Lezyne Road Drive Review
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Lezyne Road Drive
|Price||$45.99 at Amazon|
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|$34.82 at Amazon|
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$20.95 at REI
|$40 List||$55 List|
|Pros||Superior highpressure pumping, light weight, easy to use||Great pumping performance, easy to use||Great pumping performance, affordable||Easy to use, threadless valve head, retractable hose, doubles as a front shock pump||Pumping performance, design, durable|
|Cons||Not ideal for high volume tires||Heavy, Too big to fit in a jersey or a hip pack||Outdated head type, lacks gauge, on larger side||Hose is short, not as powerful as larger pumps, not for road bikes||Large size|
|Bottom Line||Top of the line high pressure mini pump for road cycling applications||The great performance of a floor pump in a small package||A high performance mountain bike pump that won't break the bank||The ideal pump for a mountain biker looking for a capable, lightweight, low-profile frame, or jersey pocket, pump||Great high volume pumping performance while remaining portable|
|Rating Categories||Lezyne Road Drive||Topeak Road Morph G||Topeak Peakini II||Birzman Velocity Ap...||Lezyne Gauge Drive HV|
|Pumping Performance (30%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Looks and Design (10%)|
|Specs||Lezyne Road Drive||Topeak Road Morph G||Topeak Peakini II||Birzman Velocity Ap...||Lezyne Gauge Drive HV|
|25C Road Tire Pressure following 200 Pumps||72psi||125psi||85psi||44 psi at 100 pumps||93psi|
|Tire Pressure 27.5 x 2.3" Following 300 Pumps||25psi||50psi||55psi||22psi||48psi|
|Ability to reach 90psi in a road tire 25cc||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A||Yes|
|Pump Head Type||Hose Thread On and Slip on||Hose with locking lever||Standard with locking lever||Non-thread hose, slip on|
|Frame Mount Bracket Included||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Using a flexible hose and thread on valve connection, the Road Drive sets the standard for high-pressure mini pumps. The process of setting the pump up and attaching it to the valve stem takes some getting used to, but it provides the best ergonomics for pumping and an excellent seal. It outperformed all other mini pumps we tested designed for high-pressure applications and is a critical piece of cycling gear that should provide you peace of mind when out on the road.
Inflating tires with a mini pump is a lot of work. However, some pumps are more efficient and put your hard effort to better use. The Road Drive is one of the best-performing mini pumps we tested for high-pressure road tires. This is reflected by its high score in the chart below.
We were able to consistently achieve 70 psi in a 25c road tire following 200 pump strokes. This may not seem to be a staggering margin compared to the 66 psi we achieved with the Pro Bike Tool High-Pressure Pump, but the pumping effort involved to reach the pressure is the other half of the story. At 70psi, the pumping effort when using the Road Drive is still very manageable. The Pro Bike Tool, on the other hand, becomes very difficult to pump at around 150 pump strokes, making those last 50 strokes to hit 66psi quite a chore.
The Road Drive maintains efficiency and a consistent feel at high pressure while delivering more volume than other high-pressure pumps. We were easily able to get our road tire up to the 90psi threshold and breeze right past it to 100psi at 300 pump strokes. Lezyne rates the Road Drive to 160psi. While the pump can withstand that pressure, it's difficult for most people to generate that much force. However, we don't see that as a serious issue, as 100psi is more than adequate for the vast majority of riders to finish a ride safely. In addition to its remarkable ability to move air, the Road Drive also features a threaded valve connection on one end of the hose that ensures that your hard-earned pressure will not leak out while pumping due to a poor valve connection.
Ease of Use
This award winner uses a flexible rubber fill hose that deploys from the end of the pump handle. The hose is then threaded into the opposite end of the pump. The pump hose is Presta-only and has a thread-on connection on one end and a slip-on connection on the other. Once attached to the valve, the flexible hose allows the user to hold the pump at a variety of angles without putting excessive pressure on the valve stem. This allows for a more comfortable position while pumping because it does not require the user to counteract the motion from pumping with the stabilizing hand to prevent valve damage. All told, it's one of the easiest to use pumps we've tested.
