February 09, 2021
Prestacycle's Prestaflator Professional and Arundel's Shop Inflator both sell for $59.95. An inflator head and air compressor is a must for working on tubeless bicycle tires - but which should you choose to add to your workshop? Let's find out which is the best inflator head for air compressors on the market.
Although these both sell for about $60, they are quite different in design and functionality. Let's take a look at some of the features that will help you decide which is right for you:
* there's also a Schrader-only version, but they don't interchange. Each handles only a single, dedicated valve type.
Both models use a standard 1/4" I/M connector to plug into standard pneumatic air compressor lines, allowing you to hot-swap air tools. Both also feature a "trigger" operation that allows you to easily control the rate of airflow to your tire.
The Arundel Shop Inflator and Prestaflator Professional also use very similar gauges, each reaches a PSI far higher than you'll ever use on a bicycle, and they're almost identical in physical gauge size as well. Both models are easy to read and measure in both PSI and BAR.
Arundel's Shop Inflator does only one thing, but does it very well - inflate tires and tubes equipped with presta valves. There are no accessories or interchangeable parts. Because of its simplicity, you can operate it with one hand, leaving the other free to talk on the phone or grab a snack.
Prestacycle's Prestaflator takes a slightly different approach, with interchangeable tips, which allow you to tackle different tasks. For example, you might inflate pool toys, top up a car tire with a schrader valve, or use a blower tip to clean dust from your workspace. The interchangeable tips simply screw on/off, without tools. You need two hands to operate the inflator though, because the tip is located at the end of a flexible hose, vs. the fixed location tip on the Arundel model.
At just $60, you can't go wrong with either of these inflator tools. Either would be a great addition to your home workshop, and makes working on tubeless MTB, road, gravel, and cyclocross tires a snap.
If your only task is inflating via presta valves, the Arundel Shop Inflator is a simpler, easier to operate tool that can be operated with one hand. Choose this one if you are prone to losing pieces and all your bikes have presta valves, because there are no parts to misplace.
Prestacycle's Prestaflator is more versatile and can handle many other tasks beyond just presta valves, but it's more complicated as well, and takes two hands to operate as a result. You can keep the accessory tips in a ziplock bag on your workbench if desired, and just bring the tool and presta head alone to events for simplicity. It's a better choice if you work on the neighborhood kids bikes, because it handles both presta and schrader valves.
If you don't already have the air compressor needed to power an inflator, here's what to shop for: How to setup a home air compressor.
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