Topeak JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage floor pump review
Topeak is no stranger to producing good quality and durable bicycle pumps, and its JoeBlow series of foot pumps can be found in the sheds, garages, closets and cars of thousands of cyclists around the world. .
Topeak currently sells 26 models of foot pumps, with the gap between some of them being a bit of a challenge to “find the difference”. Another standout is the JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage, a new addition that aims to be a tubeless pump with no obvious compromises and no need to pressurize an inner tube.
The new Tubi 2Stage pump is distinguished by two specificities. First, there’s the 2-stage chamber which switches the pump between high volume (0-30 psi) and high pressure (30-160 psi). Second, the TubiHead pumphead hides some really neat functionality for easy tubeless inflation.
Highlights of history
- What: A double chamber foot pump capable of accommodating a tubeless tire.
- Price: US $ 120 / € 120
- Tops : Smart Tubi head, quickly mounts tubeless tires, comfortable to use, stable, good build quality.
- Low : The valve core removal function requires long valves to operate, the gauge is hard to read at certain pressures, the hose may be longer, more moving parts means more parts to wear.
The concept of a foot pump that can be switched between high flow and high pressure settings is not new, and Topeak themselves have long been proposing such things. The Taiwanese company’s 2Stage is the latest iteration of this and offers a well-placed switch at the top of the steel pump barrel that changes the pump from using the full barrel for high volume (0-30 psi) purposes, to use a smaller internal tube for high pressure needs (30-160 psi).
Topeak quotes a volume of 715 cc per stroke in the high volume setting and a volume of 258 cc in the high pressure setting. In other words, this high volume setting inflated a 27.5 inch (650B) x 47mm tire to 30psi in just 11 strokes. Or it will inflate a 29 x 2.2 inch tire to 30 psi in 13 strokes. In comparison, high-pressure pumps such as the Birzman Snap-It Apogee and the Lezyne CNC Floor Drive inflated the same 27.5 tire in 25 strokes.
When used in conjunction with valve core removal (more on that in the next section), this high volume setting has proven to be enough to easily seat all the tubeless tires I have launched to date. , and that includes a few worn tires and loose ATV suits that I was sure would fail. This is really the first foot pump I’ve used that doesn’t look like a tubeless set-up workout.
One of the reasons I’m such a fan of an air compressor and dedicated bike inflators is because it’s a sweat-free experience for setting up tubeless. Tubeless inflation cans and chambered foot pumps can do the job impressively, but they can be quite difficult to fill and almost heartbreaking when they fail to fit a tire – and I came. here far too often.
On the Tubi 2Stage, all you have to do is switch to the second stage of the pump (high pressure) and it becomes a totally different inflation device. In this setting, I pumped a 700 x 25mm tire at 80 psi in 24 strokes, whereas the aforementioned Birzman and Lezyne pumps each did this in 19 strokes more efficiently. That said, the Topeak pump can match that 19-stroke number by starting with the high volume setting and then moving to the high pressure setting once you hit around 30psi.
The pump has a large double compound plastic handle which is comfortable to hold and at 2.35kg it is strong enough to load your weight. Smaller people may find the pump’s 74cm length and 126cm fully extended height to be quite large, but I’m not exactly a giant at 170cm and found it to be comfortable.
Switching between settings provides a positive click and feel, and while this feature adds complexity to an otherwise simple device, I’m pretty confident it will last well. And that’s just one plus point that Topeak has a solid reputation for offering low cost replacement parts for its pumps.
The new Tubi pump head
Obviously this pump can move a large volume of air in its first stage but the real limitation of this is the small opening of a Presta valve. Removing the valve core is an old faithful trick to seating stubborn tubeless tires and that’s exactly what the new TubiHead pumphead aims to facilitate.
Featuring a blend of quality anodized and knurled aluminum and translucent plastic construction, the TubiHead is immediately different. Designed to simply push and stay on a Presta valve with a friction fit and pneumatic pressure, the TubiHead is quick, simple to use, and easy to replace the rubber gasket.
