My requirements for a rear light were not demanding. It needed to be bright, easy to install and remove, and buying batteries was getting old so it was time to go rechargeable. Durability would be paramount.
A few years ago I received a Blackburn Flea set as a gift; however, within the year I lost the rear light. A little later on I misplaced, and have since found, the front. The rear has never turned up. They worked well and met my requirements, but admittedly didn’t get much use before going missing. The small size was nice for tossing in a bag (and losing), but I’ve finally replaced the rear with something more substantial than the single LED blinker I’ve been scraping by with.
Introducing the Lezyne Micro Drive:
Typical to Lezyne the body of the unit is CNC machined aluminum. At the rear of the unit is a plastic threaded cap which conceals a male USB plug. The unit is powered on or off by holding the rubber covered power button for 2 seconds. Mounting is accomplished with a plastic cradle and rubber strap.
This is one of the brightest rear lights I could find with a claimed output of 70 lumen. Unfortunately I don’t have the equipment to verify the numbers. There are four flash, one pulse and two steady modes to choose from. The two daytime flash modes produce 70 lumen, nighttime flash produces 30, and pulse is a slow fade in/out of 30. For the two steady modes you can pick from blast (30 lumen) or economy (5 lumen). In economy mode the battery life is claimed to be 24 hours, and as bright as I need. For commuting I prefer to have a steady light so drivers can better judge distance and a flasher for grabbing their attention. Economy mode should be perfect. Another nice touch is the cut away at the side of the lens which allows for some side visibility.
The power button doubles as a battery indicator by glowing green (100%), yellow (50%), or red (10%). There is also a flashing red which indicates 5% battery life. With more use I should be able to say how accurate these are.
The concealed USB stick makes charging the light handy. With the Blackburn Flea the magnetic USB stick was fussy and I had to remember to bring it with me in the event I needed to charge the light at work. Lezyne’s setup takes away extra bits to lose – a serious plus for me. Unfortunately I do have one issue with the tailcap. I find the the threads difficult to line up correctly and worry that I’ll damage them. The same thread pitch can be found on their aluminum lights, but I really don’t think such a fine thread is appropriate for plastic parts.
For mounting, the tailcap has a groove. This groove snaps over a ridge in the plastic clamp, making for a secure connection. It seems pretty unlikely that the light would break free, even on the worst roads. Wings on either side of the cradle fit the diameter of the included strap, with one curled slightly further to allow the strap to clip into place. The long tail of the strap goes between the clamp and seatpost to reduce slip. Mounting is very functional on all fronts despite my initial skepticism.
All around I’m pretty content with the light. My only complaint at this point is the thread on the tailcap. Hopefully I don’t manage to cross thread it, and the process becomes less nerve wracking. I’ll be back with an update after the micro drive gets some use or I booger up the threads.