Reverence: Lezyne Trigger Drive CO2

Lezyne Trigger Drive CO2

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.

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63 Replies to “Reverence: Lezyne Trigger Drive CO2”

  1. I’m embarrassed and/or proud to admit, I’ve yet to try a CO2 cartridge to repair a flat. I always carry a mini pump for such festivities.

    On the other end of the scale, I never carry a multi-tool during a road or mountain bike ride. Yes, I tempt fate. I do carry tools in my messenger bag while commuting however. And besides breaking out the spoke wrench once to true another rider’s wheel – haven’t used ’em yet. Due to Murphy’s law, the day I decide to stop carrying ’em, I’ll probably score some kind of breakdown while riding to work – late for a meeting.

    I am curious on the CO2 deal though, and that Lezyne adapter looks sweet. The CO2 set up works well for mountain bike racing. I should give it a go.

  2. Since on my bike there isn’t nothing more than the necessary gears,
    the stuff in my pockets is heavily selected too.
    I carry a tube with some glueless patches and the obvious levers in a very little bag that never get in touch with my saddle, two CO2 cartridges, if I’m training alone, or one if I’m out with friends.
    I’ve never considered frame or hand pumps, because the first is obsolete the second is not safe to carry in a jersey.

  3. Frank… I see that you, like me, have an unhealthy addiction to all things Lezyne. Those chaps manage to find that sweet spot between giving you exactly what you want and brilliant engineering (before, obviously, taking a lot of cash off you).

    Before each ride, I lay out my ride ‘mise-en-place’ for a quick check – two tubes, two CO2 canisters + Lezyne air drive, one Lezyne multi-tool, two aerospace grade aluminium Lezyne tire levers, one can of Nuuns, one aluminium Lezyne water-resistant container containing Lezyne self-adhesive patches – before putting it all in my Lezyne jersey pocket-sized bag…

    I have to say, I’ve always wondered whether I carry too much for each ride… but then on Thursday, on a proper Rule #9 ride, I punctured three times there was so much flint washed onto the roads by the rain… I even had repair a tube at the roadside and use my mini-pump that goes along side the bag in my centre jersey pocket… slightly pissed, as the tires were brand new Gators, now slightly shredded… but I’m not loving those Lezyne boys any less. And I haven’t even got started on the the beautiful track pump I have from them….

    BTW ‘KFC regret’ – genius… captures the feeling exactly.

  4. As Pedale.Forchetta is to water, I am to tubes and CO2.

    Even after 5 flats in one week, I can’t see a reason to carry the extra bulk. Most of my riding happens in urban areas within walking distance of bike shops or close to bus routes.

    Until now I’ve carried a small pump in my left jersey pocket but haven’t ever used it. I think I’ll skip it from now on, unless on long rides away from the city.

    But I agree that the design of that pump is ace.

  5. Nice little gadget… If it will accept generic CO2 cartridges from the sporting goods store, it may make it into the jersey. (Sorry, but bike shop CO2 comes at too dear a price for me, I buy by the case)

    Right now the repair kit contains 2 CO2, one tube, Park Adhesive patches In case of multiple flats, small Crank Bros multi-tool (hex keys+Phillips), one lever with duct tape around it for sidewall / slash repair, old ID and insurance card, plus the most recent addition…a pair of latex gloves to keep the hands clean when fixing a flat. This last item has been an inspiration: clean fingers means no greasy kid stuff on the face at ride’s end. Highly recommended for maintaining post ride awesomeness!

  6. Lezyne does everything well, except their glueless patches. Park Tool rools the roost in that department.

  7. I wrote a lengthy post (tongue firmly in cheek) concerning my dislike of CO2 cannisters.

    I know there are devoted followers on both sides.

    I also know that my use of a handpump afixed to the frame is in breach of Rule #30 (and not within the “Silca exception”).

    But to those who say a pump cannot reach 100 psi, heed Rule #5.