Where the TubiHead separates itself from the herd is that it can remove and reinstall a Presta valve core, all with the pumphead attached and retaining air. This is quite a contrast to the usual effort of removing a valve core to install the tubeless tire, then losing air when reinstalling the valve core, then inflating the tire again. tire. The TubiHead is the first Presta pumphead I know of with this built-in valve core removal feature, but the idea is well proven and used in the 4WD world for quick tire deflation using Schrader valves.
To use this feature, simply press the pump head onto the valve, then slide the valve core extractor onto the valve, unwind, then slide the extractor with the core in place. The core is retained in the solvent with an O-ring. Just reverse the steps to reinstall it.
The TubiHead in action. This particular tubeless setup was slightly difficult, others jumped with a single stroke of the pump.
This valve puller works exactly as intended, but only if there is more than the required minimum length of exposed valve stem required of 16mm. If the valve is shorter than that, the valve core puller will touch the bottom of the pumphead before you can unscrew the core. This may seem like a problem only on valves that are already too short, but the 16mm figure is without the valve nut or valve core, and I have a few wheels configured that are insufficient. Fortunately, the pumphead will still inflate those shorter valve lengths without much hassle, but you won’t be able to use the TubiHead’s smart valve core removal feature.
Do you just want to add air to your tires? Simply open the Presta valve, push in the pump head, and pump. To release, quickly press the pressure release button and then pull it out.
Want to inflate a tire with a Schrader valve? Topeak provides a threaded adapter for which then allows the Presta head only to push. The adapter works exactly as expected and fits securely in a dedicated holder when not in use. It’s not the easiest or fastest way to inflate a Schrader valve, but it works.
Attached to the pump via a 360 degree swivel, the hose would offer an extra long length for easy access, but with a length of 82cm I actually think it’s almost too short. It’s not long enough to reach a bike stuck in a work rack or to keep you a good distance from a tubeless tire that is about to snap into place loudly.
It should be noted that Topeak also offers the new TubiHead as an upgrade kit for existing pumps. Priced at US $ 30 / € 30, The TubiHead kit is meant to fit Topeak pumps directly, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit others as well. The upgrade kit includes the TubiHead and a generous 117cm length of hose attached with the Topeak fittings in place. Topeak provided me with a sample of this upgrade kit with the sample pump and the extra length of hose was welcomed. I urge Topeak to consider updating the pump with a longer hose length – there is little downside to that.
A double scale gauge and other elements
Above the well-weighted steel base is a large 3-inch analog gauge with a somewhat odd double scale. The gauge offers fine, simple psi gradients from 0 to 30 psi, then divides to a less precise scale afterwards. I found there was a learning curve to reading the numbers, especially in the 30 to 40 psi range.
The gauge in my sample was found to be fairly accurate for common pressures – for example, it read 23 psi at 22.5 psi, it read 60 psi at 58 psi, and was right on the silver for 80 psi. The readability and graduations on the gauge are really the limits to achieving specific pressures, not the actual accuracy of the measurement.
In this sense, this pump is ideal for achieving fairly precise pressures between 0 and 30 psi. But on top of that, you will probably only be able to get a few psi of the exact number you want. Those who are super picky about their gravel and road pressures will likely want to use a secondary gauge after inflation.
Personally, I would appreciate a digital gauge version of this pump, but that will inevitably mean a higher price tag and something that requires batteries.
I understand that is a lot of words for a foot pump, and that’s because this pump really impressed me.
It’s absolutely not perfect, and I especially wish the TubiHead would remove the valve cores from the shorter valves and make the gauge easier to read. However, beyond that, the JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage is easy to use, manages to inflate tubeless tires without sweating, and does so while being ideal as a general foot pump.
Yes, a separate valve core puller and high volume pump will likely accomplish a lot of what this pump does, and it might not be a smart buy if you already have it all. But that doesn’t change the fact that this pump makes the process easier and faster, while still being a pleasure to use. And while it’s not cheap, the price is more than competitive with what Lezyne and Bontrager sell their tubeless pumps for.
Not tired of reading about pumps? Be sure to check out my article on the best mini pumps for road, gravel, and mountain bikes – a test I still have nightmares about. And for the old school, there’s my shootout of the best frame pumps.