Just how important is it to set your tyres to the right pressure? According to Wil, it is VERY important, and it can make a huge difference to how your bike rides on the trail. In a quest to find the best tool for the job, Wil and the gang have tested out six different tyre pressure gauges. First up is the Bleedin’ Gauge from EVT.
This lovely piece of steampunk engineering comes from a small company based in Portland, Oregon, which you’ve probably never heard of before. Efficient Velo Tools, or EVT, prides itself on offering a range of very specialised products, including beautiful inflator heads for air compressors, a trick derailleur hanger alignment tool, and a nifty repair stand that uses a counter balancing mechanism to provide lifting assistance for busy shop mechanics.
A number of years ago, EVT released its first standalone pressure gauge called the Bleedin’ Gauge. With its large analogue display, brass fitting and CNC machined alloy body, this isn’t just the most expensive gauge I’ve ever used, it’s also the most beautifully manufactured too.
Unlike other gauges that straddle a huge range of operating pressures, the Bleedin’ Gauge comes in five specific options for you to choose from including 0-15 psi, 0-30 psi, 0-60 psi, 0-100 psi, and 0-160 psi. According to EVT, the gauge is most accurate in the middle of its range, so the idea is to select the one that covers the range you’ll be using most. In my case, I went for the 0-30psi gauge.
Though this is fine if you’re only measuring tyre pressure on your mountain bike, it does mean (in theory) that you’d have to buy a secondary gauge if you also own a road bike and want to monitor tyre pressure for that too. Yes, you could use the 0-100 psi gauge with a mountain bike tyre, but the analogue dial becomes harder to read for those smaller pressure changes around the 15-25 psi range.
On the side of the Bleedin’ Gauge is a threaded valve, which you slowly unwind to gently release air pressure from the tyre. The idea is to inflate high, push the Bleedin’ Gauge onto your tyre valve, then modulate the pressure with the gauge until you get your ‘just right’ setting. The 0-30 psi dial is sufficiently big enough to identify a 0.25 psi change in pressure, which will appeal to the extra finicky.
It’s a solid little gauge weighing in at 130g, but it does feel wondrously high quality. It’s also the only gauge on test that is properly rebuildable. You can buy a replacement dial if something should happen to yours, and unwinding the threaded red alloy cap reveals a simple urethane pump washer, which EVT also sells as a spare part. Deeper inside is a cotton filter that prevents sealant from gunking up the dial. A good ol’ cotton bud is all you need to replace the filter.
A solid and extremely high quality pressure gauge that is made for those who appreciate the finer, and more analogue-y things in life. It is expensive, but it’s also beautifully made and an absolute joy to use.
|From:||Efficient Velo Tools, efficientvelo.com|
|Tested:||by Wil Barrett for 6 months|
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And it’s not digital, so thanks, but no thanks. Love using digital gauges to appease my OCD.