First Impressions: Topeak JoeBlow Twin Turbo Pump

As a self-admitted tire geek, I spend a fair amount of time swapping and inflating tires. And even though I have a small air compressor, I prefer floor pumps for their convenience and quiet operation. Note that I said pumps, as in plural. In addition to a high-volume pump for fat and plus tires, I also rely on a second, high-pressure pump for skinnier tires. Yes, it’s possible to use one pump for every type of tire, but that compromise usually translates into an absurd number of strokes for high-volume tires or a herculean effort for high-pressure rubber. But now, with the introduction of Topeak’s JoeBlow Twin Turbo floor pump ($199.95 MSRP), tire nerds can rely on a single floor pump for all their inflation needs.

One pump to rule them all?

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First Impressions: Xpedo SPRY Platform Pedals

Thanks to their adoption by mountain bikers, BMXers, and urban riders, flat pedals have enjoyed a major resurgence in popularity. Unlike those oldschool platform pedals, modern flats deliver vastly improved grip and performance that often rivals their clipless counterparts.  One key contributor to flat pedals’ performance is size. Bigger platforms offer additional support, which translates into better grip and more comfort. Unfortunately, bigger almost always means heavier. It’s not uncommon for a pair of MTB-style pedals to weigh 400 grams or more. To reduce the weight, manufacturers often scale down the platform size (reducing traction) or utilize exotic materials (increasing cost). But Taiwanese pedal giant Xpedo flips the script by offering weight-conscious riders an affordable option with the company’s $79 SPRY platform model.

With an actual weight of 270 grams (pair, stock pins), the SPRY is one of the lightest platform pedals available.

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First Impressions: Alpine Luddites Mini Frame Pack

Thanks to the bikepacking boom, hundreds of companies across the globe now crank out seatpacks, handlebar rolls, and top tube bags. And while nearly every bag maker offers the basics, finding a lightweight and compact pack designed to fit inside the top tube/seat tube junction proved more difficult than expected. Thankfully, John Campbell of Alpine Luddites was up to the task, and offered to turn my idea into reality.

The pack mounts securely with four Velcro straps.

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