Note: Read my review, and then enter to win a Gauge Drive HP of your very own: courtesy of Lezyne! Enter the giveaway!
I was first introduced to Lezyne products through my collegiate racing team–we were sponsored by the local to SLO company, and got some pretty cool gear. Now that I’ve moved on to the real world, where I have to actually pay full price for stuff, I’ve gotten quite picky about the gear I select. Lezyne has been one of those companies that continually produces high quality, lasting cycling pumps, tools, and lights that I can confidently lighten my wallet for.
With that said, I tried out one of their newest releases–the Guage Drive HP with ABS Pen Gauge–with slight trepidation. Really, this pump is only a few tweaks from previous versions of Lezyne’s line, but, in the end, I have to hand it to Lezyne for pushing some functional cycling gear toward the fantastic.
Gauge Drive HP versus Gauge Drive HV
Before diving into my review, I think I should quickly let you know that the HP pump is meant for road bikes while the HV (high volume) only reaches 90psi and is meant more for mountain bikes. Generally.
The Lezyne Gauge Drive HP with ABS Pen Gauge
If you’ve read much of my blog, you know I’m partial to small CO2 pumps because they fit in a jersey pocket pouch. I am one of those snobs who dislikes saddlebags, or other things that clutter my bike’s frame. In fact, I’ve been known to tease my triathlete husband for putting bottle cages behind his saddle, but carrying a pump mount on his down tube. I know, I know.
By the way: If you’re after a slick CO2 system, Lezyne has also released a new CO2 Control Drive that allows you to control the amount of air injected by twisting the head of the chuck. Pretty cool, but I haven’t tried the new version. If you do, let me know what you think of it in the comments section.
While the new Gauge Drive HP (high pressure) is a bit too large for my taste–measuring in at 232mm–it is still possible to carry in a vertical jersey pocket, but it will stick out above your elastic band by an inch or two. But the reason I’m giving this new pump a real chance is because of the very, very cool ABS Pen Gauge.
The ABS Pen Gauge, which screws completely into the pump for a clean look and secured fit, measures the pressure you’re putting into the tire as you go. Yep, this thing will give you high pressure: up to 120 psi (8.3 bar, if you’re into that). 120 PSI. How many hand pumps out there will not only get you to that pressure, but tell you exactly when you’ve hit it?
Flexibility is Key
Perhaps the best feature of this pump is the ABS Pen Gauge. The flexible hose allows you to screw it onto either your Presta or Schrader valve (also super handy when I had to fill little tires like the ones on my kid’s BOB stroller) by simply flipping the chuck at the end of the hose. You don’t have to worry about bending the valve stem or tearing up the pump while you’re feverishly pulling and pushing on the handle. This is also one of the few pumps I’ve tried that doesn’t seem to burn out your arm trying to get the tire to 100 psi or so–it fills efficiently and quickly while still offering you the ability to stop and rest without having to hold onto the pump at all if you need to.
Measure Your Pressure
The red line on the gauge allows you to watch where you are pressure-wise. Then, you can simply press the button on the chuck to bleed the excess air off–this is really quite important for getting the pressure off before you try to unscrew the hose from the valve stem. A genius improvement over the old flex hose in previous versions of the pumps.
This pump, with its precision ability to put exactly as much air as you need to keep you riding, almost tempts me to switch from my CO2 favorite. But at just a bit too large to fit snugly inside my jersey pocket, I would have to put it down on my frame with the under-cage mount. I’m still healing from bike snobbery, so I’ll stick to my tiny CO2 cartridges for now. But for those of you who don’t mind or might even rather tighten this to your frame, it’s a great way to go. You’ll get exactly as much air in your tire as you want/need. Plus you don’t have to worry about getting more flats than you have cartridges to fill (like I do). You won’t be disappointed with the relative light weight (199 grams) aluminum construction that will last for years.
Get Yours from Lezyne
You can also buy the ABS Pen Gauge ($25.99) separately to replace the classic flex hose on your old pump, but make sure that you’re using it with Lezyne’s medium or large sized pumps–otherwise you won’t be able to store it in the body of the pump.