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Old 03-31-14, 06:11 AM   #1
Tandem Tom
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Refining my tool kit-Tire gauge?

So as I am going through my spare parts kit and my tool kit I have a question. Do you carry a tire gauge or do you just do the pinch test? My Topeak Mountain Morph does not have a gauge like my Road Morph. But I have the Mountain Morph on the LHT because I am running 26" x 2" tires and I wanted the extra air volume when pumping up.
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Old 03-31-14, 07:09 AM   #2
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I don't carry a gauge. But my tires are rated 120 psi and believe me, I know when I'm pushing that much pressure in a frame pump!
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Old 06-24-14, 02:18 AM   #3
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I used to carry a Zefal gauge. But haven't in some time. I probably should again. The pinch test is supposedly notorious for being wildly inaccurate unless you validate your estimation with a gauge when at home. I do have a floor pump with gauge at home that the bikes are checked with before we ride locally. But on our world travels several years ago, I did get lazy about checking pressures with the pinch test, and paid the penalty with several snakebite flats, especially when encountering the quite steep and sharp crossings from road to path in Japan.
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Old 06-24-14, 07:03 AM   #4
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When I bought a road morph pump with gauge a number of years ago, I stopped carrying my old zefal gauge, but to be honest, the tiny window on the pump needs reading glasses to be read properly (if you are under 40 then ignore these old fart blatherings) so Im back to having the really light zefal gauge in with my repair kit. I wonder too how accurate the pump gauge is, it kinda "sticks" and then "pops" to a number, so its probably not that accurate.
As Rowan says, using the floor pump with gauge is what is nearly always used, but on the road, I find the easy to read, easy to take a pressure reading Zefal gauge still to be a useful tool.
Plus, I have it and it still works.
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Old 06-24-14, 07:56 AM   #5
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I too have the road morph but fortunately my eyes are still good enough to read the gauge. However, I don't think a gauge is necessary. I think my pinch test is plenty accurate for insuring that there is at least 60psi in my tires.
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Old 06-24-14, 08:13 AM   #6
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I think a combination of pinch test, the way the bike feels, and stopping by a bike shop now and again to say 'hi' and borrow a floor pump is more than enough.
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Old 06-24-14, 08:43 AM   #7
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for most riding, being close enough to a given pressure is good enough. I have found that when I experiment with pressures, its nice using an easy to read gauge (hand held or one on a floor pump) is nice when trying small changes of 5 or 10 psi that I personally cant realistically feel with my finger--meaning I can probably feel a 10psi diff but knowing what psi the tire is actually at first isnt something I can claim to be that accurate.
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Old 06-24-14, 09:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
So as I am going through my spare parts kit and my tool kit I have a question. Do you carry a tire gauge or do you just do the pinch test? My Topeak Mountain Morph does not have a gauge like my Road Morph. But I have the Mountain Morph on the LHT because I am running 26" x 2" tires and I wanted the extra air volume when pumping up.
FWIW, I own both a Road Morph (with gauge) and a Turbo Morph (= Mountain Morph + gauge). When I tested them both on my 700x35 touring tires, there wasn't a huge difference in the number of strokes or effort required to get the tires up to the recommended pressure. If my Turbo Morph ever breaks, and the gauge is fiddly enough that it will break eventually, I'll replace it with another Road Morph. While I've never done a test, the gauges on the Turbo Morph and Road Morph have never struck me as being particularly accurate: even when I'm using one of these pumps, I still do the "pinch test" to make sure the pressure feels like it's in the right ballpark.
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Old 06-24-14, 09:30 AM   #9
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I carried a Zefal made, plastic, dial P/V gage, in the past.. no in--pump gages then .

I used a long stroke frame fit pump.
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Old 06-24-14, 10:55 AM   #10
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Calibrate your thumb.
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Old 06-24-14, 11:30 AM   #11
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I used a Road Morph for a long time, until even kneeling down (on gravel! ouch!) and taking my glasses off wasn't enough to read the yellowed gauge. Then I got a new one and retired the old one to inside / finding leaks / repairing tubes / checking dried patch duty.

It helps if you can remember what your target pressure is in bars. I could usually remember from the first tire to the second. The bar gauge numbers are a bit larger.
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Old 06-24-14, 11:38 AM   #12
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It helps if you can remember what your target pressure is in bars. I could usually remember from the first tire to the second. The bar gauge numbers are a bit larger.
Of all the dumb stuff I can remember, for some reason I never remember what bar is what in pounds. As you say, would be great if I could as the bar numbers are easier to see.
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Old 06-24-14, 01:10 PM   #13
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G-Fu ... How many psi in 1 bar? The answer is 14.5037738007.
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Old 06-24-14, 10:20 PM   #14
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I have the Road Morph and wouldn't use anything else (unless something better came along that was either lighter or the same weight or did something snazzier) I like to know what I am putting in but also get a feel. I find though sometimes I might feel like things aren't to bad and then actually get a reading on them and they are low. However dealing with different tires and pressures working on different bikes I probably haven't gotten my feel calibrated.

