Reviews You Can Rely On

Topeak JoeBlow Booster Review

A high-quality and high priced model that replaces an air compressor to inflate tubeless tires
topeak joeblow booster bike pump review
Credit: Topeak
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $220 List | $189.98 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Solid performance, universal nozzle, long hose, air bleed valve, easy-to-read gauge, capable of seating tubeless tires
Cons:  Expensive, heavy, hard work to fill chamber, gauge struggles at low pressures
Manufacturer:   ToPeak
By Clark Tate ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 18, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 12
  • Ease of Attachment - 25% 6.0
  • Inflation - 25% 7.0
  • Stability - 20% 8.0
  • Accuracy - 20% 6.0
  • Gauge - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Topeak JoeBlow Booster works as a regular floor pump and as a manual air compressor, letting you install your own tubeless tires and making it a great choice for both professional and recreational users. The pump is well built, with metal incorporated in highly used and abused components — such as the steel base and the lever on the SmartHead, which automatically adjusts to fit Presta or Schrader valves. Where plastic is used, it is robust and thick. At home or on the road, this pump is an impressively functional piece of kit that can take the place of an air compressor.

Editor's Note: We updated the Topeak JoeBlow Booster review on October 18, 202, with new product comparisons and information that may aid in purchase decisions.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $189.98 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$130 List$160 List$80 List
$70.00 at REI
$45 List
$45.00 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
69
76
75
70
69
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Solid performance, universal nozzle, long hose, air bleed valve, easy-to-read gauge, capable of seating tubeless tiresNozzle works with Presta and Schrader valves, accurate, well-placed pressure relief valveGreat at seating tubeless tires, good universal nozzle, bright digital gauge, stable baseWorks great with high volume tires, stable, universal nozzle works with Presta and SchraderInexpensive, stable, comfortable, auto select nozzle for Presta and Schrader valves
Cons Expensive, heavy, hard work to fill chamber, gauge struggles at low pressuresExpensive, heavy, tippy in one direction, not great for high-volume tiresHose management system does not work well, easy to use incorrectly when seating a tire, not as accurateNot so great with high-pressure tires, gauge is harder to read than someNozzle can be tricky to use, no ball or bladder adapters
Bottom Line A high-quality and high priced model that replaces an air compressor to inflate tubeless tiresWith a bleeder valve in its handle and a nozzle that works with Schrader and Presta valves, this pump does its job wellThe best-performing pump in the test for seating tubeless tiresThis high-value pump works exceptionally well with high volume tires and features a universal nozzleA comfortable pump with an auto selecting nozzle and low price tag
Rating Categories Topeak JoeBlow Booster Specialized Air Too... Bontrager TLR Flash... Crankbrothers Sterling Bontrager Charger
Ease of Attachment (25%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Inflation (25%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Stability (20%)
8.0
6.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Accuracy (20%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
7.0
Gauge (10%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
Specs Topeak JoeBlow Booster Specialized Air Too... Bontrager TLR Flash... Crankbrothers Sterling Bontrager Charger
Max PSI 160 140 160 160 160
High Volume or High Pressure High Pressure Both High Pressure Both Both
Weight 7.5 lbs 4.9 lbs 7.2 lbs 2.7 lbs 3.1 lbs
Height 29 in 25 in 28 in 25 in 27 in
Hose Length 59 in 45.5 in 52 in 36 in 38 in
Tubeless Recommended? Yes No Yes No No
Accessory Inflators Included? No No Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Despite the many advantages of tubeless tires, it can be a real drag when you're excited to slap some new rubber on your ride, and the bike shop is backed up with work and can't get you rolling without a wait. The JoeBlow Booster solves this problem with the capacity to store one liter of air at 160 PSI in an integrated high-pressure chamber that works just like an air compressor to seat tubeless tire beads. When not used for installing tubeless tires, the Booster functions in the same manner as a regular floor pump, albeit a bit heavier.

Performance Comparison


topeak joeblow booster bike pump review - the topeak booster is a substantial piece of equipment that will...
The Topeak Booster is a substantial piece of equipment that will seat your tubeless tires in minutes.
Credit: Clark Tate

Ease of Attachment


The SmartHead on the Booster automatically adapts to accept both Presta and Schrader valves without the need to flip, unscrew, or otherwise manipulate the head. It works well with both valve types but can be harder to seat on Schrader valves when your tire is flat. We're pleased that this pump employs a strong metal locking lever. It's large, moves smoothly, and is easy to use. The portion of the head that inserts onto the valve and holds the internals secure is also alloy.


The 59-inch python of a hose on the Booster is longer than any other model we tested. The hose has an even greater effective length since it originates from the top of the pump. It has no trouble inflating tires set on a workbench or when the bike is suspended in a bike work stand. Pressing the SmartHead onto a Presta valve is easy, although you often need two hands to flip the lever without losing much air during attachment.

topeak joeblow booster bike pump review - the booster's switchhitter gauge moves seamlessly between schrader...
The Booster's Switchhitter gauge moves seamlessly between Schrader and Presta valves.
Credit: Clark Tate

Inflation


When used as a regular floor pump (with the selector dial on inflate mode), the Booster does a good job inflating high-pressure tires. It only requires a couple more compressions to get a road tire up to pressure than the best options. A high-volume mountain bike tire takes much longer, requiring 30 compressions to take it from 10 to 30 PSI. This pump was the slowest in the test at that task. The pace feels casual, though. The road tires require more power, but a stiff plastic handle and super stable steel base transfer it effectively.


To seat tubeless tires with this pump, set the selector dial to charge and start pumping. Your goal is to raise the pressure in the accessory chamber to 160 PSI, giving it enough power to seat a tire bead. It's not that challenging until you hit about 120 PSI, then a glisten will likely appear on your forehead with the last dozen or so strokes.

