Lezyne Alloy Drive Mini Pump (small)  £19.99

6/10

A beautifully designed pump that does the job on fat tyres, but needs bigger lungs for road work

Weight 112g   Contact  www.upgradebikes.co.uk

by VecchioJo   May 18, 2009  

LezyneAlloyDrive.jpg

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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.

The stand-out feature is that the pump body attaches to the valve by a wee connecting hose, like pumps of old, rather than the flip-lock pressure seal of the majority of pumps these days. The hose threads securely onto the valve and this combined with the forgiving flex in the hose means you can thrape about working the pump as much as you like without fear of ripping the head of the valve off, especially useful during the vinegar strokes.

For a lowly mini-pump there's fantastic attention to detail all round; rubber boots pop over the ends to prevent any grubble getting inside, o-rings seal any potential air-leakage points, and the connecting-hose screws into the pump body when not in use so there's no chance of losing it. The hose is double-ended with a Presta valve fitting one end and Schrader the other, and the valve type is helpfully printed next to it's corresponding end for those with inner-tube recognition issues. All lovely touches.

I appear to have got excited about a mini-pump, oh dear.

It's all aluminium construction should mean it's going to last a long long time, and not implode in a shower of shattered plastic on that wet windy friday night by the side of the A283, although it's diminutive size might make it awkward to handle for those large of paw, and that handle looks like it can nip badly if it catches skin as it slides over the pump body.

On a 26x2.00 mountainbike tyre 100 pumps took it to 27psi, with another 50 strokes bringing the tyre up to a workable 39psi, not too bad for a mini-pump. 100 strokes pumped a 700x32 cyclocross tyre up to 47psi, with the last 20 thrusts being quite hard work, both pump and pumper getting a bit warm with the effort, a further strained 30 strokes and the tyre was a rideable 60psi.

Inflating a standard a 700x23 road tyre became a little more troublesome, after about 90 strokes it became almost impossible to pump any further because of insurmountable back-pressure, and getting any force behind the pump wasn't helped by it's 'compact' size either, as such we could only get the tyre up to about 60psi before giving up and needing a lie-down in the verge. To be fair this model is only rated to pump up to 90psi so it's not really designed for road tyre use, we'd rather plump for one of Lezynes specially designed "high-pressure" mini-pumps for the task such as the Pressure Drive-S which is designed specifically for road tyres and is rated up to 120psi.

Verdict

A beautifully thought out and constructed pump, but we certainly couldn't recommend the Alloy Drive for road bike use, even getting a tyre up to "get you home" pressure was mostly impossible, but for those of a larger tyre persuasion it's well worth slipping unnoticed into a rear pocket or left unloved to rattle around in the bottom of a courier bag or rucksack until needed.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Lezyne Alloy Drive Mini Pump (small)

Size tested: Small (Length -186mm)

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

An exquisitely made bit of kit.

Rate the product for performance:
 
5/10

Marked well down because we'd like it to be able to deal with all sorts of size of tubes and pressures.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Everything appears to be suitably sturdy, but let me get back to you after it's been kicking about in the bottom of a bag for a few years.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
10/10

Small and light enough to forget it's there.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10

Easy to use with no sharp edges, but a bit teeny for those with big hands.

Rate the product for value:
 
10/10

It's not too dear and it should last for years.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Great for low-pressure high-volume tyres, but getting pressure up to anywhere near its rated psi level was hard work.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The design, the construction, the hose.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It's difficulty in pumping up any high-pressure tyre.

Did you enjoy using the product? I have a pathalogical hatred of most mini-pumps due to spending too much time watching people desperately trying to pump a tyre up with some wheezing bit of plastic or other before I'm reduced to handing them my

Would you consider buying the product? No, I'd opt for a more versatile "High Pressure" model

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 74Kg

I usually ride: a variety   My best bike is: Enigma steel road bike.

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: As much as I can  I would class myself as: Experienced and passionate

I regularly do the following types of riding: road, cyclo-cross and mountainbike just riding around, sometimes fast, sometimes with lots of stops for cake. Mountainbike and cyclo-ross racing, the odd evening road crit. Far too much singlespeed for my own good.

 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I ride 700x23, and 700x25.

The only portable pumps I know of that give me any confidence in being able to continue my ride are the Topeak Road Morph (I have the G version) which is let down by a poor bracket design and fairly high rrp, and the Specialized Air Tool road (simple and cheap, but no flexible connection to the valve or lock lever).

For a tenner, the Air Tool road is absolutely superb, if you can get over the fashion faux pas of having a pump attached to your bike....

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [420 posts]
18th May 2009 - 9:31

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Just to clarify a few things.
Lezyne do a wide variety of pumps with different pressure and volume ratings. The test on this pump would only be valid if you were inflating mtb type tyres (or large volume and lowish pressure).
Lezyne do two different types of pumps in this category and both are available in "M" (medium size) and "S" (small size).
1: Alloy drive pumps are not rated above 90psi
2: Presure drive pumps are rated to 120psi.

What should be tested here (assuming road bias) is the Pressure drive version not the Alloy drive.

(PS: The difference between the two pumps is only the diameter of the pump itself)

posted by deeman [3 posts]
25th May 2009 - 22:17

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What i've learnt from the review is that it's not a pump you could rely on to 1) carry on all your rides on all your bikes and 2) pump tyres up to the pressure it's rated to. So it's still worth reading for me. I like to carry a pump that'll pump up a tyre on any of my bikes, to the pressure that it says it will. Sadly, that's a pretty rare combination. the topeak road morph and truflo evo are the only ones i've found that really fit the bill

Barry Fry-up's picture

posted by Barry Fry-up [187 posts]
25th May 2009 - 22:38

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Have you seen this from lezyne:
:http://www.lezyne.com/index.php/products/hand-pumps/micro-floor-drive-hp.html
Befor you dismiss a particular product how about comparing like for like. As you mention the Truflo Evo then why not test this and compare instead.

posted by deeman [3 posts]
25th May 2009 - 23:04

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Hi Deeman,

Yes we've talked to Lezyne's UK distributor about getting in the Pressure Drive.

Barry hits the nail on the head as to why we ran this review - Lezyne say the pump will get a tyre up to 90psi (which is easily good enough as a 'get you home' tyre pressure for a road tyre), in which case although it is primarily an MTB pump it would still be a good all-round pump for those that ride more than one type of bike. If we'd have got 90psi out of it the mark would have been higher but Jo could only get 60 psi. He did mention that this was first and foremost a pump for MTB tyres and he did say that it was brilliant for that, but if a pump is rated to 90psi that's what you should get.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4136 posts]
25th May 2009 - 23:18

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Lezyne do have a habit of putting very high pressure ratings on pumps - my Road Drive is rated to 160psi, but I don't know any cyclists with the upper body strength to achieve that pressure! I'm sure the hardware/seals could withstand it though. Perhaps that is how they rate them? If so, they could make that clearer.

Still love Lezyne stuff though - always exceptionally well designed and made.

posted by step-hent [675 posts]
15th March 2011 - 17:04

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Quote:
Lezyne do have a habit of putting very high pressure ratings on pumps

To be fair it's not just Lezyne, it's nearly every manufacturer of pumps. I reckon they do a quick Pressure=Force/Area calculation and print whatever the result is based on the size of the plunger in the pump. Cynic that I am Plain Face

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7323 posts]
15th March 2011 - 17:14

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