Lezyne Mega Drive 1800i front light review

Lezyne’s highest output trail light

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Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £150.00 RRP | USD $160.00
Lezyne Mega Drive 1800i front light for mountain biking

Our review

A functionally impressive light let down by a lack of power
Pros: Easy to operate with good customisation and accessories
Cons: Strap not the most refined; lack of power reduces usability
Skip to view product specifications

The Mega Drive 1800i is Lezyne’s most powerful front light boasting an 1,800-lumen output and claimed battery life of up to 1 hour 40 minutes in maximum mode.

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The all-in-one Mega Drive 1800i has three LEDs that Lezyne says have been tuned to offer the perfect beam pattern for high-speed riding, thanks to its Tri-Focus Optics.

Its body is made from machined aluminium with cooling fins on the sides to help manage heat build-up.

Lezyne Mega Drive 1800i mountain bike light
Fins on the side of the light aid with cooling.
Alex Evans

It has a single button on the top with an ambient light sensor at the rear and a single USB port that doubles up as the charging point and optional remote connection. Underneath the light, there’s an additional port for the optional Infinte Light Power Pack that’s claimed to double battery life.

The Mega Drive has seven modes; five of those are constant and three are flashing. It’s also compatible with Lezyne’s Smart Connect App that lets you customise the light’s lumen output and remote Switch system that links front and rear lights, so one light can control the other.

The supplied rubberised mounting strap is compatible with up to 35mm diameter handlebars, but other accessories are available, such as a dedicated aluminium bar mount.

Lezyne Mega Drive 1800i performance

Lezyne Mega Drive 1800i mountain bike front light beam shot
The Lezyne Mega Drive 1800i feels like it doesn’t quite hit the 1,800-lumen output claims.
Ian Linton

Out on the trail, the Mega Drive 1800i felt like it put out less power than Lezyne’s 1,800 lumen claims, with the light adequate for gentle trail centre and bridleway riding but out of its depth on rougher, faster or twistier terrain.

Although the beam’s spread was pretty good, its usable side-to-side range was limited by the lack of power not able to sufficiently illuminate the amount of ground it was trying to cover – undoing most of its trail-illuminating potential. The fairly bright central focal point did highlight obstacles well, but the light’s power was spread too thinly for technical riding.

Downward light projection was impressive and shadows were only cast off drops, over jumps and up rises thanks to a lack of power rather than poor optics. Because there is no hood over the top of the light, it did dazzle me when I rode up steeper rises or up takeoffs, which was frustrating.

I’d recommend pairing the Mega Drive 1800i with a helmet-mounted secondary light to help improve its scope, especially if you’re going to be riding really hard trails.

Lezyne Mega Drive 1800i mountain bike light
The rubber strap provided a secure fit to the bars.
Alex Evans

The light it produces has a white/green hue that makes it very easy to ride with because contrast is reduced, improving the chances of spotting rocks, roots and general obstacles. However, the light’s hue might have contributed to it feeling like it was down on power.

Operation was straightforward and the single button is easy to toggle through the seven modes sequentially on the move, as long as the trails aren’t too rough.

There is no mode indicator button but the battery life indicator helpfully changes from green to yellow, then red and finally flashes red when it has less than 5 per cent charge. Run-time was 2 hours 30 minutes, which was greater than Lezyne’s claims.

Lezyne’s Smart Connect App worked well and it was easy to programme the light to have just the modes I wanted on the trail.

Lezyne Mega Drive 1800i mountain bike light
Three LEDs produce the light’s power and beam pattern.
Alex Evans

The rubberised mounting strap was surprisingly tricky to use due to the small hook that’s close to the light’s body. The light’s instructions indicated it should be turned on the mount – that’s secured to the light’s body with a single Allen bolt – for easier installation.

However, I found the light was difficult to turn on its mount when attached to the bars, contacting the stem or other accessory mounts or twisting off its shaped bar cup when rotated. Instead, I preferred to keep it straight on its clamp during removal or installation of the strap, and the strap’s hook’s location was only a minor frustration.

The mount was very stable over rough terrain, though, with no perceptible bounce. It’s also compatible with a host of bar sizes, so can be swapped between bikes.

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Lezyne Mega Drive 1800i bottom line

The Mega Drive is a good light with solid performance and a quality feel. Plenty of accessories are available for extending its battery life and usability, plus the app and light pairing feature is neat. But none of this will increase its luminous output, which is where the Mega Drive 1800i is a bit lacking.

How we tested

We put 12 high-power front lights to the test that should let you head to the hills after night falls to discover a brave new world of riding.

Other lights on test:

  • Exposure MaXx D MK13
  • Gemini Duo 2200 Multisport
  • Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen
  • Hope R4 LED
  • LifeLine Ara 2000L
  • Lumicycle Apogee Carbon Extender Pack
  • Magicshine Monteer 8000S
  • Moon X-Power 1800
  • MTB Batteries Lumenator 20
  • NiteRider Pro 2200 Race
  • Knog PWR Mountain Kit

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £150.00USD $160.00
Weight 448g
Brand Lezyne

Features

Features Run time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Integrated battery Yes
Light type Front
Output (lumens) 1800