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Best inflator for air compressor?

Old 05-17-21, 09:35 AM
  #1  
speedyspaghetti
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Best inflator for air compressor?

Hey guys -

So I finally pulled the trigger on an air compressor for inflating tubeless tires, blowing dust out of parts, etc. Now I need to pick an inflator.

There's the Park Tool INF-2 which is super expensive, there's the Prestaflator in either "eco" or "pro" design for $50 or $70, and there's a bunch of Amazon ones with good reviews of questionable authenticity.

Which would you guys go for / do you have experience with any of these?

Thanks!
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Old 05-17-21, 10:51 AM
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For the best, I would highly recommend the EVT 3-in-1 over the Park. If you are on more of a budget, the "Bam-bam" from EVT comes without a gauge for $122. The only thing that will break on the EVT is the gauge, which is standard and replaceable.

I have not used the prestaflator, so I cannot speak to the build quality vs EVT or Park. You definitely need an air-gun attachment because you need a valve for a presta-based system. I would not get a no-name something on Amazon with a digital gauge.

Is the EVT overkill? Probably, but it is a joy to use and will last longer than me.
Here is a write-up of the EVT, as well as his budget pick (in the comments) for the Pretaflator. https://cyclingtips.com/2020/07/ct-t...tool-and-more/
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Old 05-17-21, 07:46 PM
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I have used the Park inflator a lot, we have them all over the shop and they are fine. The EVT of course is nicer and I would recommend that always but the Park inflator seems easier to use quickly but at home I would probably do EVT.

Prestacycle isn't that great but better than whatever knockoff crap Bezos is peddling.
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Old 05-17-21, 09:19 PM
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I was going to suggest EVT also but others beat me to it.
Brett Flemming is local to me and a genuinely nice person.

Efficient Velo Tools (EVT)
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Old 05-18-21, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I have used the Park inflator a lot, we have them all over the shop and they are fine. The EVT of course is nicer and I would recommend that always but the Park inflator seems easier to use quickly but at home I would probably do EVT.

Prestacycle isn't that great but better than whatever knockoff crap Bezos is peddling.
I used the Prestaflator for years before I finally splurged and bought the Park INF-2 inflator, which I like a lot. The Park is a little big and clumsy for my personal aesthetics, but it does the job well. Its made of cast aluminum, which is most-likely cast pot-metal of some kind. Its heavy. No doubt, if I dropped it on the hard concrete floor of my shop, it would probably crack. If I dropped it on my toe, it would probably hurt like mad.

I've never tried the EVT, but I fail to see where a bunch of cobbed-together brass pipe fittings and a cheap gage is worth $170. The Park inflator is up there in price too. At $135 it will definitely put you info cheeseburger-deprivation mode.

I am sure that if given the chance to use the EVT, that I would like it. I just think its overpriced for what actually went into its construction and design. In the world of manufacturing, high prices are commanded from singular designs, which are then manufactured, not from items which are merely assembled from a selection of previously-manufactured components. With the exception of the inflator chuck, it would appear that after a trip to the hardware store, you could assemble your own EVT. Like I said, its not the unit itself that turns me off, its the price. For what you see there, it should be under $90, and that's just my personal opinion.

One tip that I like to pass along is this: If you get a new presta chuck of any kind, a quick shot of silicone spray into the chuck head will help ease it onto the valve. It just makes it easier to slip on and off.
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Old 05-18-21, 05:59 AM
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I have a cheap HF inflator with a presta adapter. Definitely don't get one of those. I also have the Park. I like the swivel head and the bleed-off valve, so I'd still get it over the EVT.
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Old 05-18-21, 10:15 AM
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[QUOTE=speedyspaghetti;22063209]Hey guys -

So I finally pulled the trigger on an air compressor for inflating tubeless tires, blowing dust out of parts, etc. Now I need to pick an inflator.

There's the Park Tool INF-2 which is super expensive, there's the Prestaflator in either "eco" or "pro" design for $50 or $70, and there's a bunch of Amazon ones with good reviews of questionable authenticity.

Which would you guys go for / do you have experience with any of these?

Thanks!

I was gifted the Park INF 2 and find that it works very well for Presta valves but I have trouble with Schrader tubes without a threaded stem. Especially when first inflating, it's difficult getting a good seal.
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Old 05-18-21, 10:22 AM
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Honestly, the best one I’ve ever used is SKS Presta adapter and a regular Schrader chuck. It’s certainly the cheapest and most rugged. We have tried various Presta inflators at my local co-op and none of them have lasted more than about 6 months. We have old SKS’s that have lost their chrome plating and are still going strong.

