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Thread: SKS airchecker review

  1. #1

    Default SKS airchecker review




    I have always used my blackburn track pump to both pump up my tyres and monitor the pressure but because it features a small analogue gauge without too much detail precision was far from perfect. My normal routine consists of pumping up tyres slightly over a thin line marking 20psi with the next indication on the gauge being 30psi.

    Having said that, that is how i have setup my bikes pre riding for the past 1.5 years now and have grown accustomed to it. Recently trying to fill up a $100 wiggle order for free shipping i tacked on this little gadget. The packaging is minimal and so are the instructions. I found the operation of this unit fairly confusing. Whilst the on/off/bar/psi and led backlight was simple enough to figure out it took a fair bit of time to figure out how to actually measure the air.

    Like many pumps it is hard to figure out when you have a secure lock on the valve itself. I used to plug the unit in and get all sorts of weird readings from 7psi to 40psi etc etc and made the unit highly untrustworthy. It wasn't until recently that i realised that you basically have to push it down very firmly right down to the bottom for it to get the proper pressure reading and even if you do this sometimes you get some bogus reading from the unit not engaging the valve properly. However i would call this satisfactory. Not as good as 100% reading every time but certainly usable unlike the start.

    Once i realised how to operate the unit properly i was getting a few surprises. I pumped up my tyres as per normal and inserted the sks airchecker to check the pressure. What i thought was my normal operating pressure of around 20psi-25psi front-back turned out to be something closer to 32psi up front and 36psi in the rear!!?? Now i knew the gauge on the pump was inaccurate but i wasn't expecting this. This difference in perception and actual pressure is huge and sure to make a difference on any trail. The unit itself has a button which allows release of air from the valve without removing it but you do need to remove the unit and plug it back into the valve to reread the new pressure.

    I have now being on a couple of rides where the pressure is set correctly to my preferences and i can honestly say combined with tubeless and no fear of running lower pressure it has definitely provided a performance benefit. For people that are quite clinical with their bike setups and take pride in maximising performance this relatively cheap tool will take the guess work out of finding the right pressure for your riding and then maintaining that pressure for subsequent rides.


    Cliff notes :: A useful tool that has a few minor niggle but definitely worthwhile especially considering the cheap price.
    Last edited by Jing; 19-08-09 at 01:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Semi-Pro elim's Avatar
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    Sweet, bring it out next night ride :P
    life's short, ride hard

    Quote Originally Posted by noodleman View Post
    Jing contador!!!

  3. #3

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    Every air pressure gauge seems to be a bit fiddly to use. Even after i pump the tyres up i still like to use the old 'squeeze test'.

  4. #4

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    yeah i do the squeeze test too. I am also surprised what 20psi really feels like. Very soft.

  5. #5

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    Just curious, what makes you believe this new gauge is accurate?
    Last edited by keviny; 19-08-09 at 04:59 PM.

  6. #6

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    whether it is 100% accurate is most likely impossible. However i believe it to be more accurate than my 20-30 analogue gauge.

    Having said that pressure gauges aren't exactly the hardest thing to make *it just needs to be accurate* and i believe this digital gauge is exactly that. A simple device with a more informational output.

  7. #7
    Expert MrThanh's Avatar
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    the gauge on my topeak joe blow sport sucks. on every pump it gets stuck at around 50psi until you give it a few solid taps, then it sinks back down to the correct pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jing View Post
    yeah i do the squeeze test too. I am also surprised what 20psi really feels like. Very soft.
    that's what she said!
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  8. #8

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    Today my airchecker broke. I have really come to rely on this device over the past year or so and not having it felt weird in setting the tyre pressure as i had no idea apart from the squeeze test. Which differs between different tyres too.

    One word of advice. Keep your device out of direct sunlight as it doesn't take well to that. I would have preferred it to last a little longer than one year but ....

    Maybe an analogue version is best as you can then flush air out without taking the valve off and on everytime.

  9. #9
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    Nice review, thanks man. Good thing we got two of them
    Last edited by Ride True; 11-07-10 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Spelling..

  10. #10
    Pro Clifton's Avatar
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    Where can i get one of these? Tried checking wiggle.

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