There was a time when an air compressor was something only your gearhead uncle or your handy neighbor would have. Something to run nail guns and air wrenches at 7 am on any Sunday, not something every rider wants when we face seating a tire of average (or even below-average) stubbornness. Now, if we look to make easy work of late-night wheel repair or last-minute tire swaps, every one of us ought to have this $60 symbol of adulthood in our garage.
But you wouldn't think so by looking at the dearth of options in presta-compatible chucks that fit those compressors. Type "presta chuck" into Google and turn on the "shopping" filter, and most products you'll see put the business at the end of a hose, which itself fits at the end of an air gun. In a professional setting where you're mostly topping off tires that are still on the bike and still in the stand, this makes sense. But for the home mechanic, primarily using a compressor to install and seat new tires, it seems like a waste of time to use an extra five seconds or (somehow) an extra five fingers to attach the end of that hose onto your valve while also holding both the wheel and the trigger. To me, it makes more sense to permanently affix the valve to the trigger itself. If you want to spend around $130, there are some nifty offerings from Park Tool and Efficient Velo Solutions which do just that. But if you'd rather spend $37, you will be buying the Prestaflator Mini from Prestacycle.
Little more than an air gun screwed onto a presta fitting, the Prestaflator Mini embodies the "everything you need, nothing you don't" approach to tool design. There's no Schrader valve fitting, no pressure gauge, and no secondary hose. When you drop it on the ground, it will bounce, not break. The presta head itself isn't excessively deep like a Silca head, which needs to be held in place by friction. The Prestaflator Mini is held in place by you. The shallow design goes on and off the valve easily, making it unlikely you'll bend your valve. The rubber gasket can be replaced for $5, and I’d recommend purchasing at least one extra with your Prestaflator Mini. They don’t last forever.
There's not much more to say about using the Prestaflator Mini. It just works. You'll need a separate gauge, but they're good things to have anyway. And you don't get the versatility of having a Schrader head at your fingertips, but who needs it? We happen to have a dual-head high-design Park INF-2 here at Bike Mag, and I reach for it out of habits made during my many and recent shop years. But when there is a tire of above-average stubbornness to seat, I reach for the Prestaflator Mini. The air follows a deadly direct circuit through the trigger and into your tire. A fight that almost had me reaching for an inner tube ended quickly when I swapped the INF-2 for the Prestaflator Mini. So maybe it does more than just work. It just works better.