Lezyne Steel Floor Drive Review
Cons: Gauge accuracy issues
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Lezyne Steel Floor Drive pump is sleek, slick, and beautifully designed. It has a minimalistic look, has been engineered with only the essential parts, and is almost entirely constructed of metal and wood. Of all pumps tested, it's the only one we seriously considered displaying on our wall as a work of art. A previous winner of our Editors' Choice award, it scored very well in our tests and is highly recommended, especially for anyone who prioritizes style in their floor pump choices.
Ease of Attachment/Detachment
The Steel Floor Drive comes with a very nice ABS1 flip-thread chuck, which unscrews and flips easily to accommodate either Presta or Schrader valves. Each end of the reversible piece is clearly labeled. To attach the head to your tire valve, push down and twist to tighten. It's a very intuitive motion, even for folks with little prior knowledge of bike tires or pumps, as long as they're familiar with the ol' righty-tighty-lefty-loosey.
Of all pumps tested, this head design was most consistently able to boast zero air loss whatsoever when attaching or detaching from valve stems, either Presta or Schrader. The only conceivable air loss with this design comes from bumping an open Presta valve accidentally, which can hardly be blamed on the pump. A bleed button located directly on the ABS1 head makes intentional fine-tuning of pressure quick and convenient. Our testers were overwhelmingly pleased with this head design, although using it does take a little more time and patience than pump heads with the more common "push down and lock lever" designs; it's especially time-consuming if you need to frequently switch back and forth between valve stem types. Ultimately this comes down to user preference.
The air hose on the Steel Floor Drive is on the longer end, a generous 48 inches. This extra length is convenient for anyone who doesn't like repositioning their pump between tires, or anyone who puts their bike in a work stand before pumping.
With a steel tripod base and the heavy-duty gauge built into the front leg, this pump is easily the most stable of those we tested. The gauge has been recently updated from a 2.5" diameter to an enormous 3.75" (more on that below), and this added bulk lends even greater stability to the base. All that steel at the bottom with a light wooden handle on top keeps the center of gravity nice and low, so it recovers well from being knocked sideways in any direction. The bottom of the base has a few small rubbery bits at the end of the legs to keep the pump from sliding around and protect your floors. The tripod legs are just long enough for users to stand on them comfortably while pumping, while still being short enough to maintain the pump's slim profile.
One of the better performers for inflation speed, this pump requires fewer pumps to reach desired pressures than all but the miraculous Blackburn Piston 4, as well as specific high volume pumps (which are mostly impossible to pump to even moderately high pressure). The pumping motion is very smooth, the wooden handle is quite comfortable, and pumping a skinny tire up as high as 120psi required no major increased effort per stroke. The sturdy steel base and strong wooden handle assist with making pumping an enjoyable experience. As such, this pump is especially highly recommended for anyone whose needs involve very high-pressure tires, such as those for track bikes.
Gauge accuracy continues to be a slight problem for this pump in our repeated tests. Repeated tests with a few different types of tires had this gauge reading consistently off by roughly 3-5psi. Pumping a tire to a reading of 80psi shows 75-77psi on our independent gauge. Pumping to 30psi yielded 26 to 28psi. This is an improvement from our last round of tests with this pump, but it's still not showing the same accuracy as some other models. 5psi isn't an enormous discrepancy and would not be likely to cause concern for casual bike riders, but for more serious cyclists, this could make a big difference and is worth considering.
The newly upgraded 3.75-inch gauge, built into the steel base, features silver print on black, as well as black print on silver, and maxes out at 220psi (15 bar). This new gauge is the largest we've seen, if not the brightest, and aesthetically it fits well with the pump's sleek looks. It's plenty clear, even looking all the way down to the floor while standing above it, and our testers did not experience any difficulty using it.
The gauge's construction is where it really shines, however. In addition to its attractive appearance, the casing around the gauge is part of the same piece of machined steel that makes up the rest of the base, making it incredibly stable, and it's very securely mounted within that case. If this review were for "best bike pump to use as a club if necessary for self-defense," the Steel Floor Drive would surely win the prize, with a suggestion to strike gauge-first if possible.
The only real gauge-related concern with this pump is its continued moderate struggles with gauge accuracy in our tests, though it's not so far off as to render it unusable for most purposes.
Although it isn't one of the thriftiest pumps we've reviewed, there are also much more expensive ones which have let us down, and this is quite a nice pump for the price. Quality construction, stylish design, solid all-around performance, and it feels good to use. There are some adequate pumps available that cost half as much, but we wouldn't count on them lasting as long, and they certainly won't look as good. Lezyne also makes replacement parts available for their pumps at reasonable prices on their website, so if your hose gets cut or the face of your gauge gets smashed, you don't have to throw the whole pump away.
Although there are some lingering questions about the accuracy of the gauge, the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive is really a great pump that our reviewers and their friends loved using, and folks who tried a number of pumps we tested remarked that if they were able to keep just one, they'd have their eye on the shiny black steel of this puppy. The ABS1 flip-thread chuck makes for an easy to use and reliable pump head. It feels smooth and solid when pumping, and looks good doing it.
— Mark Schanzenbach