Hands-on Gear Review

Lezyne Steel Floor Drive Review

A stylish pump with quality construction and good performance.
By: Mark Schanzenbach ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 19, 2018
Price:  $60 List  |  $47.99 at Competitive Cyclist - 20% Off
Pros:  ABS1 flip-thread chuck, steel barrel and base, wooden handle, long hose, durability, stylish appearance
Cons:  Gauge accuracy issues
Manufacturer:   Lezyne
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 14
  • Ease of attachment - 25% 8
  • Stability - 20% 9
  • Inflation Speed - 20% 8
  • Accuracy - 20% 6
  • Gauge - 15% 8
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Our Verdict

Our previous Editors' Choice award winner, Lezyne's Steel Floor Drive pump has a sleek, sexy look to it, simultaneously classic and modern, which screams quality. It reminds us of something we'd see in a grandfather's garage, a pump that's been quietly working whenever called into service over the last 60 years or so… but also looks like it belongs next to a fixed-gear rig in a $3000/month Williamsburg apartment.

Aside from some moderate gauge accuracy issues, this pump was also an excellent performer in our tests. The head uses Lezyne's unique and user-friendly ABS1 flip-thread design. The hose is long, the base is solid, the gauge is clear. Pumping with it is quick and requires little effort. Overall, it's a strong performer that looks great, it has the durability to go the distance, and people love using it. That's good enough for us.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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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. It was previously crowned as OGL's Editor's Choice for best floor pump, and although it has been dethroned this time around by the ToPeak JoeBlow Sport III, it scored very well in our tests and is highly recommended, especially for anyone who prioritizes style in their floor pump choices.

Performance Comparison


The stylish Steel Floor Drive looks great in any environment
The stylish Steel Floor Drive looks great in any environment

Stability


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. 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.

The Lezyne Steel Floor Drive's minimalist tripod base
The Lezyne Steel Floor Drive's minimalist tripod base


Ease of Attachment/Detachment


The Steel Floor Drive comes with a newly updated 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, simply push down and twist to tighten. It's a very intuitive motion, even for folks with little prior knowledge of bike tires or pumps.

The ABS1 pump head  one of our favorite designs
The ABS1 pump head, one of our favorite designs

Of all pumps tested, this head design was most consistently able to boast no 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. Our Best Buy, the AerGun X-1000, blows them all away when it comes to user-friendliness and speed though. Ultimately it comes down to user preference.

The air hose on the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive is one of the longest of the models tested at 48 inches, which gives it an extra foot-and-a-half over the ToPeak JoeBlow, Bell, and Schwinn models we tested. 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.

Gauge


The 2 ½ inch gauge, built in to the steel base, features clear black print on a silver background, and maxes out at a whopping 220 PSI (15 bar). Of the pumps we tested, only the Rennkompressor is rated to go slightly higher (230 PSI / 16 bar), and that gauge is one of the least legible of the bunch. The Steel Floor Drive's gauge is not the largest or brightest, but aesthetically it fits well with the pump's sleek looks, it's clear enough, and our testers did not experience any significant difficulty with it.

The gauge's construction is where it really shines. 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 solid, and it's very securely mounted within that case. If this review was 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.

A minor drawback of this gauge is the small amount of space between hash marks; due to the high max PSI on a somewhat small gauge, the area between 95 and 100 PSI covers roughly two millimeters (compared to approximately four millimeters for the same PSI difference on some other models like the ToPeak JoeBlow and Sigtuna. This could be a dealbreaker for anyone looking for a great deal of precision in their gauge, but was not a cause for concern for our testers; of greater concern were moderate struggles with gauge accuracy in our tests (see "Accuracy" below for further information).

The Lezyne Steel Floor Drive's base is a simple metal tripod with a sturdy metal-framed gauge built right in.
The Lezyne Steel Floor Drive's base is a simple metal tripod with a sturdy metal-framed gauge built right in.

Inflation Speed


One of the better performers for inflation speed, this pump required fewer pumps to reach desired pressures than all but the Sigtuna, and the Bell and Schwinn high volume pumps (and the latter two were virtually 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 120 PSI required no major increased effort per stroke. The sturdy steel base and strong wooden handle assist with making pumping a very pleasant experience. As such, this pump is especially highly recommended for anyone whose needs involve very high-pressure tires, such as those for track bikes.

The wooden handle is comfortable to use and stylish to look at
The wooden handle is comfortable to use and stylish to look at

Accuracy


Gauge accuracy was the only area in which this pump encountered some problems in our tests. Previous OGL tests of earlier models of this pump showed it to be quite accurate, but repeated tests with different tires and valves had this gauge reading consistently off by roughly 5 PSI. Pumping a tire to a reading of 80 PSI would show 74-76 PSI on our independent gauge. Pumping to 30 PSI yielded 24 or 25 PSI. Since the ABS1 flip-thread chuck disconnects from valves very easily with virtually no air leakage, and our independent gauge screws on to valves in a similar fashion, we expected results to be quite accurate. However this did not seem to be the case. 5 PSI isn't an enormous discrepancy, and would not be likely to cause any concern for casual bike riders, but for more serious cyclists this could make a big difference.

When the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive isn't in use  consider displaying it as an art piece
When the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive isn't in use, consider displaying it as an art piece

Best Applications


Due to the high pressure it's capable of delivering, perhaps the best application for the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive is very high-pressure tires for track and road racers. Having a gauge that goes to 220 doesn't mean the user is required to go that high though, and this pump would be perfectly capable of pumping up lower pressure mountain bike tires. If you're strictly a mountain biker, you might be more interested in a high volume pump; we reviewed two very inexpensive options in the Bell and Schwinn models this time around.

It's not the lightest pump for travel, but it's definitely sturdy enough to be tossed in a big travel bag or loosely into the bed of a truck and come out pumping strong on the other side. Or just keep it on a windowsill, on display in your Manhattan apartment to show off to guests and neighbors, combining form and function, ready for action whenever your tires get low. One reviewer is thinking particularly hard about that last option.

Value


Thought it is one of the most expensive pumps we reviewed here, this is quite a nice pump for $60. Quality construction, stylish design, solid all-around performance, it feels good to use, and frankly it just looks sexy as hell. 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 many 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.


Conclusion


Although there are some lingering questions about the accuracy of the gauge, this is really a great pump that our reviewers and their friends loved using, and folks who tried a number of pumps we tested remarked informally that if they were able to keep just one, they'd have their eye on the shiny black steel. 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

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Most recent review: April 19, 2018
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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