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Today in receipt of a Topeak "Pressure-Rite Schrader Valve Adapter" to inflate my airspring fork, thinking it would work perfectly with my Topeak "JoeBlow Pro" floor pump. It doesn't work very well, as the pressure is not read at all accurately. Does anybody have experience using these two products, or similar? Or will I have to buy a specialist shock pump to accurately inflate my airspring fork?

Many thanks for any insights.

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Do not try to use a floor pump to inflate your shocks. Use a shock pump - "Use the right tool for the right job." What you're attempting to do is like trying to fill a water balloon from a fire hydrant. If I had ever attempted to use a floor pump to pressurize a fork in any of the shops I've worked in, I would have got slapped.

Your pressure will not read accurately because the volume of air you require is probably less than the total volume offered in one pump from you JoeBlow Pro. You need to add air in smaller increments at high pressure. Either buy a shock pump, borrow one from a friend, or get your LBS to pump up your fork for you.

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  • Thank you. You have communicated the message to me precisely and succinctly. – Shunyata Kharg Nov 21 '14 at 21:49
  • Or attempting to pressurize a fire hydrant with a garden hose? – Deleted User Nov 21 '14 at 21:50
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A floor pump like Joe Blow has a massive piston, and the problem I can see is not about reading the pressure, but actually pumping such small amounts of air for this to be accurate (although the manometer may also not be too precise...). Technically you can use this, but as you mentioned it will not be accurate and there's not much you can do about it.

You don't have to buy a specialist shock pump, however I'd recommend it. Hand pumps may be good enough, but you have to choose the right one, i.e. the one that can fit around the valve (there's often not much space around them), and that can stand high pressures, especially in case of rear shocks may be over 200psi (screw-on heads are preferable).

There are also three features that put a shock pump in advantage, based on my experience with a few:

  1. They are thin and it's easy to pump up accurately even very small air chambers.
  2. Most of these pumps have a button that allows to release small amounts of air if we pumped a bit too much.
  3. This button also prevents air from leaking from the valve while unscrewing the pump head.
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