I’m excited to share my first equipment review with you all (or as we say in the south, “Ya’ll”). As I get farther into my triathlon training, expect more of these to pop up. If you’re the type that doesn’t care for details and just wants to get down to brass tacks, scroll on down to the bottom for the summarized verdict. For those of you who want the whole shebang, let’s jump right in.
Today we focus on an important aspect of cycling: inflation. Whether you’re fixing a flat or simply inflating your tire to the appropriate air pressure, it’s important to be prepared for the inevitable. Cyclists have a few options, however, none of them seem to be the perfect solution. Casual riders might have a standard floor pump, while road cyclists carry CO2 canisters. Each of these comes with obvious draw backs. For serious cyclists, it is impractical (not to mention, not possible) on many bikes to carry a full-sized pump capable of airing up a deflated tire on the off-chance something does go awry. Meanwhile, accidentally puncture your CO2 canister before the appropriate time and you’re left stranded (Chrissie Wellington, anyone?). Is there an option that mitigates both of these fears, while saving precious space on your road/tri bike? Cue the Lezyne Road Drive CFH.
There are a few pump varieties that Lezyne offers. Beside size differences, the only specification that sets one apart from another seems to be the maximum PSI the pumps are capable of. For the Road Drive CFH, it maxes out at 160 PSI which should be sufficient for most rider’s needs.
I received this pump yesterday and have put it through its paces over the last 24 hours. Upon opening the package, you’re presented with a fully assembled pump/canister assembly. This tucks away under the water bottle mount on your bike, so it doesn’t take up any precious space. You still have full functionality of both the pump and the water bottle cage.
The pump itself is extremely well constructed, which is another aspect that troubled me of other pumps I considered. Most are made of plastic. This one is constructed entirely of aluminum. It feels extremely solid when held. Here’s what it looks like after opening. I was concerned that if it was in the vertical position, the pump and the CO2 canister would work their way out of the velcro straps, but I was happy to find that both the holder and the straps are lined with rubber to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Below is the fully assembled pump. The pumping action is very smooth, although it will take quite a few pumps to fill a tire since the handle only moves about 7 inches from its compact position (we’re talking like 200+). On the lefthand side of the picture below, you’ll notice a hose protruding from the bottom of the pump. The hose is stored inside the handle of the pump and screws into both the handle (for secure storage) and the tip of the pump. This is another nod towards road cyclists who have to be cognizant of the fragile nature of Presta valves. Many other hand pumps are rigid and when the pump is depressed, can cause Presta valves in particular to tear or crack. This semi-flixible hose obsorbs most of the movement from the pump being depressed to mitigate damaging the valve.
Below I completely disassembled the pump, bracket and other parts so we could examine what is included. From left to right: there is a Presta/Schrader conversion insert. This screws directly into the flexible hose so a bike with either valve can be inflated (great for riders with a mountain bike and a road bike). Next, Lezyne includes one CO2 canister. It’s important to note that it requires a threaded 16g CO2 refill. No other types are supported. Next we have the pump itself. It measures just over 9 inches in length and is very well constructed. To the right of the pump is the aforementioned flexible hose, followed by the mounting bracket. One important note: all of the connecting points are lined with rubber seals so that no air leaks out. A nice touch.
I was curious, as many road cyclists will be, as to the procedure for inflating with CO2 only. To do this, you take the hose out of the pump and screw the CO2 canister directly into the hose. The hose has a small spike that punctures the seal on the canister. Once it is screwed all the way in, the seal has been punctured, but the air has not yet been released. This is handy for positioning the tube on the valve. Although, to ensure you don’t lose any air, I’d still err on the side of caution and attach the hose to the valve first. Once properly attached, turn the bottle counter-clockwise a quarter of a turn to release the air. Some might see this as an extra step compared to normal CO2 inflators, but the peace of mind the pump provides is worth it.
Below is a close up of the reversible Presta/Schrader insert. Note the rubber seals on either side. Additionally, this provides a good view of where the hose fits into the handle.
Here you can see a close-up of the (almost) fully stored hose. Here is one of my few gripes with the pump. The rubber top that closes atop the pump attaches to the threaded end of the fully stored hose. When the hose is attached to the other end of the pump, that rubber cap just flops around. It doesn’t let any air out, but it’s slightly annoying to have it slapping around while you’re pumping. All things considered, this is an extremely minor annoyance.
The last photo I’ve included is a picture I took while inflating my mountain bike tire (sorry, the tri-bike I use is in Oklahoma City). The pump worked great. It felt solid, although it’ll make just about anyone feel like a giant when you’re sitting on the side of the road pumping a tiny hand pump. This pump is expensive (list price is $64.99, but Amazon currently offers it for $49.99), but for anyone who wants the peace of mind a pump offers, with the flexibility of CO2 inflation in a solid, compact form factor, the Lezyne Road Drive CFH can’t be beat.
- Solid aluminum construction
- Presta/Schrader Valves supported
- CO2 canister-only inflation supported
- Max 160 PSI
- Flexible hose protects valves
- Top cap doesn’t close while pumping
For purchase information, click here.