Back in the days of wool shorts and Peugeot PX-10s, there were basically two choices for frame-mounted pumps: the Italian Silca Impero (preferably with a steel Campagnolo head), and the French Zefal HP. With the advent of mountain bikes and compact-style frames, the full-sized frame pump fell out of favor, and was eventually replaced by the mini-pump. Whether attached to the bike, or stowed in a jersey pocket or hydration pack, the mini-pump has become the preferred inflation device for most riders. Not all mini-pumps are created equally, though. After trying at least a dozen different makes and models, I’ve come to favor Lezyne’s family of hand pumps.
Lezyne makes selecting the right pump–mini or otherwise–a no-brainer. Their pumps are broken down into two flavors–high pressure (HP) and high volume (HV). My skinny-tire bike is fitted with their Road Drive (HP) pump, and I use the company’s Alloy Drive (HV) on my fat-tired 29er. For the in-between 700×32 (60-80psi) tires on my commuter-slash-gravel bike, I carry Lezyne’s Pressure Drive (HP) model.
What is it that makes the Lezyne pumps so good? Construction, for one. The aforementioned Lezyne pumps are constructed from CNC-machined aluminum, which produces better tolerances, and a stiff, lightweight design. If you extend the pump’s handle, you immediately notice the smooth action and lack play between the components. When combined with the pump’s oversized shaft and piston, the end result is a design that all but eliminates wasted effort due to flex. Less wasted energy means fewer strokes, which means more time riding.
Although hoses have been used on hand pumps for many years, Lezyne’s ABS Flex Hose is in another league compared to the competition. The Flex Hose has threaded fittings for Schraeder and Presta valves (a slip-fit version is also available), with the latter featuring the company’s patent-pending ABS pressure-release button. That combination yields a connection that’s secure, and far less likely to damage or unscrew Presta valve cores. When not in use, the hose is kept clean and safe inside the pump’s handle, but can be quickly and easily installed when needed.
Lezyne pumps (and other hardgoods such as multi-tools and racks) carry a two-year warranty against manufacturer defects. Should you need to repair your Lezyne hand pump, the company offers replacement parts including mounting brackets, hoses, and seals.