The Lezyne Pocket Drive is a stylish, superlight and very compact hand pump that is cable of delivering relatively high pressure, though it takes quite a bit of work. It's compatible with both Schrader and Presta and also features a pressure release valve for quick adjustment on the fly for Schrader valves. You also get a frame mount, although the pump is so small you might prefer to keep it tucked away in a saddle pack or back pocket.
Weighing just 79g and measuring 140mm long, the Pocket Drive makes a strong case for being taken on a ride over a CO2 inflator and cartridge.
For comparison, the Birzman E-Grip 16g CO2 inflator weighs 82g, while Lezyne's own Control Drive CO2 Inflator also weighs a touch more, at 85g. Admittedly, a CO2 inflator is easier to pack in a small bag, but the hand pump scores points because you don't need to remember to take spare cartridges on long rides (and you don't run the risk of getting frozen hands).
If the Pocket Drive doesn't quite fit inside your choice of bike luggage (I couldn't get it in my favourite seat roll, sadly), and you don't want to sacrifice a jersey pocket, it comes with a frame adapter that fits in place of or under a bottle cage. The plastic adapter allows you to attach the pump, while the Velcro strap keeps it held firmly in place.
The pump is constructed from CNC machined aluminium and looks absolutely delightful. Every part of the pump appears to be constructed to a high standard and from prior experience with Lezyne stuff (my go-to track pump for the last few years is a Lezyne digital drive), it's built to last.
Inside the body of the Pocket Drive lies a removable 12cm flexible hose, with a Schrader valve at one end and a Presta valve at the other. Lezyne has kindly written which is which on the hose – handy for those times when you're too bleary eyed to tell which is which, or you're just in a rush.
Just unscrew the hose from one end of the pump, remove it and screw it into the opposite end. It's all very neat and simple. When the pump isn't in use, a weather-resistant rubber cap at each end stops any water or debris getting inside.
Connecting the Pocket Drive is a doddle since the hose uses the tried-and-tested threaded connector, so no matter which type of valve you're attaching it to, just screw it on until it's tight and start pumping. When you want to remove the valve, just unscrew it and away you go.
Lezyne recommends applying a small amount of thread locker on the valve core, in case you remove it when you're unscrewing, though I never had an issue with this during testing (though I do occasionally check the tightness of the valve core). You can always carry a core removal tool, if it worries you.
The hose is just long enough to curl the pump at a 90 degree angle to the tyre valve, ensuring you don't put any unwanted pressure on it.
An air bleed system is built into the connector at the Presta end, allowing you to release pressure on the fly, but it only works on the Schrader end – on the Presta side it merely releases a tiny amount of pressure built up inside the connector, to allow you to release the chuck with ease. This makes sense because you can easily drop pressures just by tapping the end of the tyre valve on a Presta, while it's not so easy to do on a Schrader.
On to the nitty gritty, then – how does the pump perform in use? The knurled handle gives you plenty to grip on to, and although the opposing smooth handle is very dinky, it's easy to hold. The only slight niggle is that the rubber cap on the end that houses the hose can't be fixed down without the Schrader end to clip on to, so it just sort of dangles about and feels like it's getting in the way.
Lezyne claims the Pocket Drive is capable of pumping tyres up to 160psi – a bold figure for such a diminutive pump. Testing ours on a 700x28mm tyre, from flat to 35psi took 200 strokes, 55psi took 300 strokes, 70psi took 400 strokes, and about 80psi – the sweet spot for most road bike tyres these days – took 500 strokes... and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. So, 160psi might be possible if your name is Hercules.
Considering the pump telescopes to just 23cm, it's hardly surprising it takes such a long time, but I guess that's the trade-off if you want a really compact pump. That said, the similarly sized Birzman Mini Apogee we reviewed last year managed to inflate a 700x23mm tyre from flat to 63psi in 200 pumps. It's hard to say why there's such a difference in the amount of air they can move when they look very similar on paper.
As well as the 28mm road tyre, I tested the Pocket Drive on a larger 35mm gravel tyre and a chunky 2in Schwalbe Big Ben on my commuter bike. Both Presta and Schrader valves worked equally well, with no problems at any point. The Pocket Drive pump just needs more, erm, pump.
Though there are loads of mini pumps out there on the market, the Pocket Drive clearly carves out a distinct niche for itself, thanks to its size and weight. The Birzman Mini Apogee mentioned above is probably the closest competitor – it weighs exactly the same and is roughly the same length. Mike raved about the design of the head, and, as already mentioned – it took a lot less effort to inflate a tyre. It's also £3 cheaper.
Super-small, well made, good looking and simple to use, but inflating requires a lot of effort
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lezyne Pocket Drive mini pump
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Lezyne says, "The Pocket Drive is an amazingly compact and lightweight bicycle hand pump featuring plenty of pumping efficiency. It's constructed from durable CNC machined aluminum and has a handle that's lightly knurled for slip resistant operation. With its overlapping handle and integrated ABS Flex Hose, the Pocket Drive offers performance unmatched for its size. The pump is Presta and Schrader valve compatible, and it's completely rebuildable for continued use at a high level."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MAX: 160psi | 11 bar
DIMENSIONS: 140 mm
The build quality is superb.
Easy to use and nice to hold. The small size does mean you need to do a lot of pumping to inflate a tyre.
No problems so far with limited use, but other Lezyne products have always lasted well.
Ultra lightweight – it might make you leave that CO2 inflator at home.
About the same as other similar mini pumps, and in some cases cheaper, but the Lezyne has them beat on size and weight. The Birzman Mini Apogee is better value though.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's really simple to use, but you do need to spend a lot of time pumping to inflate a tyre.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's so small and light.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Inflating a tyre from flat takes a lot of time and effort. I would say that this is acceptable if you're only using the pump to top up tyre pressures on longer rides, which wouldn't require much pumping.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's cheaper than several larger mini pumps, such as the Fabric Nanobar and Topeak Race Rocket HP, though it's on a par with the Pro Bike Tool Mini and more expensive than its closest (and better performing) competitor, the Birzman Mini Apogee.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
If you can live with the slightly sluggish pumping performance, the Lezyne Pocket Drive is otherwise a great piece of kit: superlight, very compact and simple to use.
About the tester
I usually ride: Steel audax bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,