Lezyne Road Drive Alloy Mini Pump £35.99 110g
Virtually 30cm long, Lezyne Road Drive is basically the love child of old school frame fit and mini pumps. Not something you’d slip inside a jersey pocket, or quite the best of both worlds but compromises are fairly minimal.
Given Lezyne are a design company, form is also vital. The barrel, handle and piston are exquisitely CNC machined from 6061 aluminium alloy. This is treated to an equally stunning gloss black finish that pretty much goes with anything and still looks sexy despite being peppered by loose road chippings these past few weeks.
Slender profiles theoretically most flattering with pencil thin tubing but strangely enough, it blends nicely with contemporary oversized aluminium alloy and composite chassis too. Colour aside, we’re convinced this is because it’s discretely hidden beneath bottles and stockier cages.
We generally prefer beefy resins where carry brackets are concerned, although while this 6061 one lacks the Specialized’s simplicity, it’s a fair bit lighter and seems happy enough mounted horizontally or vertically. A rubberised sleeve inside the handle ensures it doesn’t creep out if you’ve bunged it back bat fashion in your haste to re-join the group.
Metal pumps can also chatter against the frame over washboard surfaces, causing unsightly dings/scratches over time. Helicopter tape is one solution but pulling those webbed straps taught and setting the road drive’s dust caps flush against the frame tubes prevents this. Alternatively, you could always pop in in a rucksack or pannier
Flexible connector hoses also polarised opinion and admittedly this one’s Presta only, which doesn’t work for everyone. However, it mates securely, doesn’t leak and you’d have to be going some to shear a valve stem when powering up to optimal pressures. While unable to compete with high power frame fits, comfort and efficiency are still pretty good.
The smooth, refined action delivered 63psi inside commu-tour typical 35mm sections in three minutes and 200 strokes- without busting my biceps. Mind you, past 160 and there’s a fair bit of resistance but no sign of impending implosion - barrel and handle don’t become overly hot, or dig painfully into the palms. Touching the hose at this point is however, a recipe for singed digits - you have been warned! Similar figures will rouse a flaccid 700x25 to a very useable 90.
An unflattering combination of eye popping intensity and primal grunting managed 95, although by this stage, the road drive locked out and I was ready to pass out. Similarly, Co2 cartridges would be my first resort for MTB sections. Coaxing 26x1.5 or 26x1.75 to 60/45psi is realistic and streets ahead of bog standard pocket friendly pumps - we’re still talking 450 strokes and 5minutes apiece, mind.
Verdict: 3.5 out of 5: solidly made and nicely engineered standby capable of delivering the sorts of pressures demanded by mid-section road/touring rubber.
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2016