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Topeak Joe Blow Tubi 2stage tubeless tyre pump review

What if you could seat tubeless tyres by just pumping them up?

Topeak Joe Blow Tubi 2stage pump
(Image: © Josh Ross)

Our Verdict

The headline feature is a pump head that lets you remove the valve core without losing pressure. It’s a cool feature but the real value is that the Topeak Joe Blow Tubi 2stage tubeless tyre pump flows enough air to seat tubeless tyres without a tank.

For

  • Install or remove a tyre valve without losing pressure
  • up to 715cc of air flow per stroke
  • Compact
  • Inexpensive for what it does
  • Comfortable to use

Against

  • Gauge lacks precision marks above 30 psi
  • Gauge sits at the bottom of the barrel
  • Two markers on the gauge would be welcome

The benefits of tubeless tyres are well worth any hassle, but why settle? What if you could have all the benefits of tubeless without any hassle? As it stands currently, most people opt for something like the Topeak Joe Blow Booster pump that we included on our list of the best bike pumps. It's a very good choice but is there room for improvement?

Topeak seems to think it can and it has something new that might. The promise of the Topeak Tubi 2stage is that it provides all the utility of the pumps that came before but without the need for a tank. It also lets you remove the valve core without losing pressure. If you are looking for the right pump for the best tubeless road tyres, keep reading to see if the Tubi 2stage pump actually follows through on the promises. 

Topeak Joe Blow Tubi 2stage pump detail of Tubi head

The Tubi head is a helpful feature but it's not even the best thing about this pump. (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Design and aesthetics

It's open for debate how important the look of a floor pump is. Are you willing to pay a whole lot more money for a beautiful piece? Some are, some aren't, but even if you move down lower in the market there are options where wood and aluminium make for a high-end aesthetic. The Tubi 2stage doesn't have that, it's a completely utilitarian design. 

The pump stands about 74cm tall and it's capped off with a black plastic handle. The hand grips are wide enough to keep you from feeling squeezed and the inlay uses a grey rubberised coating both top and bottom. The shape tends towards a rectangle but there's no sharp edges. 

Keep moving down and you get into the body of the pump. This section is aluminium and features the aesthetic styling of anodised logos and wordmarks. All the graphics are gold on a black background and there's nothing flashy. It doesn't look cheap, just understated.

At the top of the pump body is where you'll find a switch. This is one of the features that sets this pump apart. With the switch facing down you've got a high-volume pump. There's a label stating 0-30psi and in this setting volume per pump is 715cc. This setting, and that flow rate, is really the magic of this pump. 

Anything more than 30psi and you will struggle to overcome the pressure in the tyre and you'll want to switch modes. Switch to the second setting and you are now working with a volume of 258cc per stroke. In this setting you've got what's very similar to a standard pump. You can top off a low-pressure tyre or take the pressure up as high as 160psi. 

The other stand out design feature of the Topeak Tubi 2stage pump is the pump head. It's a clear friction fit piece with an integrated valve removal tool. Push the head onto a valve and with the removal tool pushed all the way in you can unthread the valve core. Pull it back and you've got a clear path for as much air as you can flow. Once you are ready to remove the pump, press the valve core tool back in and screw the valve back in before pulling off the head. 

Near the bottom of the pump shaft is where the gauge sits on the Tubi 2stage. It's an analogue piece that Topeak describes as mid-mount. Up to 30psi there are markings for every 1psi After that the gauge switches to marks every 5psi up to 160. There's a single arrow you can move back and forth to make a mark at your desired pressure setting. 

Performance

I love new ideas and technology but I'm also deeply sceptical of things that sound too easy. The Topeak Tubi 2stage pump sounds too easy and I was sure it wasn't going to work. It has proven me wrong over and over and it's done it while I use it in ways Topeak thinks shouldn't work. 

What I mean is that with a wheel like the Cadex 65 it's a struggle to get valve stems long enough on short notice. No one locally stocks them and I constantly have valves installed that are technically too short. Right now I have 8mm of valve visible and most pumps just barely work. I typically hold the pump head against the wheel with one hand while pumping with the other. Even with one hand, I can seat tubeless tyres with a few pumps of the Tubi 2stage. 

This is nothing short of revolutionary when things go right. When your tubeless tape is in good shape and there are no leaks, it's a joy to use. It only gets better when things don't go right. 

With a booster pump you have to start by pressurising the tank. Do it once and it's not a big deal. Then attach the head to the wheel and watch your hard work disappear. Pressurise the tank again and use some soapy water on the wheel/tyre interface. Hit the switch and watch your hard work disappear again. There have been times I've been through this dance so many times I'm sweaty and my arms hurt and I give up for another day. 

With the Tubi 2stage pump the process is a little different. Push the valve head on then turn the back of it to unscrew the core.  Pull it back and now you've got a clear path for plenty of air to flow. If you have a standard amount of valve visible the head will stay in place and you just start pumping. You can screw the valve stem back in once the bead is set and there's enough pressure. 

The volume per stroke is more than double a standard pump and it's enough to seat tubeless tyres when things are right. When things aren't quite right you can see without needing to first pressurise a tank to 160psi. If the tyre doesn't start to inflate in the first few pumps then grab your soapy water. Now that there's soap everywhere, watch the bubbles and if you see them coming out the spoke holes then stop pumping and rewrap your tubeless tape. The whole process is much more forgiving and it's faster. 

Topeak Joe Blow Tubi 2stage pump comfortable handle

The handle is comfortable and now you really can seat tubeless tyres with a pump.  (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Verdict

The Joe Blow Tubi 2stage pump is faster, more convenient, and cheaper than the competition. It's hard to say anything more convincing than that. If you need to seat tubeless tyres this is the pump you need to do it. When it's time to use it for day-to-day use switch it to the higher pressure setting and it works like any other pump. 

All the complaints against the pump have to do with the gauge. It's too far down to be easy to see, it doesn't have 1 psi marks once you reach 30 psi and despite it working for both high pressure tyres, and high-volume tyres, there's only one moveable marker for it. Given that no one else makes anything that competes, none of this means it’s worth buying something different. Hopefully, Topeak continues to improve this pump but for now it's still a great option.

Topeak Joe Blow Tubi 2stage pump included adapter

If you ever have a need for a Schrader valve, the adapter is included and difficult to lose.  (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Tech Specs: Topeak Joe Blow Tubi 2stage pump 

  • Price: £109.99 / $139.99
  • Volume per stroke: 715 cc (Stage 1), 258 cc (Stage 2)
  • Gauge: 160 psi / 11 bar, 3” mid mount analog Stage 1: 0 - 30 psi Stage 2: 30 - 160 psi
  • Head: Tubi head with extra-long 360 degree pivoting hose and built-in hose pressure release button. Fits Presta / Schrader valves (Schrader valve adapter included)

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Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutia of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes.
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 137 lb.
Rides: Orbea Orca Aero, Cannondale Topstone Lefty, Cannondale CAAD9, Trek Checkpoint, Priority Continuum Onyx