Topeak Shuttle Gauge Digital - Review

Mar 27, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
Topeak Shuttle Gauge Digital review


How do you usually check your tire pressure? Do you go by feel, relying on those finely calibrated meat paws, or do you pull out a trusty gauge in order to make sure you've got exactly the right amount of air in there? Topeak's Shuttle Gauge Digital is aimed at the latter crowd, with a digital readout capable of measuring tire (or shock) pressure down to .5 psi. A swiveling head makes it easy to read the LCD screen, and there's a bleed valve on the back side to let off any excess air pressure without needing to remove the gauge.

The Shuttle Gauge can also be attached to a pump, whether that's to provide more accuracy than the dial-type gauges typically found on floor pumps, or to impress your friends with your trailside tire inflation precision.
Shuttle Gauge Digital Details
• Measure pressures up to 300 psi / 20.7 bar
• Rotatable head
• Can be attached to floor or hand pump
• Auto-off function
• Weight: 102 grams
• MSRP: $64.95 USD
www.topeak.com

Capable of measuring up to 300 psi / 20.7 bar, and powered by one CR2032 battery, the Shuttle Gauge Digital retails for $64.95 USD.


Topeak Shuttle Gauge Digital review
The display can be switched between psi, bar, and kilograms-per-square-centimeter.
Topeak Shuttle Gauge Digital review
An aluminum lever is used to lock the device into place, and there's a bleed valve on the backside above the battery compartment.


Performance

Operating the Shuttle Gauge is about as straightforward as it gets – push it over the valve, rotate the aluminum lever to lock it into place, and bingo, you now know how much pressure is in your tire. Too much air? There's a small button on the backside of the device to bleed off any excess.

Using the gauge with a pump is a little more involved, but it's still not exactly complicated – one side fits into the pump, and the other receives the tire valve. The male end of the gauge, the portion that goes into a pump, can either be set up to simulate a Presta or Shrader valve via the included adapter. It'll depend on the pump you're using, but I found the fit was more secure in the Shrader configuration – the wider valve helped reduce the amount of wobbliness.

In all honesty, I found attaching the gauge to a pump more hassle than it was worth. I preferred to inflate the tire, remove the pump, and then check the pressure with the gauge. Having the double-stack of gauge and pump head seemed unnecessarily complicated to me.


Topeak Shuttle Gauge Digital review
The Shuttle Gauge can be attached to a mini-pump for the most accurate flat fixes ever.
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Topeak Shuttle Gauge Digital review
The Smart Gauge is on the left, and the Shuttle Gauge is on the right.

Topeak Shuttle Gauge vs Smart Gauge D2

For the last month or so I've been switching back and forth between Topeak's Smart Gauge D2, which I already had in my toolbox, and the Shuttle Gauge, in order to see which one I preferred. Here's the quick rundown:

Ergonomics / Operation: Ask any mechanic – the way a tool fits and feels in your hand is a crucial detail, especially if it's something you'll be using nearly every day. The rectangular shape of the Shuttle Gauge is a little odd, especially the depression where the battery sits – at first I thought that there was a part missing, but that's just how it's designed. It doesn't feel as natural in my hand as the Smart Gauge, and the addition of the locking mechanism means that it takes two hands to operate.

The Smart Gauge emits an audible “beep” once the tire pressure has been read, something the Shuttle Gauge doesn't do. In addition, the Smart Gauge's bleed valve is in a better location, and it can be quickly switched between Shrader and Presta valves with the flick of a lever. Point: Smart Gauge

Accuracy: The key with any gauge is to use the same one – switching back and forth between different models can result in different readings. The Shuttle Gauge gets the point here due to the fact that it displays results in half-pound increments, which could be useful for extra-obsessive riders, or fat bikers who run extremely low pressures.

Price: The Shuttle Gauge can be attached to a pump, something that's not possible with the Smart Gauge, but that also raises the price by nearly $20. If that's not a feature you're interested in, the Smart Gauge is the way to go.



