Accu-Gage PR160BX Review
With heavy-duty construction, high-quality materials, a price under $15 via most third-party online retailers, a lifetime warranty from G.H. Meiser, and solid firsthand experience, we think the Accu-Gage PR160BX air pressure gauge is worth every penny.
If you’re looking for a little extra grip during the often-awkward measuring process in between wheel spokes, as well as impact protection during use, the $20 RPR160BX could deliver even greater bang-for-your-buck.
- Competitively priced
- Easy to use
- Heavy-duty steel and brass construction
- Lifetime warranty
- G.H. Meiser has a long reputation for quality
User Review( votes)
Based on our hands-on testing, we’ll cover Accu-Gage PR160BX’s specifications (including pricing and warranty details), accuracy, how it compares with close competitors, and online customer feedback.
About the Accu-Gage PR160BX
Based out of Mokena, IL, G.H. Meiser has manufactured durable, high-quality tire gauges for more than a century. Today, their Accu-Gage lineup remains popular among anyone looking for reliability and accuracy—especially with cyclists.
At $20 or less for many of these models, they’re also exceptionally affordable. All Accu-Gages come with a lifetime warranty as well. Just keep in mind that you’re responsible for $4 return shipping if you decide to file a claim.
We’ve used Accu-Gage’s PR160BX model for about a month in a variety of scenarios and also tested its accuracy. Keep reading to find out what we learned, and what this might mean for you.
Taking a Closer Look at Accu-Gage’s PR160BX Specifications
Measuring 4.8” x 4” x 1”, the compact PR160BX model features a dial gauge that reads up to 160 PSI and is only compatible with Presta valves. Other models in the PR lineup reach up to 15, 30, 60, or 100 PSI, while the sole Schrader-compatible model also reaches 160 PSI.
Pro tip: If you frequently ride with fat/plus bike tire sizes, these lower pressure models might better meet your needs.
Barrel construction involves a heavy-duty steel case and polished brass bezel, with a large, two-inch dial. The mechanical PR160BX gauge is easy to read, and the easy-to-reach bleeder button quickly releases pressure for re-measurement or bleeding air from a tire.
Until you press this button, the needle will hold your most recent pressure reading for one to two minutes.
All PR models from Accu-Gage feature a Bronze Bourdon tube, which the company advertises offers precision movement and isn’t “affected by temperature, humidity, altitude, or air stream contaminants.” Accuracy conforms to ANSI B40.1 Grade B and California regulation, which the website explains as:
“The mechanical accuracy rating is ± 2% from 30% to 60% of scale and ± 3% below 30% and above 60%.”
How to Use the Accu-Gage Presta Bicycle Tire Pressure Gauge
Using the Accu-Gage PR160BX is a lot like any other gauge or pump attachment. Perhaps the most significant difference is that there’s no locking mechanism involved, so it might take a couple of tries to get things right when first using it (more next).
In general, though, the quick-and-easy process works over four steps:
- Fully unscrew the valve’s lock nut to open.
- In a swift, straight motion, press the female end of the Accu-Gage onto the valve.
- Take the pressure reading after holding in place for a second or two.
- Once complete, remove the gauge from the valve and press the side button to release its air. Repeat if necessary.
Related: How Bike Tires Work
Accu-Gage models, including the PR160BX, are repairable, although G.H. Meiser must perform this service as part of a warranty claim (when applicable). In addition to the $4 S&H charge mentioned earlier, their website indicates repairs can take 10 to 15 days to complete.
My Experience With the Accu-Gage PR160BX
After regularly using the PR160BX for one month, I’ve found it straightforward with an easy-to-read needle, although I would imagine that models with rubber gauge covers are easier to hold. However, at $20, these ‘ribbed’ versions are priced meaningfully higher than the $13-$15 non-covered ones.
The PR160BX holds its reading for a minute or two—more than enough time to get the information you need.
