Epic rides are just that -- epic. If you scrounge through our "What's New" section you can read about the trip we took to the Alps to watch le Tour in 2003. It was epic indeed. Day 1 was something like 110 miles with 4 Alpine passes and near-certainty by the end of the day that we'd be stuck sleeping on the side of the road thanks to our over-ambitious itinerary and sheer ignorance about the fact that real cols can take upwards of 2 hours to climb. And our second day nearly stopped before it started. We were slated to ride from Grenoble to the top of Alpe d'Huez to watch the mountaintop finish there, but 15 miles into the ride -- alongside the longest traffic jam we'd ever seen -- we got a gunshot-loud rear puncture on the interminable false flat that leads from the remnants of civilization into the harshest riding terrain on earth. We had only one spare tube, but worse was the fact that we'd repaired every roadside puncture in the last decade with handy, dandy CO2 cartridges. Since we flew to France we couldn't bring along CO2. Instead we carried one of these -- a Topeak Master Blaster frame pump. It was sheer terror for us: Would we rip the valve off our only spare thanks to all the leverage we'd be putting on the valve? Would we nuke a rotator cuff given the reputedly small stroke volume of a frame pump?
Rather, it took us only about an extra 30 seconds to air our spare rock hard in comparison to what it would've taken with a CO2. The valve? It was fine. Our shoulder prognosis? No problem, not at all. Given the length of the Masterblaster's barrel, it brought our tire up to good pressure with surprisingly few strokes -- a beauty of the fact that this is a real frame pump, not one of those mountain biking mini-pump jobbies. Long barrel = generous stroke volume. In short, the Master Blaster is the bomb. We got to the top of l'Alpe with abundant time for a 4 course lunch and a 20 Euro bottle of Evian before Iban Mayo passed us by resplendent in his orange Euskatel jersey, a full minute ahead of the remnants of the peloton.
The Master Blaster comes in 4 sizes. It comes with an integrated seal and dust cap. It has a padded pump head with an internal handle lock for a solid grip. The barrel is aluminum to keep it in the sub-250g. It was there for us in our moment of need. This is the pump you want.
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Reviews & Community
Medium too small (loose) for my 53cm c-c
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
I read the size chart and carefully reviewed the other comments on size.
Knowing my top tube size of 53 cm center-to-center and measuring the space between seat tube and head tube at 49.5 cm, I confidently ordered the size Medium.... It is TOO SHORT to span the distance and fit securely below my top tube. Returned for size Large. I'll update star-rating when received.
What if my top tube isn't completely straight? I have an Independent Fabrication Factory Lightweight and it has a straight top tube but it's at an angle. Will that affect this at all? And since it's a 55cm Top Tube (C-C) I'm assuming that I should get a "large" pump, is that correct? If I get that would it also fit on my 2015 Titanium Merlin Extralight (54cm -- top tube is actually 54.5cm -- C-C)
Basic review and true sizing information
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
This pump works as expected. It is mostly aluminum aside from the plastic handle and rubber around the nozzle. In this case, I think plastic and rubber are acceptable choices to dampen vibrations when each end is compressed against the bike's frame.
Now, for sizing...
Topeak's website provides two separate pieces of information for each pump size: a compatible frame size in text and what might be the physical length of the pump in a graphic (use my measurements for comparison). As an example, for the medium pump Topeak claims in text that the pump fits frames with top tubes ranging 19.3-21.3in (49-54cm) in length but provides a graphic showing a top tube length of 16.5-18.7in (42-47.5cm).
When mounting the pump beneath the top tube (as intended), the effective physical length of the medium pump ranges 16.9-18.9in (43-48cm); this 2in (5cm) range in length is made possible by a spring in the handle. I am guessing that the medium pump would remain securely suspended beneath the top tube compressed between the seat tube and the head tube without the need for the included velcro strap if the distance between the seat tube and the head tube is 17.3-18.5in (44-47cm). I believe 16.9-17.2in might be an unreasonably tight fit and 18.6-18.9in might be an unreasonably loose fit.
On a 2013 Specialized Sirrus with a 19.5in (49.5cm) top tube--which fits within Topeak's compatible frame size text for the medium pump--the medium pump is at a bare minimum (a loose fit) 0.6in (1.5cm) too small in length to suspend itself beneath the top tube firmly compressed between the seat tube and the head tube.
I do not know if the physical lengths of this pump's other sizes are also exactly 2.4in (6cm) smaller than the ranges listed in each of Topeak's corresponding sizing guides, but I will post additional information when I have it. The next pump size I am trying is small with the intention of placing it along a seat stay compressed between a chain stay and the seat tube.
this thing refuses to die
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This pump is perfect for long, multi-day rides and/or if youre like me and hate having to worry about co2. i know a few other people that have had this pump for years and it hasnt died on them yet. It is much more than a regular micro or even mini pump. Where i have always considered those to be a "just enough psi to get home" option, this will get you up and over 100psi and on your way to finish your ride. I dont use mine with the velcro strap as it refuses to budge over long gravel descents, on a roof rack while on the highway, or even bunny hopping cattle guards at speed.
Is there any testimony to exactly how long...
Is there any testimony to exactly how long each size pump is? I have a nashbar carbon frame and want to be able to fit this under my top tube, and the length between the two contact points, one being behind the headtube and the other on the seat tube just below the top tube, is roughly 47cm.
I believe the length on each is as follows:
Small - 17.1 Inches
Medium - 19 Inches
Large - 21.1 Inches
XL - 23 Inches
Fits 43-49 cm Frame Sizes (16.9"-19.3")
Fits 49-54 cm Frame Sizes (19.3"-21.3")
Fits 54-59 cm Frame Sizes (21.3"-23.2")
Fits 59-64 cm Frame Sizes (23.2"-25.25")
I think these sizing specs are not quite what I was looking for. I got the pump I ordered yesterday and found that the pump's handle has a spring inside and can be compressed over the physical chamber of the pump in order to expand and apply force to each side of the mounting area. The sizes when the spring is all the way compressed are listed on the package for the small as 375mm to 425mm, I may have the first number wrong because I am not near the pump. But regardless of this, the package indicates that the small pump does not extend past 425mm, whereas the measurements above say that the max for the small is 490mm. I think someone simply converted the frame sizes to inches.
Saved my life more than once
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This is a great pump for the value, Fits great on my specialized. I was carrying around a huge pump that would barely fit in my backpack for the longest time, I finally bought one of these bad boys to always have attached to my bike and it was definitely one of the better decisions I've made. I'd recommend to anyone who is a commuter, or just on the road for long spans of time.
Do you have an example on how this attaches...
Do you have an example on how this attaches to the frame? Could I get a smaller size than what my frame calls for with out issues?
You need some tension on the ends... there is a little bit of spring in the handle that allows for that. It isn't tight enough to hold without the strap, but combine them together and it is a solid mount. I wouldn't go small or you won't get a good fit.
Light, Durable, Capable
I have had this pump on my road bike for 10 years, used it countless times and it has never let me down. Dual settings help you get volume fast and then high pressure at the end. Stays out of the way and doesn't weigh much at all. I prefer this setup to CO2 because no matter how many times you flat you always have what you need!
Make sure you get the right size and it will fit tight and not rattle at all. I got 8 years out of the included strap before I had to replace it - no complaints though.