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe Shuttle Gauge Digital looks good on paper, but its ergonomics and ease of use weren't exactly what I'd been hoping for. The good news is that Topeak's Smart Gauge D2 is still in the lineup, and is well worth a look for riders looking for a simple, easy to operate digital gauge. Mike Kazimer








142 Comments

  • + 138
 I still check my tire pressure by squeezing them.
  • + 1
 Came here to say the same thing. I'm glad this was the first comment. I bet most people can get within a few psi by feel alone. That's always been good enough for me.
  • + 27
 Meh, I can tell if it's rideable by squeezing, yes. But I'm really particular about pressure and I could prob guess closer riding the bike than squeezing the tire, especially with the thicker casings I prefer to run. I check pressures with my pump before almost every adventure.
  • + 132
 Get coil tyres, problem solved
  • + 39
 At least with your hands your can feel if thats real pressure or fake silicon pressure. Not that it matters as both are fun to ride.
  • + 4
 I call it the hand-o-meter.
  • + 26
 If you are still checking by feel you need to raise the bar.
  • + 6
 I'm guessing you're on tubes and dealing with pinch flats too?
  • + 2
 @yzedf: Ha, last year I was. Switched to tubeless over the winter and first rides have been good. Pump them up to 30 psi +, let air out until traction feels right.
  • + 4
 My Topeak - not so "Smart Gauge" - died after a season of use. After re-soldering it correctly, instead of hot glue gunning it like professionals, it barely beeps, is inaccurate and the screen display is nearly invisible now too. Good luck keeping the correct pressure on the battery as well. The pressure gauge is hyper sensitive to tire sealant. What a waste of my hard earned money. Buyer beware!
  • + 2
 I have a bunch of really handy tyre pressure gauges that can do lots of things, including nose, ear and teeth cleaning.
  • + 4
 That's how I check my melons too.
  • + 3
 @lenmerderdenfer: Same here... Smart gauge bonked out after only a couple uses. would beep incessantly and not give a reading. Exchanged it, new one did the same thing after a week. said f*ck it.

Bought the Shimano Pro gauge, it worked great for 2 years, then the battery died. Its soldered in, can't replace it... :/
  • + 5
 And here is why people complain about carbon rims cracking.....
  • + 1
 @mattsavage: I guess I should down vote you for helping to protect other potential buyers like I have been, haha. No, for real, I feel your loss. I to remember the incessant beeping. I'm through with Topeak.
  • + 2
 Wow, a lot of thumbs up on this comment. In my own personal experience and seeing others dent their rims or flat was due to not getting the right amount of tire pressure for their weight, speed and terrain. To each their own but I do prefer to use my Topeak smart gauge D2 that way I can customize how much air for each particular ride.
  • + 1
 @Dustfarter: apart from the fact that many folks run their tyres too hard to protect the carbon rim...
  • + 1
 @Dustfarter: So true. For the riders who are racing and going flat out on rough terrain they shouldn't be surprised when their carbon rim cracks. If they want to run lower pressure given their own weight and terrain they should slap a cush core or something of the like to help protect the rim.
  • + 3
 @DC981: yep, I have no idea what pressure I run, just go by feel and knowing what's gonna work for the terrain that day
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: only if they have a bar mounted climb switch
  • + 0
 @bigtim: I appreciate you saying this. Any legitimate tire gauge—even automotive is preferable to the hand check. Checking by hand on anything other than your beach cruiser is unforgivably Bush-League. Do they check their PSI on their car, or just use the accident, or blow-out as an indicator?
  • + 1
 @mattsavage: bummer, mine has been great. Better keep a keen eye on it in case the newer ones aren't as good.
  • + 51
 Hard to gauge whether this is worth it at $65
  • + 29
 Trying to set the bar high.
  • + 17
 It does put a lot of pressure on the wallet.
  • + 45
 it's called inflation
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Mar 27, 2018 at 9:43) (Below Threshold)
 I’m pumped for more puns
  • + 7
 I'm sure there's some air in that price..
  • + 3
 You guys are To Peaky on the price; it doesn't have too many digit al right?
  • + 12
 They really Presta limits of pricing on this one
  • - 2
 According to Salt'N'Peppa, we've been asked to pump up the jam.....
Will this work on testing said pumped jam?

Asking for a mate.
  • + 2
 @Waldon83: salt n peppa said to push it real good. Pump up jam was a different group. Thanks its stuck in my head now.
  • + 3
 @mrgonzo:
Dammit, it was Technotronic.....

