How to use a bicycle air gauge (air pressure gauge) and how to read the memory

Posted at: Jun. 11, 2021

This is a summary of how to use a bicycle air gauge and how to read the memory, which can be surprisingly difficult for beginners to understand. We have also picked up some points to check when purchasing an air gauge.

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How to Use a Bicycle Air Gauge (Air Pressure Gauge)

How to use a bicycle air gauge is simple, just attach the air gauge to the valve of the tire. This is the only way to measure the air pressure inside the tire. This is the same for both the air gauge alone and the pump with air gauge.

Since a small amount of air leaks out when the air gauge is installed, it is recommended to inflate the air gauge to a higher pressure when checking the air pressure of high-pressure tires such as road bikes.

How to read the memory of a bicycle air gauge

In the case of a memory type air pressure gauge, like a scale, instead of a digital type air pressure gauge, it will be difficult to understand how to read the memory before you get used to it.

The correct air pressure for tires is printed or stamped on the tire. There are three indices for air pressure: bar, kPa, and psi.

Bicycle air gauges often use the bar/psi system, with the following meters respectively.

  • bar -> 1 unit (about 0-12)
  • psi -> 10 units (0-160)

You can tell which is which by the size of the numbers.

The bar and psi notation on bicycle air gauges

In the road bike community, where high pressure tires are installed, some people look at bar and some look at psi, and both are fine as long as the correct air pressure is used, so it’s best to go with whichever is easier to read.

Points to note when using a bicycle air gauge (air pressure gauge)

Cannot measure air pressure with English type valves

There are three types of bicycle tire valves: English, French, and American, but English valves cannot measure air pressure. Therefore, even if the air gauge meter does not work on a bicycle with English valves, it does not mean that the air gauge is malfunctioning.

Note that some hybrid bikes have English style valves.

hybrid bikes manufactured by bicycle manufacturers that produce road bikes and other sport bikes often have French style valves on the tire tubes, which allow you to check the air pressure, but some manufacturers use English style valves on their hybrid bikes.

However, some hybrid bikes from some manufacturers use “English style” valves. Appropriate air pressure is stamped on the tires of hybrid bikes as well, but as mentioned earlier, English style valves cannot be used to check air pressure, so even if you buy an air gauge for a cross bike with English style valves, you will not be able to check the air pressure.

If you want to manage tire pressure on a cross bike, replace the wheels, tires and tubes with French ones. Some hybrid bikes have the same wheel width as road bikes, so you can use wheels, tires and tubes for road bikes.

Choose a reliable manufacturer.

In the case of sports bicycles such as road bikes, where air pressure is important, low air pressure can cause a puncture on the rim, while too high air pressure can cause a tube burst.

Therefore, whether it is an air gauge (air pressure gauge) or an air container with an air gauge, choose one from a reliable manufacturer.


We have looked at how to use a bicycle air gauge (air pressure gauge) and how to read the memory.

Even if you don’t have a bicycle with high-pressure tires such as a road bike, an air gauge can enhance your bicycle comfort. Please try to use it.

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