If you're serious about running tubeless road tyres, a JoeBlow Booster pump may just help a bit
The JoeBlow Booster is huge. It stands 75cm tall and weighs 3.3kg, so it’s not something you’re likely to want to lug around with you. But if you’re serious about setting up tubeless tyres, a reservoir pump is a very useful item.
Basically, the Booster is a standard track pump coupled to a pressure chamber – the large tube with Topeak written on it. Topeak says it will store a litre of air at up to 160psi. There’s an equally beefy twist lever at its top, around the edge of the pressure dial, which you turn to release the air charge into the tyre.
Hopefully, if you’ve got the tyre well set up on the wheel rim, the volume and pressure of the air released, along with the speed at which the reservoir pushes the air into the tyre, will be enough to seat the tyre beads on the tubeless rim and give you an airtight seal.
The Booster comes with an extra-long 160cm hose mounted at the top of the reservoir and a chunky metal SmartHead DX3 presta/Schrader valve connector with an aluminium locking lever and a pressure bleed valve. There’s a second bleed valve at the pump end of the hose.
The Booster has a robust steel footplate and with its weight it’s not going to move around when in use. The pump handle has Topeak’s standard wide, well-shaped hand grip, so it’s easy to get a good hold.
Watch: Are tubeless tyres indestructible?
You can also isolate the reservoir by setting the pump lever to ‘Inflate’ and use the Booster like a standard pump, if you just want to top up a tyre or add more air once you’ve seated the tyre beads. The pressure gauge being top mounted and with yellow needle and lettering is easy to read, although with the length of the connection through to the tyre, it’s not as easy to use as a standard pump. There’s a feeling of sponginess using it this way.
So overall, the JoeBlow Booster is an impressive bit of kit. I’ve used it successfully to seat a number of tubeless tyres. You can still get tyre-rim combinations where seating is either very difficult or impossible; it’s one of the quirks of tubeless that manufacturing tolerances are not precise enough that all combinations of components will work successfully.
Topeak’s über-pump will help seat tubeless tyres, but it’s big, heavy and pricy, so is really aimed at the professional and the dedicated tubeless fan. It’s not so good to use if you’re just using it as a normal pump – but for what it's designed to do, it's hard to fault