Can You Use a Car Tire Pressure Gauge on a Bike?

The simple answer to this is yes. Although, this will depend on the type of air valve the bike’s tubes have. If your bike tire has a Schrader valve, then the car tire pressure gauge will work unlike if it has a Presta valve.

Most of us will agree that pressure gauges are part of those tools we often like to overlook in our toolbox.

But when they fail to work, it can become frustrating, to say the least (I can attest to that). The simple working mechanism of pressure gauges ensures optimum pressure is kept in the tire.

All of this makes sure that your bike is in good shape and works well.

There are quite a number of reasons for using a pressure gauge, one being that a tire that is running too low a pressure is more likely to wear down more quickly than a tire that has the correct pressure.

This also applies to a tire that has high pressure (overpressured tire), has a risk of bursting.

This is why pressure gauges are important so you will be able to measure the pressure of the tire of your bike and also prevent overinflation of your bike tire as well as any accident that may occur due to wear and tear.

How to use a car tire pressure gauge on a bike to check its pressure

Can You Use a Car Tire Pressure Gauge on a Bike

You will need to have a pen and paper along with the pressure gauge and an air compressor for filling the pressure.

Step one: The tires should be cold

Before you check the pressure of your bike tires, it is recommended you check it when the tire is cold.

A cold tire can be gotten when the bike has been for parked for hours specifically three hours or more or a bike that has been driven for less than a mile.

When you are sure the tire is cold, you can then proceed to the next step.

Step two: Check the tire pound per square inch (PSI) range

PSI as mentioned above means pound per square inch of pressure and this is usually specified by the manufacturer.

Pound per square inch is the unit that pressure gauges (whether it is a pressure gauge designed specifically for cars or a pressure gauge designed specifically for bikes) use to provide a reading.

Some bike tires have a range on the side. If that is not the case for your bike, you can either consult your manufacturer or any tire professional that is qualified.

Step three: Write out the PSI for each tire

This is where the paper and pen come in. Write out the PSI.

The PSI for your front and rear tires might be different and therefore will need different pressure levels.

Note that down so you do not get confused as you check the pressure of each tire

Step four: Check the pressure of your bike tire

If your bike has a Schrader valve then you can proceed to check the pressure, whereas if your bike tire has a Presta valve, there is an adapter (like this one on Amazon) you can get to convert a Presta to a Schrader.

The adapter is cheap and very easy to attach.

Step five: Check the pressure using the car tire pressure gauge

The first thing to do is remove the valve cap from the front tires of your bike, you then place the car tire pressure gauge on the valve system.

Make sure you press down hard so the hissing sound will disappear. Your gauge will provide a reading.

A reading will show on the screen of a digital pressure gauge while on a standard pressure gauge, the measurement units are on the bar as the air pressure pushes the small bar out from the bottom of the gauge.

Write out the pressure you just checked and repeat this for the remaining tire.

Step six: Fill the tire

To fill to the recommended Pound per square inch of pressure, use an air compressor.

After you are done filling, check the pressure of all the tires again with the pressure gauge to make sure it was not underfilled or overfilled. you can let some air out the tires if you overfill them. This will help prevent tears and wear.

Step seven: Repeat regularly

It is advisable to have a routine where you will regularly check your bike tire pressure. Most people and I included check the tire pressure every two to three weeks depending on how often the bike is driven.

What to check before using car pressure gauge for bike

The type of valve

There are two types of air valves that can be found on a bike’s tube; the Schrader valve, and the Presta valve.

The Schrader valve has the exact diameter and valving system as the one on regular car tires.

If this is what your bike tires have then the car tire pressure gauge will work alright for you.

That is not the case for bikes having Presta valves, as most modern bikes particularly the higher-end ones have been using this type of valve.

The Presta valve has half the diameter of the Schrader valve and the mechanism for the valves a totally different.

So, it will basically be of no use to anyone to use a car tire pressure gauge on a bike that has a Presta valve.

But, not all hope is lost if this is the case for you, you can convert a Presta valve to a Schrader valve using an adapter.

The pressure range you need to measure

Most car tire pressure gauges only go up to 50 PSI or so which can be low for most valves. Make sure to check the PSI range on your bike as well as the PSI range of the pressure gauge.

You can check this on the side of your tire or contact your bike tires manufacturer to confirm.

Analog or digital gauge

Is the car tire pressure gauge digital or analog? this is something to check before using it.

Both types of pressure gauges have their own pros and cons. The analog pressure gauge is very easy to use and they are also inexpensive.

They also do not require a power source but it has some cons in that the moving parts can easily wear out and are susceptible to overpressure.

