Are you looking for the best bicycle pump made, bar none? Search no further, because I have found it for you. It is the Joe Blow Pro bike pump (aff), and it is better than any other bicycle pump I have ever used. Nothing I have ever owned has come close to this pump.
I bought this pump at full retail price with my own money during my search for the best bicycle pump. No one gave it to me. No one is paying me to tell you it is good.
If you are a bike pump manufacturer and you think you make a better pump than this, then send it to me and I’ll try it out and test it and tell everyone what I think. But you’d better have supreme confidence in your pump, because I can’t imagine how you could improve on this pump.
Let’s get into the details of the bicycle pump.
The absolute best feature of this pump is the Smarthead.
In the olden days of the 1980s and 1990s, you’d have to buy a pump and decide if you were going to own a Schrader pump (car tire style valve), or a Presta pump (racing bike style valve). The first big “advancement” was the ability to unscrew the head of a pump and flip a piece around and screw it back together, allowing you to use one pump to air up both types of tires. It was unwieldy and easy to break or lose parts, but it mostly worked.
Next came these “dual head” types of pumps, where there were two holes. Sometimes they were right above each other, and sometimes you’d have a Schrader on one side, and a Presta on the other. You could finally easily air up both kinds of tires without a lot of messing with the pump. This was about as good as you could get, and times were pretty good.
But the Smarthead is a whole new advancement. You have a single pump head. You stick it on the valve, whether it is Presta or Schrader, and then you pull the lever on the back of the pump head to lock it on the valve.
The Smarthead magically determines which type of valve you have and it just works! And it really does work, just as well as the marketing department would have you believe.
When you are finished, you flip the lever back down to release the pump head and you pull it off and hear the air release with a “pssst” sound when you take the head back off your tire valve, and your tire has been perfectly aired up.
It goes on and comes off easily, so you don’t have that terrible situation where you are in a hurry to go ride and you have to push the pump head on really hard to get it to attach to the valve and then you accidentally break off your Presta valve, or push your Schrader valve right through the base of the tube and lose all the air in your tire and now have to change a flat. Do you know how many pumps I’ve wanted to smash over the years that have done that to me? A lot of pumps.
The air gauge on this pump is also outstanding. First, they put it up high so that you can see it easily and see the pressure without bending over or squinting. Great usability. See that little yellow triangle? If you put that in the spot where you normally fill up to, it makes it even easier to pump up your tires. No looking at numbers at all — just wait until the gauge lines up and you’re done! Perfect if you do most of your riding on the same wheels and tires and keep a regular pressure. Easy to turn if you ever want to move it.
As you can see, the gauge goes up to 160 pounds, which is likely more pressure than you will ever need.
See that little yellow button? That button is truly awesome. It allows you to bleed air out of your tire while the pump is still attached. You know how you can start pumping and get carried away and notice that you accidentally went 5 psi too high? You no longer have to take the pump off, let some air out, and then put the pump back on and find the right pressure again. You just bleed some air out, and you are done. It is very easy to control the air that bleeds out, so you can be very precise with it.
I used this pump for more than a year before I discovered this awesome yellow button! Boy am I dumb.
Don’t you hate it with a floor pump when you leave the pump head and the hose just sitting there on the ground like a snake, where it’s easy to step on, trip on, drive over with the car, etc? Well Topeak, with the Joe Blow Pro, made it so easy to put the pump head away that you’ll actually do it. It just goes right into a little hole and it stays there.
What’s this little black piece of metal? It’s a handle lock. If you grab the pump handle of most floor pumps and try to pick up the pump, the handle is just going to extend. But maybe you were trying to pick it up so that you could put the pump in your car to take with you to a bike race. If you flip the handle lock, it keeps the pump handle in place, even if the pump is lying in the trunk of your car. It’s not a crucial feature by any means, but it’s very thoughtful and just another small reason that this is the best bicycle floor pump ever built or designed.
What about durability?
The barrel of the pump is made of thick, polished aluminum. It’s solid, baby. You could thump a burglar in the side of the head with this thing, and he’d have to go to the hospital. You, on the other hand, could continue pumping up your tires while you waited for the police and ambulance to arrive.
I originally purchased this pump in November 2010. Mine is still like new, and I still love it as much as when I first bought it.
All that, with a full list price of $99, and a price on Amazon that is usually cheaper than $69. How can it be possible that something this well made could be this inexpensive?
Did I leave anything out? Leave a comment and ask me any questions you have.