Keep it simple, stupid—an age-old saying from the U.S. Navy that still holds true. Lezyne takes this to heart with the 1100i, and the result is a light that packs a lot of features into a very simple and effective package.

Lezyne Power Drive 1100i

  • Output – 1100 lumens
  • Runtime Actual – 1.5 hours* (3:20 with optional battery pack)
  • Price$100
  • Modes – 2 Groups: 1100 lumens, 150 lumens | 650 lumens, 450 lumens, 150 lumens, 15 lumens, Flash 150 lumens, Pulse 150 lumens
  • Recharge2-6 hours (fast charging supported)
  • Water ResistanceIPX7
  • Light Weight: 159 grams
  • OtherOptional external battery roughly double runtime, GoPro helmet mount, stem mount. Swivels on all mounts. Side illumination.

 

 

I most often used the Lezyne as a helmet light due to its small size, easy of use and plethora of mounting options.

Mounting

The Lezyne has the easiest, and probably the most versatile mounting system in this test. Out of the box, the light comes with a simple, swiveling strap to mount the light on the bars. Swivel the light to get the body out of the way, hook on the strap, and you're set.

If you really want to go crazy, the Direct X-Mount System is an extra $40. The X-Mount System replaces two stem bolts (which need to be an M5, usually 4mm hex-head) and holds the light out in front of cables and in the center of the bike. As a bonus, you can attach two lights to the mount if you want. 

Lezyne also offers a GoPro adapter (attaches with an M3 bolt on the base of the light) for only a few bucks, and opens up many possibilities for mounting—I even rigged up a mount under the visor of my Troy Lee Designs D3.

The GoPro adapter is slim and easy to install. It used a common bolt size in case you lose it. One of my quips was the charging port though, which is hard to guide a cord into.

In the Wild

The stock strap mount that came with the 1100i works well and is dead simple to use, but as with the Light and Motion Urban 1000, I found that I did have to run the light upside-down to avoid the light twisting on impacts. This was one of a few reasons I used the 1100i more often as a helmet-mounted light.

First, its slim package keeps the weight down to minimize twisting motions on a MIPS-equipped helmet. Second, the various modes are easy to access, and I don't need to see the light to find the button or switch between them. Third, it has a short battery life, and I tend to only use my helmet light for descending, relying on a longer-lasting light on the bars for climbing and slower riding.

The 1100i is also the second-dimmest light that I tested and is better suited on a helmet for seeing around tight corners where ultimate illumination isn't necessary. That being said, Lezyne does offer a brighter option, the 1500XXL, in case you do want more light at the cost of more weight and bulk.

Living with the light

As I mentioned above, the battery life of the 1100i isn't the longest. However, the 1100i has an ace up its sleeve with that ‘i’ at the end of the name. It stands for ‘Infinite Light,’ Lezyne’s system of external battery packs that can be attached to select stand-alone lights. The 1100i can, theoretically, last forever if you have enough batteries. For this reason, the 1100i stands out from many of the other lights out there—run it on internal battery for a quick, after-work ride, or hook up a pack and do a 24-hour race with no fuss.

The port on the bottom of the 1100i lets you plug in an external battery back.

The button operation of the 1100i is also dead simple. There are two groups, one with all the lower power and flash modes, and one with only the brightest setting and a low-power mode for climbing. Press and hold the one button to turn the light on and access the last group you used. If that's not the group you want, keep holding until the light starts to strobe, then release it and you're in the other group.

The button itself is illuminated and changes color like a stop light to indicate battery life, similar to the Bontrager Ion Pro RT. Some of the other lights do this, but none are as intuitive or easy to see as the Lezyne. Green is good, yellow is getting low and red means you should head home.

For whom does it shine brightest?

The Leyzne 1100i was the easiest light to use and understand of the ones I tested, and it also offers the most features and mounting options. It's solidly built, has been trouble-free and offers plenty of brightness for most riders. It’s perfect for those looking for a helmet light to supplement something brighter on their handlebars, or for marathoners looking to take advantage of its Infinite Light capabilities.

This review is part of a four-part series of mountain bike lights under $100. If you missed the others, catch the link back to all the reviews here.