Topeak JoeBlow Twin Turbo vs. Bontrager Turbo Charger HP

A couple of blowhards

THE PLAYERS

Topeak has been in the pump game for over two decades. The Topeak JoeBlow Twin Turbo is new for 2018 and tops their long line of floor pump offerings.

Bontrager is actually Trek’s in-house component and accessory brand, and when it comes to floor pumps, Bonti is best known for their unique, dual-action, TLR Flash Charger pump ($119) that was specifically designed for inflating tubeless tires

THE TECH

TOPEAK

Owing to its predominant use of metal parts and resulting weight of nearly 7 pounds, the Topeak is definitely a pump that is built to last. The easy-to-read 3-inch gauge (that reads both psi and bar) is mounted up top, making it even easier to read.  The all-metal Smart Head adapts to both Schrader and Presta valves and has a handy bleeder valve. The flat, rubber foot pads were a nice touch.

BONTRAGER

As the name implies, the Bontrager is designed as a road-tire-friendly, high-pressure pump owing to its internal piston bore that is customized for easier high-pressure inflation. The Bonti’s head unit is a co-molded mix of metal and plastic parts that has a bleeder valve and can be used for either Presta or Schrader valves. Bontrager claims a maximum pressure of 160 psi. The 2-inch gauge offers both psi and bar ratings with black print on a white background.

THE PUMP

Topeak’s Twin Turbo design utilizes the pull and push of every stroke by transferring air between its two barrels. Pulling the handle up sucks a massive amount of air volume from the larger barrel into the smaller barrel. By pushing the handle down, the air in the smaller barrel is compressed into a high-pressure output that gets a road tire filled in record time.

The most telling moment with the Topeak came when a slight woman test rider gave it a try and thought it was the easiest pump she had ever used. “Incredible!” she exclaimed. This in contrast to the millennial mountain biker who could only look up in feeble complaint at the impact the pulling motion had on his muscular arms. It’s all in the mind, folks!

THE VERDICT

Other than the shared use of the word “turbo,” these two pumps couldn’t be more different, and that’s just why we are comparing them. The price difference is huge and the difference in weight large. When it came to compare their actual performance, in multiple tests of inflating a road tire to 100 psi, the Topeak consistently out-pumped the Bontrager by an almost 3:1 ratio (13 pumps versus 32).

If there was one thing that everyone who tested the pump had in common, it was a personal tale of woe when it came to their history of floor pumps. So many, it seems, have been cheap in build quality and not long-lasting.

The majority of test pumpers felt the Bontrager was just right in terms of weight, ease of transportation and price. However, two people thought the Topeak was not only the perfect stay-at-home pump that would likely last a lifetime but simply felt the reduction in pumps needed to inflate the tire was worth the investment.

TOPEAK PUNCH LINES

  • Easy to read gauge
  • Built to survive
  • When time is money

STATS

Price: $199

Weight: 6.9 pounds

www.topeak.com

BONTRAGER PUNCH LINES

  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Simple

STATS

Price: $59

Weight:3.9 pounds

www.trekbikes.com

Comments are closed.