Of course, if it is unbreakable, my co-op will break it. We should be Park’s testing lab based on the number of tough tools we can figure out how to break.
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Old 05-18-21, 11:03 AM
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i've been on the look out for a presta inflator head that slip fits the stem rather then screw on to the stem.
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Old 05-18-21, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Honestly, the best one Iíve ever used is SKS Presta adapter and a regular Schrader chuck. Itís certainly the cheapest and most rugged. We have tried various Presta inflators at my local co-op and none of them have lasted more than about 6 months. We have old SKSís that have lost their chrome plating and are still going strong.

Of course, if it is unbreakable, my co-op will break it. We should be Parkís testing lab based on the number of tough tools we can figure out how to break.
Interesting - I do like that price.

So would I just buy something like this thing and connect it to my air hose and then connect the SKS adapter you linked to it?
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Old 05-18-21, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
I used the Prestaflator for years before I finally splurged and bought the Park INF-2 inflator, which I like a lot. The Park is a little big and clumsy for my personal aesthetics, but it does the job well. Its made of cast aluminum, which is most-likely cast pot-metal of some kind. Its heavy. No doubt, if I dropped it on the hard concrete floor of my shop, it would probably crack. If I dropped it on my toe, it would probably hurt like mad.

I've never tried the EVT, but I fail to see where a bunch of cobbed-together brass pipe fittings and a cheap gage is worth $170. The Park inflator is up there in price too. At $135 it will definitely put you info cheeseburger-deprivation mode.

I am sure that if given the chance to use the EVT, that I would like it. I just think its overpriced for what actually went into its construction and design. In the world of manufacturing, high prices are commanded from singular designs, which are then manufactured, not from items which are merely assembled from a selection of previously-manufactured components. With the exception of the inflator chuck, it would appear that after a trip to the hardware store, you could assemble your own EVT. Like I said, its not the unit itself that turns me off, its the price. For what you see there, it should be under $90, and that's just my personal opinion.

One tip that I like to pass along is this: If you get a new presta chuck of any kind, a quick shot of silicone spray into the chuck head will help ease it onto the valve. It just makes it easier to slip on and off.
Thanks for the detailed response! Yeah, that's what is holding me back a bit too. I feel like both the PT and the EVT should be under $90. Not sure where the PT is manufactured, but if it is anywhere other than the US, it shouldn't be $135. I guess it is a buy once, cry once situation.

EVT does have their Bam Bam inflator which at $80 or so would probably be all I need - I don't really need a gauge as I would mostly be using this for just seating tubeless tires and then I could top it off to the right level with my floor pump.
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Old 05-18-21, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti View Post
Interesting - I do like that price.

So would I just buy something like this thing and connect it to my air hose and then connect the SKS adapter you linked to it?
Yes or just a regular chuck. We just hang the adapter on the hose so that it is right there with the air hose. Anything loose in the co-op tends to get lost.
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Old 05-18-21, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Yes or just a regular chuck. We just hang the adapter on the hose so that it is right there with the air hose. Anything loose in the co-op tends to get lost.
Are those chucks threaded inside? How does the adapter connect?
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Old 05-18-21, 11:46 AM
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MSW Presta Valve to Schrader Valve Adapter [PU3350] at BikeTiresDirect I keep one on my bike incase I need to use a service station compressor.

With this; Amazon.com: WYNNsky Air Tire Pressure Inflator Gauge with 12-Inch Rubber Air Hose, Dual Head Tire Air Chuck: Automotive
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Old 05-18-21, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti View Post
Are those chucks threaded inside? How does the adapter connect?
The chucks have National Pipe thread (NPT) tapered threads. You need a 3/8Ē NPT (I think) hose bib adapter as you do on all air fittings.
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Old 05-18-21, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti View Post
Thanks for the detailed response! Yeah, that's what is holding me back a bit too. I feel like both the PT and the EVT should be under $90. Not sure where the PT is manufactured, but if it is anywhere other than the US, it shouldn't be $135. I guess it is a buy once, cry once situation.

EVT does have their Bam Bam inflator which at $80 or so would probably be all I need - I don't really need a gauge as I would mostly be using this for just seating tubeless tires and then I could top it off to the right level with my floor pump.
I did a search on the country of origin of the INF-2, and came up with zilch. My thoughts are that if they arent bragging about it being made is USA, then it probably wasnt. Honestly, rather than spending $80 on the Bam Bam, just get one of THESE. All you really need.
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Old 05-18-21, 05:54 PM
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You guys are either living large or suffering from inflation.
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Old 05-18-21, 06:44 PM
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To be fair, I am not suggesting the EVT for everyone. The title of the thread is "Best inflator for air compressor?". I stand by my statement that the best was one that was not on his list, and if the Park is in budget, then it is likely that the EVT would be as well.

The OP asked a different question in the first post, which was "which inflator would you buy?". I think that the collective has answered that question well too.

Not everyone buys the nicest bikes, and not everyone buys the nicest tools. I don't get any additional enjoyment riding a $10k carbon wonderbike than I do a nice steel frame and fork with mechanical Ultegra parts, but I do enjoy having the nicest tools. My nicest tools all together cost less than many people's most expensive bike.
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Old 05-18-21, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bikebikebike View Post
You guys are either living large or suffering from inflation.
just tired of blowing thru the cheap stuff. You'll just chuck it sooner & be out more cash.
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Old 05-19-21, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bikebikebike View Post
You guys are either living large or suffering from inflation.

Or underinflation
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Old 05-19-21, 06:54 AM
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I have been using the Prestainflator with some success. Initially it would hold onto the valve body. It works OK now I always check pressure with the Topeak digital pressure gauge.

I never know which gauge is more accurate. The Topeak appears to be off about 2 PSI from what my TPS numbers indicate on the car. Find a number that works, be consistent in process and tools and stick with it
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Old 05-19-21, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
I never know which gauge is more accurate. The Topeak appears to be off about 2 PSI from what my TPS numbers indicate on the car.
Two (2) PSI wont matter much either way, and you probably wont be able to discern any difference. When I was a kid working in a bike shop back in the early 70's, I don't recall anyone ever using a tire pressure gage. I was taught "the pinch test". You learned what the tire pressure felt like by squeezing the tire with your fingers. Your hands became self-calibrated after a while. I use a gage now for initially inflating, but I always pinch my tires before a ride. Old habit, truly, but it helps me to make an instant decision whether or not to add some air.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
Two (2) PSI wont matter much either way, and you probably wont be able to discern any difference. When I was a kid working in a bike shop back in the early 70's, I don't recall anyone ever using a tire pressure gage. I was taught "the pinch test". You learned what the tire pressure felt like by squeezing the tire with your fingers. Your hands became self-calibrated after a while. I use a gage now for initially inflating, but I always pinch my tires before a ride. Old habit, truly, but it helps me to make an instant decision whether or not to add some air.
Same experience and same practice today.
They are accurate but not precise.
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Old 05-19-21, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
I am sure that if given the chance to use the EVT, that I would like it. I just think its overpriced for what actually went into its construction and design. In the world of manufacturing, high prices are commanded from singular designs, which are then manufactured, not from items which are merely assembled from a selection of previously-manufactured components. With the exception of the inflator chuck, it would appear that after a trip to the hardware store, you could assemble your own EVT. Like I said, its not the unit itself that turns me off, its the price. For what you see there, it should be under $90, and that's just my personal opinion.
So I got bored at work today waiting for my techs to get me a list of components they needed from McMaster and decided to see if I could put together the EVT. Here's what I came up with:

6852K11 Zinc Body Snap-Shut Threaded On/Off Valve with Lever $13.86
50785K222
Right-Angle Tee Adapter, 1/4 NPT Female x Male $5.24
50785K43
90 Degree Elbow Adapter, 1/4 NPT Female x Male $2.69
50785K172
Nipple, Threaded on Both Ends, 1/4 Pipe Size, 2" Long $2.62
6140A62
Air Chuck, Clip On Schrader Connection $10.55
3846K8
Single Scale Pressure Gauge with Steel Case, 2" Dial, 0 to 160 psi $12.87
Total: $47.83
I'm not 100% sure the pressure gauge will fit between the valve and the chuck, and the nipple may need to be longer to work with the locking air chuck, but that should be everything but the presta adapter.
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Old 05-20-21, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
I used the Prestaflator for years before I finally splurged and bought the Park INF-2 inflator, which I like a lot. The Park is a little big and clumsy for my personal aesthetics, but it does the job well. Its made of cast aluminum, which is most-likely cast pot-metal of some kind. Its heavy. No doubt, if I dropped it on the hard concrete floor of my shop, it would probably crack. If I dropped it on my toe, it would probably hurt like mad.

I've never tried the EVT, but I fail to see where a bunch of cobbed-together brass pipe fittings and a cheap gage is worth $170. The Park inflator is up there in price too. At $135 it will definitely put you info cheeseburger-deprivation mode.

I am sure that if given the chance to use the EVT, that I would like it. I just think its overpriced for what actually went into its construction and design. In the world of manufacturing, high prices are commanded from singular designs, which are then manufactured, not from items which are merely assembled from a selection of previously-manufactured components. With the exception of the inflator chuck, it would appear that after a trip to the hardware store, you could assemble your own EVT. Like I said, its not the unit itself that turns me off, its the price. For what you see there, it should be under $90, and that's just my personal opinion.

One tip that I like to pass along is this: If you get a new presta chuck of any kind, a quick shot of silicone spray into the chuck head will help ease it onto the valve. It just makes it easier to slip on and off.
Fair dinkum on that. It does look a little hardware storish but I know EVT makes some really excellent quality goods so I am sure there is something to those fittings.

Though I probably am fine with the Park Inflator if I ever do a home compressor set up but currently ok with my pumps.
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