Review: SKS Airchecker digital pressure gauge

One idiosyncrasy of most bicycle riding is that unless you have a pump with a gauge on it, you are never quite sure about how much pressure your tires really have. With experience, you can learn how, say, 80 psi on a 28 mm road tire feels like, but this is an unreliable test at best. Bikes having their own Presta valves does not make things easy, either.

If you drive a car, you should know how important it is to monitor your tires and the air they’re carrying in them, so you eventually learn to carry your own tire pressure gauge and check your tires’ pressures every two weeks. Why should it be any different for cyclists and their bikes’ tires? If anything, air can escape even faster out of the carcass of a bicycle’s tires and tubes.

German brand SKS has featured on this blog before because of its excellent fender sets: my first couple sets of Longboards, and the 53 mm Bluemels Hyro currently runs. Today, they feature here again for an altogether different reason. I’m taking a look at their Airchecker digital pressure gauge.


  • Switchable display between bar and pounds per square inch (psi or lb/in2)
  • Accepts both Presta and Schrader (automotive) valves
  • Swiveling head
  • Resolution: 0.1 psi
  • Integrated air bleed button for manual pressure adjustments
  • Powered by a single CR2032 coin-cell battery
  • Maximum pressure: 10 bar/144 psi


The Airchecker really could not be simpler. The main body has just one button, which turns the gauge on and off, as well as switches units between bar and psi. SKS throws in a little drawstring pouch that the Airchecker can live in, too.

The swiveling head accepts both Presta and Schrader valves, just turn the head appropriately. Press the head against the valve, and the Airchecker emits a beep to confirm it got a pressure reading.

On the head is the other main control: a big orange air bleed button. SKS says you can keep the gauge on the valve, then use the bleed button to let out air from the tire before you measure again. My mild disappointment here is that the Airchecker does bleed air nicely, but it doesn’t allow for real-time pressure checking as you bleed excess air out of your tire. You have to go press the head against the valve again. Still a nice feature, but could be improved.

The only real downsides I see to the Airchecker are its reliance on CR2032 batteries, and the risk of having it turn on while you’re riding, needlessly sapping away battery life. I suppose SKS supplied the drawstring pouch with the Airchecker for this very purpose. Mine is still on its original battery, even after ten months of use. You could argue it’s also not the cheapest gauge in the world, but realistically this tool can pay for itself by giving you peace of mind over many, many years.


So, who is this Airchecker for?

Even though I carry a Giyo GP-61S mini pump with in-line gauge all the time while I ride, I don’t see the need to not carry this. It weighs almost nothing, and should keep in your jersey pocket or saddle bag just fine. It also acts as a secondary gauge to check the accuracy of the gauges on your pumps.

Other riders who like running really tiny mini pumps or CO2 inflators typically have no accurate way of checking actual tire pressure. It’s here the Airchecker becomes useful.

For me, the Airchecker really sets itself apart on low-pressure applications, such as with fat bikes. Most analog gauges do not have the resolution required to correctly read the air pressures of a fat bike tire; because there’s so much volume inside one such tire, the pressures needed are actually very low – as low as 4 psi. The gauges on most pumps can’t even read that low. This can.


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