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Pressure gauge?

Old 12-22-22, 09:02 AM
  #1  
staehpj1
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Pressure gauge?

On tour I have often relied on a thumb and forefinger to gauge tire pressure. My arthritis has made that a useless check. Gauges on most pumps are too hard for my aging eyes. So I am thinking I may need to start carrying a stand alone gauge on tour. At home I use a prestaflator on my compressor or sometimes a floor pump with a nice big integral gauge.

So, what stand alone gauges do you like?
  • I figure that a nice big display is a must
  • Accuracy is nice, but not as important as consistancy.
  • It is a plus if there is little to almost no loss of air when taking a reading
  • It is a plus if there is a button to bleed down to a given pressure.
  • I really only need presta. Schrader not a priority. A dual function gauge okay if it doesn't detract from best function as a presta guage.
  • I don't really see digital as a plus unless it is a lot easier on the eyes. I'd just as soon avoid the need for a battery. An analog dial is fine if easy to read.
Maybe some of my concerns would be addressed if I stopped putting off getting a long overdue eye exam. I probably need a new prescription, if not cararact surgery.
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Old 12-22-22, 09:29 AM
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gauvins
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TBH, I don't care that much about pressure.
  1. Before I ride, I'll lean on the bike and eyeball the tire width and will add air if it seems excessive.
  2. When I pump, i'll keep going at it until pressure makes it difficult (for me). I ride on 2.1". My pump is high capacity (100cc). I get fed up at +- 40psi. Which is OK.
  3. I had a digitial Topeak. Lost it (I think) and no tears -- I prefer a pencil gauge. Pro-bike 0-40 psi (no longer available, it seems) does the job. Looks like Park Tools sells some.
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Old 12-22-22, 09:37 AM
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rumrunn6
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fwiw - I carry extra over-the-counter eyeglasses on my bike & in my car, in case I have to look at something small, close-up, like tire pressure & tread depth gauges
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Old 12-22-22, 09:44 AM
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You could go either to:

Topeak SmartGauge D2

or get a Road Morph pump with built in gauge or a cheap pencil gauge
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Old 12-22-22, 10:05 AM
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40 psi is plenty for fatter tires, and you don't need a gauge for that. 😉
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Old 12-22-22, 10:07 AM
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Road Morph gage is a little small for my old eyes. I get by with it though. I never remember to bring readers on tour for some reason.
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Old 12-22-22, 01:09 PM
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I use reading glasses to read my pressure gauge on my Lezyne Micro Floor Drive pump when touring.

Presta, I have a PR160BX. It is an iterative process, if I do not unscrew the little threaded piece on the Presta valve stem enough, it does not take a reading. If I unscrew it too much, I lose too much air in taking a reading. Thus, I unscrew it a bit, and try it, unscrew a bit more and try it, and keep doing that until I get a reading. Thus, not that convenient.
https://www.ghmeiser.com/product-cat...icycle-gauges/

I have a digital Toppeak gauge, I do not like it for Presta, lose too much air. But it works well with shrader.

Of these choices, I like the reading glasses best.

Photo compares the Road Morph G gauge and Lezyne gauge. Both equally hard to read.



Above photo from an old post:
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...l#post18521373
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Old 12-22-22, 01:12 PM
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I have an older Topeak pressure gauge. If I were getting another one, I'd look at Meiser Accu-Gage Presta Valve Dial Gauge Excel Sports | Shop Online From Boulder Colorado

Road Morph is a great pump. The gauge is problematic for my old eyes. Reading it requires getting down on my hands and knees and looking through the "reading" portion of my glasses, or getting help holding the bike to lift the wheel up close to eye level. And the gauge itself discolors after some number of years, making it even harder to read.

MHO, FWIW, is that an electronic gauge in my saddle pouch will probably not have a functional battery when I need to read the tire pressure. Ergo, I'll steer clear of those.

