Masses of punchy power and battery life plus a moulded ‘soft mount’ clip back makes the Zecto Drive Max a great bikepacking light, but there are better options for around town and seat post mount safety
Powerful rear projection
Excellent 'soft gear' mounting clip
OK on fatter round seat posts
Long run times
Consistent battery feedback
Dog walk compatible
Limited sideways power
Can wobble and shift on skinny posts
Definitely doesn't fit blade posts
Constant modes are relatively low power
Heavy and bulky in terms of depth
Relies on a pert pack to stop droop
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Lezyne’s three-LED Zecto was one of the original super power rear lights back in the day, and it’s one of the most copied designs too. The latest Max 250 version more than triples output over the standard 80 lumen Zecto as well, but is that enough to keep it competitive as a premium all-rounder, or is it best seen as a specialist bag- or rider-mounted option?
Read on to find out whether or not we think it still competes in the best bike lights segment, or whether it's long been surpassed.
Design and aesthetics
There’s no mistaking the Zecto with its distinctive three-LED metal bezel ‘watch’ design and chunky curved clip moulded into the composite rear section. A rubber fore-body carries the small power/mode switch at the top, and the rubber plug-covered micro USB charge port at the bottom to give the Zecto a basic IPX6 waterproof rating. This latest version also features an increased capacity battery that gives a life of over six hours in the brightest constant setting. A four-LED traffic light display behind the bezel gives you 25-per cent charge steps for judging remaining run times too. The chunky construction and metal parts mean it’s heavy at nearly 70g though, and it’s bulky in terms of depth too.
That means while the back of the broad moulded clip is scooped to match a 31.6mm diameter round post, it can slide around and waggle on a slimmer post even if you pull the ladder strap super tight. It’s definitely not compatible with skinny rear stays or aero blade seat posts either. What it potentially does brilliantly though is clip onto belts/bags/pockets/straps or anything else the fat bodied hook can be slid over. On straps or ladder strips you can loop the rubber strap over for extra security too. We’ve even started clipping it onto our dog’s harness now the afternoon walk is getting dark. The symmetrical design also means the clip works vertically and horizontally, although the weight and depth of the light means it can droop downwards if you clip it sideways onto something saggy.
Presuming it’s mounted onto something pert the three LEDs are very visible from behind. With the constant setting limited to 35 lumens, it’s not the brightest solid light option and the night flash/random/strobe options top out at 35 lumens too. The two day-flash options are brutally powerful at 250 and 125 lumens respectively though so you’ll stand out to following traffic from kilometres away.
While there is a see-through red collar behind the metal bezel it only lets a bit of reflected light spill sideways and back rather than firing meaningful power out to the flanks. That’s not uncommon in high powered lights from other brands like Exposure but if you’re wanting wider angle visibility then you’re better off looking at something like how the Lezyne Strip Drive is designed.
If you want a powerful rear focused light for hanging off bags and the like, (or you’ve got a fat round seat post) then the Zecto Drive Max is tough and time-served with long run times that make it a bikepacker’s favourite. It’s heavy and bulky though, and for wide angle visibility and skinnier or sharper seat posts there are better options available.
Tech Specs: Lezyne Zecto Drive Max 250
- Price: £52.00 / $49.99
- Power: 250 lumens max flash
- Run time: 6hrs 20mins at max constant power
- Weight: 68g (including mounting strap)
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