Review: Fabric Accubar Tire Pressure Gauge

Nov 9, 2018
by Richard Cunningham  
Fabric Accubar pressure gauge review


Fabric was founded upon the idea that a supply chain that was sourced outside the conventional cycling channels could lead to more innovation and the possibility of a better product. The Accubar pressure gauge is not as much of a stretch as Fabric's auto-industry co-molded saddle range is, but it still bucks current trends with its low-pressure analog steam gauge and Ignaz Schwinn-era metallic hose fittings. Accubar has enough plastic to remind us that it's a modern retro product, but it feels substantial in hand, measures pressure accurately (one-half psi increments or a tenth of a BAR), and it is built to last.
Accubar Pressure Gauge

• Construction: Sturdy metal bezel, analog dial gauge, rubber hose, metal fittings.
• Range: 40psi/3 BAR (1/2 psi or 1/10 BAR increments)
• Gauge can be used in-line with pump
• Screw-in inflation fitting for Presta and Schrader valves
• MSRP: $49.99 USD
• Contact: Fabric

Fabric Accubar pressure gauge review
Stainless steel bleed button.
Fabric Accubar pressure gauge review
In-line inflation feature saves time.

Alongside of the gauge, there is a metal bleed button and up top, and a Schrader valve accepts a pump so you can dial in your tire pressure with precision in one session, rather than switching between your pump and gauge. Accubar's screw-on fitting accepts Presta or Schrader valves and maxes out at 40 psi (3 BAR) because it is intended to provide off-road cyclists a precision tool to inflate higher volume tires. MSRP is $49.99 USD or £34.99 in Fabric's homeland.


Features & Performance

I'll say up front that I've learned to distrust screw-on Presta inflation valves after a number of them extracted my valve stems while I was unthreading the fittings. Fabric's fitting did not extract any valve cores and managed not to spill much air while I was checking pressures. Twist the aluminum fitting and it unlatches and telescopes into the Presta position, screw the fitting back together and it services Schrader valves.

Accubar pressure gauge
Fabric Accubar pressure gauge review
Accubar's telescoping screw-type fitting has been trouble free. In fits Schrader, out is for Presta valves.

There are no batteries to replace, so Accubar will always be ready when you are. Equally handy is its in-line inflation feature. You can toggle between your hand pump and the bleed button to arrive quickly at your pressure target. Its steam gauge, however, makes it a little bulky to take with you on trail, and if you bang it hard, there's a chance that you may injure the fine brass gears and bits inside, so consider that if this is to be your only gauge.

I checked the Accubar's steam gauge against two proven-accurate pressure checkers and it was on the money from 10 through 40psi. Unlike the big, easy to read numbers on a digital display, you'll have to look closely to pick out the half-psi ticks on the Accubar's dial gauge. Dial gauges, however, are very intuitive to read and the full sweep of its pointer spans only 40 PSI, so accuracy and repeatability are assured.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesFifty dollars is a lot to spend on a tire pressure gauge, but Fabric's Accubar has the look and feel of the well-made tools that, at one time, were a source of pride for professional racing mechanics. Those who have a soft spot for retro will like it. If you ride a steel hardtail, you'll probably need one.RC