Oh well, now it's stuck in both our heads.
  • + 11
 Gave up on digital gauges a while ago. Couldn't find a single one that would work longer than 3 months and the kicker was when the last one died in the parking lot on race day. Used someones Accugauge and realized that sometimes it's just better to keep it simple. It's (gasp!) a dial gauge with no beeps or sounds but far more accurate, reliable, and inexpensive ($20 on Amazon)
  • + 3
 My sentiments exactly. I've had several flavors of digital gauges that were just plain inaccurate, lose their seal around the valve, or are both. Accugauge is where it's at! They may be +/- a few PSI but they are at least consistently off by that amount.
  • + 4
 yup, I've been using the 15 dollar AccuGauge for years! 0-30 PSI
  • + 2
 Try the blackburn honest guage. Works good and will last
  • + 1
 @blast-off: Me too and if I recall it was about $11.00 on Jenson.
  • + 1
 @onemanarmy: hadn't seen that one before, looks nice.
  • + 5
 I've had Topeak's Smart Gauge D2 for 2 years now and it's never failed me once. Still haven't swapped the battery with a new one either.
  • + 1
 @onemanarmy: My Honest Gauge indicates about 2 psi higher than my Smart D2. Not sure which one is accurate...
  • + 1
 @NordieBoy: Crazy. If the honest is off hit up Blackburn and they'll give you a new one. Those are accurate within .1psi from my understanding.
  • + 14
 I like to run my tires at 297 PSI, so this is perfect!
  • + 2
 High pressure readings are useful when setting shock pressure Wink
  • + 8
 @caboose483: but can you buy a shock pump that doesn't already have a gauge built in? With this thing the process would be (1) inflate to desired pressure, (2) double check with this gauge, (3) re-attach your shock pump and add the 10-20 pounds you lost with all the swaps
  • + 2
 @plyawn: the logic would be the same as a tire pump with a fairly inaccurate dial gauge.

- Over-inflate the tire or shock
- Detach the pump
- Attach the gauge
- Bleed down the pressure to whatever is desired
- Detach the gauge
- pedalpedalpedal

If you're not really interested in tire and shock pressures being bang on and +/1 10% is acceptable then I can't see this gauge being of any benefit. If you do like to test and adjust and test and adjust it could be a useful tool.
  • + 1
 Won't this attach to the shock pump?
  • + 1
 @cmcrawfo: Sorry, late to the party but still wanted to answer your question. But I always found the gauges integrated in shock pumps way too inaccurate for air sprung suspension forks, even though I actually received these along with my forks. I already had the Smart Gauge but unfortunately I lose way to much air when using that for measuring air pressure in the forks, so it doesn't work well for that. I now have the Topeak Micro Shock pump (without gauge) that is small enough to take along on my ride and use that along with this Shuttle Gauge so that I can actually inflate the fork accurately.

So yeah, I'm now left with two digital gauges. It is fine though. Because I always lose a little bit of air from my tires I usually over inflate them a little after my ride. When I enter the garage for my next ride I can keep my backpack on and use the Smart Gauge in the garage to drop the pressure where I want it to be.

TL;DR: The short version of this long winded answer: yes it attaches to a shock pump which makes it worthwhile to go with a more compact pump that doesn't come with a gauge.
  • + 10
 @mikekazimer, when you have the gauge locked onto the valve and you press the button to bleed out / release air, does the psi reading change? Your video ends before this question could be resolved...

