Wednesday, October 3, 2007 9.37am
By Michael Stenning
The road master blaster on the surface is a nicely finished aluminium barrelled frame fit pump but the similarities with traditional frame fit pumps end here.
The dual settings allow interchangability between Presta and Schraeder valves, the option of two pressure settings via a simple switch at the handle.
Having memories of being stranded by dark roadsides trying to achieve more than 60psi in a high pressure road tyre, I was keen to test Topeak's claim of an achievable 165psi. The handle is comfortable and facilitates full even strokes, although the shaft benefited from a light greasing. Performance is impressive; I was able to inflate a 700x37c from flat to 80psi in 90 strokes on the high pressure setting and a 700x23 from zero to 110psi in 100 strokes. Performance was comparable inflating Mtb tyres: a 140 strokes saw a 1.5in wide slick reach 80psi.
Mounting to the bike is straightforward and the Velcro strap is secure, if workman-like and will readily accommodate oversize top tubes. Another nice feature is a dust seal which prevents the ingress of silt and other roadside debris into the delicate workings of the pump on salt strewn winter roads.
This is light years away from the restrictions of traditional pumps and while no substitute for a good track pump, allows impressive pressures with moderate effort and would make a great companion for any top-tube.
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