Must Read This Week

94 Comments

  • + 31
 Hard to justify spending twice as much as a topeak digital guage.
  • + 6
 I would say because it’s more accurate . . . . . . And if it’s not you can calibrate it!
  • + 22
 I’d gladly spend more to avoid anything digital
  • + 161
 @knarrr: I have a typewriter to sell you for $5,000.
  • + 3
 On my 3rd topeak in two seasons. You get what you pay for. If this one was digital, I'd give it a shot.
  • + 8
 Topeak makes products that aren’t built to last. How long have you had your digital gauge? Have you ever dropped it? When is the last time you confirmed it’s accuracy?
  • + 5
 @funkendrenchman: does it have a bunch of tire sealant inside like a pressure gauge?
  • + 40
 @MX298: we use several digital gauges in the shop. none are very accurate or repeatable compared to a good analog gauge. also buying batteries is awesome, i love spending money on batteries
  • + 5
 @knarrr: That's actually something I've never thought of. I wonder if my Topeak's go haywire because they're gummed up with Stans sealant.
  • + 8
 @chriskneeland: rotate wheel to position where valve isn’t at the bottom, give it a short pssst to clear any junk and then check your pressure.
  • + 6
 @stonant: year 4 on mine, original battery too! Yes, they do feel kinda cheap
  • + 2
 @funkendrenchman: Got any ribbons for it?!
  • + 2
 @stonant: I"ve had mine for over 3 years. I use it about 3-4 times a week. Yes, it's still accurate to my analog pump gauge. I keep excepting to replace the battery but I haven't had to yet.
  • - 1
 @MX298:
You can calibrate any gauge, and no matter how much you pay for one, it WILL lose accuracy in time.
As I said initially however, you can(and should-just like your torque wrenches) calibrate your gauge no matter what you paid for it. Most (high end at least) tire shops usually have at least one pressure checker on site that you can calibrate yours against
  • + 1
 @YoKev: I have looked thru the user guide on some of these 30 dollar digital gauges and I don’t see a zero-span calibration!
  • + 1
 @knarrr: Good point about the sealant. I wonder how this fares after a coiuple of years of sealant buildup? Is it servicable?
  • + 1
 @funkendrenchman: Put an ad on craigslist in Austin
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: Schrader only - opens can of worms, sit back with crisps and beer and waits Smile
  • - 1
 @JohnyBoy: I only use Schrader
  • + 19
 Squeezing is all u need to do - and it’s free
  • + 125
 Not always. Squeezing ended up with me having 2 kids. They're expensive.
  • + 13
 I do agree that squeezing is an adequate pressure gauge, most of the time. However, depending on the outside temperature, different side walls, or how hung-over I am, sometimes the squeeze method misses the mark. And then I ding a rim and get a flat. Can't beat the comfort of knowing 30 psi are in my minnies.
  • - 17
flag underhawk (Nov 9, 2018 at 9:48) (Below Threshold)
 @charmiller: 30 psi? how does anyone ride anything below 45 psi??
  • + 48
 I just bite the tire and if I can break through to the gooey center the pressure is too low.
  • - 21
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 9, 2018 at 10:41) (Below Threshold)
 @johnski: did your wife use one of your socks after she run out of tampons?... Son there is something you must know...
  • - 2
 50 psi front, 60 psi rear!
  • + 2
 Yep, DJ 4X an slope all need above 40psi
  • + 13
 There is no chance in hell I'm spending 50 bucks on a analog gauge! I really like these Accu-Gauges from amazon ~$20 and come in a range of dials, I have this 30PSI for monitoring pressures on MTBs becuase running more than 30 is so 2004...

www.amazon.com/Accu-Gage-Presta-Valve-Pressure-Bicycle/dp/B071WVG928/ref=lp_2581674011_1_4?srs=2581674011&ie=UTF8&qid=1541785360&sr=8-4
  • + 1
 Yup, the Accu-gauge is awesome. I bought a second one for my mobile tool box. I can get both my tires to the perfect pressure in seconds. This screw-on inline gauge looks cumbersome in comparison.
  • + 11
 Price is definitley a little over inflated.
  • + 1
 @thebradjohns: We need to gauge if that’s the case
  • + 3
 While I like to have my tire pressure dialed, I'm not going to be pressured into getting one of these
  • + 1
 @thebradjohns: High pressure marketing....
  • + 1
 Max PSI only 40? What is this? Enduro specific?
  • + 2
 "Fifty dollars is a lot to spend on a tire pressure gauge, but Fabric's Accubar has the look and feel of the well-made tools that, at one time, were a source of pride for professional racing mechanics. Those who have a soft spot for retro will like it. If you ride a steel hardtail, you'll probably need one."

Obviously you people are their target customers... this is intended to be a high end precision tool as well as a piece of eye candy. That Accubar is ugly and bulky... I also prefer the more solid connection of a threaded fitting.
  • + 2
 I wish I'd seen this before getting my Topeak. If mine breaks I'll check this out
  • + 3
 I'm willing to pay for convenience. One thing all the gauges people are posting is you need to remove and fill recheck. This gauge lets you hook up, check pressure, add or remove air without removing the gauge.
  • + 4
 Just because it has 1/2 psi marking on the face doesn't mean it reads to 1/2 psi accuracy, I don't like that the markings are almost all the same, makes it hard to read.
"most analog gauges" have there best accuracy at mid scale so 40max is a good start because mid scale is 20psi

Gauges are graded and listed as to their accuracy in a percentage of full scale eg: 0-500psi @ 0 .25% so 1.5 psi over full scale that gauge costs close to $500 and is NIST certifiable which has to be done yearly at an additional cost if you want an accurate certified gauge.

40psi x3% is 1.2 psi accuracy this is a fairly cheap commercial gauge.You can use a cheap gauge as long as it is repeatable.
Not everyone has wants or needs to spend $500 on a tire gauge.
So do the squeeze test , play with tire psi till you get what works measure it with a 3% "cheap" gauge and pump it to that psi as a start pressure depending on conditions and terrain.
Ya I know its wordy but accurate repeatable tire pressure is important. The end
  • + 5
 Agreed, that's the difference between accuracy and precision. This gauge is precise to 0.5 increments. Unless it is certified against a known standard, it could be wildly inaccurate.
  • + 2
 An electronic gauge with finer graduations isn't any more accurate than a bourdon tube type pressure gauge, Electronic settings can drift, and if it's not calibrated against a good source then it's worthless anyway. The easiest way to check your accuracy would be to make a manometer with some clear plastic hose.
  • + 3
 The SCHWLABE AIRMAX DIGITAL TIRE GAUGE is the one I have seen used the most by WC mechanics. I feel these mechanics are working with some very picky riders at times and need a gauge that precise, portable and they can rely on... So if the Mechanics are choosing this gauge even when the team isn't sponsored by Schwalbe that should be a good indication thats the one you should buy. It's also only 20 bucks.

