Reverence: Lezyne Trigger Drive CO2

Reverence: Lezyne Trigger Drive CO2

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More than crashes or the myriad other problems anticipated before embarking on a ride, the threat of a puncture is the most tangible. I could be persuaded to leave for a ride or start a race without my trusty multi-tool or even my bidons, but never without at least one tube and a means to inflate it in case of un pneu crevé.

Those of us observing Rule #29 carry a minimum number of tools, each carefully selected for their versatility, weight, and size. Our machines are meticulously maintained, thus roadside repairs are rarely required. Chain tools and box-end wrenches are superfluous and need not feature in the Velominatus’ road training toolkit. A multitool, a spare tube or two, a simple tire lever, and a means to inflate a tire are all that is required.

The means by which we choose to inflate our tires on the road is determined by reason or whim; small, lightweight means of inflation both pump and Cartouche CO2 are readily available for all budgets. My preference is to carry a small C02 inflator with two cartridges and to distribute the weight between my three pockets. I use a rubber band to bind the cartridges together with the tire lever and put them in the center pocket; the inflator and multi tool each go in a side pocket (the mulitool goes on the right, for obvious reasons.)

Made of brass and plastic twist valves, most CO2 inflators suffer from KFC regret and are cumbersome and unnecessarily heavy. Always one to appreciate a simple, minimalistic design, it was love at first sight when my gaze passed over the Lezyne Trigger Drive CO2. Meticulously constructed of CNC-machined aluminum, it is ridiculously lightweight and possesses the soft polished glow reminiscent of the gleaming metal bits Campagnolo produced in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I almost yearn for the hiss of air escaping from my tire, just for the excuse to use it.

In the hand, it feels smooth and perfectly weighted – the folks at Lezyne do the work of a Velominatus. The cartridge threads into it perfectly, without allowing the escape of any air from its compressed confines. It threads perfectly onto the valve stem; the action required to unleash the pressurized gas is both effortless and controlled.

I am not too proud to say I carried it with me everywhere I went during the first two weeks I owned it. Magnifique.

// Reverence

  1. Hmm, I’ll have to pick one up for 2011. I’ve been using a Genuine Innovations chuck head for a year or two. Or wait, let me restate that, I’ve been carrying one for a year or two. As I follow The V and only ride well maintained bicycles, I get very, very few flats. If I’m solo in warm weather I’ll save the C02 and use my pump.

    Amusing cyclo tale: the first time I ever flatted in a group ride was this past summer. I put up my arm, let the group fish school around me and moved right. They all stopped, which freaked me out. Sweaty, twitching, with shaking hands from riding so hard, I had to replace my tube at 25 amped up folks watched on, all wanting to lend advice. One guy, the group know-it-all helped me out and was cool about it. As I began to pump he told me it was best to carry a C02 to group rides. I always do, but the week before I’d dropped my C02 chuck out of my saddle bag when I left it unzipped on the ride home from the same ride. (Was this a sign to get off of the saddle bag train?). Damn.

    I inflated with my Lezyne frame pump and the guy commented that it was the fastest tube swap and inflation he’d seen. Nice! Praise from the local ride boss.

    I no longer use a saddle bag. I like the sounds of this Lezyne chuck. And there is really nothing finer than a well-made tool. Cycling has really made me appreciate fine tools that work, which are light and well machined, and which never fail.

  2. @michael,

    That is fuckin’ awesome. ONE flat in a year? You must live The V! Well maintained bicycles, watch your line, clean your tires of road debris after riding.

    Nice going. That really is a remarkable accomplishment.

    I’d have to look, but I think I had 5-7 punctures last year. Around three though were in one stretch with a dodgy tire/tube combination.

  3. @Ron
    I switched from the Genuine Innovations one myself; this one feels about 1/3 of the weight. It’s awesome.

    @Ron, @michael
    I don’t want to tempt fate, but the only flat I’ve had in the last 4 years – between my and my Velomihottie’s bikes – was on my steel where the valve stem tore off while inflating the tires pre-ride because the tube was so old the rubber was hard. I bought a stock of spare inner tubes in 2003 of which I still have several.

    Ride good tires (GP4000), replace them when they are worn, clean them after riding through crap, and you go a long ways towards never needing your gear.

  4. Ron:
    I no longer use a saddle bag. I like the sounds of this Lezyne chuck. And there is really nothing finer than a well-made tool. Cycling has really made me appreciate fine tools that work, which are light and well machined, and which never fail.

    One of my cycling resolutions for 2011 is to lose the damn saddle bag this year. Granted, I have a super small one, but bikes REALLY do look better without them. I carry two tire levers, co2 chuck, two co2 cartridges, some patches and glue, and some dollars for boots or emergency money. I didn’t have to use any of this in 2010, and I feel that I could fit it all into a small pouch (like the Lezyne one) without too much trouble.

  5. @mcsqueak

    That would fit in your center jersey pocket no problem with room for a tube too. Get with the program before Frank’s goon squad comes knockin’.

