Using an air compressor to inflate bicycle tubeless tires has become a must for professional and amateur mechanics, and after you buy the compressor, you need a bicycle-specific tool (an inflator) to get the compressed air into the presta or schrader valve on your bicycle.
Arundel's Shop Inflator (Presta)
Prestacycle Prestaflator Pro
The two most popular inflator tools on the market for this purpose are the Arundel Shop Inflator and the Prestacycle Prestaflator Pro. Since they're both about the same price, let's put their features and capabilities head-to-head to see how they stack up:
What the Arundel Shop Inflator and Prestacycle Prestaflator Pro have in common
Let's get this out of the way first. These two tools are very much alike in some ways:
- They're both about $60 (check current prices)
- Both will quickly and reliably connect to your air compressor and allow you to seat and inflate tubeless bicycle tires
- They both work with standard 1/4" I/M air compressors and pneumatic lines
- Both use a trigger-style design to allow you to control the airflow
- Both have a built in pressure gauge so you can use them for your regular "top-up" in addition to seating tubeless tires
How the Arundel Shop Inflator and Prestacycle Prestaflator Pro are different
- The Arundel Inflator only handles one valve type. Arundel makes dedicated, specific presta and schrader versions, and the tool can't be converted. Both are excellent tools, but you'd need one of each to handle both valve types. The Prestacycle Prestaflator Pro, in comparison (despite the name) handles both presta and schrader valves in the same tool.
- The Prestacycle Prestaflator Pro connects to the valve with a small piece of flexible tubing. This makes it easier to get the head into small spaces or between spokes. The Arundel Shop inflator does not use the tubing, instead the head is integral to the tool, so it can be harder to fit within narrowly spaced spokes.
- Owing to that design, it's easier to operate the Arundel Shop Inflator with one hand, while you'll need two hands to operate the Prestacycle Prestaflator Pro.
- The Arundel Presta tool is really only designed for bikes, while the Prestacycle tool offers more versatility - it can be used to inflate pool toys, automobile tires, and for general workbench cleanup (like cleaning up sawdust)
- The Arundel tool is simpler and easier to use, with fewer small parts to misplace
How to decide between these two tools
I recommend the Arundel Shop Inflator if:
- All the wheels you plan to work on are presta valve
- You want to be able to use the tool one-handed. This is especially nice if you don't have a workstand or truing stand to hold the bike/wheel while you work on it.
I recommend the Prestacycle Prestaflator Pro if:
- You work on a fleet of bikes that have both presta and schrader valves - for example, if your own high-end bikes have presta valves, but you work on the neighborhood kid's BMX bike with schrader valves.
- You want to use the inflator tool for non-bicycle uses. For example, the Prestaflator Pro comes with interchangeable tips that can inflate pool toys or car tires, and has a blower tip you can use for workbench cleanup.
- You own a workstand. Since you're freed from needing to hold onto the bike, a workstand allows you to use both hands on the Prestacycle tool, one on the trigger and one to hold the head on the valve.
You can't go wrong with either of these tools, and both will serve you well. Can't decide? Call or text (909) 283-3391 and I'll help.
- Arundel Shop Inflator (presta version)
- Arundel Shop Inflator (schrader version)
- Prestacycle Prestaflator Pro
Haven't bought the air compressor yet? I've got a shopping guide and instructions for how to hook it up you should read before you buy.
Thanks for reading.