The numbers on the in-line gauge are a touch small but you could potentially use a permanent marker at the proper pressure let it dry and then you will have it for next pumping. You can also go with the Turbo Morph which has a better gauge on it (even more similar to a floor pump)
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Old 06-24-14, 10:40 PM   #15
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You can also go with the Turbo Morph which has a better gauge on it (even more similar to a floor pump)
The Turbo Morph's gauge is only "more similar to a floor pump" if the gauge on your floor pump is impossible to read and completely inaccurate. Personally, I find the Road Morph gauge easier to read and somewhat accurate. I have Road Morphs attached to both my road bike and my touring bike. My Turbo Morph is currently gathering dust in a closet. The only time I use it is the few times/year when I ride my mountain bike. In theory, the Turbo Morph is the best match for the MTB's high-volume, low-pressure tires. The real reason I use the Turbo Morph on the MTB is that if I drop a pump in the woods, I want to make sure it isn't one of my Road Morphs
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Old 06-24-14, 11:38 PM   #16
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The Turbo Morph's gauge is only "more similar to a floor pump" if the gauge on your floor pump is impossible to read and completely inaccurate. Personally, I find the Road Morph gauge easier to read and somewhat accurate. I have Road Morphs attached to both my road bike and my touring bike. My Turbo Morph is currently gathering dust in a closet. The only time I use it is the few times/year when I ride my mountain bike. In theory, the Turbo Morph is the best match for the MTB's high-volume, low-pressure tires. The real reason I use the Turbo Morph on the MTB is that if I drop a pump in the woods, I want to make sure it isn't one of my Road Morphs
Ahh I haven't seen the inaccuracy problems but I don't own one. I just know I like my Road Morph and apparently so does everyone else I talk too who has one. However I probably couldn't justify buying two I would just get a second mount (which is my plan)
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Old 06-25-14, 11:30 AM   #17
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I just know I like my Road Morph and apparently so does everyone else I talk too who has one. However I probably couldn't justify buying two I would just get a second mount (which is my plan)
I figure any time I buy a new bike it'll cost at least $100 more than the sticker might indicate. Minimum of one blinky light for the back, patch kit, spare tube, saddle bag, and pump for each bike. Throw in another Brooks saddle and multi-tool and, well, maybe that's why N+1 has taken so long.
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Old 06-25-14, 11:51 AM   #18
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Refining my tool kit-Tire gauge?

I can still just read the gauge on my road morph, but I remember someone on here (staehp1?) dissassembling the gauge and marking it with a felt tipped pen to be easier to read.

I like having a gauge and top up every morning
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Old 09-09-14, 07:40 AM   #19
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Before, I am usually lazy in checking my tire's pressure; with that, I usually wait until I feel uneasiness in driving my bike before I go to the nearest shop to fix my tire pressure. Not until I already feel the need of having a tire gauge that I bought for myself a Digital Tire Gauge from Mountaincrest which I bought in amazon. I chose this because it has some tools added in it. Nothing's changed anyways except that I feel confident that my trip with my bike is always smooth and that I'm secured wherever I go. It really depends on your preference anyways.
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Old 09-09-14, 08:58 AM   #20
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I learned when I worked in a bike shop just how unreliable the thumb test is. Fill a tire several times a day to what feels like the right pressure, pull out the gauge and read how bad you are at estimating. If you can't calibrate your thumb in that setting, you are not going to do any better on the road.

I usually rely on my impossible to read Road Morph G or Lezyne Micro Floor pump gauges. Sometimes I have used a dial gauge for fatter tires that take lower pressures. The gauge I use is no longer made so I do not list the brand here. The low pressure tires need better precision than offered by some of the in-hose gauges.

I have a Toppeak electronic gauge, but I usually lose too much air in a test with that when I use it on a Presta valve, so rarely use it.

I usually remember bars and psi ok, when I get into trouble is when I use a pump with kg/cm^2, I can never remember that conversion factor so I have a cheat sheet taped to that bump with the pressures I need for different tires.

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Old 09-09-14, 03:53 PM   #21
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I use a Schwalbe digital tire gauge. Cheap, small, tough and works wonders, very precise.
Bought it when a I had a fatbike, in which single digit PSI differences matter, but now use it all the time
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Old 09-09-14, 04:04 PM   #22
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I use a Schwalbe digital tire gauge. Cheap, small, tough and works wonders, very precise.
Bought it when a I had a fatbike, in which single digit PSI differences matter, but now use it all the time
Concur. I use the Schwalbe gage exclusively.
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Old 09-09-14, 04:41 PM   #23
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Have one and carried it early on but no more. My touring bike can go a week or so without having to top off. I'll top off at bike shops, warmshowers hosts etc and most people have a gauge on their floor pump.
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Old 09-09-14, 05:12 PM   #24
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So as I am going through my spare parts kit and my tool kit I have a question. Do you carry a tire gauge or do you just do the pinch test?
I don't carry a gauge, but I find the pinch test useless. When I am on a smooth stretch of road I just look down at both tires and I want to see a small amount of deformation as they roll. That gives me a comfy and fast tire.
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Old 09-09-14, 07:54 PM   #25
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\

I have a Toppeak electronic gauge, but I usually lose too much air in a test with that when I use it on a Presta valve, so rarely use it.
I stop periodically at shops and use their floor pump to top off. I have a SKS digital gauge and I also lose too much air with presta valves to make it worth carrying. I can generally figure about 1 psi of pressure for each stroke of my pump.
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