  6. @Cyclops

    No kidding, I don’t want to wind up knee-capped like Nancy Kerrigan.

  7. @frank
    Some point-counterpoint on tire wiping from two guys who know a lot. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/wiping.html

    I never wipe my tires and rarely get punctures. I think your biggest defense is not letting your tires get worn too thin. Once I get one or two, chances are that tire is ready to be….wait for it…RETIRED!!!!!! I’m drunk.

  8. I’m with Sheldon – he seems as if he was much more grounded in reality that Jobst’s odd disconnected scientific theory.

    I’m a rubber (oo-er!) and have snagged bits of glass, flint and wire out before, possibly avoiding punctures down the road. Sure, the offending articles have often ended up stuck in my fingers causing blood and pain, but I just harden up and ride along sans crevaison.

    I should also say that in my youth I once did as Brandt said and got my hand jammed suddenly between my tyre and my seat tube, causing an instant lock-up followed by a topple onto my side into the lane of traffic. Fortunately, I lived to tell the tale and I’ve never been quite so casual about the procedure since…

  9. @frank & @Ron,

    It too was my valve stem that got a slow leak for being so old, but it waited until I was as far from home as I was going to ride to get low enough to notice. Remember my bike’s been sitting more than rolling up until just 2010. Ron, no V involved, only luck. Well I suppose there may be a little skill with peripheral vision and reflexes well aligned with the subconscious mind.

  10. @frank Well I’ll be – Urban Dictionary has already catalogued KFC regret.

  11. @Oli Brooke-White
    http://yarchive.net/bike/glass_puncture.html
    Found that even more in-depth discussion, and now I tend to lean toward Jobst’s side. Indicates he’s done actual experiments and describes a little bit more of the physics behind it and an explanation for why tires might puncture some distance after running through glass and still not be helped by wiping.

  12. His avalanche of geekery definitely makes some sense, but I still feel it’s better to brush than not in the same way that I throw salt over my shoulder after a spillage.

  13. @Gianni
    Jacky Bobby – Gold! Wait until 2013 after he stops focusing on the track – where “rubbin’s racin'”. Shake n bake baby.

  14. @Oli Brooke-White

    I should also say that in my youth I once did as Brandt said and got my hand jammed suddenly between my tyre and my seat tube, causing an instant lock-up followed by a topple onto my side into the lane of traffic.

    Done it! I was demonstrating to a new cyclists how to wipe off the rear tire (while going down hill) and my hand got jammed between the tire and seat tube. The rear wheel locked and the bike skidded to a stop. I had to back up the bike to get my hand out. Dooh! Luckily the only damage was to the tire and my pride.
    I’m bully on tire wiping still, I don’t know if it helps but it can’t hurt unless…

  15. I just picked up a Trigger Drive after my Crankbrothers mini pump failed to deliver during a recent flat. I couldn’t get more than about 50psi out of it.

    The Lezyne is indeed a work of engineering, art, and user interface. My other choices were black and neon green monstrosities that didn’t even have threads for the tube’s valve.

  16. My Lezyne trigger drive and floor pump are in the mails!

  17. Where are some of you carrying your phone and wallet? I ride with those as well.

    I have phone/wallet in a SciCon waterproof bag in center jersey pocket, multi-tool in one outer pocket, tube + lever in the other with CO2 + GI chuck head.

    Just curious.

  18. Ha…as soon as I wrote that came across the Lezyne Caddy Sack article. I get it now.

    I too like carrying as little as possible.

    Never, ever did I imagine I’d have upgrade-itis for a trigger drive. Well, now I realize I clearly need to replace my Genuine Innovations drive with a Lezyne one. Thanks a lot, Frank.

  19. Inspired by this piece, I’ve just taken delivery of one of these. A thing of real beauty.

  20. If CO2 isn’t your thing, I recommend one of these – Lezyne hand pump

    I have the small one (170mm) and unfortunately I already know that it gets a tire to 100 psi without too much trouble out on the road. Rated to 120 psi.

    Still wondering if the roofing nails scattered on the downhill side of an overpass bike lane were deliberate or not.

  21. @itburns
    The link goes to the wrong product in the embedded window. The “View Full Version” goes to the correct product. It’s the Pressure Carbon Drive.
    http://www.lezyne.com/hand-pumps#panel-3

    The product shown in the “embedded” window is rated to 120 psi but doesn’t come in a jersey pocket friendly size.

  22. @itburns
    “embedded” window product rated to 160 psi. Walking away from keyboard now.

  23. I’m fortunate enough to have the best of both worlds. Check out:

    http://www.genuineinnovations.com/bicycle/commuter-touring/second-wind-road-carbon-mini.html

    A carbon mini pump which can also use CO2 so if you are unfortunate enough to get to that third puncture stage you can still inflate your tyre.

  24. アウトレット prada

  25. I use a Lezyne frame mounted pump (ya I know Rule #30)…its damn sexy and severs its purpose wonderfully..In my own defense it does match my paint work so as not to be too obvious….I do have a c02 setup…for my mountain bike….

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