Simply rotate the dial surrounding the gauge from "charge"...
Simply rotate the dial surrounding the gauge from "charge"...
...to inflate to release the blast of air and seat your tire. Leave...
...to inflate to release the blast of air and seat your tire. Leave it there if you want to add a few pounds of pressure.

Filling the chamber required an average of 50 pumps. Then you simply turn the mode selector dial back to inflate and the chamber releases its pressure. Assuming that satisfying ping, ping of rubber snapping into place against the rim is achieved, determining the final tire pressure is the next step. If the tire bead seated properly, but you need additional air to achieve a certain pressure rating, simply give the handle a few strokes, and the pump functions like a regular floor pump. If pressure is too great, it has an air release valve just below the gauge for minute pressure adjustments (and there's a second one on the nozzle.)

topeak joeblow booster bike pump review - charging the booster to 160 for a tire seating blast takes a little...
Charging the Booster to 160 for a tire seating blast takes a little time and perseverance.
Credit: Clark Tate

Stability


A wide, wing-shaped steel base measures nearly 10 inches across, allowing you to firmly plant your feet and blast away when filling the high-pressure chamber of the Booster.


The non-rubberized underside is best used outdoors on a surface you don't care much about marring. We recommend a mat or a towel for more delicate surfaces. We also appreciate that the plastic plate that attaches the pump and compressor barrel to the baseplate is sturdy. It's tall too, which increases height behind the gauge, providing further stability.

topeak joeblow booster bike pump review - the winged base of the booster is weighty steel and broad enough to...
The winged base of the Booster is weighty steel and broad enough to be very stable, even on a lawn.
Credit: Clark Tate


We also like the hose storage system, which tucks it out of the way while protecting the nozzle. The hose travels to the bottom of the pump to a clamp, then back to the top to another clamp, and finally over the handle to a final clamp on the far side. We mentioned that the hose is long, right? This system works well. And, though the flexible hose does take on the turns the storage system enforces, they aren't so entrenched that you have to fight with them to use it.

topeak joeblow booster bike pump review - the booster is the heaviest pump we tested by far. it's a lot...
The Booster is the heaviest pump we tested by far. It's a lot lighter than an air compressor though.
Credit: Clark Tate

Accuracy


Few of the pumps we tested really blew us away with their accuracy. This pump was no different, often showing pressure differences up to 4 PSI when compared to our digital gauge readings, but only on lower pressure readings around 30 PSI. At higher pressure levels, around 80 and above, it performs much better.


This is unfortunate since this is a great option for mountain bikers devoted to tubeless tires. But it's hardly unique. Most pumps we tested could use a separate gauge to double-check their low-pressure accuracy, especially for fat or plus-sized tires. If you use tubeless road or cyclocross tires, you'll have better luck nailing your pressures with this pump.

Measuring every 5 PSI, the Booster gauge doesn't have enough...
Measuring every 5 PSI, the Booster gauge doesn't have enough precision to dial in a preferred pressure of say, 32 PSI, it's also less accurate at lower pressures.
There's a pressure release valve by the top of the pump and another...
There's a pressure release valve by the top of the pump and another on the nozzle.

Gauge


The top-mounting, analog gauge on the Booster was among our test favorites. The gauge is set high on the pump, and the PSI pressure values are printed in white along the perimeter, set against a black background. The Bar numbers are under the glass, still easy to see but subject to glare.


The gauge measures pressure up to 160 PSI (11 Bar), and, like the majority of pumps we tested, it isn't optimized to read lower pressures. The needle quickly speeds through the all-important 20s and 30s on its way to 160 PSI. Broad intervals plague precise readings. Each tick mark accounts for 5 whole PSI.

topeak joeblow booster bike pump review - mounted on top of the shaft, this gauge is much easier to read than...
Mounted on top of the shaft, this gauge is much easier to read than the rest.
Credit: Clark Tate

The gauge is surrounded by a selector dial that switches the pump between "charge" and "inflate" modes. Again, you turn the selector dial to charge to fill the accessory air chamber to 160 PSI and rotate it to inflate to blast the air into the tire to seat it in the rim. When the red line is set to inflate, the pump works like a traditional floor pump.

topeak joeblow booster bike pump review - switching between charge and inflate is easy on the booster.
Switching between charge and inflate is easy on the Booster.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Should You Buy the Topeak Joe Blow Booster?


For those who regularly change tubeless tires at home, the Joe Blow Booster is a very useful tool for seating the bead that also functions relatively well as a regular floor pump. It's fairly stable with an easy-to-read gauge and a nice long hose. While it performed well in general, it was bested by the other model capable of seating tubeless tires in this round of testing, and it's also a bit more expensive. That said, we've had one of these pumps at GearLab HQ for several years and it still works well, so the expense may be justified for the home mechanic.

topeak joeblow booster bike pump review - we really appreciate the universal nozzle on this pump.
We really appreciate the universal nozzle on this pump.
Credit: Clark Tate

What Other Bike Pumps Should You Consider?


If you're after a pump capable of seating tubeless tires, the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger edged ahead of the JoeBlow Booster in our testing and will save you a little money too. If you're looking for a non-booster style model, the top-rated Specialized Air Tool Pro is our top recommendation. If you're operating on a budget but still want a reliable pump, the Bontrager Charger gets the job done at a wallet-friendly price.

topeak joeblow booster bike pump review - it's common to lose some sealant in the tube seating process.
It's common to lose some sealant in the tube seating process.
Credit: Clark Tate

Clark Tate
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More