Topeak Shuttle2 Pressure Gauge
The Topeak Shuttle2 Pressure Gauge is a compact analogue design that can be used solo to check pressure or combined with a pump when topping up mid tour or following a flat. Gauge accuracy and pocket friendly dimensions means it takes up minimal space in a jersey, wedge pack, saddle bag, or similar bike mounted stash point. However, for all its charms, some minor downsides may be deal-breakers.
Pros: Solid build quality, accurate. Compatible with Presta, Schrader & Woods valves.
Cons: Compact dimensions mean gauge is trickier to read in low light and pressure release valve prone to accidental triggering.
Let’s start with dimensions, since I made such a song and dance about it in my opening paragraph...It measures 6.2 x 5.8 x 3 cm (2.4” x 2.3” x 1.2” in case Jacob Rees-Mogg's reading this). Materials wise we’re talking a mix of aluminium alloy and “engineering grade” polymer, which some might argue is marketing speak for composite. I’d prefer to say, good design-strength/durability where it counts and weight savings where appropriate. Topeak say that shuttle refers to the fact it can also be used with a pump, not just a standalone gauge. Obvious, when I was told, but had me guessing beforehand.
As we’ve come to expect from Topeak, there’s some neat design here. The head is designed for Presta, Shrader and Woods valves, catering for bicycle (and to a lesser degree, suspension), motorcycle, car, wheelbarrow and baby stroller tyres. 160psi maximum (11Bar) will cater nicely for most but may fall a little short for some shocks. A thumb lock is arguably a crucial feature, meaning an air-tight union between pump and gauge. In common with its digital cousins, the head also rotates 360 degrees, for ease of reading and compatibility with left and right dominant humans. Round the back, there’s a raised pressure release button for those occasions where you’ve got a bit carried away.
Ease of Use/Contexts 3.5/5
Not quite as intuitive as the Topeak Smart Gauge D2X. It’s hardly complex but I’d do a couple of dry runs before heading out to the wide blue yonder. First up, the head is set to Schrader, and you’ll need to strip and reverse for Presta. Not an arduous task but lacks the convenience of a switch.
Especially when you’ve fixed a flat and the light’s fading. Rotate the head to taste and simply press onto the valve stem. To use in conjunction with a pump, plug it in and flick the thumb lock into the locked position and well, start pumping.
Head and lock functions are similarly progressive and refined, the valve cover fits very accurately, too. I’ve paired ours with Topeak’s Road Master Blaster (review to follow) Topeak Gravel 2 Stage Mini Pump and a Lezyne Road Drive.
I’ve also tested ours on high pressure and high-volume bicycle tyres, trailer, cars and wheelbarrows-the latter since opportunity presented. Oh, since we’re here, it’s not designed to be paired with Co2 cartridges, that’s what their Air Booster G2 is for. Used with the pumps described, pressure quickly registered and seemingly without lag, or loss- something that isn’t always so with integral gauges.
Though my hands aren’t like the proverbial dinner plates, I have long willowy fingers and I found during our formative bonding sessions, I accidentally hit the pressure release button, almost without fail, which was frustrating, especially if I’d got my pressures just so using bike mounted pumps-again, more of an issue on high pressure, rather than big volume rubber.
I managed to navigate this, with use, holding the gauges outer perimeter, rather than back, when checking, or indeed, removing. To some extent, I accepted this is a trade-off, given the unit’s size. However, I wondered whether a yellow, or similarly contrasting colour for the button would help. Talking of which, there has been a small loss of pressure during fitment/release. Topeak suggest this can be up to 5psi. I’ve lost between 2 and 3 and countered this by going a few psi over when pumping.
I have cross referenced ours using Topeak Smart Gauge D2X and an original SKS Air checker, which has been very dear to me, for many years. Allowing for the fact that an analogue gauge is going to lack the absolute, pinpoint precision of a digital readout, and of course, taking user eyesight into account, the Shuttle2 has been reassuringly exact.
145psi is close as I’ve come to the full 160 but cross referencing with digital gauges suggests (1-2psi variance across the board). Topeak cites accuracy as being within 2psi up to 100psi and 2% beyond that. Debate rages but in my camp, this should be good enough for road/trailside duties, especially given broader tyre pressure ranges these days.
The display is small, but relatively clear, although at night, or dusk, the benefits of a digital gauge/backlight are obvious. However, a moot point if you carry a small mid power LED light for backup and roadside tweaks.
I’ve accidentally dropped ours a couple of times with no ill effect- either upon pressure readings, or impression upon the composites. Little touches, such as neatly machined and finished valve components, so I can’t see any issues. However, a rebuild kit is a missed opportunity.
There are no batteries to replace (or indeed leak, if you’re forgetful) and so long as you don’t drown it bog snorkelling, leave it in the bottom of a saturated bag or lose it beneath the wheels of a double decker, I can’t see why it won’t serve a long and faithful life.
The Topeak Shuttle G2 is solidly built, accurate, and for the most part, pleasant to use. However, the price may leave a lump in some throats. Afterall, you can buy the brand’s digital Smart Guage D2 for £29.99 (We’ve seen it a few quid cheaper online). It registers pressures to 250psi, which caters for forks and other shocks, if appropriate and the head rotates 180 degrees. However, the Shuttle G2 is smaller and in my book, a better bet for carrying on the bike. Fabric Acubar is another analogue model that weighs in at £35. It comes complete with a long, flexible hose and will entertain Presta and Schrader valves. However, maximum pressure is 40psi (2.8 bar) which is arguably very limiting- high volume mtb, trailer and car tyres.
The Zefal Twin Graph is a no-frills composite model supposedly registering up to 160psi (in both psi and bar) and exact to within 2psi. The head is fixed but it will accommodate Presta and Schrader valves. £11.99. There are also some store branded analogue models that come in under a tenner, feature dual heads, release valves and reckoned capable of registering 160psi.
Ultimately, there are much cheaper and very competent gauges, some of them digital. This includes the Topeak Smart Guage D2. However, the Shuttle G2 is very well made, accurate and arguably the most practical choice for touring. I feel the pressure bleed button merits some revision and a rebuild kit would be welcomed.