Or do you have to remove the gauge from the valve, and re-install onto the valve to get the new psi reading?
  • + 7
 Good question - the psi reading on the Shuttle Gauge changes, which means you don't need to remove it.
  • + 1
 In the write up he mentions that the pressure does change in the shuttle gauge but not on the topeak gauge.
  • + 13
 I have the Smart Gauge. You don’t have to remove it and put it back on to get a new reading when using the bleed button. Just push the “tune” button and the display blinks. This means that it’s continuously taking readings. Bleed, read, repeat. @mikekazimer:
  • + 4
 @whezy, you're absolutely right - thanks for the correction.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: I could see this as very beneficial on my fatbike as I don't have a special pump with a low pressure guage, other mtbs are a easy squeezey kinda deal, but my meats are not tuned precisely enough to dial in the fatty. On the other hand $65 seems inflated (pun intended). I'll stick with my Accu guage.
  • + 2
 @whezy: aha! came down here to complain about not being able to do that with my smart gauge. Problem solved. That has always bugged me.
  • + 8
 i use the Smart Gauge D2. i havent been riding long enough for my fingers to be calibrated correctly to judge tire pressure. also helps trail side when there's a flat and i would rather not have another flat cause of an under inflated tire.
  • + 4
 I'm on my 3rd smartguage D2 in 2 years. The quality is lacking but the function is perfect. If Topeak would just come out with a D2 upgrade that lasted, everyone would be happy.
  • + 6
 I've been using my Smart Gauge for about two years now and check my pressure almost every ride. I've only had to swap the battery once. It hasn't failed me yet! I'd probably get another one unless the shuttle gauge comes down in price. An invaluable tool for someone that loves to tinker and record their settings.
  • + 2
 Same. Had several Schwalbe digital gauges die on me, but my Smart Gauge has been going great for a year or two...
  • + 1
 Yep, if the Smart Gauge measured to .5psi, it'd be almost perfect. 2 years out of mine so far. Easy bleed is brilliant.
  • + 3
 I bougt a cheap plastic chinese guage for $3 and it has been working for many years now. There is no point in spending so much money on a guage. Or is this sport actually for the millionaires? There is so many better things you can spend the saved $60 dolars on.
  • + 3
 I used to use my Topeak digital gauge (OG one, not this one) and it was great. Then I bought a Lezyne high volume, analog mountain-bike specific pump and no longer need it. It's just as accurate and takes one step out of the process. Fantastic product and doesn't lose air when releasing the head.
  • + 3
 AccuGauges can be found for as little as $12. They won’t die after being left in a pack/garage/car for weeks and have a bleed button. One less battery can’t be bad. Brass and steel FTW. Digital seems nicer and possibly more accurate but these analog gauges still show half psi increments as long as you get a low range scale gauge (0-50 psi.)
  • + 5
 I don't know the PSI that I ride at, I go by feel.. 40 yr old titty, 30 yr old titty, 20 yr old titty......
  • + 4
 Rare,mid rare,well done
  • + 6
 Why did you trail off after 20 yr old? We all know what comes next....
  • + 3
 @Tim2: jail, jail comes next....
  • + 4
 If running tubeless, make sure the valve is at 12 o'clock position or the surge of sealant will enter your guage and dry up and ruin it..
  • + 4
 Even at 12 oclock you still get a fine mist that gets blown into the gauge
  • + 3
 @konacyril on second thought, maybe 4 o'clock is better to drain out the valve core off of sealant..
  • + 1
 @denomerdano: This is the KEY to having your smart gauge last a long time. I am on my third one and I am happy with the durability. Bleed the trye slightly through the valve stem a bit and no worries your digital gauge will last... mine have.
  • + 2
 @oneplanka: apart from a sticky presta/schrader lever, mine is doing quite well for being 2 years old.
  • + 2
 I know a lot of people are saying they don't feel the need to have a digital tire pressure gauge, which I totally understand, but when I made the switch to carbon rims, I personally felt that it was a useful tool to ensure that I don't let my tire pressure go to low and lead to a cracked rim.
  • + 1
 @neologisticzand: Your reason for wanting an accurate gauge is a good one but you can just as accurately measure that pressure with an analog gauge which doesn't require batteries, will last forever, and can be had for about $11.00.
  • + 1
 @tsn73: that's true. I personally use the cheaper smart guage, which I might in sale.
  • + 1
