The Topeak Tubi Master X is a handy tubeless tyre repair and inflation kit that can plug a hole and reinflate your tyre all in one go. With a premium design and CNC machined aluminium head and tool carrier, it should stand the test of time. However, it could do with a little refinement and a few key inclusions to help justify its expensive price tag.
Topeak offers a huge line-up of CO2 inflators and tubeless tyre repair kits in its Tubi Tools range, from simple plug carriers to fully integrated repair and inflation kits. The Tubi Master X is designed to enable you to plug a hole and reinflate a tyre all at once – though it also attaches to Presta and Schrader valves.
It comes with one 25g CO2 canister for £61.99, or without for £59.99, and has space for two. If you try carrying two 16g CO2 canisters, as I did, I’d highly recommend you wrap these in neoprene sleeves to prevent them from dropping out over rough surfaces – as I found out, the hard way.
The inflator head and storage bulb are made from CNC machined aluminium, and the quality of manufacture is excellent, with the inflator head, plug insertion tool and plug holder all connecting seamlessly and working as expected from day one.
Unlike most repair tools, the CO2 inflator comes attached to the tyre reamer (fork) via an airtight screw. Unscrew the alloy ‘bulb’ to reveal the tyre reamer, insert a plug into the end, screw your CO2 canister into the integrated nozzle, and plug your puncture and reinflate the tyre simultaneously.
To get the CO2 flowing all you need to do is press down on the regulator. The flow is easy to control, although the head and CO2 canister get cold – I'd recommend wrapping your glove around the canister.
If you're a fan of numbers, and of running your tyres at the right pressure, Topeak has included a list of optimum pressures for common tyre sizes alongside its recommended CO2 cartridge size. It's a neat inclusion to the instruction manual, and a table I'd suggest taking a picture of and saving as a favourite on your phone.
Unscrewing the alloy bulb not only reveals the tyre reamer but also the five plugs included in the kit, though I found it a bit of a struggle to get them out. The base of the bulb actually unscrews, too, making it easier to remove the plugs and get on with the repair. (Topeak doesn’t mention this in the instruction manual, which would be helpful.)
You can pick up a pack of 10 Topeak plugs for around a fiver (£6.99 rrp), or generic ones for slightly less.
Although the regulator for the inflator sticks out a fair bit, I didn't come across any issues with it accumulating mud or dirt, or taking in water, although we have had an unseasonably dry summer. It’s similar to the Tubi Master+ that Mike reviewed recently.
The CO2 cartridge engagement chamber also features a rubberised cap that does an excellent job of keeping mud, dirt and water out.
It’s generally a well-thought-out design that will have you back in the saddle in under two minutes.
> The 8 essentials to take with you when you use tubeless tyres
However, I can’t help but feel it's missing some key features that would add versatility. For example, a serrated knife would come in handy for cutting and trimming the plugs, and Topeak could include neoprene sleeves for the canisters, to protect your hands.
Mounts for a light and/or multi-tool mount wouldn’t go amiss either – if this is going to replace your saddle bag, it could do with offering the same abilities.
Talking of mounts, the Tubi Master X comes with a hard rubberised mount that holds a brake pad spacer and 6mm hex key. While the neoprene mount and Velcro straps (with rubberised backing) ensure a secure fitting on 'standard' round seatposts, if you have a D-shaped post or other non-round model – as found on a lot of cyclocross, road and gravel bikes these days – the Tubi Master X quickly becomes unstuck.
Although the Tubi Master X is a handy way of carrying a full tubeless puncture repair kit – and a neat alternative to a saddle bag – it's not a cheap way of going about it.
> 9 things they don’t tell you about tubeless tyres
It’s cheaper than the Tubi Master+ that Mike tested, and carries an additional CO2 canister, but as Mike pointed out in his review, a Dynaplug kit is £59.99, and you can buy tyre plugs and CO2 inflators individually for much less. The Vel CO2 Flow Regulator Head that George tested last year (read his review here), for example, is £20 at rrp (currently £18), I picked up a Lifeline dual head nozzle for £5 from Wiggle, and its tubeless repair kit is less than a fiver (and currently £2.99).
Overall, this is a simple and effective way to get you back in the saddle in just a couple of minutes. It’s not the best value, but you are getting an aesthetically pleasing product made from durable and precise CNC machined aluminium, complete with seatpost mount. If those things matter to you, it’s greater than the sum of its parts..
Simple and easy to use tubeless tyre repair and inflation kit, but a pricey solution
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Make and model: Topeak Tubi Master X
Size tested: 12.3x6x5.8cm
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 micro-sized tubeless tire repair and inflation kit featuring an advanced 2-in-1 CO2 injector head that repairs a puncture and inflates the tubeless tire in one step with massive air or can simply be used as a traditional CO2 inflator via the valve stem."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Topeak's UK distributor lists:
Advanced 2-in-1 CO2 inflator compatible with Presta and Schrader valves
Optional 1x 25g CO2 cartridge
Stainless steel 2-in-1 tyre reamer/ plug insertion tool
Disc pad spacer insert
5x 3.5mm x 5cm repair plugs
Frame/tube mounting bracket with adjustable nylon strap with space for up to 2 CO2 cartridges
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Durable, high quality CNC machined body and plug.
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Neat alternative to carrying it all in a saddle bag.
Rate the product for value:
Tyre plugs and CO2 inflators can be bought individually for much less.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Quick to set up and easy to use, and does everything it's been designed to do. I'm a big fan of the multi-discipline compatibility, although neoprene sleeves are definitely needed for the CO2 canisters.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Compact design and neat carry-all.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Incompatible with dropper posts and non-round seatposts. Also that it's hard to hold safely when inflating.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Cheaper than the Tubi Master+ that Mike tested recently, and carries an additional CO2 canister, but much more expensive than buying parts individually, such as the Vel CO2 Flow Regulator Head for £20, a Lifeline dual head nozzle for £5, and a Lifeline tubeless repair kit for £4.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, it was excellent.
Would you consider buying the product? No – it's expensive.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It takes a while to get set up, but overall it's a well-designed and manufactured piece of kit that could do with some minor refinements.
Age: 24 Height: 173 Weight: 72
I usually ride: BMC Teammachine SLR ONE My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding,
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