Lezyne Zecto Light Set (2013)
- Neat, tidy and bright front and rear light set
- Price: £30-£55
- Build quality, mounting system
- Still need another front light
Words and Photo by Gary Lake - posted
Lezyne are well known for their trick bits of kit, turning the production of cycle accessories into something of an art form. Their push into the lighting segment has resulted in a refreshingly elegant approach to bicycle lighting, proving there’s an alternative to bulking, techy or geeky looking lights. Here we take a look at the Lezyne Zecto front and rear light set.
Our pair are clearly designated to front and rear duties, but it’s worth mentioning that there’s a Zecto ‘Pro’ which is universal and can be switched to both front or rear usage. You can’t use it at the same time obviously, but it’s a neat idea and could be a handy bailout if another of your lights goes down.
The Zecto units look really neat – a combination of polished alloys, crystal clear optics and robust plastics make up the exterior. There’s a stiff rubber flap that reveals an ever welcome USB port for charging at home, or the office, and a sturdy bag clip at the back for mounting to bags or apparel. You can have your alloy bezel in polished silver or anodized red and black.
It’s a simple, secure solution that makes changing between bikes a doddle…
Perhaps the neatest feature is bicycle mounting option. The back of the integrated clip offers up a curved interface which doubles as a handlebar/seatpost mount. Rubber straps then provide a strong attachment to the bike. It’s a simple, secure solution that makes changing between bikes a doddle, and unlike say a Knog, you can remove and replace the strap.
Another thoughtful touch is that the rear mount is tapered slightly so that, depending on which way you up you mount it, you can have it pointing slightly upwards for better visibility when riding alone, or pointing slightly down for group riding.
The Zecto rear chucks out decent amount of light (20 lumens) and comfortably holds its own in traffic on its brightest setting. It’s a fair bit off Exposure’s Flare (75 lumens) and the almighty Hope District (84 lumens) on paper. However, the Zecto uses its lumens well and the large lens area is highly visible both head and side on. We’d say that the Zecto probably pips the Flare for side visibility though as both front and rear Zectos having windowed sides behind the alloy bezel, enhancing visibility at junctions (Lezyne claim a full 180º of visibility). Head on, its not exactly embarrassed by the Flare despite being well down on power. The Hope remains untouchable if you value outright power though.
Considering both the Exposure Flare and Hope District fail to offer USB charging; neither has an integrated mount; and the Hope has a bulky, full-size external battery pack to deliver its grunt, the Zecto rear is definitely a contender for best rear light when it come to respectable visibility coupled with practicality and weight.
The Zecto front, while identical to the rear in terms of build, offers a more pokey 80 lumens. Despite its output, the Zecto front is a light to be ‘seen by’, not ‘see with’. The focus on side visibility means very little of the light is focused into where you are going and unless you ride entirely on well-lit, smooth roads, you’re going to struggle to ride without a more focused spotlight partnering the Zecto front. As a front blinker, it’s a very useful partner to a main light, but it just doesn’t feel quite as good value as the rear considering you’ll need to budget for another light.
Retail price for the pair is £55, or you can get them for £30 each if bought separately. That sounds quite pricey, especially when you consider the Exposure Flare is only a fiver more than a Zecto rear alone. But the quality of the Lezyne units, plus their practicality and performance more than justifies the price tag. It should be noted that the Flare comes with a disposable battery by default and rechargeables and charger are a cost extra though – making the Zecto look a more attractive cost-effective proposition than it might initially appear. Buying the Zectos as a pair feels best value although frustratingly you only get one USB cable to share between them.
their neatness on the bike and stylish finish are a welcome bonus…
On the subject of charging, they both take around 2.5 hours to fully recharge, which means despite sharing a cable, you can at least get both recharged within the working day in the office. Charging is via a standard Micro USB cable so you’ll probably be able to scrape around and find a spare cable or potentially use your smartphone’s cable (sorry Apple users) to double up on charging.
Run times vary from a couple of hours to seven depending on which mode you use, we’ve been averaging around 4–5 hours using a mixture of modes so it feels about right. We’ve quickly settled into a routine of charging every second or third day while in the office so that they're ready for the next couple of commutes – the great fitting system and USB charging makes dedicated battery packs or ‘rechargeables’ feel rather antiquated. Not that Lezyne are the only ones to offer USB mind.
There’s really not a lot to fault with the Zectos. They’re not as powerful as an Exposure Flare or a Hope District, but they’re cheaper, and better made than the Exposure at least. On the flip side, they’re not as cheap as the Knogs, but they’re much brighter. They’ve got their power-to-price place in the market so it’s an easy choice to make. The Lezyne Zectos ooze practicality and quality and for that they’re an endearing product to use – their neatness on the bike and stylish finish are a welcome bonus.
Quality set of 'be seen' lights with ingenious mounting system. Good balance of price, performance and quality with style to boot.
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