 It´s so easy to adjust pressure back to the ideal pressure with the smart gauge. The problem with the barometric difference of the region is immediately fixed and there is no need to take the pump out of the car again if you have your tires prepared at home with enough air. Adjusting the pressure again on hot days after some laps is always a good idea. Some people don't even know that the smart gauge can adjust and show the right pressure at the same time. (Read the manual !) If you are confused that there is a delay between adjusting the pressure and displaying the pressure - the delay is just a second and you should know that the confusing display for that second is normal and not a bug. It works very comfortable. Oh my god, if all this sounds like a bigmouth, that was not my intention. I just like that tool so much that I want to share my enthusiasm for it :-)
  • + 1
 The accuracy comment;
"The key with any gauge is to use the same one – switching back and forth between different models can result in different readings."
should read be labelled 'consistency' rather than accuracy, as it's clear that one or both of the gauges reviewed are actually in-accurate.
..I do understand, (and agree) with the point to try to achieve repeatability , but it's sad that we seem to accept that most of the gauges available for bikes are quite crappy. For my money I'll go with a brass bourdon tube dial gauge for ~$30. (accu-gage or other) You'll get accuracy and repeatability and it'll last years longer that the disposable stuff that topeak and blackburn market.
  • + 1
 File this under “solutions to non-existent problems” never once whilst repairing a flat have I thought ‘what I really need is a gauge for my mini pump to ensure perfect air pressure’ because 1) you’re putting a tube in so your magical air pressure that you’ve worked so hard to discover is out the window and 2) you’re putting a tube in so even if you are racing chances are your precious podium hopes are out the window and if you’re JRA you’re only worry is getting home...
  • + 1
 I only use digital gauges for tires ans suspension, although I use a floor pump with a digital gauge rather than something like this..... If I get a flat on the trail, I'll just pump it up and squeeze it cause my ride's ruined anyway.
  • + 2
 same. If you have the discipline to check after you get home inflate & check by hand, then double check with a gauge to learn what the desired pressure feels like. A gauge on the trail is overkill for me.
  • + 4
 What if your tires lose air in between rides? The correct way is to check them home before your ride, not after...
  • + 1
 $65 USD for a gauge, no thanks. If it read up to 350psi I *might* be interested. How about a REAL accuracy test? Just because it displays in .5 increments does not mean it's actually measuring them.
  • + 4
 What, only .5 PSI increments? This is not DUB compatible.
  • + 3
 I bought a husky digital tire pressure at Home Depot for $4, it does the same thing.
  • + 1
 does it work with presta valves?
  • + 1
 @MmmBones: yes it does, you just need the adapter.
  • + 4
 What's next a tire wear gauge?
  • + 0
 I only use the SmartGauge on vehicle tires, but I have had it for a few years and have never had to change the battery. I occasionally use it to check my other gauges, though. I find that the JoeBlow Fat dial gauge is accurate enough for tubeless tires, and everyone that borrows it loves it (I don't know too many people that run more than 30 psi these days). I also like the way their shock pump attaches and detaches without losing pressure. I can't imagine using either the SmartGauge or Shuttle Gauge on a shock -- you may get a good reading, but as soon as you take it off, who knows how much pressure is in there?
  • + 3
 Meh. I have a $10 analog gauge that works perfectly fine. I'll stick with that.
  • + 4
 I usually take it 28.99 in the rear
  • + 10
 bruh....
  • - 2
 I prefer 28.673
  • - 3
 your mom prefers more Razz
  • + 2
 I'm definitely gonna start giving people all my pressures in kilograms per square centimeter.
  • + 2
 Don't forget the Smart Gauge works with forks and shocks!! I just got one from Amazon for under 30 bucks. Very nice tool.
  • + 1
 So lame to see that for 65$ it doesn’t haven’t a resolution beyond 1psi yet it teases you with a “.0” for every reading.
  • + 2
 there are perfectly accurate digital gauges on the market for ~$20. $65 is ridiculous.
  • + 1
 I'd like to know how well these gauges stand up to sealant? Do they get contaminated or jammed up at all from bits of sealant blowing through? Can they be cleaned?
  • + 0
 Yes, No. Use your hands or tubes.
  • + 3
 Gravity... Have the valve stem not at the bottom of the wheel when you're checking pressures.
  • + 2
 @yzedf: Derp! Of course, thanks!
  • + 1
