A while back, Topeak sent us a handful of their products for testing. First up is their TubiBooster-X – a tank that will give you an assist while inflating stubborn tubeless tires that just don’t want to seat. The tank is constructed from aluminum, and it features its own hose and a simple lever that you flip 90º when you want to either charge or inflate the canister. Read on for the full review…
- 1,000 cc volume
- 200 PSI maximum pressure
- 14″ tall X 4″ wide (tank and hose combined)
- 985 grams
The head which you inflate the tank with uses a presta valve and features a cap to keep debris out.
The device uses a standard lever for toggling between inflating the tank and switching to inflate the tire.
It also uses a fairly standard head with a thumb lever, just like that used on Topeak’s pumps.
The head can be swapped in a few seconds to accommodate both presta and schraeder valves.
The tank features a ring with a clasp for the hose to keep things tidy.
I’ve used a handful of burst tanks over the last few years with mixed success. Some have worked better than others, but none of them are a a guaranteed replacement for proper techniques that can help you inflate a stubborn tire, and none of them will help you if air is leaking due to obstacles like an improperly taped rim or a loose, clogged or faulty tubeless valve. The best thing you can do is have all of those ducks in a row before you set out on your journey.
That said, I do think some designs are better than others and having high flow from the inflator’s hose is a crucial element which aids in getting a strong initial burst that will punch the tire beads out of the rim’s drop center and up against your rim’s bead walls. It’s also more optimal to be able to inflate the canister to higher pressures as well.
The TubiBooster-X checks both of those boxes nicely as its hose has a fairly high flow rate and it can handle pressure of up to 200 PSI. On the latter topic, I’m not going to lie – I get a bit unnerved by burst tanks because I always have this gut feeling that they could burst. Well, those concerns were put to rest as soon as I pulled the TubiBooster-X out of the box. It is BURLY. The thickness of tank is something to behold and it certainly instills a high degree of confidence. As regards the former aspect, so far I’ve inflated 6 different setups on 3 different tire/rim combos and have had zero issues. These were all wheels that I couldn’t inflate with my go-to floor pump to begin with, so I think that speaks volumes – no pun intended – about how well this device works. I also very much appreciate how compact this unit is.
The TubiBooster-X is substantially smaller and more compact than other options I’ve tested. Some of those options were meant to work in unison with and integrate with a pump from the same manufacturer. That is nifty and all, but in my mind there’s no substitute for something that works damn well and doesn’t take up a lot of precious garage space – certainly less than an air compressor would. On a final note, this also means less space taken up in your vehicle if you are say, a weekend warrior who races and need to use a burst tank at the races. All in all, I can’t see any downsides to this little unit. It has worked flawlessly throughout my test period, plus it’s tough and compact, so I can’t ask for anything more.