Featuring a seriously high-quality build, Lezyne’s CNC Tubeless Drive can kill three birds with one stone, which makes it a frontunner among the best mini bike pumps. It’s a hand pump, CO2 inflator and tubeless repair kit in one small package. Such convenience, however, comes at quite the cost and it’s not without a weight penalty either.
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Lezyne CNC Tubeless Drive - Technical details
The Lezyne CNC Tubeless Drive utilises CNC aluminium construction with a long hose that wraps around the handle of the pump and a flippable chuck, or valve head that fits to either Presta valves, or valves with a Presta core removed. The hand pump itself is capable of inflating tyres up to 30psi, or 2 Bar - plenty for most mountain bikers.
Visually, it looks like a humble mini pump but what really matters takes place inside as the pump is home a CO2 inflator with a 25g cartridge (included) and a full tubeless tyre repair kit with five plugs. If all of that sounds weighty, you’d be right because this all tips the scales at 285g (even though Lezyne reckons it weighs 276g).
But, it does come in quite a compact package, measuring 173mm in length – Small enough to fit into nearly any pack.
Lezyne CNC Tubeless Drive – Performance
There’s quite a lot to unpack here, so let’s begin by taking the thing apart. Unwrapping the pump to reveal the tubeless repair kit and tubeless inflator is a very easy task, there are even instructions printed on the side in case. Simply unscrew and unhook the hose from its mount, unscrew the collar at the top of the pump and then unscrew the cap. Then the inflator and repair kit pulls out. From here, you’ll just need to unscrew the tubeless inflator from the centre of the cap and you’re good to go.
A somewhat unexpected benefit to the inner housing is the fact that it’s unlikely you’ll get those tubeless slugs covered in muck. Though, for extra peace of mind, they are wrapped in plastic. There's also space in this compartment for a tyre boot and extra small things like cash.
Ergonomically, the off-centre tubeless fork can be a little weird but this is mostly remedied thanks to that collar we unscrewed earlier. This can be screwed onto the outer side of the cap, offering much more of a handle when reaming punctures and forcing rubber slugs in.
The CO2 inflator is a simple push-on type. Tighten the included cartridge til it cracks and push it onto a valve to inflate a tyre. It’s simple in use but it would be good to see some kind of cover as cartridges get super cold while they release their pressure, which can cause freeze burns. Perhaps this was the compromise in order to store more inside the tool. As someone who is usually riding with gloves, I can forgive Lezyne for this oversight.
The pump itself is really impressive. To my surprise, it’s reasonably efficient. It’s not Topeak Mountain TT_G-efficient but all things considered, the CNC Tubeless Drive got my large, 29x2.6in tyres up to a happy get-me-home pressure without an incredible amount of effort.
There is some resistance in the stroke, which can get tiring after a while but, for what the pump offers, it’s a very welcome compromise. Though, if it were to be too much, you could just flip the chuck at the end of the hose and remove your valve core. This ups the efficiency and makes for an easier time pumping. Though, what is missing is a valve core remover, which would be mega handy on a pump of this nature.
Lezyne has designed the flippable chuck so that it fits Presta only, but it can thread onto a valve core, or a valve outer with the core removed. The brand says that this is to help with tubeless inflation. Yep - I never expected something this small to work either but the CNC Tubeless Drive surprised yet again and did the job with very little effort (although I wouldn't want to use this for every tubeless setup). However, this was done on a perfect rim. If there were any dents or if the tyre and rim combo were particularly loose, I'm certain it would be a struggle - but that's why there's a CO2 inflator included.
Lezyne CNC Tubeless Drive - Verdict
It’s impressive just how much Lezyne has managed to pack into such a small little pump while keeping it so efficient. It completely takes away the need to carry a tubeless repair kit, CO2 inflator and a mini pump separately as it’s all of these in one. It’s not cheap, however.
If we go back to the aforementioned Topeak Mountain TT_G (recently renamed to Mountain DA) this is a much more efficient pump as it delivers air through both strokes. It is larger but it costs £37. You can then buy Muc-Off’s Puncture Plug repair kit for £13 and Granite Design’s Punk CO2 Inflator for £20. All of that does the same things as the CNC Tubeless Drive and arguably, they all do them better but you will be carrying three different bits of kit separately and it’ll weigh more in comparison.
The Lezyne CNC Tubeless drive isn’t the only option that combines a pump and a CO2 inflator as Crankbrothers’ HV (HP version reviewed here) comes with an inflator hidden inside, too. It costs a fair chunk less at £45 and setting itself apart from Lezyne’s offering is that it comes with a pressure gauge, which is definitely useful. Though with this one, you’ll need to find somewhere else to store the CO2 canister and you’ll need need to carry a standalone tubeless repair kit.
As someone who tries to ride with as minimal kit as possible, the Lezyne CNC Tubeless Drive is an absolute no-brainer as it neatly hides and provides three essential tools in one small but mighty package. Because of that, it absolutely lives up to its asking price. The hand pump’s efficiency is just a very welcome bonus. Because it appeals to the minimalist rider in me, it's earned a permanent spot in my hip pack and is my recommendation when it comes to best mini bike pumps.
You just need to be quick to cover the valve with your thumb and then quickly screw in the valve core. Of course, you'll lose some pressure and need to top it up but the beauty is that this pump can seat tubeless which is a great quality when you're in a pinch.
The valve core shouldn't come out if tightened enough initially! This never happened when using this pump. When it has, using others, that's simply because the valve core wasn't tightened enough, or I screwed the chuck on too tightly.
I'm confused. It's a screw-on Lezyne chuck so there's no need for a valve core remover. The core will come out as you unscrew the chuck, leaving you scratching your head about how this pump will ever get you going again.
I'm confused. If you inflate the tyre without valve core how do you get the valve core back in without losing all the air? Or do you just whack the cap on and pray it's enough to seal it?