Gear Review: Lezyne Alloy Drive Pump
We’re beginning a really in-depth series of gear reviews of stuff we’ve tried over the years. So check the site every few days for a new review!
When we switched from Long Haul Truckers to the Bromptons we had to change pumps as well. I was using the Park Adjustable Frame Pump, which worked well with the Surly LHT but was too large for the Brompton. I wanted something small, not too heavy, well built and had a flex hose to reduce the chance of snapping off a bicycle tube valve.
After trying out a few pumps before our trip, I settled on the Lezyne Alloy Drive Pump. It fulfilled all the criteria I was looking for. It is small enough to fit in the side pocket of the Brompton Touring Bag without getting in the way of things. It is made of CNC-machined aluminum that gives it a nice metallic finish and inspires more confidence than a pump with plastic bits. It has a flex hose that nests inside the body of the pump when not in use. To deploy the pump, you unscrew the flex hose and pull it out of the body and screw it on to the business end. To connect it to the tire tube you screw the whole thing on to the valve of the tube, then pump away.
The Lezyne Alloy Drive Pump is suppose to work with both Schrader and Presta valves, but we’ve only used it with Schrader tubes and have been impressed with how well it holds the valve. Because the pump is connected to the valve with a securely locked hose, you can really pump hard and with some body English without worrying about tearing off valve stems. It’s merely a “nice” feature to have during your daily commute, but is elevated to greater importance when you’re on tour in remote places. Tearing a valve stem in the bush with nary a bike shop around is not good. The problem is greatly exacerbated when you ride a bike with non normative size tubes like the Brompton. The screwing and unscrewing of the flex hose adds a little more time to the whole process of inflating a tube, but on tour I think its worth it.
The Lezyne is a joy to use with a nice fluid action and a thick handle to get a good grip. Some will be quick to mention that the Brompton already comes with a frame pump so why should you need another? Simply put, the included Brompton pump works best as an emergency pump in our opinion. It’s a small frame-style pump which will get the job done, but you do have to pay special attention to keep it from wrenching off a valve stem.
We’ve used the Lezyne Alloy Drive pump on our last two tours with the Brompton. During that time its been used heavily and has managed to survive the elements since we keep it in an outside pocket.
Recommendation: Highly Recommend
-flex hose prevents snapping of valves
-well made, nice pump action
-a little spendier than other pumps
-screwing of hose adds a little time to process
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Andy March 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm
+1 on Lezyne quality and flex hose. I bought a Pressure Drive model way back when I liked high pressure tires. Today I would choose an Alloy for fewer strokes.
PS: Photos of a DIY felt sleeve: http://goo.gl/huJjN
David Hendry March 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm
I used to have trouble with stems being torn off by a pump till I learned to just hold the pump and wheel together with one hand while pumping with the other. THis way any moving of the pump moves the wheel with it and the valve stem takes minimal twisting or bending. Still if this is a problem for you I guess you have found a solution. I found the more joints you have in a pumping system the more leaks you get over time.
Russ March 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm
It’s good to have proper pumping technique. What’s nice about the hose is that it makes it almost stupid proof, which comes in handy when you are tired or fatigued and aren’t thinking particularly straight (or if you’ve got the last 16 inch tube for thousands of miles around).
Harry March 19, 2012 at 1:17 am
I just ordered mine. It’ll go well with my Brompton which got here last Friday.
David B March 19, 2012 at 4:28 am
What size? See comment 1.
Russ March 19, 2012 at 10:02 am
Just measured ours and it is the 214m one.
Guy March 19, 2012 at 11:43 am
Cool little pump. I like the flexible hose. Is there a version with the quick release that is normal on many bike pumps?
postie phil March 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm
Good reviews look forward to more . I agree the brompton pump is just incase only . Just brought a dahon bike for my wife , this has a biologic seatpost pump . It would be great if brompton did one like it , works and very clever design .
David B March 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm
Thanks Russ. Order placed.
JD in NoHo March 20, 2012 at 11:03 am
+1 on Lezyne pumps. The flex hose and screw-on schraeder connection are godsends, especially on folding bikes as well as baby joggers, Chariot trailers, etc. As my older, crappier bike pumps wear out or get lost, I’ll be adding multiple Lezynes to the lineup for various bikes in various uses. I currently use the “M” version sold by Velo-Orange for my road bike and couldn’t be happier. It fits in randonneur handlebar bags.
One caution – some high end presta tubes such as the ultralight ones sold by WallBike have two-piece presta fittings which screw together. When you repeatedly use the Lezyne screw-on hose on those valves, over time the valve stems unexpectedly unscrew bit by bit with the hose…
Ryan Surface March 21, 2012 at 9:43 am
I can confirm they work great on presta values too love that pump and really like the water bottle mounted pump holder but could easily fit in my jersey pocket, very pleased with this product
Ed March 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm
Its a great little pump, but ditto what JD said.
The lezyne pump WILL unscrew the valve cores of your presta tubes. And on tour you may not have the option of purchasing tubes with the “right” kind of valves.
Peter May 18, 2013 at 5:23 pm
Any tricks to stopping the valve from screwing off. Using it on high pressure valves near ever time taking off the pump also separates the valve. A very limiting factor.
Nigel December 12, 2013 at 5:40 am
After a few disasters with these Lezyne screw-on fittings I always undow the valve core when purchased and put a little Araldite (epoxy resin) on the thread. This prevents the problem.
Lezyne Alloy Drive Review | LEZYNE Blog February 26, 2014 at 7:07 pm
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Did you two use the small or the medium version of this pump? Actually I’m a little confused because Amazon appears to list four sizes, small, medium, 166, and 214 mm.
I’d like to get one to use with our Bromptons and other bikes, but I’m not sure what size to order.