If I had a penny for every time I’ve checked the tyre pressures on a bike in the past 25 years I could easily retire. Why am I so obsessed with tyre pressures?
Editor’s Choice 2020
Checking your tyre pressures before every ride should be a ritual for every serious rider, but sooner or later your digital gauge is going to run out of battery and leave you playing a frustrating guessing game. Not so with the analogue Acc-Gauge, which never runs out of batteries because it doesn’t need any – better for your wallet and the environment. The large display reads out to within 0.5psi, and a bleed button on the side lets you fine-tune the pressure. Simple and effective.
Well, tyres and their associated pressures make such a massive difference to the ride quality of any bike that it’s of utmost importance to keep them consistent, especially when testing bikes. It’s why we fit the same control tyres to all of our test bikes at mbr.
I used digital gauges for years, but every so often the batteries would die and I’d be left guessing the tyre pressures from a less than accurate floor pump. Then I switched to the Efficient Velo Beedin’ gauge, my previous analog go-to. It’s built solid, like an American truck, so it will last a lifetime and is available in a variety of pressure ranges. At $88 plus shipping though, it isn’t cheap. Also, the gauge itself is pretty small, so not the easiest to read. The Accu-Gage is nothing like as solid, but it’s much cheaper, and with the 45mm display, you can easily get pressures accurate to 0.5psi. It has a handy bleed button for fine-tuning the pressure and it retains your last pressure reading – great when working on four bikes at once, or, if like me, your memory is fading as fast as your eyesight.
The Accu-Gage is also available in different pressure ranges, the most useful for mountain bikes being the 0-30psi option. If you typically run pressures over 22.5psi Accu-Gage recommends the 0-60psi gauge for utmost accuracy, the higher pressure rating also protects the gauge if, say, you take a reading after seating a tubeless tyre at a higher pressure than you’d typically run. Probably my favourite feature on the Accu-Gage, though, is the sound the needle makes when you take a reading, it always reminds me of inflating the tyres on my BMX at the petrol station when I was a kid.
Our gauge did stop working after a while, when sealant clogged the internals, but it’s not a difficult job to remove and clean inside the brass neck, and this fixed the problem.
In the digital age, it's nice to find analogue options still have their place. The simple, accurate and easy-to-read Accu-Gage is a must for every serious tweakers tool kit.