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review

Topeak Tubi Master

7
£54.99

VERDICT:

7
10
A one-stop-shop tubeless repair kit for tyres over 38mm wide, though the price tag is daunting
Comprehensive kit
High quality
Reasonably light
Easy frame or seatpost attachment
Expensive
No CO2 canister included
Weight: 
90g

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The Topeak Tubi Master is a tubeless repair kit that ups the puncture fixing game. The frame-mounted kit comes with everything you might expect when repairing tubeless tyres, plus you get the convenience of a CO2 inflator and canister mount – bring your own CO2 canister, though. If you factor in the inclusion of an inflator in the lofty price tag, this comprehensive tubeless repair kit is worth a look.

At £54.99, Topeak's range-topping Tubi Master is one of the most expensive tubeless repair kits I've ever come across, and it doesn't even come with a CO2 canister... That's a bit cheeky, if you ask me.

> Find your nearest dealer here

So what do you get in the kit? As with the Tubi Pod X I've also been testing, the kit is made to be mounted to your frame via a Velcro strap that keeps it held firmly in place. Its footprint is a little bigger than the Pod X, and it's heavier too – more on that in a bit.

You get an insertion tool inside one end of the left-hand pod, and in the opposite end you'll find the repair plugs. The insertion tool has a removable cap, which simply pulls off, while the repair plugs are protected by a screw-on cap – both are watertight thanks to o-rings that seal them from the elements.

2021 Topeak Tubi Master - parts 3.jpg

The left-hand pod is made of aluminium and feels like it could take a licking – I certainly didn't notice any degradation of the exterior finish during testing. Both ends feature a knurled grip to make them easy to hold.

Unlike the Pod X, which comes with five 3.5mm x 10cm plugs, there are only four here, and in a bid to save space they're just half the length of the X's. So, in effect you're only getting two full-length plugs by comparison.

2021 Topeak Tubi Master - parts 2.jpg

As I mentioned in that review (and in the review of the more basic Pod kit) you don't need to use the full length anyway; the shorter plugs in the Master are perfectly adequate for repairs.

You also get a retainer plug built into the neck of the insertion tool handle (shown here still with the cap on). When you've inserted both the tool and plug inside the tyre, simply unscrew this plug to hold the excess repair plug in place, allowing you to focus on removing the tool without pulling the plug out.

2021 Topeak Tubi Master - parts 4.jpg

I spoke of this before with the Pod X, and I'm still only mildly convinced of its effectiveness versus using your fingers, but it's a nice touch anyway.

The one thing you don't get with the Master is an air plug. Both the cheaper Pod and Pod X include one, but since I consider it a pretty superfluous tool, I'm happy that it hasn't been included.

The kit comes with a knife for trimming plug ends, and just like the Pod X this is held in the centre of the mount – just slot it in to fix it in place. It's held very securely and didn't come loose at any point during testing. Echoing my thoughts with the Pod X's knife, the Master's isn't particularly sharp, so it takes quite a bit of work to get through the end of a plug. You also need to be careful not to pull the plug out as you're doing so.

2021 Topeak Tubi Master - parts 1.jpg

It differs slightly from the Pod X by not only being a bit bigger, but by having a handle built in – you don't need to swap the insertion tool out like you have to with the Pod X. Sure, it's not quite as neat a solution, but it'll probably save you a bit of time during a repair.

Most notable in the Master variant of the Tubi lineup is the inclusion of a CO2 inflator and cartridge mount, which is held in the right-hand side of the mount. It's made of CNC aluminium and feels rock solid. The Master comes with a cartridge blank that you simply replace with a working cartridge and screw into the inflator to hold it in place on its ring mount.

2021 Topeak Tubi Master - parts 5.jpg

Using the inflator is incredibly easy – when the time comes, you simply remove the inflator and cartridge from the mount, screw it in fully and insert it onto the valve (it works with Presta or Schrader). Then push down on the head to activate the cartridge.

The nice thing about the design of Topeak's inflator versus the screw-on types that need to be turned on, is that the cartridge only works when you push it onto the valve, so there's no chance of accidentally spending a cartridge if you've left the valve open.

> Tubeless tyres: 14 hidden pitfalls you should try to avoid

The Master's overall weight of 90g isn't especially light, but when you consider you get a CO2 inflator included in that – which typically come in at about 30g – it's certainly competitive with similar kits. The Birzman Tubeless Repair Kit, for example, is 44g without an inflator, and you're looking at a pretty basic kit, by comparison.

I tried all three of Topeak's Tubi repair kits at the same time, the Pod, Pod X and this, the Master, and they all work pretty similarly. There are minor differences in the size of the tools (the single Pod is the chunkiest), with the Pod X and Master having slightly longer tools – that makes it easier to insert a plug without the handle butting against the tyre.

