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review

Lezyne Laser Drive Rear 250

7
£60.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Innovative light with laser strips beaming a bike lane at night – it can also do bright for alerting drivers in the daytime
Extra night visibility with laser lines
Easy button operation
Memory function
Bright daytime mode
Hard-to-access charging port
Bit bulky
Expensive
Weight: 
74g

Lezyne's Laser Drive rear light has four LEDs that are flanked by two laser-beam strips which project a bike lane onto the ground for improved visibility on the road. These two parallel lines – which can be adjusted from solid to flashing – can be useful in giving drivers an idea of how wide you are on the road. But mounted at a height of 78.5cm, the gap between the lines is only about 1 metre in total – so that's 0.5 metres on either side. I am slightly concerned that some road users will interpret the lines as constituting a reasonable passing distance – Cycling UK cites 1.5m as the absolute minimum passing distance, so the Lezyne's lane falls far short of that.

2021 Lezyne Laser Drive Rear 250 - lazer lane 1.jpg

Lasers aside, the functionality of the main light system is bright and reliable – its 250 lumens and nine modes will keep you seen day and night, and the run-times are pretty reasonable too.

> Find your nearest dealer here

With a stretchy rubber band that has five size settings, the Laser Drive can be strapped easily on any profile of seatpost, whether it is a round or chunky aero design. It stays put and feels sturdy. But bear in mind, with this design it doesn't have a hook for easy clipping onto a saddle bag.

2021 Lezyne Laser Drive Rear 250 - side.jpg

The co-moulded unit is rated IPX7 water resistant, which technically means it can be submerged for 30 minutes in up to a metre of water. In riding terms, this means it has lasted well, even after being subjected to the elements in endurance-length outings in deep winter.

The wide lens of the Laser Drive provides reasonable side visibility with its 180-degree coverage, but there are better options out there for this aspect such as Moon's Cerberus which boasts 270 degrees.

Modes and run-times

Output-wise, it can provide a maximum of 250 lumens in one of its daytime flash modes – this is incredibly bright, and Lezyne says this will last four hours. Other run-times vary from as short as 2.5hrs in Blast mode, up to 17.5hrs in Flash 2 which beams out 10 lumens. Run-times I've checked seem consistent with those claimed.

Here are the modes and run-times provided by Lezyne:

  • Blast (40 lumens): 2.5hrs
  • Enduro (20 lumens): 5hrs
  • Economy (6 lumens): 15.5hrs
  • Flash 1 (20 lumens): 9.5hrs
  • Flash 2 (10 lumens): 17.5hrs
  • Flash 3 (20 lumens): 8.5hrs
  • Flash 4 (20 lumens): 13hrs
  • Day Flash 1 (250 lumens): 4hrs
  • Day Flash 2 (125 lumens): 7hrs
  • Laser only (solid): 7.75hrs
  • Laser only (flash): 15hrs

Turning the light on is simple and is done with the button found at the top – it responds well and isn't sticky. Holding the button down for a second or two turns it on and off, while quick presses will shift it through the different solid and flash settings.

The laser lines appear in all of these settings, but it is possible to change the laser mode separately. This can be done by holding the button for five seconds when switched off, then tapping through to change from solid to flash to off completely, and your desired choice can be saved by holding the button for two seconds.

All your day and night needs are covered by the light's nine different modes. There are three solid state options and an interesting array of daytime modes, including disruptive flash patterns. Perhaps the number of modes is a little on the overkill side, but usefully, the light has a memory function, which means that when you switch it on it will be in the last mode used – you don't have to click through the settings from the start each time you use the light.

Your own bike lane?

Let's talk lasers. These light up the road with two thin lines on both sides, from the tip of the front wheel, continuing alongside the bike, and projecting a further ~70cm from the rear wheel backwards.

2021 Lezyne Laser Drive Rear 250 - lazer lane 2.jpg

They are effective and can be seen from a distance – but not during the daytime and not from as far away as the main beam of the light. Closer up, they provide an extra touch of visibility and warning to other road users where you are on the road.