The compact design fits easily in my saddlebag, although I’m hesitant to keep it there for long stints, considering I frequently ride rough gravel and singletrack. However, have carried it in my Camelbak Skyline LR, with no noticeable damage or reduction in accuracy.
Here’s a quick example of its accuracy compared to PrestaCycle’s Prestaflator:
Despite its compact size, Accu-Gage’s PR160BX feels solidly constructed, durable, and weighty in the hand. And after regularly using the gauge on tubeless tires containing Orange Seal sealant, it hasn’t become noticeably clogged.
Are there other gauges that might better meet your needs, though?
Accu-Gage vs. Competing Dial-Based Bike Tire Air Pressure Gauges
Small differences in bike tire air pressure can have a significant impact on factors like ride quality and performance, so it makes sense you’d want something accurate and easily portable.
But, while you’ll find dozens of digital gauges from brands like Zefal, Blackburn, SKS, Topeak, and Lezyne (to name just a few), there aren’t a whole lot of products competing directly with bike-focused, Presta-specific, dial-based air pressure gauges like the PR160BX.
However, there are a handful of close competitors. Perhaps the closest is Godeson’s GS20-ZB-160, which looks nearly identical and shares many of the same features, including a 2” dial, 160 PSI max capacity, Bourbon tube mechanism, air bleed button, ANSI B40.1 Grade B accuracy, and the ability to hold readings after release from the valve.
The $13 Godeson adds a ribbed rubber cover that protects its gauge and improves grip, which is only available on Accu-Gage’s $20 RPR160BX. For the price, though, Accu-Gage customers gain heavy-duty steel and polished brass (vs. full brass) construction, as well as a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
Here’s a table visually outlining these similarities and differences, as well as other potential options, depending on your needs:
|Accu-Gage (PR160BX)||Godeson (GS20-ZB-160)||Planet Bike Dial Tire Gauge||Zefal Twin||EyezOff (EZ618A)|
|Design||Bourbon tube mech.||Bourbon tube mech.||L-shaped||Paddle-shaped||Flow-through (compatible with track pumps/compressors)|
|Valve Compatibility||Presta||Presta||Presta / Schrader||Presta / Schrader||Presta / Schrader|
|Construction||Heavy-duty steel, polished brass||Full brass||N/A||Plastic||N/A|
|Max PSI||160 PSI||160 PSI||140 PSI||160 PSI||160 PSI|
|Accuracy||ANSI B40.1 Grade B||ANSI B40.1 Grade B||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Average Amazon Customer Rating (as of 1/3/19)||4.1 (150+ reviewers)||5 (2 reviewers)||3.7 (120+ reviewers)||3.6 (35+ reviewers)||3.9 (35+ reviewers)|
What does all of this mean in regards to your future—or lack thereof—with Accu-Gage? Let’s discuss outcomes in the next section.
My Conclusion About the Accu-Gage PR160BX
Based on everything I learned about the PR160BX from my firsthand experience, marketing materials from the company, and by comparing its pricing, warranty, and features with the competition, there’s a lot to like about this dial air pressure gauge.
It seems to deliver on its heavy-duty, quality-related, and accuracy claims and is ideal for higher-pressure gravel and road-oriented tires.
Online customer feedback seems to match with this experience, with compliments frequently citing solid build, precision, ease of use, and excellent customer support (in the relatively rare instance it’s needed). Some, however, also reported less durability than expected.
On the other hand, mountain bikers and those with plus / fat tire models might appreciate the closer readouts provided by lower-pressure models from Accu-Gage.
Furthermore—hindsight being what it is, I’ll likely opt for Accu-Gage’s RPR160BX rubber-ribbed model in the near future, due to its better shock absorption and hand grip. Since I don’t plan to carry it in a saddlebag, I’m not necessarily concerned about the larger size or added weight.
What do you think of your Accu-Gage? Tell others about your experience in the comments below!
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Keep rolling: 7 Tips For Choosing the Right Bike Pump