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Topeak Joe Blow Sport Digital track pump review

30 Jun 2020
Verdict:

Precision pump without the inflated price tag

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Easy to use straight from the box • Clear digital display • Won’t strain your bingo wings • Durable
Against 
Topeak’s lockable valve lever is still a minor faff

The word ’accuracy’ stems from Latin, effectively translating into English as ‘done with care’ and given that the Topeak Joe Blow Sport Digital track pump relays its pressure reading in small digital increments, buying one means you’re almost guaranteed never to over-inflate an inner tube again. I’m a convert, here’s why…

 

Blast from the past

My most cherished pump to this point has been a Topeak Joe Blow Elite – big barrel, wide handle, lengthy hose and a wide plate to stand on while I pant and heave over another set of wheels. The Topeak Joe Blow Sport Digital carries the same DNA. With a steel barrel and large steel base, it’s built to last.

My previous Topeak pump was transported to races around the country, sometimes thrown on to airfield car parks with some force if things had gone badly (they always did), and just bounced back from the abuse. I’ve no reason to believe the Sport Digital would behave any differently.

Buy now from Wiggle for £69.99

The barrel of the Joe Blow Sport Digital is slightly shorter, which dictates it will have a shorter hose (80cm), as it’s stored by doubling back over the plastic handle and clipping in position at the top of the barrel.

I’m pleased the Twinhead DX5 pump head’s lever has finally seen an update, though, for a chunkier unit. It’s still a bit of a fiddle to lock (one 90° turn) on to the valve stem, though, being the only thing other than a USB memory stick which, regardless of there being a 50% chance of inserting correctly, I’ll always get wrong first time.

 

Digital diligence

Correctly attach the pump head to either a Presta or Schrader valve stem and the digital display wakes up (although it can also be turned on with a central button). Wait a second and you get a ‘current pressure’ readout, and incremental progress reports, with each full thrust of the pump handle typically putting 3.5psi into the tyre.

Reading with an accuracy of 0.5psi (it will also display pressure in BAR or kg/cm2), it’s child’s play to hit an exact reading of 100psi for a fast ride on 28c Schwalbe One tyres (slap bang between the recommended 85-115psi operational range).

Topeak claims accuracy of +/-1psi up to a maximum of 160psi. After a month of occasional use (OK, I’ve been pumping up everything in the house in the same way the new owner of an electronic screw-driver tightens every screw in sight) there’s no sign of battery life fading.

 

Tubeless perfomance

With the amount of pressure you get from each pump, I’ve doubts that the Topeak Joe Blow Sport Digital will have the power to seat a tubeless bead on a rim. However, it will fill a 40c tyre in no time. One thing to remember, however, is to position the valve at 6 o’clock (ie, rotate the wheel so it’s at its nearest point to the ground) unless you want to suck tubeless sealant into the pump head and cause all manner of badness.

Buy now from Wiggle for £69.99

Following this method, I could check the pressure and adequately refill both the Crosscut AT 1 tyres of a Giant Revolt in less than four minutes.

Value for money

For just a penny shy of £70, if the robust Topeak Joe Blow Sport Digital exhibits the same long-term resilience in the face of abuse as my previous Topeak pump, you can’t argue with the price.

For all the posh pumps available at exorbitant prices, sometimes there’s no substitute for simple, effective and robust. I even quite like the colour; it’s not going to get lost in a garage full of clutter.

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£69.99

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