Topeak Joe Blow repair

My Topeak Joe Blow bicycle air pump stopped pumping air. Repair took about 30 minutes. That includes the time I spent eating a sandwich for lunch.

When an air pump stops pumping air, it’s generally because the rubber o-ring attached to the end of the plunger has worn out. If you can get at that o-ring and find the correct replacement part, repair should be pretty easy. Given that quality floor pumps run $40 and up these days, a little time spent in repair might be worth the effort for you. Plus, you can have fun getting your hands a little dirty!

There’s not much to disassembly on my specific model: the Joe Blow Sprint. You just need a 1¼ inch wrench to loosen the handle and a 4 mm hex key to remove the base from the bottom of the barrel.

Topeak Sprint air pump repair

Topeak Sprint air pump repair

Once you unscrew the caps and bolts, use a little elbow grease to remove all of the parts. Work over a clean surface to ensure you don’t lose any tiny parts.

Topeak Sprint air pump repair

Topeak Sprint air pump repair

For my pump, the o-ring is likely a little worn, but the real problem was beach sand in the bottom of the barrel! I cleaned the grit from the barrel, plunger and from the check valve at the bottom of the pump barrel, and lightly greased the o-ring.

air pump plunger o-ring

Regular automotive grease — including lithium grease — reduces the life of rubber and plastic parts. To ensure maximum life, you should use a silicone grease inside of air pumps. In real life, though, very few people actually use silicone grease in pumps.

If you need to replace the o-ring, some bike shops have air pump rebuild kits that include o-rings and other small, breakable parts such as springs and valves. You might also bring your old o-ring to the hardware store to find a match. Finally, you can purchase a rebuilt kit online for a little over $6 from Jenson USA.

Cheaper pumps may have the caps glued onto a plastic barrel. These are not easily repairable.


  1. I had a cheap floor pump where the head actually broke. Just the Presta side. I had it laying around the shop for about 2 years (I bought a replacement) and planned on fixing it, just never got around to it. I finally decided a floor pump might be nice to have at work, so I picked up a Topeak replacement hose and head and it fit just right. Plus the hose was nearly a foot longer than the original. Great writeup on the full disassembly. A few bucks is way better than paying full price, and although I did just that, I doubt I would have ever justified having a floor pump at work. I have to say I’m pretty glad it worked out for me!

  2. That’s pretty funny. After typing this up I disassembled 2 more pumps, an old frame pump and the brand new ‘replacement’ floor pump.

    Sent from my Googaw

  3. Your photos are great, better than anything else I can find. But how did you get the bottom off? You show a picture removing several screws. I have a slightly older model than yours, but everything looks identical so I think you could help me. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for this guide as the O ring had failed in my pump. I went to a local hardware store and was able to find an assortment of O rings. In case anyone needs to know the size of the O ring that worked for me, it is #18 which is 1 3/16″ OD x 15/16″ ID. Now my pump is back in action for under $1 in parts.

  5. I bought my 2007/02 Joe Blow Sprint rebuild kit from EBay seller for +/-30AUD, 01/2022. [N/A in AU due to our usual planned obsolescence measures.] It had learned that pneumatic handle trick referred to above, then abruptly failed – after all those years of weekly use! But I like it. Today I finally installed those parts – 1. O ring that seems too baggy cf. original [caked with grease and alu dust from barrel] 2. New adapters, bucket seals for twin head. Not a packet full of fiddly bits at all! Applied MX6 INOX grease [a local silicon substitute] to piston & seal after cleanup. Sadly it doesn’t develop pressure – suspect issue with transfer port and or relief valve. My pump plinth appears pressed on but may as well try removal.

  6. Thank you – your guide helped a lot.
    I took everything apart, removed the grease at the large O-ring, cleaned everything, added silicon grease (used for pedal O-rings and front fork suspension service) to the large O-ring and the small O-ring at the bottom spring.
    The pump works way better.

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