 I've bought two of the smart gauges previously and they both had the battery go flat too quickly to be useful. Bought the analogue meiser gauge instead.
  • + 3
 So if it reads to 300psi, can it be used with shock pump?
  • + 1
 I believe that's the idea.....
  • + 3
 Yes, it can be used for both tires and suspension.
  • + 3
 Yes, you can read high pressures, but when you put it away you do not know how much loss you had from putting it away. The loss can be between 5 to 20 psi depending on how fast you put it away ! Use a shock pump with an extra closing valve for shocks with so much psi ! For lower pressures under 90psi like on a fox downhill fork it works very well. The loss is constant and only one or two psi.
  • + 1
 Sorry, my comment was only for the smart gauge. Saw that mikekazimer is saying that this should work. Missed that you are meaning the new one.
  • + 1
 @fossydh: How do you measure how much pressure you lost?
  • + 1
 @Demoguy: When you measure twice or do the same with a shock pump (with a closing valve) you can see that there is a huge difference between 250psi and 80 psi. Here is an example: When i use the smart gauge for the fork and lets say I want go down with the pressure i just put it onto the fork, read the display to look how much psi it is, pull it off and when I put it on again, the pressure is 1psi lower as before. If you want to adjust the pressure with the smart gauge accurately on a air shock from 250psi to lets say 245psi it is just impossible. It goes down randomly. You need something like a Lezyne Shock Digital Floor Drive to do that accurately. 250psi is to high to adjust with the smart gauge and you need a closed system to close the valve of the shock BEFORE you remove the pump. The sound you hear when you remove the pump may still be confusing, but don't worry - it comes only out of the pump because the feature of this professional shock pump works fine and it is sure that the valve on the shock was already closed.
Here is a picture how it works:
www.sicklines.com/review/pocket_shock_dxg/topeak_pocket_shock_dxg5.jpg
I never had batterie problems with the digital floor drive nor the smart gauge and love both of them. A lot of pumps may cheaper, but maybe most of them are not able to keep the pressure accurately with the display when you remove the pump. With a simple shock pump you are not able to restore a good preferred value that you have tested weeks before.
  • + 1
 I love the Topeak's Smart Gauge D2 but sometimes I wish it did .5 increments like the shuttle.
  • + 1
 Can you use it with a compressor? Seems like that would be nice if you could top up without having to go over and deflate.
  • + 2
 But does it work in temperatures below-10°C?
  • + 8
 To be honest, my fingers don't.
  • + 2
 yah - not a big fan of expensive, battery-powered gauges compared to a cheap yet accurate analog gauge
  • + 1
 @plyawn: I agree. Also though, won't the analog gauge change significantly in cold weather due to all the internal springs as such?
  • + 1
 Big fan of the smart gauge! I’m the guy that checks PSI before every ride though... consistency!!!
  • + 1
 Looks like the same display and button that’s on the RS digital shock pump.
  • + 1
 That would suck if you land on this thing while in your enduro hip pack! It would definitely leave a mark!
  • + 1
 21 psi Mike! Have you lost the plot!??!
  • + 1
 His tyres are soft but So Solid at the same time.
  • + 4
 @Robo88, I don't think I've lost the plot, at least not yet. There are a bunch of factors that go into tire pressure - rim width, tire width, casing thickness, rider weight, terrain...

Where I live the trails have more roots than rocks, and tend to be wet and squishy rather than rock hard. For that reason, and because I'm 160 lb, I can get away with running relatively low pressures on 30mm rims with 2.5" tires.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: fair points, I was feigning typical pinkbike Partisan anger in the pursuit of comedy but hey ho.
  • + 2
 @Robo88, ha, my sarcasm-meter must have been off - it was still pretty early in the morning.
  • + 1
 My mits are all I need for now.
  • + 0
 Enduro guys will buy this! Trail guys just do the squezze test and were good to go!
  • + 1
 The gauge in my mind is fine - has the tyre exploded? No? We're good.
  • + 1
 Does adding 'shuttle' to the name make enduro-approved?
  • + 1
 Its a smart as a newborn yet more expensive
  • + 4
 Nothing is more expensive than a newborn. Nothing.
  • + 0
 Digital motor = motor bike
  • + 1
 smart gauge all the way
  • + 1
 $65? C’mon man
  • + 1
 Exactly. It's a freaking joke.

Blackburns truth gauge is $25 and works great. No way in hell I'm paying $60 for that.
  • + 2
 @onemanarmy: I’m looking for a good gauge
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