- 4.5 / 5 Bee's Knees -
The debate may forever continue as to whether bar or helmet mounted lights are superior for each cycling discipline. This very debate exists because each style offers its own advantages over the other. However, after testing one light in particular, there seems to be an effort to create a single light that accomplishes the best of both worlds. Lezyne has always embraced quality and infused a healthy dose of desire with the use of premium materials. In classic Lezyne fashion, the Macro Duo helmet light seeks to raise the bar on helmet mounted lights.
It’s easy to love Lezynes products for their construction which drips with quality, but there’s no need to feel guilty, all the other elements are there to deserve great praise. Even though the beam pattern of the Macro Duo could be described as traditional, an exceptional melding of sensible output with a well-balanced beam pattern is accomplished. The pattern can be described as a generous and bright spot supplemented with a soft transition to a focused flood. By pushing out a very usable 400lm, this helmet mounted light crosses borders and enters into bar-light territory. Output of the rear element is also more than adequate although less intelligently designed than the front. The frosted rear cap does well to illuminate itself but doesn’t really project light to far reaching distances. Regardless, I view it as a viable replacement to a dedicated rear light.
Successes certainly continue with what might be the best helmet mount on the market. To start with, situating the mount on your helmet is straight forward and incredibly secure thanks to a nice rubber pad at the base of the mount and a unique rubberized portion of the strap which both grips and protects your helmet. Once the mount is in place (I’d recommend mounting it much nearer the back of your helmet than the front), the 3D gyroscopic ball mount allows complete control over the positioning of the light. Above this, a taught “C” clip interfaces the light to the mount with ease and security. It’s only fair to say that I haven’t tested every helmet mounted light on the market, however, it is hands-down the best I’ve used and likely the best out there.
Typically my reviews require a little research to understand the logic behind certain designs. In each of the lights I have tested from Lezyne, the organization of the output settings is perplexing. In the case of the Macro Duo, the order in which you cycle through the settings is not in order of brightness. I don’t understand this design concept (but really should, maybe I’ll get some questions answered) but regardless, I don’t like it. Maybe I’ve got a mild case of OCD but I’d like to see the settings organized in a typical fashion from brightest to dimmest. Aside from that nuisance, the operation of this light is super easy, glove friendly and mostly logical. You do have independent control of the rear facing emitter and although a second button would make for quicker selection, the process of storing the rear setting and entering back into the front selections is not particularly difficult.
Let’s cut to the chase. We all know that Lezyne places great priority in designing products that are equally functional and desirable. For the Macro Duo, it has once again raised a question I often ask myself: why aren’t I commuting with a helmet light. Whether you use the Duo as a stand-alone light or pair it with a brighter bar mount, there is no question that this light is awfully magnificent to use. Again, I haven’t ridden with every helmet light there is to ride with but I’m loving the Macro Duo for supplementing my bar light on commutes and providing me a backup light on long night time rides which have in some cases gone well-into century territory. This is a light you and your helmet will love.