by "Brian" for webBikeWorld.com
After reading a review of a tire pressure gauge on webBikeWorld, it got me thinking about the gauge I owned and used.
It was just a dial type gauge with a reset button on it and a short stem.
Nice enough gauge, but not easily used on a motorcycle tire, especially on my front tire as I could barely get the thing in between the rotors.
I decided that a better gauge was in order, one with a hose on it that would make it easier to attach to the valve stem and maybe also with some sort of memory built in.
As luck would have it, several days later a catalog from Griot’s Garage arrived.
For those who have never seen this catalog, it is just packed with all sort of automotive gadgets.
As I prepared to throw it into the recycle bin, right there on the back cover was a pretty neat looking tire gauge, the “Compact, Professional Tire Gauge.”
I scanned the description of the gauge and saw that it had a hose to reach the valve stem with, a built memory for 4 different pressure settings, had a back lit display and a bleeder valve on it.
I thought this may be a neat gauge to have, but felt certain that the price would drive that feeling away.
I was more than pleasantly surprised when I saw the gauge was priced at $19.99!
I had to wait for a few weeks for the gauges to become available at Griot's; apparently they were having problems getting them in stock.
Finally, the web site said they were available and I quickly ordered one.
Shipping was just $7.99 and the gauge arrived neatly packed in about 4 days.
The gauge itself is a good size, fitting neatly into the hand. The pressure readings can be done in PSI, BAR, Kg/cm2 or KPa.
The readings, at least for PSI, are in tenths and the numbers are easy to read with a large font.
The display can either be back lit or not to help conserve battery life.
The pressure can also be taken in two different modes, the "hold" mode, which leaves the reading on the screen until it's cleared, or the "dynamic" mode that gives you a live read-out until removed from the valve stem.
The hose is about 10 inches long and it's capped with a two way pivoting valve that can either be pushed or pulled onto a valve stem. The valve also has a bleeder valve built into it.
The bleeder valve combined with the dynamic mode is very useful, as the tire can be slightly overfilled and then the air pressure can be lowered to obtain the desired target amount.
The hose also conveniently wraps around the body of the gauge for storage.
When used in the hold mode along with a memory setting, the gauge will give an audible and visual signal letting you know if the pressure is less than, equal to or more than the memory setting.
If the reading is 15% over the memory setting, it will let you know that too.
With all of these different features and settings, I did have to study the instructions to completely figure out how to use the gauge. All of the settings are controlled via two buttons on the front.
They are fairly large and I have not had any problems operating the gauge while wearing gloves. The gauge is easy enough to use that I find myself checking the pressure of my tires more often than usual -- which is a good thing.
The feature I like the best on Griot's Compact tire pressure gauge is the bleeder valve.
It comes in handy when you find yourself needing to use a pay air station at a gas station.
Instead of trying to add air and then having to check the pressure with your gauge and adding or subtracting air to get it correct before the timer runs out, you can just put several pounds more than you need in the tire.
Then the gauge can be used to draw the pressure down a tenth of a pound at a time if desired. The only thing I wish this gauge came with was a small carrying case to protect it.
The gauge is powered by a single flat camera style battery that is in an easily accessible compartment on the back. I could not determine where the gauge is manufactured.
Overall, a great little gauge and well worth the money in my opinion.
This gauge sounded so interesting that I bought one for myself. I agree completely with all of Brian's comments.
The gauge does have a lot of options, so I also had to read the instructions (on the back of the blister pack) carefully.
I like the ability to easily switch back and forth between PSI, KPa and BAR readings and the tenth of a decimal place readout.
The valve head can be used both ways, which really helps to fit it inside of motorcycle wheels that have large disk brakes, which sometimes interfere with other types of tire pressure gauges.
I'm not sure how long the battery will last, and that's the only problem when using a battery operated tire pressure gauge on a long trip.
Once the battery goes, the tool is out of commission until the battery is replaced, which is pretty easy on the Griot's Garage gauge.
|wBW Review: Griot's Garage Compact Tire Pressure Gauge|
|Available From: Griot's Garage||List Price (2006): $19.99 + $7.99 S/H|
|Colors: Black.||Made In: Unknown|
|Review Date: November 2006 UPDATE: As of August 2010, this gauge is unfortunately no longer available.|
From "N.D." (4/09): "I have been looking for an all-in-one (so to speak) tire gauge for a long time. One that I would not regret purchasing once I arrived home and tried it out.
I found the review on your site, The Griot`s Garage Compact Tire Gauge. I looked, I read review and comments. I thought, now with the only thing missing, being a pouch to carry it in, I can handle that.
Well to my surprise, at Wal-Mart of all places last week I found this exact gauge. I couldn't believe it but then again, maybe I could.
I picked it up, looked, inspected from all sides and it was the exact gauge but now carrying the name SLIME where the name Griot`s Garage was once home.
Now all I can say is how pleased I am with my purchase. Thank you and keep up the good research.
Attached is a picture. It was $16.94 plus tax."
From "J.E.": "I recently purchased one of these gauges because the review of the gauge interested me and it look like a good $20 investment.
I had been using a digital tire gauge I purchased for $10 from a major retailer who shall go unmentioned. I found it difficult to use especially around the big disks on my bike and more importantly, I flat out could not trust it.
I did not know if I was getting a consistent and accurate reading.
I saw the review and thought I would take a risk and I am not disappointed. The short length of hose that wraps around the gauge itself is very convenient especially when working in tight places.
The digital readout is easy to read and by cycling through the buttons you can illuminate it.
I love the bleed valve feature and especially the fact I can set up pressures in the memory based on bar which is what is in my owners manual. It has 4 memory settings which is really great for me if I am riding solo or two up.
All I have to do is remember which memory setting is for which tire and which load.
If it has any drawbacks it is a two handed operation to get a pressure. The directions are extensive and if you loose them you might find yourself struggling to remember what function does what.
For exactly that reason I made a copy of the original directions and carry that copy in my pannier. Thanks for what you and your cohorts do. Your sight is fantastic."