Air pressure gauges are designed to ensure that the tires are kept at optimum pressures. This is part of keeping your bicycle in good working order.
There are a number of reasons for this, the first being wear. A tire running a too low a pressure will wear down more quickly than one at the correct pressure, and an over-pressured tire is at risk of bursting. Therefore you will need some sort of pressure gauge to measure the pressure of your tires. If you have air filled shock absorbers, you may wish to measure the pressure in these as well.
In order to help you select a pressure gauge you may wish to consider these questions:
- What type of valve do you have?
- What pressure ranges do you need to measure?
- Do you need any sort of memory function on the gauge?
- Do you want an analogue or digital gauge?
- Do you have size restrictions?
- Are you buying to a budget?
Once you have thought about these questions you will be in a position to look at pressure gauges from a more informed standpoint. However you may also wish to consider some of the aspects of pressure gauges that have been pointed out below.
Tips for Selecting the Best Air Pressure Gauge
Accuracy and Pressure Rating
The pressure rating will vary significantly between gauges. While many now will go up to 300 PSI as they are designed for both tire and shock pressure measurements, others are only rated up to 100 PSI as they are more designed for car tires and mountain bikes, which only need lower pressures. The accuracy of the gauge will mostly depend on the gauge display. On a dial gauge, or the traditional slide out gauge, you will be limited to an accuracy of about ±0.5 PSI as it is not possible to resolve any further than this due to the scale of the markings on the gauge. If you use a digital gauge, the accuracy will be reflected in the readout on the display. Some will display to the nearest 0.1 PSI, while others will only display to the nearest 1 PSI, reflecting the measurement accuracy.
Pressure gauges that are designed for cars will usually only have a Schrader nozzle on them as this is the standard type of valve found on all cars. These gauges can be used on car tires and also on mountain bike tires, if the scale goes up far enough. While the nozzle will fit on shocks, if they are high pressure shocks, the pressure will be far too high for the gauge, but for low pressure shocks they will be fine. Pressure gauges designed for bicycles will usually have two nozzle settings that will allow them to be used with both Schrader and Presta valves.
There are a number of features that a pressure gauge may have. The first is an air release valve that will allow you to fine tune the pressure in the tire by allow air to escape in a controlled manner. Analogue pressure gauges will also often have a maximum reading function so that you don’t have to try and read the pressure while the gauge is attached to the tire, and so therefore there will also be a reset button.
Many tire pumps will come with built-in pressure gauges, but these are often not particularly accurate and so separate pressure gauges should be used to check pressures before riding as cycling with the wrong pressure in tires can be inefficient at best, and dangerous at worst. Pressure gauges can be used to check bicycle tire pressures, car tire pressures and also shock pressures as well.
Ease of Use
Most air pressure gauges should be very easy to use as they either just press onto the valve, or screw onto the valve. The hardest thing to do is to ensure a good seal first time on press on connections as it is possible to lose significant amounts of air from a tire, particularly if it is a high pressure tire, in a very short space of time from a poor seal.
Value for Money
You can get cheap air pressure gauges for about $8, however these will be limited in the pressures they can measure and possibly also the valve type that they are compatible with. More capable pressure gauges will cost around $20 and the most expensive hand held bicycle tire pressure gauges will come in at about $30-$40. Overall, the mid-range tire gauges represent the best value for money, but if you have expensive road tires, or disc wheels, you may find the additional functionality is worth the extra money.
Check out Air Pressure Gauge Reviews
|Topeak D2 SmartGauge||A great compact gauge with a useful ‘reading-hold’ function. It is also quite accurate and allows little to no air to escape when making a measurement.|
|SKS Airchecker Airgauge||An easy to use, compact air pressure gauge. Can check pressures in tires with either Schrader or Presta valves. Not suitable to measure a high pressure (such is in bicycle shocks).|
|Topeak Shuttle Pressure Gauge||A great pressure gauge for measuring the full scale of pressures: from a low pressure mountain bike tires up to the high pressure bicycle shocks and forks.|
|Mid Atlantic Digital Pressure Gauge||This fair quality little pressure gauge is best to be used to measure lower pressure tires, such as car tires. it really doesn’t fit for bike maintenance, when measuring higher pressures is required.|
|Accutire Digital Tire Gauge||If you don’t have any bikes with high pressure shocks or Presta valves, then this gauge is a great buy, but if you have high pressure requirements you would be better off buying a different bicycle tire pressure gauge.|
|Tekton Digital Tire Gauge||A good value for money, useful air pressure gauge fitted for mountain bike tires. Cannot deal either with Presta valve tires or high pressure shocks.|
|Michelin Digital Tire Gauge||This device offers one of the easiest and fastest ways to obtain an accurate pressure reading.|
|TravelSafer Digital Tire Pressure Gauge||The Travel Safer digital tire pressure gauge is a no nonsense gauge that is easy to read too. There are a number of reasons why this one could be a good choice to take along.|
|Craftsman Programmable Digital Gauge||This easy to operate and easy to read Craftsman programmable digital gauge can save you the possible damage to your bike or car tires.|
|Antetek Tire Gauge||This Antetek tire gauge offers several features, such as LED display and sensor monitor. That make it a good option for those who commute frequently, or who bike often.|
|Accutrie MS-4350B Setpoint Tire Gauge||The easy to use and very accurate Accutrie MS-4350B tire gauge will help you avoid damaging a tire from over inflating, or from having a tire that it’s pressure is too low.|
|Schwalbe Airmax Pro Digital Pressure Gauge||The Schwalbe Airmax Pro digital pressure gauge is a handy unit that easily connects to any valve.|
Where To Buy Air Pressure Gauges?
If you are interested in buying air pressure gauges you are invited to visit these trusted online stores: