Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years you have surely noticed the rise of Lezyne. Started back in 2007 by German Micki Kozuschek, he was the founder of Truvativ and is no stranger to the industry.
Micro Floor Drive HV pump:
The Lezyne catalog is one of those that is very easy to browse through and find a huge number of items that you really want to have, even if they're not much use to you, they just look so slick and would be a welcome addition to any toolbox. Of course, looks make up only part of a product, form would be useless without function. So it's a good thing we're fans of their high quality finish and solid build too which is present in even their lowest priced products. Classy and functional, it's a good combination. They're not cheap, but they survive abuse well, and as the old saying goes, you buy cheap, you buy twice. Here are our thoughts on the three products they recently sent to us for inflating tyres:
This Mini HV is a mountainbike specific design which gives volume over pressure (the road specific HP caters to that need). Constructed from a combination of polished aluminium and tough plastic it's a smart piece of kit. So what features do you get for your money? Firstly, there is a small fold out foot so you can use it as a mini track pump. It's never going to be as easy as a full size one, but by using the small foot between your feet you can exert significant force on the handle as it's balanced and you're pushing directly into the ground. The handle is well shaped too so that this isn't an uncomfortable experience. The next big feature is the 600mm long flexible hose that not only holds everything in place when not in use but also means that you can use it in the aforementioned track pump position.
The added benefit of the hose is that you're not flexing and twisting the valve as you inflate the tyre, something that can easily damage the more fragile Presta valves to the extent that it's possible to snap the core off. No matter how careful you are it's always something that can happen, usually when you're tired, cold and miles away from the car, not paying as much attention as you should. Attached to the end of that hose is the Flip-Thread Chuck which features on many of Lezyne's pumps and which enables you to swap between Presta and Schraeder valve types in seconds. This is done without disassembling and reassembling the inner workings of the pump head, or using the sometimes fragile one size fits all style. The chuck instead screws onto a rotating joint on the end of the hose and installed one way will do Presta valves whilst flipped and screwed onto the hose the opposite way will see it fit Schraeder valves. Given that many pumps start to fail at the head after a while with the pushing of the threaded valve into the rubber head, the arrangement seen here means that wear and tear on delicate parts is reduced to a minimum and so should last a lot longer.
Alloy Dirt Floor Drive:
A second version of this pump, the HVG, comes with an inline pressure gauge on the hose that takes up no more space than the length of hose it replaces, still folding up neatly in your bag. Not many mini pumps carry a gauge so this is a very welcome addition, especially given how neatly it's integrated into the pump. At $39.99 for the basic version shown here without the gauge ($54.99 for the HVG) it's not exactly cheap but for that you do get an innovative design, quality and a pump that should have no problem lasting you a long time.
We first covered the Dirt Floor Drive briefly in one of our Eurobike articles, but here it is now in all its glory, a high volume pump aimed specifically at the mountain bike market. The high volume barrel means that it will happily seat even the most stubborn of UST tyres with the minimum of fuss, something we proved by getting the ultra stiff carcass of a Continental Kaiser to seat on a Stans rim strip, a task which had otherwise proven nearly impossible without the aid of a compressor. The downside to this high volume is that it won't inflate past 70psi, which is where the standard Floor Drives comes into play with their ability to pump 160psi and in some cases 220psi, perfect for all the road riders out there.
The Dirt Floor Drive is available in three models, the Alloy you see here, the steel barreled Classic version that sits below this and the CNC Dirt Floor Drive which features a hollow CNC aluminium handle in place of the wood. All feature a 130cm long hose with the same Flip-Thread chuck seen on the Micro Floor Drive above. All of this means that the hose has no trouble reaching bikes in workstands as well as a quick and easy way of switching between tubes, useful if you have several bikes using different valve types for the same reasons mentioned above.
In use the 1700g pump feels sturdy, stable and works without fuss, just as you would expect a high end product like this to do. The aluminium base has a wide footprint so it has no problem staying upright on uneven ground like that commonly found at races, while rubber studs underneath stop it sliding round the workshop. At $84.99 it's not cheap, but quality costs and there are several other pumps in the Lezyne range which feature the same solid workmanship at a lower cost. It's also a pump which, if the standard of other Lezyne track pumps is to go by, should last years even in the harsh environment of a busy workshop and this goes some way to offsetting the retail price.
What can you say about a gas cartridge? It inflates your tyres, sometimes you need two for the bigger tyres, and it really helps if don't leave the tap open when you screw the cartridge into it. This last part is something you will only ever do once, as you watch your last cartridge empty itself into the atmosphere when miles from nowhere. But let's look at point two again. 16g is the normal maximum size of a cartridge, but usually, for anything over 2.2" you really need two cartridges which makes it an expensive way of inflating your tyres, even if you are in a rush. Which is where these new 25g cartridges come in from Lezyne, enabling you to get a 2.5" High Roller to 40psi in seconds. We wouldn't advocate using a cartridge in the carpark unless you're either extremely lazy or have forgotten your pump, but as a trail side option it is certainly very useful, especially as trail tyres now have similar volume casings to those found on downhill bikes. We feel that these would also be ideal for races such as the Megavalanche where you're likely to be running big tyres and want the quickest fix possible. Lezyne aren't the only company to be offering these new, larger cartridges, but at $14.99 for three they're certainly one of the cheaper options out there. We'll be keeping a couple in our bag for emergencies.
Overall we like what Lezyne offer with these three products, each displaying features that we can really see ourselves liking more and more as we spend additional time with them over and above the few months we've been using them so far. Recommended? If you have the money to spend and value design and looks as much as performance then yes, definitely. The quality is great and even with use they still look great. Performance is right up there and as far as the Dirt Floor Drive goes it's the best track pump we've used. We also have their top of the line Great Divide hydration pack which we've been putting through its paces. We'll have our thoughts on that soon. Their tag line is "Engineered Design" and in the case of these pumps here, that shines through.
CNC Dirt Floor Drive: $109.99/£89.99
Alloy Dirt Floor Drive (Tested): $84.99/£69.99
Classic Dirt Floor Drive: $74.99/£54.99
Micro Floor Drive HV (Tested): $39.99/£34.99
Micro Floor Drive HVG: $54.99/£41.99
25g CO2 (Tested): $14.99 (Pk3)/£3.49(Ea.)www.lezyne.com
Lezyne are distributed in the UK by Upgrade Bikes. Check out their website for your local dealer: www.upgradebikes.co.uk/