If you want a pencil gauge, how about a Shrader-Presta adapter with that pencil gauge?
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Old 12-22-22, 01:39 PM
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I have two Zefal Twin Graph analog gauges, under 20 bux each. One's 20 years old, one almost new, and they read exactly the same. They're a little hard to read but have been completely reliable.
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Old 12-22-22, 03:07 PM
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The topeak that is integral on some of their pumps is one that I have used and found hard to read even when my eyes were better as well as kind of inconsistent in readings on the one I had. I think maybe the standalone that I had that I kind of liked was a presta only zefal. It may be around somewhere if I can find it.

It holds the reading so you can take it to your eye and good light to read unlike the ones on some pumps
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Old 12-22-22, 03:49 PM
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Charles Lathe
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The Schwalbe pressure gage doesn’t have the bleed down function, and it needs a battery, and it is digital, but it’s what I carry. I don’t know how long the battery lasts because it hasn’t stopped working yet. It’s not very small, but it is light.

For what it’s worth, I pump my 50-559 tires to 35 psi and then leave them alone until they get down to between 25 and 30 psi. I didn’t know anyone made a pencil gage for presta valves.

Edit: Oh yeah, the gage holds the pressure so I can get a clear view of the reading.

Last edited by Charles Lathe; 12-23-22 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 12-22-22, 05:39 PM
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79pmooney
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Originally Posted by Charles Lathe
The Schwalbe pressure gage doesnít have the bleed down function, and it needs a battery, and it is digital, but itís what I carry. I donít know how long the battery lasts because it hasnít stopped working yet. Itís not very small, but it is light.

For what itís worth, I pump my 50-559 tires to 35 psi and then leave them alone until they get down to between 25 and 30 psi. I didnít know anyone made a pencil gage for presta valves.
I've got a Cycle Gauge, Made in England presta pencil gauge in front of me that I've had 45 years and didn't get new. Pretty worthless as a gauge for either accuracy or poor eyes but the presta pencil gauge is not a new concept. (Mine probably needed an overhaul when I got it. Well, maybe someday when the thumb and finger stop working.)
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Old 12-22-22, 07:13 PM
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I like my (Presta) Accu-Gage. Well made, no batteries, easy to read, with a simple reliable button to bleed off air to get down to desired pressure.
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Old 12-22-22, 07:37 PM
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If you're going to be carrying a power bank anyway to keep a phone or other e-stuff charged up, the little inexpensive battery powered pumps that also can serve as powerbanks are pretty cool, like this one on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Infl...motive&sr=1-31
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Old 12-22-22, 11:03 PM
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Pete, that's exactly what I use on tour, the old Zefal Presta only gauge. It's lightweight and consistent without discharging much air when used. I have a better model that I keep at home but would never take on tour as it is heavier and has a glass casing.
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Old 12-23-22, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by robow
Pete, that's exactly what I use on tour, the old Zefal Presta only gauge. It's lightweight and consistent without discharging much air when used. I have a better model that I keep at home but would never take on tour as it is heavier and has a glass casing.
Thanks. If I can find it I may use it again on my next tour. At home the prestaflator on my shop compressor is hard to beat.
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Old 12-24-22, 01:35 PM
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On the road, I've always just kept somewhere between 'pinch flat' and 'can't pump it any higher'. In the modern era, I see posts about riders determining that their Vulcanizer CumuloNimbus tires in the 39.3mm width give the optimum rolling resistance and comfort at 4.91 bar. Hmph. I'm not going to dismiss that; they might be onto something. Learn, adapt, grow.

At home, I have a big brass industrial gauge fitted to a tire chuck. The decades have erased how the gauge came into my possession, no idea about its calibration these days.

For you farsighted ones, I see there's a "Talking Tire Pressure Gauge" (Schrader). Kinda old tech these days, I guess; there's wireless Bluetooth tire pressure monitoring for bicycles now.

https://www.airsistant.com/

In Old Man on a Bicycle, author Don Petterson relates that rather than bring along a tire pressure gauge, he stopped by bike shops every two days or so on his USA transcon to have his tires pumped up to optimum.
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Old 12-26-22, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by robow
Pete, that's exactly what I use on tour, the old Zefal Presta only gauge. It's lightweight and consistent without discharging much air when used. I have a better model that I keep at home but would never take on tour as it is heavier and has a glass casing.
Me too, the old zefal one is light, compact and has always been good for going on easily and not losing much air.
Don't know if other light ones have a bleed off button, but I favor light and compact over that.