  8. ZachOlson:
    @Albert

    I used to do the CO2 thing, until a reader rant on Lennard Zinn’s tech column (the only good thing about VeloNews, IMHO) made me feel guilty about how non-green it is to use this manufactured throw-away thingy to put air (really CO2 plus propane, which leaks out in a day anyway) in your tire when you have a perfectly good pump that, in combination with your stringy roadie tricep, can put good old fashioned free atmosphere inside that tire. So now I just carry my Park Tool mini-pump in the jersey pocket, and enjoy knowing that I never have to wonder what would happen if I flatted a third time after using my two CO2 charges…

  9. @blaireau
    I got news for you, that carbon frame between yer knees has a pretty gnarly footprint too, not to mention lubes, cleaners etc.

    I got nuthin against pumps, but I want to ride, not spend extra time working the upper body. It’s CO2 for me.

  10. When getting a flat on the group ride in the winter, the guy operating the pump stays warm while his compatriots get cold.

  11. As I said CO2 is for me.
    At the 3 flat in my last granfondo a fantastic German ‘ammiraglia’ gave me for free an Alemannisch spare tube a Teutonic floor pump and a Bavarian bratwurst for my morale.

  12. I used a little pump for ages before switching over to C02. I hated how it felt and looked in my jersey, sticking out of the top and making the bottom sag. But I was reluctant to switch to C02 for the cost. Then I did the math and realized that I (almost) never puncture and the cost in that light is minimal. I still have C02 cartridges that I bought when I moved to Seattle, and the majority of those I’ve used have been to fix other people’s (mostly Jim’s) flats.

    Ride good tires, maintain your gear, clean your tires, look them over for holes, replace them when they are worn out, avoid glass, etc, wipe them off after riding through debris (master the wipe-n-ride) and you reduce your. Switch to C02 and free yourself from the inconvenient and unsightly pump.

    Really, triple flats? What are you on about? Luck favors the prepared – granted – but lets stay realistic, shall we?

  13. @roadslave, @Brett
    Lezyne has some incredibly nice stuff. I’m not using their multi-tool right now, but the carbon one is stunning. I might have to switch up eventually. Love the one I’m using now too much to change up, though. (Reverence to come, obviously.)

    @Pedale.Forchetta
    Watching the ’03 Tour on the trainer (not because of bad weather, but because I like to use the trainer occasionally in winter to work on my Magnificent Stroke) and it was fantastic to watch Ullrich racing again. My mate KRX10 (of our site design fame) used to always call him “The Riding Bratwurst”. Heehehehehe.

  14. @blaireau, @sgt
    The Green thing sounds so good, but I’m afraid I’m with Sgt on that one; any plastic, steel, alu, or titanium bike has quite a footprint as well. Even if it’s built locally by hand, and definitely if it’s been built in Asia or imported from some country you don’t live in. While the pump uses good old fashioned air, it’s likely made of plastic – or at least contains much more plastic than the C02 option, meaning it will be around long after we’ve turned to dust. Are you recycling your tires and tubes?

    I’m afraid that without seeing more studies that thoroughly investigate and study all the options, I’m inclined to say it’s negligibly more green at best, a little less green at worst, and probably just about the same.

  15. I have this same tool and I love it. I have only had to change a flat once while on the go and it was during this past years Nations Triathlon in DC while I was coming out of T1. Needless to say it worked without a hitch and I was able to be back up and ridding in under 5 minutes! Not bad for a first time. I would definitely recommend it to everyone. Plus it just looks nice!

  16. I started using CO2 last year (I purchased a Silca brand one, which is very nice, but does not have the same “fit and finish” level of the Lezyne tool), and besides using it once just to test and see how it worked, I haven’t had to use it at all.

    While I don’t put on the miles that some of you may do (only about 3,000 km last year once I purchased my Garmin and started to keep track), I am a firm believer in keeping equipment in good working condition, and checking everything before each ride. I try not to ride over glass, but the few times I couldn’t avoid it, I came away without punctures, which I would credit to running tires that are in good condition, combined with proper inflation pressure and immediately wiping the tire off with my glove.