Many pumps we tested, such as the Topeak Peakini 2, have an integrated press-on pump head, which can damage a valve if it is not held with the stabilizing hand in an inline position while pumping. This limits the ability to pump as pressure increases because it takes a lot of effort to stabilize the pump. The Road Drive is also longer than many high-pressure mini pumps we tested. This extra length provides more air volume per stroke. This, combined with its narrow small diameter pump chamber, makes pumping at high pressure easy and efficient.
The ABS valve located on the flexible hose also increases ease of use by allowing you to bled accumulated pressure out of the hose before removal. Bleeding the air off of the hose also allows the Presta valve to move into the closed position so that you are not fighting back pressure when removing the hose. The Topeak Race Rocket also has a thread-on valve connection, but removal is more difficult because it does not have a mechanism to release pressure on the hose.
Looks and Design
We tested the high gloss silver version of the Road Drive, and it is a flashy little pump. It has a sleek, refined and minimalist look. It slips in and out of a jersey pocket easily, with nothing sticking out to snag. It comes with a matching CNC-machined aluminum mount if you want to mount it on your frame at the bottle cage. The entire pump is made from CNC aluminum, including the handle, barrel, and piston shaft. A flexible rubber fill hose is stowed inside the handle end of the pump, and threads in for security. It scored very well in this metric.
Rubber caps on both ends of the pump prevent dirt and other debris from getting into the hose or pump chamber. The flexible hose is Presta-only and has a threaded connection option as well as a slip-on option. We like having both connection options. The slip fit connection is great for adding a few pounds of pressure to cyclocross tires mid-ride, and the threaded connection is our go-to for high-pressure scenarios.
Lezyne also incorporates an ABS bleed valve that allows the pressure in the hose to be released which, closes the Presta valve and prevents loss of air pressure when removing the chuck. Pumps such as the Pro Bike Tool do not have this feature and removing the pump from the valve is much more difficult. The Road Drive is one of the best-designed pumps we have tested. Our only complaint is the lack of a built-in swivel in the hose, requiring the user to spin the entire pump when threading it onto a valve. The Topeak Road Morph G utilizes a flexible fill hose with a swivel, and it makes valve attachment a bit easier.
At 23.5cm in length, the Road Drive is one of the longest mini pumps in our test. This hampers its portability as compared to shorter pumps such as the short Topeak Race Rocket HP that is only 18.5cm in length. It didn't score as well in this metric.
When stored in a jersey pocket, the Road Drive will peek out the top even when placed in a diagonal position. On the other hand, it is impressively lightweight at only 97g. Only five of the pumps we tested are under 100g, and considering the length of Road Drive, the weight is very respectable.
This award winner held up well during testing. Following multiple cycles through the pump test, we experienced no noticeable loss in efficiency, and both the slip and threaded valve attachments still seal on valves effectively.
The rubber end caps have done a great job at keeping the pump internals free of contamination. The polished silver finish does scratch fairly easily, but this does not affect the functionality of the pump in any way. The pump piston has not developed any lateral play and still moves smoothly through its travel. We love the all-metal construction as compared to the heavy use of plastic that is common on other pumps such as the Peakini 2. The Road Drive should hold up well for many seasons even with regular use.
This award-winning pump is a great value. While not the cheapest pump we tested, it is a bargain compared to the Silca Pocket Impero at $120 and really, almost any pump in our review. Excellent pumping performance, design, and durability make the Road Drive a great buy.
The Road Drive is a purpose-built mini pump for inflating high-pressure road tires. It is one of the best performing pumps we have tested at higher pressures and has unique design features such as a flexible fill hose that improves pumping ergonomics. You will be hard pressed to find a better mini pump for road cycling. For mountain biking use check out the Lezyne Gauge Drive HV, or the Peakini 2.
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