I have a heavier metal and glass one that reads only 0-15 psi that I use for fatbike, but find those types too heavy for touring.

Hope you get some recommendations, or find other options.
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Old 12-26-22, 02:26 PM
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Fat tires, ~50mm, which I tour on, are pretty forgiving over a wide range of inflation. Since my arthritis, too, has made the pinch test less reliable, I just put the bike on a nice, smooth, level spot and lean over it, letting my weight rest on the saddle (or seat on older bikes) and eyeball the bulge on the rear tire.
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Old 12-27-22, 03:19 PM
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Though knowing your tire pressure may not be welcomed by all, for those who feel they can obtain an accurate reading by simply squeezing the tire, you're a far better man than I. When I've played the game of squeeze, guess the psi, then take a reading, I almost always guess much higher than it actually is.
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Old 12-27-22, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by robow
Though knowing your tire pressure may not be welcomed by all, for those who feel they can obtain an accurate reading by simply squeezing the tire, you're a far better man than I. When I've played the game of squeeze, guess the psi, then take a reading, I almost always guess much higher than it actually is.
I'd be the first to admit that at best I could say the pressure is "at least" some value and never be able to exactly say what the pressure was or if it was over a little. How well I could gauge would depend on the tire size, the desired pressure and how supple the tire is. The stiff not so supple sidewall on something like a Marathon Plus makes it harder to judge than on a tire with a thin supple sidewall.

When riding every day, if I pump my MTB tires to 30 psi front and 35 psi back and give them a squeeze every morning I notice how much each is dropping in pressure pretty well if my arthritis is in check. I rhink the daily checking of the same tires is part of what keep one calibrated enough to notice the difference. Checking tem once a month of checking some other tire would be less accurate. These days it flares up too much and too often to rely much on a pinch test though.

As long as my arthritis isn't too bad on a given day I can tell well enough whether it will be a problem when I get to the rooted singletrack where the rim will bottom out if the pressure is much lower than optimum. I can't say how many pounds low it is with much accuracy though.

On tour with some tire/pump combos it is easy to get the right pressure by how much effort it is to pump the tires. That isn't always the case, but sometimes it is. If you know for example that all your pump can manage is the exact pressure you need a guage becomes kind of moot. Sometimes it might be possible to feel the level of effort to get a given pressure if you know the pump well. Kind of like how many mechanics know what many specific torques feel like without a torque wrench. On the other hand some pumps are really easy to get pressures greater than you need and others may be inconsistent.
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Old 12-27-22, 06:58 PM
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I've had a Topeak digital gauge since my first tour 17 years ago. At the time I got it because I didn't have a gauge on my pump and I'd learned not to trust my 'feel' for pressure on the Schwalbes I was using. Even though I now have a pump with a built in gauge I find it's a bit crude and still carry the Topeak. I check tyre pressure every morning before hitting the road and I reckon it's saved me quite a few punctures. The 1.75 Schwalbes need to be between 45 and 75 psi, and I generally keep them between 50 and 65.
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Old 12-28-22, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by robow
Though knowing your tire pressure may not be welcomed by all, for those who feel they can obtain an accurate reading by simply squeezing the tire, you're a far better man than I. When I've played the game of squeeze, guess the psi, then take a reading, I almost always guess much higher than it actually is.
Several times a day I would guess what the pressure was with my thumb when I worked at the bike shop, then used a gauge to see if I was even close. After a few months where my guesses were not getting any better, I was convinced that my thumb totally lacked calibration and I should never attempt it again. And I still don't.
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Old 12-28-22, 05:51 PM
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There have been times when from repeated daily squeezing, I have improved, and for winter commuting (45mm) and fat bike use (4in), my "squish tires down from leaning on bike" give me a pretty good ballpark for better traction on soft surfaces, but I do have to do it regularly to have a better idea of what feels right.

If not regularly, I loose my finger sort of calibration quite quickly.

Last edited by djb; 12-28-22 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 12-28-22, 05:54 PM
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One of my pumps for home use (not for touring) is so old that it uses kg/cm^2 for units. Nobody has used that for decades.

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