I have recently added gravel road riding to my normal roadie routine, and learned one thing right away – I needed to be able to repair flats. After looking around, I decided to purchase the Lezyne Road Drive pump. The medium size was chosen over the large because I want the option to carry the pump in my jersey pocket. And I bought a white one, but it’s available in a silver and black. Lezyne says the medium size road drive is 216 mm long and weighs in at 96 grams.
The Road Drive does come with a very nice metal mounting bracket that attaches under a water bottle cage. Rubber pads on the bracket and accompanying velcro strap securely hold the pump in place and protect the “oh so nice” finish. This bracket is mounted on the cyclocross bike since I expect to be using the pump more on that bike. Lezyne does make a super sharp bottle cage that has an integrated pump holder. If I don’t like carrying the pump in my jersey pocket, I plan to get one of those cages for the road bike. The Road Drive is held closed by friction provided by a clever flat rubber washer-like band. It takes just a bit of fiddling to jam the rubber piece in place, but once there the pump is very secure.
The Road Drive is well made and the finish really is beautiful. It has a flexible hose that is stored inside the pump itself. Lezyne calls the hose the ABS Speed Flex Hose. The Road Drive is only for presta valved tubes. One end of the hose is threaded to attach to the presta valve. The other end of those hose uses a slip fit connection. After trying the slip fit I’m not sure how you are supposed to hold that on a presta valve at high pressure. I was able to hold the slip fit onto the valve at low pressure and it worked fine. The ABS hose has a small button that is used to release the air in the hose before removing from the presta valve. I did like releasing the pressure before removing the hose. A threaded fitting holds the hose in what I would call the handle. When needed, flip off the rubber cover and remove the hose from inside the pump. A second rubber cover protects the fitting on the body side of the pump where you screw in the hose. The flexible hose is nice in two ways. First it allows you the keep your hands away from the wheel. Secondly, the hose isolates the pump from those presta valves that can be damaged by a directly attached pump. On my first extended gravel road ride, I had to use a good friend’s pump which did not use a flexible hose. The head is attached directly to the pump body. In the process of inflating the tire, I bent the presta valve. I did get the valve closed and the tube held air anyway, so I definitely prefer pumps that use a flexible hose to connect the head to the valve stem.
Lezyne says the Road Drive is rated to 160 PSI. I’ll have to say that I did not verify that. I am a clyde and while I may be no body builder, I’m not on the other end of the spectrum either. I was able to inflate my road tires to 120 PSI, but you have got to want it. That last 20 PSI will require no small effort and the pump is going to get pretty warm, bordering on hot. I inflated the 700 X 25 C tires on the road bike and 700 X 45 C tires on the cross bike.
700X45C – 250 strokes produced about 70 PSI in about 3 minutes and 20 seconds. The time includes installing the pump head and removal. The effort required was minimal and I worked at a steady comfortable pace.
700X25C – 250 strokes produced about 120 PSI in about 4 minutes. For about the last 100 strokes a lot of effort was needed but 120 PSI can be reached.
I also chose to get the Lezyne Pen Gauge hose which has an integrated tire pressure gauge. This hose simply installs inside the pump to replace the included Speed Flex hose. The pressure gauge reads up to 120 PSI. I like the gauge but it is hard to read. It was also a bit difficult for me to decide on how to exactly determine the pressure reading. As pressure increases an internal spring is compressed and a pressure indicated is forced along a clear tube. To verify pressure readings, I inflated a tire and noted the pressure on the Pen Gauge. I then attached a floor pump and verified the pressure reading. The Pen Gauge is pretty accurate and is easier to read in good sunlight.
The Road Drive retails for about $45 on the Lezyne website, and the Pen Gauge retails for about $22. Lezyne.com