Charging

The light's in-built battery can be recharged by plugging in with a micro-USB cable, which comes included. The port, tucked round the back at the top of the light, is hidden by a solid chunk of rubber which can be pulled down. This protects the charging socket effectively from water ingress and remains attached to the light so it isn't possible to lose this vital protector. But the narrow entrance caused challenges each time I went to charge the light. I found it difficult to see where to plug the cable in, and I worried I could cause damage in my fumbling around. Time will answer for durability, but for me it is a pain regardless.

Helpfully, the light includes a battery indicator which is constantly displayed while the light is on. The status can also be displayed when off by tapping the on switch once. There are two tiny lights above the four central LEDs, one of which illuminates green when 100% charged. Both red and green show when it is 50% depleted, then just a single red light when 30% of the battery power remains. This then flashes red when power drops to just 10%.

Charging time is said to be around three to four hours, and I found it consistently hit the lower end of this target.

Value

Lasers do come at a price hike. The Moon Sirius Pro 350 Rear is a little cheaper (£54.99) and has a brighter daytime flash mode at 350 lumens and much better run-times across its mode. With a closer maximum lumen capacity (260 lumens), the NiteRider Sentry Aero 260 rear light is considerably cheaper at £40, and it has a greater side visibility of 260 degrees. So, how much you want to pay for a moving bike lane is the real question here.

> Buyer’s Guide: 19 of the best rear lights for cycling

The Lezyne Laser Drive Rear 250 is an obvious contender for a commuter – though I wouldn't leave it on when leaving the bike locked up, it's too expensive – but this bright rear light has also been a good addition to my winter training bike which racks up the miles in both daylight and often on rides finishing off in the pitch black.

Overall, its interesting laser lines provide another way of attracting a driver's attention, and although I have no proof that this means other road users will overtake with greater clearance, I did feel happier knowing I had an additional way of being seen. Why not pedal around in your own bike lane wherever you go? Aside from this function, the Laser Drive has usefully bright daytime modes and its run-times seem reasonable enough to cover a variety of needs.

Verdict

Innovative light with laser strips beaming a bike lane at night – it can also do bright for alerting drivers in the daytime

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Lezyne Laser Drive Rear 250

Size tested: 250 Lumens

Tell us what the light 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?

For those who want another way of attracting the attention of drivers with two safety lines beamed onto the ground.

Lezyne says: 'Compact, high visibility safety light with four ultra bright LEDs. Laser-mode beams two safety strips on the ground. Light and durable co-molded lens/body construction. Waterproof. Unique aero and round post compatible design. Provides up to 250 lumens and multiple output/flash modes. Extended lens for 180 degrees of visibility. Convenient Micro-USB rechargeable design.'

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

Lezyne lists:

* Max 250 lumens.

* 17.5 hours runtime in Flash mode.

* Highly disruptive Daytime Flash mode.

* Laser mode beams two safety strips on the ground.

* IPX7 water resistant, co-moulded body.

* Multiple output and flash modes.

* Aero and round seatpost compatible.

* Colour: Black.

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

Lots of modes to navigate through, but there is a memory function – when you turn it back on it is on the mode you previously had it set to.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
9/10

Clamps securely, to both round and aero seatposts.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10

No issues.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

Run-times and charge-times are reasonable but not class leading for its lumen output.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
7/10

Charging port hard to access.

Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10

Bulky, but it does come with laser lines as well as the main beam.

Rate the light for value:
 
5/10

It's expensive compared to similar lumen output rear lights, but it does have unique laser lines.

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The laser lines are effective in night-time riding but not the day, and I would have preferred it if they projected slightly further behind the bike.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Bright daytime flash mode and the extra visibility at night with laser lines. Charging port protector is attached so can't be lost. Battery indicator is good too.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Charging port hard to access; run-times could be improved.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes, if on a slight discount.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Its laser lines are very effective for night-time riding and do provide an additional form of visibility, while the daytime flashing mode is disruptive and bright. Practically, there's lots to like – the buttons and modes are easy to use, the battery indicator is helpful, and you can't lose the charging port protector as it comes attached – but the laser lines don't show up well during the day, the charging port is hard to access and it is expensive for its battery life and lumen capability. It's good, overall; if a moving night-time bike lane is important to you, I'd say it's worth the extra cash.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 177cm  Weight: 63kg

I usually ride: Road bike  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track

Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.

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