December 29, 2020
You've decided to setup an air compressor for working on bicycles in your home workshop - great! In addition to making it much easier to seat tubeless tire beads, an inflator backed by a compressor can also be used for your day-to-day inflation needs.
To complete the system, you'll need an inflator head specific to bicycles. There are two popular options, Prestacycle's Prestaflator line, and the Park Tool INF-2 Shop Inflator. Let's see how they stack up head-to-head and review some of the pros and cons of each.
I recommend the Prestacycle Prestaflator line for end users setting up an air compressor in their home workshop. The Prestaflator Professional is a high-quality alternative to the Park Tool INF-2 and is significantly less expensive.
While there is no reason the INF-2 can't be used in a home workshop, it's a prohibitively expensive tool. The INF-2 is a better fit for use in high-volume bike shops - many bike shops have a pegboard full of Park Tool brand tools already, and need tools capable of staying functional over many thousands of uses with fast turnover - far more than a home mechanic will ever experience.
The INF-2 from Park Tool is the only inflator head for compressors in their product line. The Professional model from Prestacycle is its most direct competitor, however, it's worth noting that Prestacycle also offers a Digital model with a backlit, digital gauge, and an Eco model, which is one of the most economical inflators on the market.
Regardless of which inflator you choose, get the most out of it with my Tips for Installing Tubeless Bicycle Tires after you setup your compressor for the first time.
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