Topeak recently sent us a handful of goods to test, amongst them was a unique new floor pump – the Joe Blow Tubi 2 Stage. This particular unit is a tall, sturdy and high end option, with very original features. Most importantly, it has two different “stages” that are intended for different pressure ranges. In short, they are for lower pressures/higher volumes (0-30 PSI) and higher pressures/lower volumes (30-160 PSI), which can be read as MTB and Road oriented respectively. There is also the truly brilliant head, which allows for a seamless valve core removal while seating tubeless tires – a first of its kind. Anyhow, read on for the full shakedown.
- 29.1” x 10.5” x 4.6”
- 5.1 lbs
- Presta main valve with Schrader adapter
- Two stage inflation
- “Tubihead” valve core removal for tubeless seating
- 160 PSI max
- $120 USD
Starting with the two stage aspect, there is a large switch on the main cylinder. This allows you to toggle between high volume and low volume. Think of this as a way to swap between inflating mountain bike and road bike tires in a manner that allows you to inflate both more efficiently.
One of the niftier features is the head. The knurled knob pictured above, right allows the user to unthread a presta valve core without losing air and then pump up a tubeless tire without the valve core in the way, thus getting a stronger burst of air and increasing the likelihood of seating a difficult bead.
The gauge is large and easy to read. It features a small indicator that you can relocate wherever you’d like. It is pictured above at around the 23 PSI mark. This makes it a bit easier to hit a consistent go to pressure. If I had one small gripe about the display it was that it scratched fairly easily just from wiping dust and mud off of it, as you can see above. Even with the scratches it was still easy to read, but on a premium offering perhaps glass or a tougher plastic would be better.
The head features a large tab which helps you pull it off of the valve. I definitely appreciated this nifty addition.
The small black button above serves as a bleed valve…yet another cool feature. It’s worth mentioning that Topeak offers this head as an upgrade to their currently available pumps, so if it tickles your fancy but you don’t necessarily need an entirely new pump you are in luck.
Lastly, a fairly common sight on pumps these days was the large O-ring, which dampens the “bottom out” when you’re frantically pumping. Another nice touch…
I have to admit, I’ve never gone on a road ride in my entire life, but there are loads of mountain bikers who do ride road bikes and plenty of road bikers who mountain bike – so the two stage aspect is surely a handy one for cross discipline cyclists. To test things out, I inflated the tires on my wife’s townie and the secondary stage did make life easier in the high pressure/low volume arena.
All in all, I found the pump’s action to be smooth and highly efficient. The broad handle, pictured above, was super comfortable and there is no slop or play in the main chamber. Personally, I have never used a pump this tall and that did take some getting used to. It’s more the type of product that would permanently remain in my garage, as opposed to the back of my truck, but as a more high end offering that should come as no surprise. While I found the overall quality and efficiency to be excellent all around, the aspect most worth honing in on is the head. As mentioned prior, I did very much appreciate the removal tab and the bleed valve. Regarding the valve core removal feature, it can be very handy, but there is a slight catch…it only works with somewhat longer valves as it needs a fairly large amount of purchase on the valve body in order to work. This isn’t a design flaw, but it’s just inherent in how a feature like this can operate. So if you have super short, nubby valves that particular function may be of little or no use. That said, if you change your tires frequently enough, then it may be worth getting longer valves because this head does make it substantially easier to inflate your tires and get your beads seated quickly, unobstructed by valve cores and without a mess or unnecessary additional pumping.
At the end of the day, the Joe Blow Tubi 2 Stage is an excellent floor pump. If you have minimal space in your garage and don’t have space for an air compressor, you most certainly will value its features. Additionally, if you ride both road and MTB, the two stage feature is a nice touch. If you just need a basic floor pump, you can probably find something that will get the job done for about half the price, but you do get what you pay for…