It’s 2020 people. The squeeze and bounce test doesn’t cut it anymore (and this is coming from an avid ex-believer). However scientific you think you may be with your squeezing, prodding, bouncing and whatever else you do to check your pressure, you are wrong. Not only do you not have a baseline to compare the tyre pressure to, but you’re also probably just comparing the tyre pressure to the last time you bounced and squeezed it, leaving you with the false comfort of comparing back to ever diminishing pressures. And you’re missing out on the crucial consistency that accurately knowing your MTB tyre pressures bring. That’s where the Blackburn Honest can help…
Why do pressures matter anyway?
Knowing what tyre pressure you have in your mountain bike tyres is critically important. Tyre pressures affect not only your ride quality but the longevity of your rims and even how your suspension performs. Small changes in pressures can make huge differences in how your bike performs on the trail. Run too low and you’ll lose control at higher speeds; run too high and you’ll end up feeling like you’re riding a pogo stick (have fun navigating through roots). So naturally, knowing what pressure you’re running is crucial if you want a consistent ride out on the trails.
Is the Blackburn Honest… Honest?
The Blackburn Honest digital tyre pressure gauge is quite nifty, with its 180-degree rotating head and option to use either Presta or Schrader valves. Combined with it’s maximum 150 PSI measuring capacity, the Blackburn Honest is handy not just for your mountain bike, but for measuring most other tyres too, especially car tyres. It has a little air release button that lets you bleed air out while still attached to the valve. We found the button quite annoying as it lets out such a small amount of air it was almost always quicker to remove the gauge, let the air out and then reattach it. The gauge was accurate when compared to other digital pressure gauges (as it should be, with a name like Honest). The gauge measures in increments of 0.5 which we found to be perfectly acceptable, but could be of annoyance to riders paying particular attention to their numbers.
The process of actually reading tyre pressures was quite seamless. You just hit the big button on the front to wake the gauge up, then it beeps, then you press it onto your valve and it’ll beep again. And just like that, your pressure is displayed on its backlit LED screen. You have the option of displaying pressures in either PSI or BAR, which you can toggle by hitting the same big circle button on the front. One mild annoyance is the small amount of air that’s let out when pressing the gauge onto the valve. It seems to let out a little bit more air than other gauges, which means you have to assume that pressures are a bit lower than what it’s actually telling you. Not a deal-breaker though.
With its small form factor and weight (72g), the Blackburn Honest would fit nicely in your pack or saddlebag. It’s powered by 2 coin cell batteries and accurate to 1% of pressure. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty (if that makes you feel any better).
So do we recommend it? Yes! It’s simple, get’s the job done and has proven itself reliable. It’s also lightweight, portable and easy to read. Is it perfect? No, but you can’t really complain at the price point.
- Both Presta and Schrader valves
- Small and lightweight form factor (72g, 35mm (1.5″) W x 120 (4.75″) MM L x 25mm (1″) D)
- 180-degree rotating head
- Air release valve
- Readings in PSI or BAR
- Backlit LED screen
- Fairly accurate to 1% of pressure
- Measures up to 150 PSI
- Slow air release valve
- Not rechargeable
- Measures in half increments (0.5)
- Lets out a bit of air when reading pressures
PS: While we’re on the topic of tyre pressures, we’re currently running 21 PSI in the front and 23 PSI in the back (if your care).