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Recommend A Good Tire Pressure Gauge?


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I have an Accu-Gage RA60X with the shock absorber and have had no issues. This was posted on another thread but if it is consistent, then accuracy can be tested and adjusted by knowing how much it is off. If it is inconsistent then it just junk.

 

On Amazon, there are good reviews for Joes Racing and Longacre. I know others who prefer digital gauges and the Accutire digital seems fairly popular. I would like to hear peoples results here though as I assume that is what you are looking for.

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So, Highly Accurate, and Inexpensive do not go hand in hand,

 

the real question is, how accurate do you need your tire pressure gauge to be, is accurate to +/- 1 PSI enough for you, 2 PSI ? 0.015 PSI ? If your gauge doesn't list it's accuracy, the generic accuracy for analog gauges is +/- 1 minor division on the gauge

 

The most important factor is that it be repeatable, even if your gauge is 3 PSI low as long as its always the same 3 PSI low you can consistently set your tires for the pressure you like.

 

Also once you have a decent Air Chuck, you can replace the gauge on top of it with any brand or quality of pressure gauge, like the swivel hose on your 20$ model but the gauge is junk ? replace the gauge with a more accurate one and your set.

 

 

Digital gauges which work off a transducer should generally last longer and be more accurate that analog one's with a Bordon tube in them, but over ranging them will result in damage regardless of the gauge style. Depending on the brand, digital gauges usually have a zero and span adjustment and can be calibrated multiple times to adjust for age, the only option for the majority of analog gauges is removal and adjustment of the needle.

 

 

and like ALL measurement equipment, it's only good if you have it calibrated periodically

 

 

Tyler

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the Joe's Racing gauge, too. Last time I was at the track, I got it compared against a gauge that a race school instructor was running in his paddock (also does tire and suspension work)... mine was off by 1 psi. So now, I simply subtract 1 psi from what the gauge reads.

 

It is pretty well built and gets the job done for not a lot of money.

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Cobie,

 

do you mean Pressure gauges in general ? or tire pressure gauges ?

 

 

I mean if you want high accuracy http://www.transcat.com/catalog/productdetail.aspx?itemnum=30-2089-SD-02L-60 is pretty much as accurate as your gonna get in a 3" form factor ( Accurate to +/- 0.03 PSI )

 

Middle of the road but still digital would be something like http://www.dwyer-inst.com/Product/Pressure/SinglePressure/Gages-Digital/SeriesDPGA-DPGW ( 50 psi model accurate to +/- 0.5 PSI )

 

or the super cheap option http://www.grainger.com/product/MILJOCO-Pressure-Gauge-6MRP6?functionCode=P2IDP2PCP ( accurate to +/- 1.2 PSI supposedly )

 

 

Again the real question I think is, How accurate do you need it to be, if 1-2 psi changes are unnoticeable by the average rider, do you need a gauge that's accurate to half a PSI ?

 

It all comes down to you get what you pay for, 12$ junk from china probably wont last, but it might, I've seen brand new Torque Wrenches from Snap ON that were out of spec, and beat up old Harbor Freight specials that were still dead on, it's not common, but it can happen. I'd still recommend a 300$ CDI over a Harbor Freight wrench any day though

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Hey Tyler, that is just what I was hoping for, a .5 lb difference seems ideal for the average rider/racer.

 

I have an old German gauge, don't recall the name, but supposedly if the pressure (barometric?) changes, a gauge will read differently, by adjusting the dial (obviously an old analog gauge).

 

Can you comment on this for the layman? The $65 gauge that you pointed out (looks good to me), does it allow for that, is it a factor, esplane 2 us por favor.

