Review: Lezyne Deca Drive

Lights Lights Shootout

The Deca Drive is Lezyne’s follow-on to the Mega Drive of last year. It measures almost 900 Lumens and is only 100 Lumens weaker than last year’s Mega Drive. But it is $50 cheaper and that makes this a terrific value. Furthermore, the edges have been smoothed out with some white powdercoating. The old Mega Drive had an industrial look to it, almost to a fault. It had too many sharp edges and was unwieldy to handle.

The Deca Drive has three LEDs instead of two, so it actually has a really nice beam pattern. The two side LEDs deliver a wide beam that went beyond our 45 degree markers, while the center LED threw a far beam to illuminate our 120 foot target.

The mount has been improved too with the Deca Drive, as well as the Mega Drive lights now have a robust new mount. This after all is a 265 gram light and it packs a bit of inertia on those big hits which can knock the light out of place.

This has the ‘infinite’ battery which is field replaceable, so the rider can keep replacing the battery to extend run time. But we are just not comfortable with this setup, as the battery is a powerful incendiary device with the positive and negative leads millimeters from each other. It’s just not that easy to transport and handle the spare battery safely in all conditions. So we’ll just keep the stock battery in place at all times.

Weight is heavy and size is unwieldy so this is not really appropriate as a helmet light or a flashlight. That is an unfortunate issue since this light will perform admirably in either role.

But in the end, this is a great light that is deadly stable. The light output Lumen graph is flat as a pancake throughout its battery cycle. That is what it’s designed for, so if you want a light that will deliver its promised output throughout the battery run time in all kinds of inclement conditions and hot weather, the Lezyne Deca Drive will not let you down.

Note that when you turn the light on, you will get 700 Lumens and not the 800 as advertised in the box. You have to go through a special sequence (pressing the button for 6 seconds) to go into the special overdrive mode. This is unfortunate since we believe a light is to turn on at the advertised light level without going in to a special mode. It’s not difficult to enter this mode, but we are fairly certain many users will never realize that they are not in 800 Lumen mode by default.

Specifications
  • Price: $150
  • Claimed Lumens: 800 Lumens
  • Measured Lumens: 896 Lumens
  • Measured MTBR Lux: 92 Lux
  • Lumens per $: 5.97 Lumens
  • Lumens per gram: 3.38 Lumens
  • Time on High: 1:30 Hours
  • Charge Time: 5:30/10:30 Hours (Hidden overdrive mode, can sense high powered usb charger)
  • Mounted Weight: 265 grams
  • Category: Flashlight/Commuter
Strengths
  • Incredible machining and craftsmanship
  • Excellent brightness and dual beam pattern has wide spill and far throw
  • Water Resistant so capable of all weather use
  • Field replaceable battery so run time is flexible
  • Very conservative Lumen rating as it registered 896 Lumens instead of the claimed 800
  • Light output is constant throughout the  whole cycle
  • Battery charge indicator and available race mode
  • Configurable purchase options with available kit
Weaknesses
  • Too big now to be used as a flashlight
  • Lots of sharp edges with all the heatsinking
  • Charging on a typical USB port can take up to 10 hours
  • Not practical now for use on the helmet
  • High powered lithium cell has two adjacent leads and is easy to short out specially when transported in a pocket or hydration pack
Mounting

Mounting is done with a plastic or optional aluminum handlebar mount. Two different sizes are used for the standard or oversized bars.

Mtbr Light Meter Measurements

This light measured 92 Lux on our ambient light measurement facility. The light output measurement is performed by placing a Lux light meter beside the light. Both are pointed at the ceiling (five feet above) of a dark room. This measurement uses the ambient light produced by the bike light.

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 896 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 800 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.

Compare all Lumen Tests here »

Tunnel Beam Pattern Photo

The location is useful since it has walls and a ceiling that can display a bike light beam pattern. The walls have a lot of graffiti on them and actually show detail when they are lit up by a light with a wide angle. Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 120 feet.

Compare all Tunnel Beam Patterns here »

For more information visit www.lezyne.com.

Review: Lezyne Deca Drive Gallery
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Lezyne Deca Drive - 2014 Mtbr Tunnel Test

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Lezyne Deca Drive Lumen-Hour Graph

Return to 2014 Bike Lights Shootout Main Page »

Related Links
2014 Tunnel Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2014 Mtbr Lumen Tests »
2013 Bike Lights Shootout »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »

Do you own the Lezyne Deca Drive? Help us become a better resource and write a review!

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Robert Eaton says:

    I wish you would review the new Megadrive 1200L and make a comparison. I am in the market for a new light. Ive had a Gemeni,, which had many problems with the led shorting out inside and vvery difficult to get repaired in China. However I have a weak but furable as hell superdrive light that takes a beating in all wather commutes and my children beat the hell out of it around the house and is ultra dependable with easy to carry and change batteries. ITs just not quite bright enough. I cant wait to see your review of the 1200l…. its out of stock at CRC now ….. Thanks for your awesome website.

  • Robert Eaton says:

    Strange that the coverage of this light seems much brighter and more useable than its higher powered brother the megadrive 1200l …..from the shots here. Is it possible due to the wight balance setting? Or is this light just plain superior to the new megadrive? I am trying now to decide between the two ….. Also will the older super drive batteries work in the new lights?

  • ziscwg says:

    To Robert E.
    Currently, I believe the above Mega drive pics and review are for the 1000 lum mega.

    I currently have the decal drive and it is bright and a nice beam patter with the 3 led. I think this is an advantage over the mega’s 2 led. The beam pattern is wider and lights more right in front. In one of the flash modes, the 3rd LED flashes while the other 2 run in a med power mode. This is great at dusk or dawn.

    As for the superdrive batteries, I don’t think they will work. The Deca uses 2 bats side by side wired together to make one.

    This light is stupid bright. I had it on high and a car flashed his high beams at me to turn mine off. It has a real cool race mode that allows you to quick toggle between full and economy power.

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