I received this in the mail not too long ago, and finally got around to testing it out.
It’s a handy little unit, with a plastic silver finish accented by a hard rubber black gripping surface and a red rubber go button. The green lighted display was easy to read, and gives you the option of PSI, (0 to 150) BAR, and KPA. You just press the button to turn it on, and wait for it to zero. At this point, a few extra pushes gets you the different unit of measurement options. From there, whack it on the valve, make sure the air you sweated to get in there isn’t leaking out, and take a reading. Nothing to it. I tried it on threaded valves as well as the ultra lightweight ones from Torelli that have no threads or retaining nut. Same results.
Before I go further, I have to provide a little background. Since we built our tandem, I found out just how critical proper tire pressure can be. With two riders on board, we subject our rubber to some pretty extreme loads. So before we would head out, I used to give the tires a good squeeze. Very un-scientific. On the way to the trailhead, the first corner we hit made the tires squeal a bit like Starsky and Hutch during a chase. Er, their car, not them. So I would have to stop and add air, then continue.
Once in the bush, I would drop the pressure. And of course, air up for the ride home again. Yeah, I need an air compressor, not a tire gauge, but stay with me. I have a Park pump and a Silca in the bike shed, and a little Sigma strapped to the boom tube. 3 pumps, each with its own gauge. Go look up what Benjamin Franklin said about a man with two watches.
So, back to my review. I tried it on a few different tires, and compared it to the gauges on the pumps, which are all within a PSI or two of each other. It’s readings were consistent with what the pumps showed, so rather than get all scientific, I’ll just say that it’s accurate enough for me. Of course, this was in chilly Utah weather, your results may vary.
All in all, I’m happy with the performance. It’s supposed to measure tire pressure, and that’s what it does. Looks kinda cool too. But I had to make sure I wasn’t missing any critical testing criteria in my high tech front yard testing lab. So I checked online reviews of similar items, to see what complaints people had. Since it’s presta only, forget about using it on a shock. I don’t know why people even bothered. I’ve never owned a shock pump that didn’t have a hose and a reliable gauge, along with a pressure release button. The only complaint that I could find that seems to apply to all the other digital gauges is that there’s no quick reset. The Slime unit’s instructions state that you can take another reading, even if your last reading is still displayed. Chalk one up for Slime.
So is it worth the MSRP of $11.99? If you want to reliably and accurately measure tire pressure, it’s a good investment.
But let’s go one better. I’ve got another, still in the package, to give away. Yes, FREE! I just haven’t figured out how to determine who it should go to. All I ask in return is that you provide your own unbiased feedback once you get it. Maybe even pay it forward to someone else after a while. So let’s hear some suggestions.