Review: Lezyne Mega Drive 1400 Lumen

The Lezyne flagship light continues to get brighter

Lights Lights Shootout

2015 Lights Shootout

Lezyne Mega Drive Front

What haven’t we said about the Lezyne Mega Drive? It’s an overbuilt, self-contained unit designed to withstand all heat and moisture conditions. As the LEDs advance each year and get brighter and hotter, this design is able to handle the load with ease.

Where last year’s light had two LEDs, this year it has three. The result is a brighter light with a smoother beam pattern. It has great throw and a wide beam with very smooth transitions.

Mounting

The mount is shared across the line and it is a robust piece that swivels left to right. A separate mount is used for the the smaller 26.8 handlebars. Consequently, the two mounts shipped will not accommodate the new 35mm bars. The mount is robust enough to hold the Mega Drive securely. 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.

Infinite run time

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.

Big light head

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. At 305 grams mounted, this is the heaviest self-contained light in our test.

Not as bright as claimed

The first problem is, you don’t have access to the full claimed power of the light, out of 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 most buyers will never realize that they are not in the 1400 Lumen mode by default.

Video: Test loop with the Lezyne Mega Drive. Camera is on a locked ISO setting and is set to Wide Angle mode

The good news is the light beam pattern is bright and beautiful. It is very easy to ride with as it throws far and wide as shown in the video. The beam has a nice spot in the middle that has a far throw. Under that, is a very wide beam that illuminates the periphery.

Beam Pattern Photo

We photographed the lights in the same location setting with the same camera settings. The photos were taken in the back yard that is approximately 25 yards long. These photos feature many objects and a distinct background to analyze detail and beam pattern. Compare all Beam Patterns here »

Lezyne Mega Drive Backyard Beam Pattern

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 1407 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1400 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 »

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 Mega Drive will not let you down.

Strengths
  • Bright, wide and useable
  • Incredible machining and craftsmanship
  • Water Resistant so capable of all weather use
  • Field replaceable battery so run time is flexible
  • Light output is very stable and constant throughout the whole cycle as it manages heat very well
  • Battery charge indicator and available race mode
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
Specifications
  • Price: $200
  • Claimed Lumens: 1400 Lumens
  • Measured Lumens: 1407 Lumens
  • Lumens per $: 6.39 Lumens
  • Lumens per gram: 4.19 Lumens
  • Time on High: 1:15 Hours
  • Charge Time: 6:00 Hours
  • Mounted Weight: 305 grams
  • Category: Flashlight/High End
Overall Rating

4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4.5 out of 5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

For more information visit www.lezyne.com.

This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview’s 2015 Lights Shootout. To see all the bike lights tested CLICK HERE.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
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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  • gg says:

    Not sure why the rating is so high ?
    Output is nearly 10% less than claimed.
    Crazy long charging time 10 hrs ! Is there a faster mode ?
    Heavy and potentially dangerous (both sharp edges & battery shorting possible) …

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