I have two of these gauges now. One that stays at home shop and one thats in the truck and I'd say 90% of the people I know who have used mine end up going out and getting their own.
  • + 3
 I doubt they are accurate! If you use the same gauge over and over you get a feel for tire pressure that works regardless of the accuracy. Just hope it’s repeatable !
  • + 1
 Yep, I've one. Needs new battery every time you need it
  • + 5
 @MX298: True that! When it comes down to it repeatability is all that matters. I don't care if my gauge says 30 when the real pressure is 25, as long as that's what happens every time.
  • + 2
 @MX298: accuracy isn't important, but precision sure is..
  • + 2
 Pumps tyre to exactly 26.9 psi.... feels tyre with palm....pumps tyre to exactly 28.6...feels tyre with palm, rides off in confidence because of tyre pressure gauge accuracy.
:/
  • + 1
 A good quality track pump will already have a better gauge included for not much more than the price of this alone. Not needed. Fabric was never a brand for new stuff, just rebadging things already available elsewhere and adding their logo.
  • + 3
 I sure miss the $6.00 Price point digital guage.
It was super accurate and had a replacable battery as well.
  • + 2
 I've got one of those too. Reads the same as my much more expensive John Hall approved SKS airchecker. if that is good enough for Gwin, its good enough for me.
  • + 2
 Rip pricepoint
  • + 3
 By the look of that thumbnail product development wasn't easy and marketing budget is low.
  • + 13
 Yeah, bashed on a tree it trying a Sam Hill inside line
  • + 3
 I feel a little ashamed that when I read 'thumbnail', my interpretation was a small image. The sentence didn't make sense until I scrolled up to figure out what was going on.
  • + 3
 @RichardCunningham: So is that why Sam rides with hand guards?
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: agreed. Are you a hand model?
  • + 1
 How did I miss that! That thumb is almost every shot. I can’t even see the product anymore...
  • + 1
 $20 is what a high quality pressure gauge costs. I have actually searched the pages of Grainger catalogues in an attempt to put something like this together as I generally distrust digital pressure gauges.
  • + 1
 Add $30 for the bezel...
  • + 1
 I use a Joe Blow FAT pump because the guage only goes up to 30psi and I feel I get a great reading and I check my pressures each ride.
  • + 2
 I've used this for 10 months, bought online for £29, super accurate, what's not to like, it works.
  • + 4
 accubar is akbar
  • + 4
 Dunno, I think their intentions are quite Admiral
  • + 3
 It's a trap!
  • + 2
 Perfect. This will go great in my pre-ride routine of waxing my frame and lubricating my chain rollers one by one.
  • + 2
 so someone who rides a steel hardtail will probably need one because they are all hipsters/millennials?
  • + 1
 With cusg core you really don't worry about tire pressure. Set it and forget it ????
  • + 2
 I ride a steel hardtail. Why do I need one?
  • + 1
 Because analog.
  • + 1
 Accugauge. They have a 30psi one that is more portable. Not inline but it’s a 1/3 of the price. Very accurate!
  • + 2
 I have a nice analog gauge in my toolbox. Its valuable
  • + 3
 30psi in my minions
  • + 1
 I don't care about your opinions
  • + 2
 Slow day at the office. What's next, toliet paper review?
  • + 2
 yep, started out promising, ended up shitty.
  • + 1
 Are they going to come out with an Accupsi anytime soon?
  • + 0
 I don't need to carry a pressure gauge but if I had to, I would pick a pencil gauge. Lighter and easier to use.
  • + 1
 Looks good but it’s way to hipster for me lol
  • + 1
 Squeezes tire.. its good. Saved myself 50 bones
  • + 1
 I spent $7.99 on a pressure gauge. Works for me lol
  • + 0
 Someone hasn't been using their hyperbaric hand chamber. Those things look 100 years old!
  • + 2
 “I’m a hand model, baby- a finger jockey. We think different from the face-and-body boys.”
  • + 1
 Wonder how it handles a gulp of sealant?
  • + 1
 Wrinkly
  • + 1
 accu-gage from ebay.
  • - 2
 For its intended use being precise on pressures, wouldn't a digital gauge serve those purposes better?
  • + 16
 20 years from now maybe, however it is currently not possible to be both Hipster and Digital simultaneously.
  • + 8
 I find my analog gauges to be much more precise, especially when bleeding. I'll trust mid-range hardware over cheap electronics any day.
  • + 1
 even though digital gauges display in 0.1 psi increments, they are not accurate to 0.1 psi and do not repeatedly display the same pressure (try taking a digital gauge on and off repeatedly and the displayed pressure varies wildly)
Even though the above analogue gauge has 1/2 psi increments, you can read between the marks, such as half way between the marks would be 1/2 psi difference
  • + 1
 correction 1/4 psi difference
  • + 0
 Take my money!
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