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 Gauge 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
Weight: 119 grams
Upsides: The ABS pen gauge shows you exactly how much air you’ve put into your tires, and getting to 100psi or so is no problem due to the length that the handle extends and collapses on itself. The design of the flex hose gives you a better range of motion when filling tires, so you can get good leverage while pumping without risking damage to valve stems.
The Downsides: The pump can get a little hot after a few minutes of use, and it is little long to fit in a jersey pocket. I also did like the longer length of flex in the hose of the older version (without pressure gauge), but will take the gauge over more flex any day.
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 vertically in a 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. I found the system to work quite easily and simply–just screw the hose onto your valve stem and watch the red line move up to your desired psi.
The ABS Pen Gauge, which screws completely into the pump for a clean and secured fit, measures the pressure you’re putting into the tire as you go. Yep, this thing goes all the way up to 120 psi (8.3 bar, if you’re into that). 120 PSI. While you can hit that number, I found that hitting 90 psi is super simple, but I couldn’t really get the pressure all the way to 120 without some serious work. One thing I noted is that you’ll have a much easier job of doing so if you start with a completely deflated tube. It’s best to release all of the air before you hook up the pump.
Perhaps the best feature 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. As I mentioned before, 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 90 psi–it fills efficiently and quickly.
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 makes unscrewing the hose much easier over previous versions of the pump. Screwing it on and off isn’t much of a challenge, even for weaker hands. You can also remove a bit of air from the tube if you’ve overfilled it. A genius improvement over the old flex hose.
This is a great option for riders who like to carry a pump on their frame–it includes a mount that fits under a bottle cage, which holds it securely via a velcro strap. I never found a problem with it rattling loose or getting in the way of my pedal stroke, but, as a rule, I’m not a big fan of frame-mounting anything. If you’re into carrying this in a jersey pocket, it stays put pretty well, since the bulk of it sits below the elastic line of your pocket, but it is too tall to fit there all together. But you’ll always get exactly as much air in your tire as you want/need without worrying about getting more flats than you have cartridges to fill (like I do). You won’t be disappointed with the relative light weight (119 grams) aluminum construction that takes a beating (I may have dropped mine going 25mph, and it only took on a few minor scratches). I would say with relative confidence that this pump will last you a good, long while.
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.