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Lezyne 'Alloy Drive CFH' Bike Pump and CO2 Inflater
Thanks to Neil at Palo Alto Bicycles for introducing me to this pump.
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The Lezyne Alloy Drive CFH bike pump is a water-bottle-mount mountain bike pump with the following features:
- Frame-mount bracket that holds both the pump and two CO2 cartridges.
- Presta or Schraeder valve reversible connector.
- Can be used as a pump or a CO2 inflater.
- Flexible braided stainless steel hose stores inside pump and allows superior contact with the valve with the usual risk of bending the valve stem while pumping vigorously.
Certainly one could dispense with the water bottle mount portion, and carry the pump in a bike bag along with (or not) the CO2 cartridges.
I weighed the Lezyne unit on my OHaus lab scale good to 1 gram.
- 276g (9.76 oz) complete with bracket and two CO2 cartridges and velcro bands.
- 133g (4.7 oz) for pump alone.
- 116g for two CO2 cartridges (58g/ 4 oz each).
Since we’re talking 0.6 pounds for the complete unit, this is perhaps not a solution for those looking to minimize every ounce on a mountain bike. But for those going far afield where a flat could be real trouble, the weight is hardly a concern. Carrying the pump alone cuts the weight down to 4.7 ounces, very acceptable for a high volume compact pump.
My main gripe is that Lezyne does not supply a bracket suitable for carrying the pump alone, therefore I’d have to stuff it into an under-seat bike bag. But perhaps a suitable bracket is available; this I did not investigate.
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As per Lezyne.
- CO2 Flex Hose (CFH) — High-pressure steel braided hose with Presta/Schraeder Flip-Chuck works with pump & threaded CO2 cartridges.
- Pump & CO2 Inflator Combo — Lezyne quality pump combined with the convenience of a CO2 inflation system.
- All-in-One Mount — Stylish CNC-machined aluminum bracket secures pump and two 16g CO2 cartridges to bike frame.
- CNC Precision — 100% CNC-machined aluminum parts for precise construction.
- Compact Design — Oversized piston and shaft are integrated into a compact design. Inflates with 30% fewer strokes.
Other note: that Lezyne stainless weave is a real problem to thread back into its place inside the barrel; it’s so stiff that it can be hard to get the threads to align properly. This happened several times. For the same reason, it makes it hard to screw onto the valve stem, especially when one has cold and stiff hands. And one has to screw it on and off. This is a nightmare if one has to stop every 1/4 mile to goose some air back into a leaky tire. This is NOT a good pump to havce when one needs it to top-off frequently.
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In the field
For 25 years I have never had a pump failure. But the Lezyne pump failed me in two ways the very first time I needed it (badly).
Here I was at 13,000' high in the White Mountains with a flat rear tire— the Easton EC 90 XC valve was leaking; the tire was fine. It’s about 48°, the wind is blowing, it’s about 4pm and I was about 10 miles from my car. This is a big pain in the rear end, even though I’m no longer seated!
So I pull out my brand-new (never used) Lezyne pump which is spotless, having been stowed in my seat bag. It instantly falls apart into two pieces. I try reassembling it, and a gasket drops out, torn in half. Not good. A minute later, I notice another smaller gasket pop off.
Still, the pump works to inflate, and I put a little air into the tire. I can see the Stan’s sealant leaking out around the valve, so I tighten it up (to no avail). I resolve to try my sole CO2 cartridge using the Lezyne, and it works great— until the pressure all leaks out the valve about 10 seconds later, and I’m at square one again.
So I really tighten down that Easton wheel valve, and this seems to hold a little air, so I use the Lezyne to pump some, then ride 1/4 mile or so, then screw it on to pump again. Except that it doesn’t seem to seal, and I now note that internal to the Lezyne screw-on end, something has stripped, so I cannot get the Lezyne attachment off.
So now I am SOL— I have a tube, but no CO2, a pump that cannot be used, and anyway there is no way to get the tubeless valve out of the wheel with that Lezyne attachment stripped-on, so it’s impossible to install a tube, let alone inflate it.
In the end, I walk down 3 miles to where I luck-out at about 11,600 and am able to bum a ride back to my vehicle, where I destructively remove the Easton valve with the stripped Lezyne attachment, install a tube and use my floor pump to inflate.
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I’ve never had a a pump fail me in the field before, let alone one that wrecked my ability to install a tube by stripping itself onto the valve. And it’s not like one can go find an Easton tubeless valve in the local shop in the Eastern Sierra, so this fiasco wrecked my ability to use tubeless at all, in a remote location on a trip— that valve might have been able to be reseated if the Lezyne hadn’t stripped itself on.
I now use a Blackbrun pump, which I prefere for most uses— it’s on in an instant, and no screwball stuff to screw/unscrew. I also use a separate CO2 attachmenty. That way, failure of one item does not fail the other. The Lezyne has a more complex design, and that is not a good thing when one needs functionality that must not fail.
Granted, the Lezyne is ideal when one has the time (or mandatory need) to screw onto the valve stem. But how many of us actually need to do that? It just ends up being a hassle.
Did I do something wrong in using the Lezyne? Certainly I did not make the Lezyne literally fall apart (it was brand new and not even dirty, not even used once).
Did I screw it on too far, thus making it user error? Perhaps— but then why not choose a design that can’t be mis-used? I am a mechanical dummy, so I just don’t want to deal with designs that can ruin my day; it’s not obvious how far the attachment should screw on, and for that matter that stainless-weave attachement is way too stiff when it’s cold, so it’s not exactly easy to screw on straight, with cold hands and spokes in the way.
Simple is better and faster.
A separate CO2 inflator attachment and a simple on/off convential pump means that failure of one item does not leave you stranded.