Feels substantial, is easy to inflate and has a clear gauge
The original Joe Blow has been one of our favourite track pumps for many years now and has survived the rigours of communal workshop use while lesser pumps fell to pieces. This equally well-built Booster version adds a secondary tank for blasting air into tubeless tyres. You pressrise the chamber, turn the bezel surrounding the large gauge and release the air into the tyre to seat the bead. A long hose stretches far enough to allow you to reach the wheels when the bike is in the stand, the SmartHead chck adapts to either valve automatically, and there’s a bleed button for tuning tyre pressure.
Although the Topeak Booster is brand new, functionally it’s identical to the Bontrager Flash Charger. It’s essentially a standard JoeBlow floor pump with an aluminium air chamber bolted to the side. This is charged in the same way as the Flash Charger, but instead of a lever that flips down, it has a dial on the top, which you turn to select either Charge or Inflate.
The Booster only took around 41 strokes to fully charge, and stores around a litre of air at 160psi. We never had a single issue seating our half dozen test tyres, but we did find it only inflated the tyre to 27psi, which means if you like your tyres harder than that you will need to top up the pressure. This is something you can do easily with the dial set to Inflate, or you can also bleed off pressure via a button at the top of the hose.
What we really like about the JoeBlow Booster is the massive pressure gauge, which is the easiest to read if you’re just adding 1 or 2psi. It also has a really long hose with an integrated hose dock, which is great if you have the bike in a stand. The handle is more comfortable than the Bontrager and the wide base is very stable.
The SmartHead chuck locks in place on the valve stem, so all the air is going where you want it, and it works with both Presta and Schrader valves. Spares are the same as those used in Topeak’s regular JoeBlow floor pumps.
As we’ve said there’s not a lot of difference between the JoeBlow Booster and the Bontrager Flash Charger, because both pumps make seating tubeless tyres a joy. If we’re splitting hairs, and we are, the JoeBlow Booster feels a bit more substantial, is slightly easier to inflate and has a gauge that you can read without needing glasses.