I Like Shiny Things

It’s a bit tricky trying to think of anything even remotely interesting to say about a pump. It’s probably the least glamorous piece of kit I have, the one I will be cursing having to use at all. It will inevitably only ever be required when it’s -3° and the howling wind is driving the rain hard into my face and increasingly numb hands.
 
It’s at times like that, when everyone else is standing waiting for me, huddled down inside their jackets as best they can for what little protection they offer from the elements, moaning loudly and vociferously at me for making them even colder, that I need something which I know will just work.

 
The fact that it will work perfectly after spending two years strapped to the side of the winter bike through all the rain, mud, grit, road salt, jet washes and splatted cow pats I just take for granted. It must be at least six months since it was last removed from the bike, never mind used, but work perfectly it does. This has lasted longer than any other pump I have ever had and, apart from the scratches and a slight dent from a rock strike inflicted upon it, is as good as it was when it was new.

I had always struggled finding a suitable pump for my road bike. The little tiny jersey-pocket size ones just don’t cut it when you need to get over 100psi, whatever the manufacturers claim, the only option is a folding track-pump. However, I have found that most of these also struggle with that sort pressure and quickly succumb to the elements once you attach them to the side of a bike and submit them to a 50+ mile commute five days a week through a Scottish winter.

The Lezyne Micro Floor Drive is simply in a different class. The build quality is top-notch, I don’t know what is different about the seals on it but they seem impenetrable. The pressures it can achieve are far greater than anything else of a similar size, I now stop pumping because I have reached the pressure I want rather than because the pump simply can’t give any more. Lezyne claim up to 160psi for it and I actually believe them, it feels like there's still loads to give when I stop at 120, it's not at all laboured or stiff at that point. Even the part which attaches to the valve is better than any other I've tried, a proper screw-thread rather than a clip which pops off seventeen times during the pumping process. It’s also a lot lighter than it looks, just over 5 ounces (yes, really) which is pretty impressive for any pump of this kind, never mind one made of lovely shiny aluminium rather than cheap plastic. It can do Presta and Schrader, the hose is nice and long and, when attached to the bottle cage bosses, it leaves loads of room for the bottle and cage and a reasonable amount of space for your foot to come passed on the upstroke.

Luckily I have only used it myself twice in the last year or so but I would never leave home without it. I have however lost count of how many times I have lent it to others to help them out when their own pumps have proved to be much less effective. It is an item which can help you make friends, there is nothing like the look of relief on someone’s face when you find them in the middle of nowhere, the swearing only partially drowned out by the hissing sound which has caused it, and ask if they would like to borrow a track pump. They will recognise you and stop for a chat when they next see you six months later, which is nice.


The only time I won’t take it is when I’m racing, any pump Is going to be (relatively) slow and cumbersome if it’s needed in those circumstances and so I take a gas canister instead. I generally don’t like using disposable items of any kind and so take the pump for everything else.
 
Overall
I like – everything. The pressures it can achieve, ease of use, reliability, weight, shininess
I don’t like – erm… I probably should write something here just to try to look balanced but I’m struggling. Maybe the folding foot-plate thingy could be a bit bigger, but that would add weight so maybe not a great idea.

The retail price is about £35. If it were twice that I would still buy one.


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