Review: Lezyne Deca Drive 1500XXL

Lezyne gets a lot smaller but loses field replaceable batteries

Lights Lights Shootout

2016 Lights Shootout

The Deca Drive 1500XXL sports 3 LEDs.

The Deca Drive 1500XXL sports 3 LEDs (click to enlarge).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview’s 2016 Bike Lights Shootout. See the 2016 Mtbr Headlights Index and the RoadBikeReview Commuter Lights Index.

The Lowdown: Lezyne Deca Drive 1500XXL

Lezyne‘s top end light now is the Deca Drive instead of the Mega Drive from last year. It is a lot more sleek than last year, but it shares the output of last year’s top light at about 1400 Lumens.

Beam pattern is beautiful with a wide beam and a high center optic to see far into the trail. The beam can almost be described as a clover leaf with widfe sides and a center bump. It’s sleek lines and smooth surfaces make it a lot more useable around the house too as the ultimate flashlight.

But the full output of 1500 Lumens is in a ‘hidden’ mode that most users will never realize unless they read the manual very carefully and go in to ‘race’ mode. We really prefer that manufacturers do not claim outputs that are in hidden modes that users may never find. Visually, the human eye can’t really tell and we’re really able to determine this in the lab.

But price and performance are still strong Lezyne traits, as this one sells for an aggressive $150.

Stat Box
Claimed Lumens: 1500 Lumens Mtbr Lux: 1400
Measured Lumens: 1390 Lumens Mounted weight: 279 grams
Lumens per $: 9.27 Lumens Category: Headlight
Lumens per gram: 4.98 Lumens Price: $150
Run time on high: 1:45 Hours Rating: 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4 Chilis-out-of-5

  • $150 price is a one of the best
  • 1390 lumen output doesn’t match 1500 claim
  • Beam pattern is very trail useable
  • Claimed lumen output is in a hidden mode
  • Form factor is much sleeker and easier to handle
  • USB port cover is not the easy to access
  • Mount is completely removable making it a perfect flashlight
  • Lost replaceable battery option
  • Does not get hot due to aggressive temp management

    Full Review: Lezyne Deca Drive 1500XXL

    Lezyne seems to be at a crossroads where they have completely abandoned their previous, very successful and stable output designs to new, sleeker models. They’ve lost the infinite battery abilities they’re known for in favor of safer, easier to ship and more sleek designs. Lithium batteries have been the center of controversy with shipping and airline flights, especially when there’s loose cells involved.

    The result is a much sleeker design with very good optics. Heat sinking is not as generous as before, so the Lumen outputs are not as flat and consistent as the previous models.

    The battery/USB hatch is no longer present as the light has gone away from field replaceable batteries.

    The battery/USB hatch is no longer present as the light has gone away from field replaceable batteries (click to enlarge).

    But the lights are a lot more handy now and can have much more utility around the house. Mounting is still the same with two different plastic mounts for the bar sizes. But the new 35mm bars pose a problem, as the mounts won’t fit those.

    The USB port is a bit difficult to access, as it deeply recessed and there’s a big rubber plug with two levels of sealing. It takes some getting used to, to give a good tug and hold it out of the way to get the USB plug in.

    Continue to page 2 for the beam pattern and Lumen measurement ยป

    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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    • SuperficialDorkOnBike says:

      Well, now Lezyne is like many other and can be bunch in with them. The lack of a replaceable battery in the field was a big selling point for me. I was willing to pay a little more for that.

      While not field replaceable, most of the Lezyne lights can have the battery replaced. You just have to want to take the light apart. I have done it one my micro drives models.

    • SGK says:

      Lezyne lights are great…when they work. I’ve had multiple fails with a Super Drive and bad battery with a Mega Drive. Customer support was okay, but never solved the battery issue. It’s hard to go night riding with a light you don’t really trust.

    • AC says:

      I’ve seen mixed reviews on the battery issue. Many claim the Year 9 Power Drive XL 900 has a user-replaceable battery, but not the Macro Drive 600 XL, for example. Does anyone know if either of those models have a user-replaceable battery or not?

    • Brian says:

      Francis, was the 1390 measured lumens in race mode or regular mode?

    • Aaron says:

      I have used alot cheap lights and they only put out white lite. The white light just washes out the ground. I use mine on endure mode and it last 3hr for my 25 mile mountain bike ride.

    • Zvi says:

      Bought two Deca drive 1500 XXL lights via EBAY. Both are not working, one after a year and the other one after half of a year. Contacted Lezyne but they renounced.
      After using rechargeable batteries lights for many years I came into conclusion that this technology is not reliable.

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