Topeak JoeBlow Sport III Review
Cons: Odd base shape, heavier than most, short hose
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Topeak JoeBlow Sport III
|Price||$49.95 at Amazon||$59.99 at Amazon|
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|$160 List||$49.99 at Amazon|
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|$27.00 at Amazon|
|Pros||Metal base, good gauge, accurate, good value||ABS1 flip-thread chuck, steel barrel and base, long hose, durable, stylish appearance||Dual functionality, extra long hose, steel base, quiet, portable, air bleed valve, easy to read gauge||Durable, metal tripod base, large accurate gauge, HV/HP switch||Well-priced, easy-to-use, simple, accurate|
|Cons||Odd base shape, heavier than most, short hose||Gauge accuracy issues||Expensive, heavy, intense effort to fill chamber, gauge not great for low pressures||Clumsy pump head design, plastic gauge case||Less durable, small gauge|
|Bottom Line||This popular model brings a lot of performance per dollar to the table||This model offers solid all-around performance in a gorgeous package||An excellent choice for tubeless tire fans||This is a high value bike floor pump, thoughtfully designed and well crafted||This bike pump offers a combination of good performance, excellent user-friendliness and affordability|
|Rating Categories||Topeak JoeBlow Sport III||Lezyne Steel Floor Drive||Topeak JoeBlow Booster||Crankbrothers Gem||AerGun X-1000|
|Ease Of Attachment (25%)|
|Specs||Topeak JoeBlow...||Lezyne Steel Floor...||Topeak JoeBlow...||Crankbrothers Gem||AerGun X-1000|
|Weight||3.7 lbs||3.8 lbs||6.4 lbs||4.0 lbs||2.6 lbs|
|Height||27 in||25.8 in||29 in||25.2 in||24 in|
|Hose Length||30 in||48 in||59 in||36 in||34 in|
|Accessory Inflators Included?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The JoeBlow Sport III is an all-around high-performing floor pump--and a great value.
Ease of Attachment/Detachment
The TwinHead pump head of the Sport III has dedicated holes for Schrader and Presta on opposite sides, clearly marked with an S and P to help eliminate any potential confusion. The locking lever moves with some resistance in either direction to clamp the head in place, with the length of the lever improving the ease of this movement.
This head design is a common one and works well. Users who had little previous experience with tire valves or bike pumps were mostly able to intuit their way into successfully operating it on either Schrader or Presta valves. In our tests, we found this head to be one of the easier to attach and detach. The length of the lever helps to make the attachment easier, as it provides more leverage and easier grip access. We also had no trouble with any significant air escaping from the pump head during attachment or detachment from either Schrader or Presta valves.
One setback of this model is the length of the air hose. It is rather short at just 30 inches. It caused no problems for us, but it is on the short end of the models we tested. This is something to be aware of for anyone who needs (or likes) a lot of space between their pumping position and their tires due to factors like garage layout or work stand preference.
The sturdy metal base of the JoeBlow Sport III is like an inflated version of the simple two-foot design, with a small incut at the back. This design, while attractive, did not score as well in our stability tests. (The most stable bases are variations on a tripod design.) This pump is also on the taller side, making it even easier to tip over. The weight of the base helps it to stay upright most of the time, but when the pump is free-standing or on uneven terrain, it is one of the easier models to knock over. This happened predominantly in the forward direction, toppling onto its gauge. Fortunately, the gauge is solidly built and handled the abuse well in our tests.
Instability was much less apparent when standing on the base during pumping, which, of course, is the base's primary purpose. A large, inflexible, flat surface under your feet is very effective at holding a pump in place. The perimeter of the hardened steel base is almost sharp on the bottom and has no padding to protect delicate surfaces, so care should be exercised to prevent floor damage if using this pump indoors.
The JoeBlow III was on the faster end of our inflation speed tests. The number of pump strokes required to reach the desired pressure was always on the lower end — though a couple of pumps in our review required fewer strokes.
This model also receives high marks due to a smooth, easy pumping motion that feels just about the same at 20psi as it does at 100psi. The 10 inch wide, padded handle also helps make pumping a quick, comfortable experience.
The Sport III was among the top scorers in accuracy as well, always within a couple of PSI (which seems to be the margin of error) of our independent gauge after several tests pumping to different pressures on various tires.
As was previously mentioned, there were no significant problems with air escaping from the pump head when removing it from the valve, which can be a major cause of inaccuracies.
The gauge on this pump is over 3 inches across. This comfortable size combined with large, clear labeling and a bright yellow adjustable guide help make reading the gauge a breeze.
Space is used very efficiently on this gauge. Large white numbers along the outside rim measure PSI, with numerals on the 20's and notches on the 5's. Large yellow bar readings live inside by the needle, with odd numerals 1 through 11, and each bar is broken into fourths. It's all straightforward to read on a black background; even in bright sunshine or dim indoor light, our testers had no trouble determining these measurements while standing tall above the pump. The adjustable guide along the outside rim is hardly necessary considering the ease of reading the numerical measurements, but it's still an excellent addition — just set the guide to your desired pressure, pump until the needle points to that spot, and you're good to go. It's also handy for users with one set of tires who tend to forget what PSI they should use!
As the stability of the JoeBlow III is not its strongest suit, our tests saw it topple forward several times, with the gauge taking the brunt of the impact. We also tossed it around onto the sidewalk a few times just to be certain. The body of the gauge is all plastic, but it doesn't look or feel flimsy, and it sustained no significant damage beyond some small surface scratches from these falls.
The Sport III offers great value. There are thriftier options, but the savings are modest, and those pumps aren't as high-performing as this one. We feel that this model exemplifies a stellar value, masterfully marrying fantastic performance with a more-than-fair price.
The Topeak JoeBlow Sport III is an excellent all-around bike pump. Attach the TwinHead with ease to either Schrader or Presta valves, set your desired pressure with the bright yellow marker on the big clear gauge, and pump away on the broad handle. Accurate, intuitive, and simple, it is workable by beginners and appreciated by veterans. The base is not as stable as the tripod design on some other pumps, but it's not going anywhere while you're standing on it, and it's sturdy enough to take the occasional tumble without getting damaged.
— Mark Schanzenbach & Lyra Pierotti