Lezyne says its Femto USB Drive Pair lights are "perfect for commuters and recreational riders looking for a simple and inexpensive way to add visibility" and I'd mostly agree. They're a compact, super-lightweight set of USB-rechargeable LED safety lights that pack more of a punch than their minuscule dimensions let on.
- Pros: Side visibility, rechargeable, compact yet powerful
- Cons: Plastic mounting surfaces perhaps not as paint-friendly as rubber...
Having used these on many a dull day, I can vouch for their ability to cut through the urban landscape. Comprising a 15-lumen front and 5-lumen rear, they were clearly noticeable from an impressive 200 metres away, with the fast flash setting proving impossible to miss, albeit not the easiest on the eyes.
The 'Wide Angle Optics' enable both front and rear to provide 'up to 270° of visibility' according to Lezyne. That isn't as wide as some – the Knog Cobber offers 330 degrees of visibility, for example – and although not many other manufacturers give beam angle data for their rear lights there are plenty on the market that give side visibility, at a variety of price points, from the likes of Wiggle's in-house Lifeline brand, Oxford, Cateye, Moon, Niterider and more, but I don't know many people who would turn down extra side-visibility, especially when commuting in an urban environment.
Although the slightly strange looking lens does its job well and increases the chances of being seen from all angles, it is prone to getting grubby and takes a little bit of cleaning to get sand and grit out of the grooves.
The lights are simple and easy to use, each with a single large button that makes them usable even in thick gloves and on the move. A single press is all you need to navigate through the five different modes – enough to ensure visibility no matter what the scenario, but not too many to make navigating them a chore.
On both lights those modes consist of one solid, one pulse and three flashing – fast, medium and slow. The pulse mode strikes a good balance between being captivating and yet not distracting while also having a burn-time of 12 hours front and 9 hours rear – twice as long as each will last on solid mode.
For maximum endurance, flash will last 20 and 15 hours respectively, front and rear.
To recharge the lights, there's a removable cap on the rear with a rubber O-ring that keeps the elements at bay. Recharging takes 2.5hrs – easily done during the working day if you need to and have somewhere to plug them in.
The lights have been attached permanently to my commuter for the past month and haven't shown any signs of water ingress despite a record month of wet commutes and thorough bike washes with the hosepipe. This is an area where they would seem to be an improvement over their predecessors, which used CR2032 batteries and had a fair amount of criticism for their inability to keep grime the correct side of the seals.
I was a bit disappointed to find that unlike the previous iteration of the Femto Drives, the aluminium body has gone and been replaced with a plastic shell. Also, there is no rubberised finish at the rear, where the lights sit against the seatpost and handlebar; instead, the plastic sits directly against the bike. On my commuter this doesn't bother me too much, but on a more expensive bike I'd be happier if they had a softer rubber back.
Other elements have been well thought over – for example, the hooks that the straps attach to are more prominent than on many safety lights in my experience. The straps are robust, too, and look far less likely to let you down than some you find on cheaper safety lights – I've had to resort to using a cut-up inner tube when a band has let me down.
The Lezynes are well priced for a set of no-nonsense safety lights, and although they're more expensive than some coin cell alternatives, remember that you won't need to shell out on replacement batteries.
They're more expensive than Oxford's Bright Spots at £19.99, but even though the Oxfords are brighter on paper – 40-lumen front, 15-lumen rear – Stu wasn't overly impressed with their output.
The Xeccon Geinea III front and rear set come in at £3 more than the Lezynes and don't offer the same burn times, and while Fabric's Lumacells are a little more powerful for their £36.99, I'd choose the Lezynes for their side-visibility.
More expensive lights in this category, such as the See.Sense Ace Front and Rear, offer some smart features, but it's up to you whether these added features are worth the extra dosh.
If you're a regular commuter or recreational rider and want a set of reliable lights to leave on your bike that maximise safety, these are a really good option.
Well-rounded set of compact safety lights that are bright, USB-rechargeable and affordable
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lezyne Femto USB Drive Pair
Size tested: 15 lumens front, 5 lumens rear
Tell us what the light set is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
A commuter/recreational rider safety light set that's USB rechargeable.
"Femto USB Drive Front
Compact, super lightweight USB rechargeable LED cycling safety light. Its durable co-molded construction is minimal and has an IPX7 water resistance rating. A versatile mounting strap quickly mounts to a variety of bar sizes. Five output modes offer up to 15-lumens and the custom Wide Angle Optics lens provides 270° of visibility. The Femto USB Front can run for up to 20 hours and is easily rechargeable with the included Micro USB cable. A secure, threaded composite matrix cover keeps the USB port clean and sealed. The Femto USB is perfect for commuters and recreational riders looking for a simple and inexpensive way to add visibility. Available in four colours: Black, Red, Blue, White. Also available as a pair.
Femto USB Drive Rear
Compact, super lightweight USB rechargeable LED cycling taillight. Its durable co-molded construction is minimal and has an IPX7 water resistance rating. A versatile mounting strap quickly mounts to a variety of post sizes. Five output modes offer up to 5-lumens and the custom Wide Angle Optics lens provides up to 270° of visibility. The Femto USB Rear can run for up to 15 hours and is easily rechargeable with the included Micro USB cable. A secure, threaded composite matrix cover keeps the USB port clean and sealed. The Femto USB is perfect for commuters and recreational riders looking for a simple and inexpensive way to add visibility. Available in four colors: Black, Red, Blue, White. Also available as a pair."
I'd say they're a high-end set of safety lights that perform well and are built to last.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light set?
MAX LUMENS: 15
MAX RUNTIME: 22 hours
RECHARGE TIME: 2:30 hours
MAX LUMENS: 5
MAX RUNTIME: 15 hours (in Femto mode)
RECHARGE TIME: 2:30 hours
Solid and compact lights, a single button on each.
The rubber strap is good quality and replaceable if required, but mounting points are plastic rather than rubber.
No signs of water ingress despite wet commutes and hosepipe test.
Battery life isn't class-leading, but being rechargeable is a nice selling point.
Brighter than you'd expect!
Tell us how the lights performed overall when used for their designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the lights
They're good at what they do – making you visible.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the lights
No rubberised backing for the mounting points.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Oxford's Bright Spots are £19.99, but Stu wasn't overly impressed with their output. They're £3 less than Xeccon's Geinea III front and rear set, and £16 less than Knog's Blinder Mini Chippy Twinpack.
Did you enjoy using the lights? Yes
Would you consider buying the lights? Yes
Would you recommend the lights to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A great performance from Lezyne's latest offering; their USB charging is quick and easy and adds appeal (and helps justify the price); if they had a rubberised back I'd like them even more.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking