The Golden Wrench

A blog about bicycle repair and maintenance by the mechanics at Freewheel Bike.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Big tires. Low pressure.

Here at Freewheel during the snowy December month, we've sold more than a few Surly Pugsley's, and Salsa Mukluk's. With these bikes, come large tires that can be inflated to as little as 6 p.s.i., and up to 30 p.s.i. at their max. Our standard gauges here at the shop have a hard time reading any pressure below 15 p.s.i. so, one of our amazing mechanic/fabricators Karl devised a slick system for checking tire pressure accurately. He used a small gauge that measures anywhere from 0 p.s.i., to 30 p.s.i., a traditional pump head, and a schraeder valve that can be used for bleeding off pressure or, used to inflate the tire from any gas station or compressor. (careful, most gas station compressors aren't regulated to stop at a certain pressure, so you can easily blow up the tube. And in a 4 inch wide tire, I imagine it's not gonna be quiet.)
We've tested and re-tested these gauges to make sure they are accurate. And they are. True, an electronic gauge will read that low, and accurately, but you really can't inflate, or deflate the tube while the gauge is still attached. This slick little invention allows you to do both. Always get the right pressure for the job at hand.
Whether you're riding through 2 foot drifts of snow, or plugging along the Hidden Beach sand, you'll be able to get there safely and efficiently. It's always been a personal preference kinda thing regarding tire pressure, but this little thing will make life way easier. I swear.

We have four of these gauges for sale at the Westbank location. They are $35 each.