As I mentioned in the reviews of the Pod and Pod X, Topeak appears to have designed its range to work best with mountain bike tyres (even the product shots demonstrate the kits in use on a mountain bike tyre). The Master's inflation tool is 'small size for road bike' according to Topeak, but although it's a little smaller than that in the other two kits, and it'll work with a 28mm road tyre at a push, it's far from ideal. It's better with gravel tyres over 38mm.

2021 Topeak Tubi Master trio.jpg

In testing, the repair plug sealed a puncture from a 4mm screw, but nothing more. You might get better results from larger punctures on a mountain bike tyre, but I doubt it – the 3.5mm thick plug would suggest a puncture about 3-3.5mm is where it's most effective.

Value

It's not a cheap option, but if you factor in the inflator that comes with the Tubi Master, it doesn't compare that badly against some of the more premium offerings. The Dynaplug Racer tubeless repair kit is now £37.99 and doesn't come with an inflator. Nor does Muc-Off's Stealth tubeless puncture repair kit, though that's £30 – and does double duty as your bar end plugs. 

Topeak's own mid-range Tubi Pod X does everything the Master does, and more, sans inflator and cartridge holder, for £36.99.

At the complete opposite end of the scale, if you want the most repair kit for your money, you could look at something like the Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tire Repair Kit at a mere £5.99; you could then use the money saved not buying the Tubi Master kit to get yourself a decent CO2 inflator, some spare cartridges, and maybe a case to store it in.

Overall

If you want a high-quality tubeless repair kit to work with your fleet of bikes, then the Tubi Master is a good one-size-fits-all solution, but it's expensive, and personally I would rather use something more bijou (and lighter) for road riding.

It's worth noting that Topeak lists a version of the Tubi Master that comes with Topeak's own CO2 cartridge. At the time of writing I couldn't find it for sale, and given that you've probably already got cartridges, you're better off just purchasing it without.

Verdict

A one-stop-shop tubeless repair kit for tyres over 38mm wide, though the price tag is daunting

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Topeak Tubi Master

Size tested: compatible with both 16 gram and 25 gram threaded canisters.

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Topeak says, "A complete tubeless tire repair / CO2 inflation kit consisting of tubeless repair tools with four tire plugs stored inside a machined pod and a Micro AirBooster CO2 inflator head secured to a mounting module that can be strapped to a frame tube or seatpost."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Topeak lists:

TOOLS Micro AirBooster CO2 inflator, one dummy CO2 cartridge, stainless steel 2-in-1 tire reamer / plug insertion tool (small size for road bike), stainless steel knife

INFLATOR HEAD MATERIAL CNC aluminum

POD MATERIAL Aluminum

ATTACHMENT Adjustable nylon strap

MOUNT Bike frame, tubes

ADDED FEATURES Tool stop, repair plug compartment, mount module, and 4 pieces of 3.5mm x 5cm tire repair plugs included.

SIZE 13 x 5.4 x 2.85 cm / 5.1 x 2.1 x 1.1in

WEIGHT 90 g / 3.17 oz

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Excellent build quality.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

No complaints – everything is easy to use and effective at repairing punctures up to 4mm, though the knife could be sharper.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Looks built to last. I'd be interested to know how external parts, the inflator and knife specifically, would fare after a couple of harsh winters.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

Given everything you get in this kit, 90g isn't an unreasonable weight.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

It's not cheap, but factor in the cost of an inflator and it's on a par with kits around the £35-30 mark, maybe just a little pricey. I'd say you get more for your money than other premium kits.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Fixes punctures up to 4mm. Works better with mountain bike and gravel tyres rather than road tyres.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The CO2 inflator is very easy to use.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The knife isn't very sharp.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's not a cheap option, but if you factor in the inflator that comes with the Tubi Master, it doesn't compare that badly against some of the more premium offerings. The Dynaplug Racer tubeless repair kit is now £37.99, with no inflator. Muc-Off's Stealth tubeless puncture repair kit is also without an inflator, though that's £30 (and does double duty as your bar end plugs). Topeak's own mid-range Tubi Pod X does everything the Master does, and more, sans inflator and cartridge holder, for £36.99. At the complete opposite end of the scale, Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tire Repair Kit is a mere £5.99.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Only if I rode as much mountain bike and gravel as I do road.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

Taking into account the price, the Master gets a 7 for good. It's not a cheap option, but the kit is very comprehensive and the design cleverly thought out.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 6'4  Weight: 175lbs

I usually ride: Steel audax bike  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,

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