Maintaining the proper tire pressure on your bike is critical to efficiency. An under or over inflated bike tire has higher rolling resistance and requires more energy to ride. The second generation of the SKS AIRCHECKER is designed to make checking your tire pressure quick and painless. Rather than connecting a large floor pump, the $36.99 AIRCHECKER 2 has a compact and ergonomic handheld design that can measure upto 144 PSI or 10 Bar. The pressure gauge also features a backlit digital display as well as audible beeps to indicate when a measurement has stabilized. The dual-sided head is compatible with Presta, Shrader or Dunlap valves which allows the AIRCHECKER 2 to be used on road, mountain bikes or even automobiles. There is even a convenient deflate button and live measurement mode that allows you to accurately reduce the pressure back to the desired value.
The SKS AIRCHECKER 2 is a compact and ergonomic digital air pressure gauge that makes it quick and easy to check tire pressure.
|Rating||8.5 / 10|
|Measured Weight (in g)||52|
|Likes||+ Audible beeps|
+ Backlit digital display is easy to read
+ Ergonomic shape with non-slip edges
|Dislikes||– Black piano trim collects fingerprints and dust|
– T-shape makes it difficult to reach inset valve stems
– Deflate button requires a lot of pressure
|Where to Buy (US)||SKS US|
The SKS AIRCHECKER 2 comes well packaged in a gray and orange cardboard box with sharp graphics and information printed directly onto the exterior. Inside the box you’ll find:
- AIRCHECKER 2 digital air pressure gauge
- Informational packet
To start using the AIRCHECKER you simply need to remove the plastic tab from the battery and peel off the protective sheet on the gauge face.
In terms of design, the SKS AIRCHECKER 2 has a simple T-profile with a dual sided head and tapered body. Shrader or Dunlap valves use one side of the head while a separate Presta compatible head is located on the other side. Even though there are no graphics or color indicators to identify the different heads it’s easy to tell apart as the Presta version has a larger opening. SKS lists the AIRCHECKER 2 as “pleasant to hold” which is true as the tapered body has non-slip rubber along the sides and an ergonomic shape. The AIRCHECKER 2 is primarily a semi-matte texture black with a glossy piano black insert along the front screen and buttons. While the glossy surface looks great in photos, it quickly collects fingerprints and dust.
To improve accessibility, the AIRCHECKER 2 has a 180 degree swivel design that allows the body to rotate independently from the head. It’s a convenient feature that helps access valves at different angles. The main feature of the AIRCHECKER 2 is the backlit digital display that shows pressures with 1/100 Bar or 1/10 PSI accuracy. To match SKS’s branding, the screen has an orange backlighting with black lettering. It’s easy to read and the viewing angle of the screen side-to-side is great. Although the screen is difficult to read when viewing it from below it doesn’t really affect the usability. There are two buttons below the display with large white lettering for the mode selection and unit display / powering device. Both of the buttons are large and depress downward with a satisfying click when used.
In terms of the user interface, the SKS AIRCHECKER 2 is intuitive to use with a simple two button interface. In the default mode, the AIRCHECKER 2 reads the air pressure and then emits an audible beep when the measurement has stabilized. The pressure value remains on the screen even when the AIRCHECKER 2 is removed from the valve. There is an additional mode called “live reading” which can be accessed by pressing the “MODE” button and will continue to update the pressure reading in real-time. The screen flashes while in this mode and is very convenient to use with the deflate button to accurately reduce an overinflated tire back down to the desired pressure. Our only complaint is that the deflate button itself requires a fair amount of pressure to use. Otherwise, the SKS AIRCHECKER 2 has standard features such as auto-off that turns it off after 30 seconds of non-use to conserve the battery.
The biggest issue we had with the AIRCHECKER 2 is that the T-profile doesn’t work well with recessed valves on automobiles or other inflated tires. Unlike bike tires which have the valves perpendicular to the rim, car valve tires tend to be angled around 45 degrees from the wheel. That means the flat design of the AIRCHECKER 2 barely fit between the spokes of our Mazda Miata’s wheels. If you plan to primarily use the AIRCHECKER 2 on bikes this isn’t an issue but for other applications the non-angled head design may not work.
Overall we found the SKS AIRCHECKER 2 to be a compact and well built digital air pressure gauge. The handheld design and crisp backlit screen make it easy to quickly check tire air pressure without the need for a bulky floor pump. We found the two button interface easy to use and intuitive to use. Unlike cheap digital tire pressure checkers, the AIRCHECKER 2 features a 180 degree swivel body and a deflate button that can be used in conjunction with the live-measurement mode. The AIRCHECKER 2 is also convenient for use on car tires, wheelbarrows or other tires as the dual head is compatible with all valve types. Note that the AIRCHECKER 2 has a non-angled T-profile shape which means it is difficult to reach some recessed tire valves. Otherwise, the SKS AIRCHECKER 2 is an affordable and simple gadget to have around the house to ensure your tires are always at the right pressure.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by SKS US. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.