Reliable pumps for bikepacking.

This review is all about getting the little things right. I was riding in Dalbeattie forest, Scotland after work and my tyre flatted. I get out my plastic pump (brand will remain nameless……. OK it was Blackburn), I hadn’t used it in a while, but it had been ever present in my backpack. I went to inflate the new tube and it was then I realised the plastic pump’s internals had self destructed, all that time spent in my backpack had rattled the thing to pieces. With no other option I had a long, long walk out, it soon got dark and with no lights I stuck to the marked trail. Along the way I enjoyed destroying the pump further against rocks and trees, I was a tad annoyed!
I got home, went online and bought a Lezyne mini track pump, made from CNC’d aluminium and with a hose screw on attachment it wasn’t the cheapest option but six years later it’s still going strong. You get what you pay for. Since then I have traveled to lots of much more remote places but I remember this incident and try to remember to get all the little things like pumps sorted. I don’t want this to happen again in the middle of Tibet and to ruin a longer trip. Every piece of kit I use has to be considered and the longevity assessed from experiences over the years like this cost doesn’t become a factor when you know it will last for many years.

All my bikes also run tubeless tyres now so it was time I got a pump that seats tubeless tyres onto the rim without the need for a compressor. I will review the Lezyne Pressure Over Drive Floor Pump, so see what my thoughts on that reservoir pump are below too.

Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HV Mini Pump
This is the same pump I bought 6 years ago and that is still going strong after many adventures, there’s been a few design tweaks since I bought it, but a stylish and reliable piece of kit.

The hose and mini track pump design means you can lean over and put much more air into the tyre with less effort as you would a full size track pump. It is much quicker than normal mini pumps.  The flexi hose stops the valve bending as you pump and engages positively as it screws on.

Its a bit bigger than some but for MTB rides it fits in a pack without issue.


The rise of tubeless has seen removable core valves as standard. My older screw on version of this occasionally unscrews the valve core which is less than ideal as it lets all the air out. However I use a mix of removable and non-removable core valves so I haven’t had too much issue over the years. The newer models as per the link above still screws on for the firm reliable fixing this makes, but it doesn’t seem to engage the smaller removable core thread so this is not an issue with the newer models.

 

Lezyne Road Drive Mini ABS Pump
This tiny, simple road pump gets up to high pressures at a low volume. I love the simplicity. It’s like an old school screw on hand pump. Those old pumps worked well so Lezyne are wise to revisit this design. An inner connecting hose unscrews from inside and then attaches one way for Presta, the other way for Schraeder. It simply screws on the valve and  pump body, then you pump up to pressure. A pressure release valve on the hose means you can adjust pressure easily. The screw on attachment on this pump is also fine with removable cores so don’t worry about that. It comes with a bottle cage mounted holder that is strong and secure with a strap to ensure the pump never falls off.

It is made of aluminium and is a reliable, well made piece of kit that weighs very little. Certainly you can trust this to get you out of trouble years after you last used it and it is the first piece of kit I pack for bikepacking trips anywhere in the world. Click on the title link and you’ll see the Wiggle user reviews back up my opinion it’s certainly a popular pump!
Buy one now if you need a pump to rely on.

Below is a more MTB orientated larger volume and lower pressure pump than above but essentially it is the same as the road version in how it works.


I attached the holder and fitted the rubber seals to stop the dirt and then forgot about it on my mountain bike.

Lezyne Pressure Over Drive Floor Pump

This is one of the new generation of compressed air reserves that help boost the airflow to seat a tubeless tyre without a compressor (nor a tube!). Basically you put the release lever upwards and pump the chamber up to 220psi. Then you are ready to release the lever and inflate the tyre when you need it. It really is that simple and it works well.
If a tyre will ever seat then this will get it seated on the rim nicely. 220psi is a LOT of pressure and it gets up to 200 without issue other than have the strength to pump it!

The attachment head is clever and it does both Presta and Schraeder with the same push and twist motion, it is a bit fiddly and took a while and bit of explaining to understand. It also needs a thread on teh valve which 99% of valves do. It works fine but I still don’t fully get how!

Made of steel it is 2.5kg so not light, but why does it need to be light? You won’t carry it around much but you don’t what it to break so a solid well designed solid steel construction is what I would want. No plastic here!

A lot cheaper than a compressor and a reliable piece of kit that will keep you seating tyres for years to come. Shop around and you can get these for about £80 which is not bad.

Conclusion
A pumps a pump you might say, but you won’t say that when one breaks on you in the middle of a fores or on a cold windy day touring the Tibetan plateau. These ones shouldn’t break and will pump up your tyres.

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