 

CF

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pretty much all digital gauges will come with a zero function, its mostly to compensate for drift in the transducer, but it can adjust for major changes in barometric pressure or changes in altitude, its quite common for large form factor test gauges to have a adjustable dial to allow you to do this as well, this is to ensure that the pressure inside whatever your measuring is relative to the actual atmospheric pressure outside it, but its not relevant to motorcycle tires so the short answer is no, its not a factor

 

While barometric pressure can vary a bit, so can changing elevation, its not a linear scale but I believe to start every 6500 ft of elevation drops the atmospheric pressure about 3 psi and that value tapers off the higher you go, compared to going from 28 to 31 on a barometer which is only about 1.4 PSI of difference in atmospheric pressure

 

its also good to understand the difference between PSIG and PSIA,

 

A PSIA gauge displays pressure relative to absolute vacuum while a PSIG gauge displays pressure relative to one atmosphere at sea level ( 14.7 PSI ), so when you put 30 PSI of air in your tire its 30 PSI more than atmospheric pressure at sea level, and 44.7 PSI more than a true vacuum, pretty much every pressure gauge your ever going to come across is going to be a PSIG gauge

 

This would all be very important if we were riding around on balloon's which will change size based on the atmospheric pressure and maintain a equilibrium between the elasticity of the balloon, the atmosphere around it, and the pressure inside it. However the carcass of a tire is a pretty hardy thing and its not depending on the atmospheric pressure to hold its shape or maintain that equilibrium, much like a pressurized airplane, the changes in atmospheric pressure wont be noticed on the inside of the tire, I'm sure with VERY precise equipment you could detect minor changes in tire pressure, but like comparing your tire pressures with the bike on stands ( no load on the tires ) and the bike on its wheels ( ~200 Lbs per tire ) this is a pretty insignificant factor

 

Make sense ?

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I think so, the added data was excellent, didn't know any of that.

 

Back to the simple part, looking for a good gauge for the layman to use at the track. If I follow you correctly, the digital gauge you recommend will handle the changes in altitude, and pressure no problem.

 

Now, next question: how durable are they? Should I have one and keep it at home in drawer and make sure it's not knocked about? Or can I take it to the track and expect it can handle light jostling around? Or are they more robust--could I drop it on the ground from a few feet up and still expect it to work?

 

CF

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Pressure gauges are designed to be used in industrial applications, so we're not exactly talking about your grandmothers fine bone china here. You can certainly expect it to withstand light jostling and minor bumps and drops, getting a protective rubber casing will improve the durability of the unit as well. Now that doesn't mean you can use it as a hammer or as a shim to level your trailer. The most common source of damage that affects functionality is the result of over pressurization. Digital gauges should be a little more resilient to this because a transducer isn't as susceptible to over pressure conditions as the Bordon tube in a analog gauge. But trying to test the air pressure in the tires of a 747 with your 50 psi motorcycle gauge will probably break it regardless of the brand or design,

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I picked up a MotoD tire pressure gauge at the track from one of the vendors. It was about $60 and it's a digital gauge. From what I understand from the guy selling it to me the internals are very similar to the more expensive motion pro digital gauge. I checked it against a known accurate gauge and it's pretty close + or - some error for the pressure escaping during tests. It's a cheapie but it's better than the one I bought from Cycle gear for $25. It's also better than double the price for the Motion Pro I had my eyes on.

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I'm liking the gauge that Tyler recommended more and more...

 

To answer the question, 1-2 lbs. I'm not sure I could tell 1 or even 2, but as the pressure goes up too high, I do notice traction goes down. My take is too high pressure just reduces the contact patch size, and doesn't allow the tire to conform as well. If I have a fast student, and I'm concerned I might check it mid-day, after the initial check in the am.

 

Too low, it'll squirm a bit too much, but we rarely seem to have this be the issue in reality.

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There are for sure guidelines from the tire guys...I think it was the amount of increase in pressure, but we should have a look and see if Steve already covered this point...anyone know?

 

CF

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A little on the lower side seems preferable to being on the higher side, per anecdotes.I have however not found concrete guidelines on how to choose pressures for the track.

You pretty much have to go to the manufacturers recommendation for track pressures, or ask the tire vendor (IF they are a track vendor / race supplier - if you ask at a regular shop they might only know street pressure recommendations.). Make sure you are getting track pressure not road riding pressures, and make sure you know if they are talking hot pressure (typically what you get for race tires) or cold pressure. Usually a google search for recommended track pressures for your model tire will turn up some recommendations.

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