By Seb Kemp
Topeak Joe Blow Ace Floor Pump
This pump was worth every penny. This year I've torn, worn out and replaced so many tires that without this pump I would have burned a lot more fossil fuel driving to my LBS or gas station to use the compressor. I'm a tubeless convert. I can't believe I spent so many years patching tubes when all along the answer was to get rid of them entirely. Of course, it takes a little more work to get a tubeless tire to seat and often, without the ease of compressed air, it becomes a futile battle.
But that's where the Topeak Joe Blow Ace comes in. It features an innovative three-stage, dual-chamber design that achieves both high pressures and high volume in record time. Stage one opens both barrels for big volume to reach 60 psi with 30 percent less effort than standard floor pumps – this is what you need to be able to seat tubeless mountain bike tires. Stage two uses the main barrel only for pressures up to 120 psi while stage three engages the small barrel to achieve an amazing 260 psi – road bike tires.
I was skeptical at first but this really does work very well. I've not failed in seating one tire all summer. I've used single-ply, UST, and downhill casing tires from Michelin, Maxxis, Schwalbe, Specialized, all with success.
There's an easy-to-use Smarthead which works for both Presta and Schrader valves without any buttons, widgets, flip switches or doodads. It also has an air release button for fine tuning and a big, chunky analog gauge that’s easy to spot, but could perhaps do with a little more indents for fine tuning lower pressures. The baseplate is wide and solid, making a stable platform when pumping. The construction is also very tough and is strong reason to believe this item will last for a very long time.
If Bike handed out star-ratings this would be an easy five out of five.