Pumps & CO2 inflators
Lezyne’s pen gauge is a replacement specific hose for the brand’s M(edium) and L(arge) HP series mini pumps complete with integral pressure gauge, precision machined Presta/Schrader ends and durable hose.
While there’s no denying the aesthetic beauty and clever detailing, the gauge is tricky to read-especially in low light and 15 quid while not unreasonable for the quality of construction is halfway to a new pump, let alone a replacement attachment. That said, consumables are readily available from dealers meaning it should last a good while.
This is handy – everything you need to fix a puncture in one little pack. You get an Air Rush Regulator CO2 inflator that allows you to control the airflow with the twist of a little wheel, two sturdy tyre levers, and two threaded 16g CO2 cartridges. There’s also a rubber sleeve that you fit over the cartridge to stop your fingers from freezing and a bunch of glueless patches.
Lezyne herald the Micro Floor Drive as “Floor pump power brought to an on-the-bike package”, with a bold claim like this, it has a lot to live up to.
There are two variants of the Micro Floor Drive, the HV and the HP, both available with or without an inbuilt pressure gauge.
The HV is the high volume model; it has a wider barrel to enable more air to be moved per stroke, but reaches a lower ultimate pressure, suited to mountain bike tyres.
Mini pumps vary in their performance as much as anything in cycling, and it seems that for all the progress in cycling equipment there's still plenty of awful pumps out there. Not that the Quicker Pro is one of them: it's an excellent emergency pump that'll get your tyres track-pump-hard at the roadside without making your arms fall off.
The aptly named Quicker floor pump is a quirky, compact design with some clever touches but faces stiff competition from an army of budget models offering similar performance and build quality for less buck. It's certainly not a bad pump, but it doesn't stand out either.
Given the fashion for mini-pumps it can be difficult to find decent full-size frame fit models. Blackburn comes to the rescue with a well-designed and nicely executed model capable raising a flat 700x23 from zero to 120psi in a matter of five minutes. However, racers should stick to CO2 cartridges and unless you’ve arms like Popeye and are using the largest size, 160psi seems a touch optimistic.
Topeak's Road Master Blaster is a well-thought-out frame pump that's a reliable companion for longer excursions. Well built and capable of high pressures, it's a great touring or Audax pump.
This pump has been left at my bike park at work for a number of weeks for all commuters to use and I have seen it in action on a number of occasions. I couldn't think of a better way of testing a track pump: it has been used on 700c, 26” and 20”, inflating to different pressures. It's been well used and well liked, but you can get better performance for not much more.
What are the usual problems with frame mountable mini pumps? The ability to inflate your tyres to a worth while pressure without suffering a hernia in the process? The frequently poor construction and materials used? Being able to work with the pump in a controlled manner? All of these things are minor but noticable annoyances found with a wide number of mini pumps but not with the Truflo Evolution.
Now, this is a lovely thing. Eschewing the plastic favoured by most mini-pump manufacturers Lezyne have made the Alloy Drive, as the name suggests, entirely out of CNC-machined aluminium. Just playing with it in your hands you can feel and see the quality and thought that has gone into it; the bods at Lezyne seem to have taken the trouble to design a mini-pump from the ground up rather than copycat other designs and slap a different sticker on.