Lezyne is one of the latest brand on the bicycle market today, and is started by Micki Kozuschek
the ex-owner of Truvativ. After selling Truvativ to SRAM in 2004, it wasn’t long before he decided to start up his own company producing tools and accessories for cyclists. In a market flooded with various kinds of pumps and tools, Lezyne’s products are set apart from the rest with intelligent design and killer designer looks. Being reviewed here are three top-of-the-line bicycle pumps: the CNC Floor Drive, the Pressure Carbon Drive and the Micro Floor Drive HP.
CNC Floor Drive
Floor pumps is one of the must have items in any cyclist enthusiast’s home. A floor pump fills up tires alot faster and more efficiently than any minipump ever could; and a floor pump’s lifespan far surpasses that of a minipump. Also, although budget floor pumps are usually the same price as an average minipump, it does not make sense for any avid cyclist to skimp on this item. However, floor pumps being the utilitarian items that they are, tend to be kept away in some storeroom after each use. Lezyne has produced a floor pump which is not only functional, but it can also be proudly showcased in the living room as a piece of modern interior decor. Not only that, Lezyne has included several features that improve upon the usual floor pumps that are currently available.
First, the most obvious feature of this bling floor pump can be seen once you lay your eyes on it. The entire thing is manufactured using CNC (Computer Numeric Control) technology, well all the metal parts anyway. Upon picking the pump up, the next surprise is how light something this big can be. The usual floor pumps bodies and shafts are constructed from steel to save costs, while Lezyne uses aluminum for the entire pump with the exception of the hose and certain small fittings. The aluminum inner shaft is much thicker than the regular pumps, enabling a smoother stroke with less free play, even at full extension. The CNC floor drive is also slightly taller than my regular floor pump, and it airs up to the desired pressure for my mountainbike tires in less number of strokes. I tested it on a roadbike tire, and 120Psi was easily and effortless achievable too.
A classy dial face displays the pressure in both Psi and Bar. A gripe about the display is that it does not have a adjustable preset level to let the user know exactly what pressure to pump. There are plenty of cheaper pumps on the market with such a feature which assists in users to adjust a preset value to pump up to, and hopefully in future versions Lezyne might see fit to include it in. The hose wraps cleaning around the entire pump onto the opposite side of the base, and it is easily one feet longer than the hoses of other regular pumps. The valve attachment for either type of valves is located with the hose, and it is interchangeable by simply unscrewing the attachment and flipping it over.
Pressure Carbon Drive M
Minipumps are the most common kind that cyclists own, and there’s a huge range on the market to suit every purpose. From the smallest ones that are no bigger than your palm to telescopic models with double action promising the fastest inflation rates to get you back on your bike as soon as possible. Well the Pressure Carbon Drive M isn’t the smallest (216mm in length), lightest (97grams) or the fastest pump, but it has quite a few feature up its sleeves to distinct itself from it’s competitors.
Firstly, the pump has a self-contained hose that allows the pumping of both Schrader and presta valves. Cyclists who have experienced a tear on the inner tube at the base of the valve stem from overstressing the valve stem while pumping it up using conventional handpumps would appreciate the hose, as it reduces the movement and stress on it. A screw-on valve head ensures a secure pumping connection that won’t leak while in use, but it’s painfully slow in use during a race situation where every second counts, especially where you have to connect the hose to both the pump and the inner tube valve. The pump comes with an adapter which allows you to mount to the side of your waterbottle cage using the standard cage bolts. The pump’s body construction is made from an allow barrel with solid carbon handle and the oversized (for a roadbike) barrel allows faster pumping up to a maximum of 120psi. The carbon bits are genuine, not some fake carbon sticker and they both look bling and helps to insulate the heat from the aluminum barrel after pumping up a tire. For people who aren’t into carbon, don’t mind a few extra grams and are looking to save some money, there is a plain Pressure Drive made from 100% CNC aluminum.
When in use, the initial effort needed to pump up a mountainbike tire isn’t any less or faster than a regular pump, but as the tire pressure increases, the effort doesn’t seem to be increasing much. Trying the same pump on a roadbike tire also displayed the same pumping characteristics, with an average initial effort required but not much more as the pressures increase towards the end. The usual final few hard pumps associated with other pumps doesn’t seem to manifest as clearly with this little pump. Considering it’s a high pressure (read : roadbike) pump, it doesn’t need excessive number of strokes to air up an average mountainbike tire. Another feature of this pump is the thick inner pump shaft, partially because it is used to hold the hose when not in use. The advantage of such a thick shaft is much less sideplay while pumping up the tires. The action is very smooth and simply reeks of quality, something befitting it’s bling status (although I would guess that the cheaper plain pressure drive would have the same quality action too.)
Micro Floordrive HP
The mini floorpump class is something introduced by Topeak a few years ago, and it offers the advantages of floor pump in a smaller package. By allowing the user to exert force against a stationary object (floor), less effort is required as compared to using both arms to compress the pump. The addition of a hose reduces the stress and chance of inner tubes tearing at the valve stem area. Other brands have introduced similar types since then, and Lezyne has now entered the fray with their improved version.
Like the other 2 Lezyne pumps in this review, the first thing that strikes the user is how much design work went into it. It doesn’t look like an utilitarian item, rather something more like a piece of art decor meant to take the pride of place on a cyclist’s display shelf. The pump weighs in at 174grams, with the entire pump body is made from CNC aluminum, with an ergonomic T-handle that prevents pinching of the user’s fingers, a small but important feature to anyone who experienced painful pinching while using minipumps. The rubber hose is twice as long as its competitors, allowing more flexibility in positioning the pump while in use.
There is also a special Flip-Thread chuck head that is reversible to allow both Presta and Schrader valves. The head can be first screwed on securely to the inner tube’s stem valve before attaching the hose, further preventing potential damage to the valve stem. This methods take abit more time but is the most secure and leak proof way of pumping up a tire. The foldable stainless steel wire foot peg allowing the user to secure the pump by stepping on it is a simple solution, but it flexes a little while in use. It does not reduce the functionality of the pump though, but it would be nice if the foot peg would feel more secure as it doesn’t feel up to the high standards of the rest of the package.
One niggle on the pump is that it’s a high pressure road-specific version. It can pump up roadbike tires up to their running pressures without problems, but the small volume is a real pain to pump up the current generation of high volume mountainbike tires. The aluminum barrel gets quite hot after use too, so be careful to hold only the T-handle as it does not have the carbon holding points of the Pressure Carbon Drive. This pump would be better suited for road and touring bikes which require higher working pressures with smaller volume.
Every self-respecting rider should always carry a spares and tools on their rides, and pumps are essential equipment especially for offroad cyclists. The choice of pump is down to individual needs, as there are compromises between pumping power, size/ weight and cost. Some riders might choose CO2 inflaters for race conditions where every second counts, but for every other situation a good minipump is much more cost effective.
The 2 minipumps in this review are good examples of the need to select the correct pressure/ volume required for different type of tires. A mountainbike specific high volume pump might not be able to air up a roadbike tire to its working pressure, while a roadbike specific high pressure pump will take extremely long to air up a huge mountainbike tire.
Floor pumps are also a must as it saves tremendous wear and tear on the minipumps (minipumps are meant to be emergency pumps, not for daily usage). The old days of pumping bicycle tires in petrol stations are all but over with the installation of the digital pumps for cars. A good floor pump doesn’t cost more than a good minipump, yet its lifespan can be measured in years or even decades. The better brands even include rebuild kit to enable users to extend the life of their pump at minimum cost. And for people who think floorpumps are an eyesore should definitely check out Lezyne’s offerings.