The humble floor pump pressure gauge. Does it deserve a renaissance? We think maybe. But let me back up first.
Imagine if having the ability to always know the pounds per square inch of each and every tire in your fleet, with or without your pump?
I’ve been pumping up our tires for many years, likely just like you. I haven’t really given much thought to tire inflation on each and every ride over the years, heck, sometimes not even attaching a pump valve to see where my pressures were at and just heading out the door if they felt decent.
More recently, I’ve taken a bit more of a detailed approach with inflation, learning more about the disadvantage of not taking more seriously these only 2 points of contact with the road. Yes, of course I can always use our floor pump to verify the situation, however, out on the open road I just might like to know how my tires are doing exactly. Without a tire pressure gauge that would be rather difficult.
Enter the TyreWiz pressure gauge from Quarq. I’ve taken a set of these Bluetooth-enabled tire pressure gauges on the road for many hours and have discovered the convenience of being able to always know what my tire pressure is on-demand. By downloading the AXS app I can preset a range of pressure values that I deem as acceptable and then know if they are within the range via the blinking red and green lights conveniently visible from the side of each unit. No more guessing how the tires are doing at any point before, during, or after the ride.
Have slow leak? Your AXS app can track how your pressure changed with every ride and can help you detect a leak over time with your training, or even during a ride you can start making your way to safety before your tire is completely flat.
With the recent trend of wider, tubeless tires I thought of yet another advantage of using these handy little gauges. You decide to take your road/gravel rig onto some sandy or rocky trails and want to let out only 15 pounds of air pressure from your beefy 30mm tires, no more, no less. If you don’t have a pump, nor CO2 handy, and just want to get exactly the amount you need, these seemingly insignificant little gauges begin to sparkle. The responsive AXS app can help you follow the slow release of the tire pressure. The consequence at the remote trailhead of letting out too much air could be disastrous, making it a challenge to get home. The opposite could also be an issue, thinking you had released as much as you needed to, when you hit that sharp rock and your tubeless tire is ripped to shreds with less than the tire pliability you’d hoped you’d provided with the lower pressure.
The last situation where these gauges would likely come in handy would be in a race setting. Instead of double and triple checking on race morning like a lunatic, the racer can rest assured after a single inflation that pressure is being maintained, basking in the warm glow of that little blinking green light on the side of the unit.
Setup of the unit is a breeze, all that’s required is a valve stem that has a removable core and is long enough so that the unit can freely spin into place, 10-20mm of extra rim clearance should be plenty. Once the unit is installed in place of the valve core just rotate the tire to wake up the unit and then sync it with the AXS App. Next, set your range above and below your desired pressure and done!
At $199 this duo is not the least expensive way to keep tabs on your tire pressure. However, as Quarq claims, the increased rider comfort along with a longer tire and rim lifespan it’s a worthy investment. Quarq also states that standard floor pumps are only accurate down to +/- 5% which could easily occur when the pump valve head is disconnected and the air hisses out as usual. Even with the rich price tag, I’d tend to agree with Quarq, especially in the current era of wider, tubeless tires and wheels for road and gravel riding.
If I happen to see you on the side road with a flat, I’ll of course stop to help. Now, if you’re not using TyreWiz we’ll both know there might have been an increased chance that it could’ve been prevented. Think of it like a tire inspection or insurance during and after every ride.