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Verdict: 
Excellent high-power light with an all-night run time and the perfect mode for road riding
Weight: 
265g

Not so long ago I reviewed the Lezyne Deca Drive 1500i front light which was pretty good, if a little overpriced for the option of running the secondary battery. This Super Drive 1500XXL is effectively the same light but without the battery input. It still runs for ages though, and it still has Lezyne's super Overdrive mode which you can use like your full and dipped beam on your car.

It's £30 cheaper than the Deca Drive for the loss of the battery port, and for most people will have more than enough output and run time for the riding they're doing. It's easy to use, and it's easy to recommend.

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The Super Drive has a solid alloy body, and three high-output LEDs at the front pumping out a claimed 1,500 lumens. Our testing suggests that it's more in line with other manufacturer's 1,200 lumen lights – everyone uses a different methodology to get their number – but it's still very, very bright: easily enough light to barrel down country lanes as fast as you would in the day. Just about.

It's enough light to give oncoming traffic an eyeful too, so it's to be used sparingly when around other road users. That's where Lezyne's Overdrive mode comes into its own. Hold down the power button for five seconds and you're in a setup where there are just two modes on the cycle, the full beam and a 250-lumen economy mode that's enough to ride by but isn't going to annoy anyone. Well, nearly anyone: I've had people moan at me to turn off my 'blinding' 15-lumen Lezyne Femto Drive in the Two Tunnels before. You can't please everyone.

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Anyway, overdrive turns the Super Drive into a kind of full-beam-dipped-beam light and it's easy to hit the button and kill the light when there's oncoming traffic of any kind. The light action of the button and its raised profile help too.

If you want daylight-running modes then there's a flash and a pulse over a constant 150-lumen beam, and there's also a 15-lumen Femto mode that Lezyne claims is good for 148 hours; I'm not patient enough to find out. It's not really enough light for riding but it is for reading in a tent if you're out bikepacking, for example.

> Buyer's Guide: The best front lights for cycling

The light has a simple rubber band clamp. At 265g the Super Drive is no lightweight but I had no issues with it moving about, even on bumpy lanes and off-road sections. It makes moving the light between bikes very easy too: just twist the light to the side and unclip the band. The only issue with this system is that if you're tight on bar space it can be difficult to twist the light enough to get at the rubber band easily without bumping into your bell or GPS.

You can swap the mount for a composite or alloy one it you want; both are available as options. You can get a helmet mount too, although I'd say that this is much too big a light to comfortably mount there.

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In the max-power 1,500-lumen mode you'll only get about an hour and a half out of the Super Drive, but that's more light than you need for anything except descending at speed. The 250-lumen economy mode is good for 10 hours of illumination, so that makes the Super Drive a proper all-night option for road riding. Use the Overdrive setting, stay on economy except where you need a bit of extra oomph on the descents, and you'll make it all the way through to dawn.

If you're looking to do a 24-hour mountain bike race or something you'd probably want more light than economy would provide: the 600-lumen enduro mode would be the one you'd choose. With a 3hr 45min run-time it wouldn't make it through the night if you were riding solo, but it'd probably be enough for your laps in a team entry.

There's a lot to like about the Super Drive. The build quality is very good, the output is very good, the clamping system is simple and works well, and it's IPX7 waterproof too. If I was going to pick holes, I'd say that it's a pity Lezyne doesn't offer a version of these lights with a more road-orientated beam. It would only take a simple lens change to dip the beam more onto the road, meaning more light going onto the road where you need it and less into the trees, and eyes of oncoming traffic. Ravemen has shown it can be done at this kind of price point, and others should follow suit.

Secondly, the USB charge port is fiddly and heavily recessed: not all USB cables will fit, and it's a faff to get them plugged in. It's not a deal-breaker but neither is it a great bit of design. Other than that though, nice work.

Verdict

Excellent high-power light with an all-night run time and the perfect mode for road riding

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Lezyne Super Drive 1500 XXL

Size tested: 1500 Lumens

Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Lezyne says:

A super high-performance LED cycling light.

Super high-performance cycling light engineered for all types of night riding. Incredibly durable, heat-dissipating CNC machined aluminum construction. Three market-leading, ultrahigh-output LEDs delivering up to 1500 lumens. Optimized Constant Lumens system maintains steady lumen output throughout battery cycle. Optional Overdrive Race Mode toggles between Overdrive and Economy modes only. Mode Memory function returns to selected mode after turning off. Enhanced MOR (Maximum Optical Reflection) lens with built-in side visibility. High-speed 2 Amp USB charging capabilities (with compatible wall adapter). Ultra rugged and pliable strap securely mounts to all standard bar shapes, including aero bars. Advanced Li-Ion battery for superior runtime.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

From Lezyne:

MAX LUMENS: 1500

WEIGHT: 345g

RECHARGE TIME: 6hrs

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Nice solid unit.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

Button is good, mount is good, USB port is a bit fiddly.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
9/10

Simple, effective rubber band clamp.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10

Rated IPX7 so long as the port cover is closed. No water ingress during testing.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10

250 lumens for 10hrs means it's all-night ready.

Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10

Great beam, overdrive is simple and useful.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
6/10

A bit of a lump but that's because of the build and the battery size.

Rate the light for value:
 
8/10

Very good value for money.

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Beam, battery life, build quality.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Fiddly USB port.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

It's a really good high-power light for all-night riding.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.