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Review: 2x the air in 1/2 the time with Topeak’s JoeBlow Twin Turbo

Topeak's Joe Blow Twin Turbo pumps twice the air in half the time.
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If you own a lot of bikes, chances are you have at least two floor pumps. The same inflator used to fill fatbike tires is usually a poor choice for road bike skins. Not many pumps inflate tires big and small equally well—until now.

The JoeBlow Twin Turbo is Topeak’s latest top-tier inflator. At 7-pounds and nearly 30-inches tall it commands attention. But it’s more than just big. Hidden within the foil-shaped metal body is an innovative double-barrel air chamber system.

Topeak's Joe Blow Twin Turbo pumps twice the air in half the time.

The Twin Turbo is not the first pump to employ dual air pistons. The Zéfal Double Shot was one of the first and it worked well if all you needed to do was push lots of air in as few strokes as possible. Topeak’s internals are far more advanced and quickly push air pressure up to 200 psi.

To achieve high pressure and big volume, the Twin Turbo moves air in both the upward and downward strokes. When the handle is pulled up, air from the large chamber is transferred into the smaller barrel. Pushing down compresses the air in the inflation tube and expels it into the tire.

Topeak's Joe Blow Twin Turbo pumps twice the air in half the time.

I have tried other dual-action pumps and many feel asthmatic and slow. For product engineers it can’t be easy to manage the competing forces as the pump tries to breathe in as much air as possible. By contrast the Twin Turbo remains fluid and swift in both pumping directions.

The up stroke is light and unrestricted, but there is a faint sensation of air being moved in progressive stages. Pushing down on the handle is unlike any other pump I have ever used. Not to say there is no resistance at all, but it is minimal. What’s even more interesting is the effective range of the stroke. The pump starts moving air as soon as the handle is plunged. There is no gradual build up of pressure at the bottom of the pump stroke.

Topeak's Joe Blow Twin Turbo pumps twice the air in half the time.

With my fatbike sitting on double flats I attached the all-metal SmartHead DX1 pump head to the valve and started pumping. The tire instantly lurched to life. In fewer than 15 lazy strokes the 5-inch tire was inflated to a plump 7 psi. Every tire I tested yielded similar results. A standard 29er wheel required only 17 strokes and my road bike just 22. According to Topeak, the Twin Turbo shaves 40% off the inflation effort of a normal single-action pump.

Topeak's Joe Blow Twin Turbo pumps twice the air in half the time.

As I have come to expect of Topeak, the ergonomics are well designed. The handle has a slight bend at the wrists and a rubber coating keeps sweaty hands securely in place. Rubber foot pads make for a solid resting spot for road cleats and while the pump is tall, I don’t feel like I have to raise the handle to my chin to get the full range of action.

One of my petty quips with some pumps is a short hose. The Twin Turbo has ample reach to inflate tires on a repair stand or hitch rack. The SmartHead DX1 automatically swaps between presta and schraeder valves and always clamps tight to eliminate pesky air leaks.

My favorite user feature also earns my only nit-pick. The large analog gauge is placed atop the pump where it’s easy to read, but it lacks utility when inflating most mountain bike tires. With today’s higher volume tires, the Twin Turbo’s gauge barely registers anything below 20 psi. This is the range of inflation where every pound counts. My workaround is to always use Topeak’s digital pressure gauge.

Wrap up

Topeak's Joe Blow Twin Turbo pumps twice the air in half the time.At $199 there are cheaper pumps to be had, but not many with such elevated utility. It really does inflate a road tire with equal aplomb as a chunky mountain bike tire. If you don’t want to use your pump as your pre-ride warmup, you won’t burn a calorie inflating your tires with the Twin Turbo.

Topeak.com

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Ira
Ira
4 years ago

Recently got into tubeless and needed a high volume inflator. I almost bought one of these $100+ cadillac tubeless inflator pumps, but for just about $50 more than the above Topeak pump, I ended up getting a Hitachi EC28M Ultra Quiet air compressor/hose, and Park INF-2, and I am absolutely thrilled with the performance and usefulness and versatility of it.

Dale C
Dale C
4 years ago
Reply to  Ira

Same deal here. I bought a nice air compressor at HD for $99 and got the full hose and fittings for a few more. But I haven’t found a good tubeless inflation method other than pulling the valve core and setting the tire beads with the air chuck, then replacing the core and pumping the tire up. That Park inflator looks awesome, but $122??? Is there anything that can inflate a presta valve for a bit cheaper?

Ira
Ira
4 years ago
Reply to  Dale C

Prestaflator and grimmtools are other options, about $50, less burly but I am a tool addict so the nicer heavy Park tool was worth it to me. I’m sure the prestaflator works just as well.

dl
dl
4 years ago
Reply to  Dale C
DeeKeezy
DeeKeezy
4 years ago
Reply to  Dale C

I’m not sure I understand your quandry, but if you’ve got a compressor that fits schrader valves, this thing is a cheap and easy way to make it work on presta valves:

https://www.amazon.com/SKS-Presta-Valve-Adaptor-Schrader/dp/B001CJX5MI

Ignore if I’m missing the point.

i
i
4 years ago

I’m having a hard time understanding the claim that this inflates large and small tires equally well, when the gauge doesn’t work for large tires. It’s really bizarre that Topeake realizes the need for a high volume part, but apparently doesn’t understand that the tires it will be used on run below 20psi.

Ok, a separate gauge is sort of an option, if you don’t mind how long that process takes; it certainly negates any time you saved due to the second pump barrel. I’d rather have one barrel and 2 gauges (or one that read down to normal tire pressure) than the other.

John Royal
John Royal
4 years ago
Reply to  i

“””This”””, an accurate pressure gauge at low psi is way more important to me than gigantic air volume.

I was one of the many that bought Topeak’s fat bike floor pump only to have to return it due to a non-functioning pressure gauge

Kevin Kitura
Kevin Kitura
4 years ago

Track pumps are dinosaur technology! The cordless inflator is the way to go! You can pick up a Ryobi P737 for $20 US.

https://www.amazon.com/Ryobi-P737-Portable-Cordless-Inflator/dp/B017JIWT9U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533233768&sr=8-1&keywords=P737

lop
lop
4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Kitura

Plus a $40 battery.

Or like most of us, you can just use the same pump you’ve had for 15 years, that still works fine, and not worry about it.

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