    As far as “green” goes, if you are getting enough flats to care about using a ton of those little CO2 canisters, aren’t you wasting a lot of tubes in the process? If you are worried about being green, I think the notion that you are simply moving yourself from point A to B, without the use of a automobile should enough to feel good.

  17. @sgt

    @frank

    All things are relative. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint more, take up running. I mean, really! You get on a bike, turn over the pedals, and start to consume oxygen… producing… CO2! Before you go splitting the hairs of all the angels dancing on the head of your pinstripes, sell your 18-wheeler and buy some CO2 cartridges already!

  18. I’ve always used a mini pump & have thought about switching to co2 since I saw the Lezyne. But if you use co2 don’t leave them in the road.Pick em up.

  19. I’ve been considering moving back to a mini-pump from Co2. I probably go through 3 or 4 Co2’s a year which is no big deal. But like someone has already mentioned, if I nut out more than twice on a ride I’m hosed. Plus I like the idea of a mechanical device that draws in the atmosphere under my own effort. It’s subtle, but there’s something more elemental about it. Weird as it may sound, I’m drawn to the tradition of it. When/if I do, I’ll probably go for the Lezyne Pressure Drive in aluminum. Red or Black if anyone from Lezyne is reading this and would like to send me one for a future reverence article.

  20. frank:
    @blaireau, @sgt
    The Green thing sounds so good, but I’m afraid I’m with Sgt on that one; any plastic, steel, alu, or titanium bike has quite a footprint as well.

    I figure I’m going to have the bike either way (cartridge or pump), so it’s a wash. Plus the fact that I ride about 4000 miles a year (close to half my annual total) just on the commute back and forth to work (i.e. miles not driven) means that I’ve offset the bike’s footprint already. In fact I think I’ve offset all six bikes’ footprints (see Rule #12) by now.

    But I will agree that the “multiple flat” argument is a weak one – I would mention how very rarely I personally flat except that to do so would jinx me and guarantee that I will flat tomorrow morning in the dark when it’s 16 degrees (F) out.

    Oh Damn…

  21. I use a Stans NoTubes Hutchison kit and have never had a puncture since I have been using it. Pretty much eliminates the need to carry a pump, tube or co2 (unless on an epic – just in case)

  22. Timiji:
    @sgt
    @frank
    All things are relative. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint more, take up running. I mean, really! You get on a bike, turn over the pedals, and start to consume oxygen… producing… CO2! Before you go splitting the hairs of all the angels dancing on the head of your pinstripes, sell your 18-wheeler and buy some CO2 cartridges already!

    Just on the off chance that you aren’t joking, I’m going to do the knee-jerk geek thing by pointing out that the CO2 you are breathing out doesn’t count – because it is part of the food chain carbon cycle. Only fossil carbon adds to the total atmospheric CO2 load.

  23. @blaireau

    I’m going to do the knee-jerk geek thing by pointing out that the CO2 you are breathing out doesn’t count – because it is part of the food chain carbon cycle.

    Obviously, you’ve never seen me ride. I’m so badass, my C02 counts. I’m a mufukin diesel.

  24. @frank
    Gramin has actually been calling him that since last year and made a rippin’ funny t-shirt. Just co-opting it for the site.

  25. Pedale.Forchetta:
    I’ve never considered frame or hand pumps, because the first is obsolete the second is not safe to carry in a jersey.

    I’m gonna need a clarification here. Are we worried about puncturing a kidney when landing on your back after applying too much V to the victory wheelie?

  26. @pakrat
    Couple things:

    1. A victory wheelie is many things, but the realm of the v it is not. Slanders obviously applied too much of his copious Douche to his wheelie.

    2. Pump induced kidney injuries are nothing to laugh about. Toby Weaverson died of that.

    3. I made #2 up.

    4. I made #3 up.

    5. #2 is true.

  27. 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.

  28. @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.

  29. @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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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…

  32. @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.

  33. 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.

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