If you have been keeping up with the Jones’s you have either seen or tried a set of “air forks” that come stock on the 2013 and 2014 Honda CRF450R and Kawasaki KX450F bikes. One of the functions of the air forks is the ability to change the air pressure, similar to changing the spring rate but instead of taking forks to a specialist, the PSI can be changed trackside in a matter of minutes. To do so you will need an air gauge and pump, but a regular tire gauge and air pump don’t quite cut it. The average pump and gauge will bleed out air every time you try to test the PSI or fill the fork through the Schrader valve. If you have a bike equipped with air forks a good gauge/pump is a requirement for proper use and adjustment. Works Connection has seen the need for a proper gauge and now has a digital air pump to offer.
So what do you get? It’s an all in one pump and gauge with a digital display at the top of the pump with a swivel hose and screw on connector on the backside. The digital display will read in PSI, Bar, and KG measurements, but for most needs you will just stick with the PSI setting which will read from 1 PSI up to 100 PSI in .5 increments for a more accurate adjustment and 1 PSI increments from 100 to 300 PSI. The fact that there is a number to view can be more reassuring than a dial style gauge,
To make your adjustments, thread the swivel hose onto the Schrader valve (the swivel spins quite fluidly, although the last turn or two to snug it up sometimes you have to spin the whole pump as it tightens). To go up in pressure it’s as simple as a few pumps or to lower the pressure there is a small button on the face of the pump that bleeds out slowly for a controlled adjustment. When you’re done just unscrew the digital pump, limber up, and start shredding! Thanks to the design and very accurate digital read out, this style of pump doesn’t bleed out or lose pressure as you unscrew it.
Other features include an auto shut off after a minute (it actually does not have an off button…batteries are replaceable), and if you’re into pedal power, this pump can play double duty on your MTB forks and shocks since it will work on anything with a Schrader valve. On top of that, the swivel hose that comes standard on the Works Connection Digital Shock Pump is usually an item sold separately on most other pumps…bonus!
Within a few uses, checking my fork pressure became as second nature as setting tire pressure, just something you automatically do before you swing a leg over the bike. After using this pump day in and day out, checking my forks over and over (and comparing against my buddies’ gauges), the accuracy seems to be spot on. The only major complaint I have is that the screen doesn’t have a backlight making it hard to see in darker conditions while the digital readout itself is a little dim and can also be difficult to see in very bright conditions as well. All in all, the Works Connection Digital Shock Pump does what it needs to do and has earned a permanent place in my toolbox.