flashing mode offering 20 lumens. This time flashing options are the first three in the cycle when switching the light on and each offers 10 lumens, with flashing mode two being the most economical for the battery, offering an extra hour of ride time over the other two modes with four hours total. The next two constant modes offer five lumens for 4h 15m or 10 lumens for 2h 45m. To start with you can't help but wonder if Lezyne are short changing you a bit on the rear unit in terms of light output. The Exposure Flare priced at £35 offers a punchy 75 lumens on constant mode with a three-hour battery life. Switch the unit on, put it on your bike and stand 15 or 20 metres away from the rear of the bike and you'll see that the three LEDs still pack a serious kick but also spread their light more generously.

On the subject of batteries, charging both units is done via a USB cable that allows you to charge the integrated battery inside. Simply peel back the rubber bung that sits on top of the micro USB socket and away you go. A full charge will take 2.5 hours.

The upside of micro USB is that you can easily charge these lights at your office desk. The downside is that you need a USB charging socket and for me this means switching my computer on to plug them in. At this price point I would like to have seen a standard wall plug included to charge them when I'm not near my computer. My other issue with integrated batteries is that they are difficult and sometimes impractical to change, making items with batteries that have died effectively useless. Despite a full season of use the batteries are holding up well and still offering the quoted run times. A quick check online suggests that replacement batteries are not readily available.

On plugging the lights in to recharge, two green lights flash to let you know the units are re-storing their banks. It's important to check for the flashing green lights before you walk away as I have been caught out a couple of times and come back to find one or both of the lights weren't actually charging. A bit of micro USB wiggling can be required from time to time to get a good connection. Once full, the LEDs on either side of the light will stop flashing and stay constantly lit. If it looks like rain make sure you pop the rubber grommet properly back in to cover the micro USB socket to prevent water ingress. Despite this fairly obvious potential weakness which could allow water to ruin the lights completely I haven't found this to be a problem in use as the rubber grommet sits in place rather well once firmly pressed in.

Attaching these lights to your bike is really easy. Simply stretch the rubber strap round your handlebar or seatpost and hook it on to the catch on the other side of the light. Once in place they lights stay well seated. The plastic on the rear of the light has a round surface making it best suited to round seatposts and un-usable on certain carbon aero seatposts (so bear this in mind if your bike has one). As is common on many bike specific lights, the bracket also includes a clip-on system that allows you to attach the light to your rucksack, saddlebag or even belt.

The rubber on and off switch is easy enough to use with or without gloves. It requires a firm press but in my experience that's a good thing as storing a light that has a tendency to turn itself on in your bag has caught me out a few times.

The best feature of these lights has been their durability. Their super tough composite/alloy body is very robust and will happily endure plenty of knocks and the odd drop. When you're fumbling around in the bike sheds in the dark, so to speak, it's inevitable that you'll drop your lights occasionally whilst trying to put them on. They also seems to be very weather-resistant and although I had my concerns at the start as to whether the rubber bung would truly hold the water out and after nearly a year of use I can report that they are still going strong and also still look like new despite plenty of use and knocks.

Another nice feature is the battery indicator on each unit that gives you a rough idea of what's left in the tank. By pressing the power button quickly when the light is off you'll get up to four LEDs lighting up on each side. Less lights means less charge is left and time to find a USB socket again.

At £55 for the pair or £30 individually these units are priced fairly, considering the price of other similar quality offerings such as Exposure's Flash and Flare combo at £75 and Smart Lunar 35 Lux front and ½ watt rear which also retails for £55.

Before these lights I was regularly using my Exposure Flash front light and Flare rear which have served me very well and had become my default 'be seen' lights throughout winter. These lights have now joined those ranks and have become my second set of reliable 'go to' lights that I use in rotation with my Exposure set depending on which have the most juice left in them and what the seatpost looks like.

A new addition to the line up for 2014 that's worth mentioning here is Lezyne's Zecto Auto rear light which is essentially the same as the Zecto rear but automatically turns itself off after three minutes of inactivity and turns back on when it senses motion. Personally I'm not sure this feature is worth an extra £10 and if leaving my bike in public I almost always take any easily-removable lights with me.

Finally, in the small print you'll find that these lights carry an impressive two-year warranty in the UK but the batteries only carry a six-month warranty. That's still a good warranty which shows that Lezyne have confidence in their product. Based on our long-term testing this confidence is fair and we'd happily recommend them to anyone in the market for a solid set of 'be seen' lights.

Weight: 53g rear and 51g front

At a glance

Verdict A robust set of lights that’s ideal for bikes with round handlebars and seatposts and can easily be swapped from one bike to another.

Lezyne says:

The Lezyne Zecto Drive Front is a compact safety light with three LEDs designed with a lightweight and sturdy Composite Matrix and CNC-machined aluminum body. It delivers a highly visible 80 lumens in Daytime Flash Mode. The Intelligent Power Indicator allows the user to check the power level at any time, and provides Side Visibility, allowing 180 degrees of visibility and increases user safety. It can recharge any time with a Micro USB cable for ultimate convenience. The light easily attaches via its Clip-On System, providing for versatile strapped or clipped mounting. It is available as a single front LED, or as a front/rear pair (Zecto Drive Front and Rear).


  • MAX LUMENS: 80
  • WEIGHT: 47g
  • RECHARGE TIME: 2.5hrs (1A) / N/A (2A)

The Lezyne Zecto Drive Rear complements its Front counterpart perfectly, delivering a highly visible 20 lumens in Daytime Flash mode. The Intelligent Power Indicator allows the user to check the power level at any time, and provide Side Visibility, allowing 180 degrees of visibility and increases user safety. It can recharge any time with a Micro USB cable for ultimate convenience. The light easily attaches via its Clip-On System, providing for versatile strapped or clipped mounting. The dedicated rear design points upward to ensure light is directed straight back. It is available as a single rear LED, or as a front/rear pair.


  • MAX LUMENS: 20
  • WEIGHT: 47g
  • RECHARGE TIME: 2.5hrs (1A) / N/A (2A)

Supplier: Upgrade Bikes Ltd, Tel +44 (0) 1403 711 611,