Their calibrations require you to disassemble and manipulation of the screws can lead to user error.

Whereas the digital pressure gauge is durable, calibration is precise, the options are customizable and the electric LED display makes it easier to read but the cons are that they require a power source, are more expensive and the batteries do not last for long.

5 car pressure gauge that can work with a bike

This pressure gauge has been selected based on its accuracy, durability, and workability so you are certain of getting the best

ATsafepro 2.5” Dial Mechanical Tire Gauge

Can You Use a Car Tire Pressure Gauge on a Bike

This is an analog type of pressure gauge requiring no batteries and although it would probably fit into your pant pockets, it is bulky.

It has a pressure range of 0 to 100 psi which is great for bikes. If you are looking for a clear display that is easy to read even if you want to check the pressure of your bike tire in the dark, then this pressure gauge is Perfect you for.

I like the rubber grip design eliminates any discomfort that can be gotten while using the pressure gauge. The long air hose is suitable for any vehicle or bike tires.

The textured tire tread design on the pressure gauge kept my hands from slipping. But I realized that after using it for a while, it needs to be cleaned out. Overall, this is a great purchase.

AstroAI Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

Can You Use a Car Tire Pressure Gauge on a Bike

This is a digital pressure gauge, clearly a different type from the first one mentioned. This pressure gauge has four setting that have this ranges ,0-150PSI / 0-10Bar / 0-10Kgf/cm² or 0-1000KPA.

The good thing about this pressure gauge is that you do not need to reset or calibrate the pressure gauge as it does this automatically when taking the pressure.

Unlike the first pressure gauge, this one is really slim and can be easily tucked inside any pocket. I also like the fact this pressure gauge automatically shuts off after 30 to 40 seconds to save its power.

This pressure gauge is not compatible with a Presta valve but the nozzle easily fits with that valve on Schrader valves.

A Battery is also included even though the batteries cannot last forever so you might end up spending on batteries than you would on a new pressure gauge.

TireTek Tire Pressure Gauge

Can You Use a Car Tire Pressure Gauge on a Bike

This is a good pressure valve considering the price. It will provide an accurate reading when compared to other gauges.

I like the fact that it is very durable, it is made of metal and the rubber cover around the gauge head is shock absorbing.

I mistakenly dropped the pressure gauge one time but even then, the route tube rubber covering prevented any damage and it still works and reads well.

Most people will complain that the whole unit is just too large but that is a minor infringement.

Lantoo Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

Can You Use a Car Tire Pressure Gauge on a Bike

This is an accurate and inexpensive pressure gauge. It has a Schrader-type valve and would require a converter for bikes with a Presta valve.

Unlike most pressure gauges that always change their answer most times after reading, this pressure gauge has no problem as long as it is properly secured.

It has a lighted end which is great for when you want to check your tire pressure outside at night.

Another great feature of this pressure gauge I have come to love is that it stores the pressure reading long enough to read so you do not have to attach it to the tire again.

The fact that this pressure gauge measures without any audible air leakage from the tire unlike most units, the battery compartment can be easily opened without a screwdriver and the battery is a common type should be convincing enough to purchase it.

This pressure gauge has some added features like the red light, seat belt cutter that I hope will not come in handy along with a window hammer which is good to have if ever needed.

AUTO METER 2343 Autogage Mechanical Tire Pressure Gauge

Can You Use a Car Tire Pressure Gauge on a Bike

If you are tired of the digital pressure gauges that batteries die from lack of use, questionable accuracy then it’s time to go retro. It is a really great buy for the price.

This pressure gauge is a quality unit and it is fairly heavy (can fit in your glove compartment easily). The dial on this pressure gauge is really clear.

The black needle and white face with black markings make it so simple to see even fractional psi readings.

So far, there has not been any leakage as the pressure retention valve works flawlessly.

You just have to keep in mind to always hit the purge button to reset the pressure gauge if you are taking multiple readings while you are deflating an overinflated tire.

The build quality of this pressure gauge feels nice although I can agree that it is a whole lot heavier than a pen-style pressure gauge.

Dropping this pressure gauge is not of concern to me as this looks and feels solid as a rock. It is easy to carry about as you can just slip it into your pocket.

Also while taking a reading, it presses on tire valves smoothly and this makes getting a good deal easy for an accurate reading. It is important to note that this has a maximum range of 60PSI.


In conclusion, you can choose from a wide range of pressure gauges for your bike depending on the one that suits you. A car tire pressure gauge will work very well on a bike.

Even though there are limitations when it comes to a bike having a Presta valve as most cars use the Schrader valve. This can be solved by using an adapter.

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