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Verdict: 
Simple, well designed CO2 inflator with Presta and Schrader valve compatibility and easy flow adjustment
Weight: 
85g

Lezyne's new Control Drive CO2 Inflator makes it really easy to get any Presta or Schrader inner tube fully inflated. It provides easy control of the flow of gas and has a jacket to protect your hands from freezing to the canister during use.

CO2 canisters are very popular with cyclists who want to minimise time spent by the road repairing a punctured tube, providing super quick inflation. The canisters themselves are largely standard, but the market is awash with different adapters that screw onto the canister to manage the airflow.

Some are really fiddly to use for a device that is on the surface very simple. The Control Drive is as simple as they come, is very nicely designed and works effectively. That's a relief when you're on the side of the road, in the dark and pouring rain, trying to conduct a quick inner tube change.

The dual head screws onto any standard threaded CO2 canister and provides Presta and Schrader compatibility. You simply push the Control Drive onto the valve, and turn the inflator head to release air. The knurled ring provides good grip and there's a little graphic on the end of the head to indicate the rotation direction to open and close the inflator. You can open it a little for a small release of gas, or open it fully to get the full beans.

The compact head, when attached to a canister, doesn't take up much space inside a saddlebag or jersey pocket, and there's no risk of accidental deployment. A neoprene sleeve fits over the CO2 canister to protect your hand (CO2 canisters get extremely cold, to the point of freezing, when used - your hands will stick to a bare canister). You might still want to use a pair of gloves when using it though.

The supplied 16g canister provides ample gas to inflate tyres back up to around about 100psi, certainly enough that you can continue your ride without running a lower pressure than when you left your house.

The new Control Drive is a big improvement on Lezyne's previous Trigger Drive, with easier operation and better ability to tune the release of the gas. It also serves both valve types as well, and it's a compact design and is easy to carry in a jersey pocket or saddlebag.

Verdict

Simple, well designed CO2 inflator with Presta and Schrader valve compatibility and easy flow adjustment

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Lezyne Control Drive CO2 Inflator

Size tested: Black

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

A compact, 100% CNC machined aluminum CO2 inflator. The Control Drive twist operation allows for easy and precise inflation. The Control Drive head slips directly onto Presta and Schrader valves and puts the rider into complete control over how much CO2 they discharge at a time. It is compatible with threaded CO2 cartridges only and comes with an anti-freeze jacket to protect hands during inflation.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Compatible with threaded CO2 cartridges

Anti-freeze jacket to protect hands during inflation

100% CNC machined aluminium

Weight: 46g

Supplied with cartridge

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Probably.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

A simple and easy to use CO2 inflator ideal if you have bikes with different valve types.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

 

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

4 comments

Avatar
massspike [139 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

OK I'll say it...22 pounds! While I like the idea of dual mode (not for me but because I sometimes can't help other flatted cyclists and I feel bad) and the low weight, this is 3x the price of an alternative like the Planet Bike Red Zeppelin.

Avatar
userfriendly [616 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

The Schrader compatibility is a nice touch - could finally top up my AirZound on the road without carrying an otherwise useless mini pump.  1

Avatar
KiwiMike [1307 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

When (oh when) will The Industry come up with an inflator that has a preset pressure? say 80PSI. Or 100. Maybe it doesn't need to be adjustable, it's simply the max you decide you want to use when you purchase.

I haven't see the science, but I imagine a 26g cartridge could do 7 or 8 top-ups of a semi-inflated tyre, or maybe 3-4 from flat. Using the Thumb-O-Meter is such an inefficient waste of gas, it's so easy to go overboard, which then renders the canister useless for next time.

With mini-pumps still reasonably woeful at getting past 80PSI, I see the value of fast CO2 - especially on a club run where 2 or 3 flats can add a lot of time to the day and ruin the vibe.

Come on someone, do a small pre-set pressure regulator that I can by a few of - one for summer on skinny(er) high(er) pressure tyres, one for the fat winter bike.

Avatar
Wookie [241 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Now KiwiMike there's an idea for a start up. now all you need is an engineering genius  4