Hand pumps or manual pumps are an accessory that most riders take for granted. This is because, assuming you have a decent set of puncture resistant tyres, you probably won’t be using it too often. That being said though if you are going to carry a mini pump (which we recommend you do) when out riding, it should be functional and easy to carry. So with that in mind, as part of their Y9 (Year 9) range of product – the Lezyne Lite Drive mini pump caught our eye.
The Lezyne Lite Drive mini pump sits somewhere between the Road Drive model and the Carbon Road Drive. Starting with the body of the pump, the Lite Drive is made from a super lightweight, CNC machined aluminum. Its available in two length options – small (180mm) and medium (216mm). When we say lightweight, we mean it. The small weighs just 80 grams (claimed) – whilst the medium size we tested claims to be 92 grams. Our scales actually had it weighing 90 grams. The handle of the pump overlaps the body and is designed to make each pump stroke longer. A rubber band acts as a plug to prevent any rattling when the pump is not in use or attached to the frame. Either end of the pump is fitted with a rubber dust cover to stop dirt getting into the Flex Hose connectors.
The Lezyne Lite Drive mini pump also features the company’s unique ABS Flex Hose which unscrews from the top of the pump. There are two different variations to the Flex Hose – a Presta only fit. This is double ended with a threaded connector at one end and a Presta speed connector at the other, for slip-fit valves. The Lite Drive comes with the alternative variation of a threaded Presta/Schrader combination and includes a button which releases the air pressure in the pump before disconnecting. Press pumps are can be difficult to fit and and usually able to inflate to a high pressure. The combination of pump and Flex Hose, Lezyne claim the Lite Drive will inflate to an incredible 160 psi (8.3 bar).
When not in use, some riders may opt to carry the pump in a jersey pocket but Lezyne provide a well constructed, secure frame mount. The pump body clips tightly into it and is then further secured by a Velcro strap and buckle.
Having to use a manual pump when out on the road can be a pain in the saddle bag, as it usually means you have had a puncture. Ironically, a few days after getting the Lezyne Lite Drive exactly that happened whilst commuting home. So taking the positives and seeing it as a perfect opportunity to test this new pump, I changed out my rear inner tube. I run the now quite common 25mm tyres and expected to have to put a fair amount of effort to get the tyres to a pressure that would let me get home. Unclipping the pump from the frame was straight forward enough. Unscrewing the ABS Flex Hose, I found it easier to connect to the valve first and then screwing the pump onto it. Something that did become apparent, was how tight the plug to stop the handle moving was. It took some effort to prize the pump open for use. Likewise, this plug proved to be a bit fiddly when closing the pump again.
With some compact pumps being so small, the pump stroke is short and sharp and this can be not only time consuming but also exhausting. Having opted to use the medium size (216mm) pump – this wasn’t a factor. Once connected, the pumping action is smooth and you actually feel like you are getting somewhere after a very short amount of time. By about 150 strokes (yes I counted) the 25mm tyre had inflated to around 75-80 psi. But I’m 97kg and ride at a much higher pressure, so pushed on for another 30 or so strokes. The tyre at this point was perfectly ride-able but nowhere near the 160 psi maximum that this pump is claimed to inflate to. That being said though, it does the job it is meant to extremely well.
Lezyne Lite Drive Mini Pump Review Conclusion
Over the years, Lezyne have produced a pedigree of well thought out cycling accessories. The Lezyne Lite Drive Mini Pump is a classy and very good pump. It is hard to get excited about a piece of kit associated with having a flat tyre – but I can’t help liking this product. The sleek design and lightweight CNC Aluminum finish make it attractive to behold. It comes in black or sliver and would compliment just about any bike frame its attached to. I really like the fact you have a choice of lengths and the medium pump only enhanced its functionality and ease of use. The Lezyne Lite Drive combined with the ABS Flex Hose certainly help make inflating a smoother process. I was a little frustrated with the exercise of opening and closing the pump and the rubber plug around the middle of our pump was incredibly tight. Also, the dust cap at the bottom of the pump seemed reluctant to stay in place. It is difficult to say that this is a common issue and it seems a little unfair to hold this against the overall performance. The Lite Drive is available from Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles and has an RRP of £26.99. If you are looking for a good quality bike pump – you can’t go too far wrong with this one.
The Lezyne Lite Drive mini pump is a classy but very functional. Well made with sleek looks and aside for a few minor frustrations - it does its job very well.
Ease of Use