All-in-one compact headlights are an essential part of both safety and extended training ability. On both pavement and dirt, early morning or late-evening rides are possible with a headlight like the Lezyne Macro Drive 1100XL.

Lezyne Macro Drive 1100XL Features:

  • Dual LED’s with Maximum Optical Reflection
  • Li-ion battery (4 hour charge time)
  • Seven available modes (flash or solid)
  • Rubber strap for stem or bar mount options
  • 1100 max lumens (1:20 run time, stated)
  • Colors: Chrome or black
  • Weight: 144 grams
  • MSRP: $79.99
Lezyne Macro Drive 1100XL Review

Mounted up and delivering quality light for a morning MTB ride.

Light up the morning (or night)

Headlights are an essential accessory for riding both day and night. And while some lights are going the small-but-bright route, Lezyne isn’t fooling anyone with the Macro Drive 1100XL — it’s big and bulky, but packs a wallop when brightness and longevity are what you’re looking for.

Early morning MTB aboard the Giant XTC Advanced 27.5+ or gravel sessions on the Niner RLT 9 have been perfect testing companions for the Lezyne 1100XL. I’m riding on the morning side of the dark, so light duration isn’t as mission-critical since it’s getting lighter throughout my rides. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 1:20 runtime in the brightest mode could be limiting.

Lezyne Macro Drive 1100XL Review

Good light for pre-dawn singletrack assaults.

The Macro Drive 1100XL features a bright, full beam that is cool white. Compared to the Bontrager Ion 350 R, the 1100XL has a much whiter color and is obviously brighter. On the darkest mornings, I mounted the Bontrager atop the Bontrager Circuit MIPS helmet (via the nifty magnet mount) and the Lezyne 1100XL on the bars. This combo was the ultimate trail visibility for rides of about an hour.

Lezyne Macro Drive 1100XL Review

At the end of the gravel road, the 1100XL lights the way.

Mounting up the Macro Drive 1100XL is pretty easy with a stretchy rubber strap, but keep in mind that modern 35mm bars, like the RaceFace Turbine R require a bit of extra muscle to attach. The removable rubber bar mount makes for solid, sturdy placement on rough terrain, but must be removed for attaching to aero tops of road bars. Keep in mind that this mount isn’t compatible with all bars or stems, so if you have a particularly large-diameter stem (like the Zipp SL Speed), or super-aero bar tops, you might want to think twice.

Angle adjustments are easy on round bars both up/down and left/right movements are restrained with enough friction to keep their position with ease. I really only moved the light up or down on the trail to keep from blinding passing trail runners.

Lezyne Macro Drive 1100XL Review

The micro USB port is way in there.

The 1100XL is also durable and run-times are excellent overall. The lighted on/off switch indicates battery level from green to yellow when battery levels are below about 20%. In my experience, the stated run times are conservative as I’ve gotten 2 hours at 1100 lumens. While the brightest mode is what I used most often, it does also feature two flashing modes for daytime use. It doesn’t flash annoyingly (I mean that in a good way), but it is bright enough to be easily-seen during the day.

I’ll add that the battery check feature is awesome. When the light is off, just depress the power button once and it will indicate the charge level (green or yellow). Green is good-to-go baby.

Something I’ve noticed is that the casing gets really hot with use. And, accessing the micro-USB port is difficult because it’s so deep to reach. ¬†Oh, if you’re wondering, you can’t charge it and use it at the same time — so much for carrying a power pack to extend the usable life.

The Good:

  • Excellent, full light beam
  • Bright white light delivers excellent trail visibility
  • Stays put even on the roughest of terrain
  • Can mount on round or aero-shaped bars
  • Daytime modes aid visibility
  • An easy way to extend the riding season
  • Push the button to see battery status

The Bad:

  • Connecting the micro USB port is difficult
  • Hard to attach on 35mm MTB bars
  • Wish it has a more irregular flash for daytime use

The Bottom Line: Lezyne Macro Drive 1100XL

It’s that time of year when mornings are dark and evening light is waning. Having the Lezyne Macro Drive 1100XL has been key to early-morning rides and provides bright light for MTB and gravel speeds.

Buy Now: Available at JensonUSA

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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