Silca's sublime reinvention of the iconic SuperPista floor pump unveiled
Two years after Silca redefined the heirloom quality floor pump with the SuperPista Ultimate, the US-based brand has gone back to its Italian roots with a reinvigoration of the original SuperPista, first launched during 1989 Giro d'Italia.
With the Superpista Ultimate, Silca owner Josh Poertner set out to make the best pump money could buy with no expense spared in the choice of exotic materials. Transferring that renowned quality, performance, reliability and re-buildability at a more attainable £195 price point has made the SuperPista Silca's biggest project to date.
18 months in the making, the SuperPista harks back to the style and simplicity of the Italian original, but adds the latest 3D CAD, casting, forging and CNC machining technology. Hand assembled from over 40 high precision components sourced from the USA, Taiwan, Italy and Germany, there's no doubt that Silca has once again produced a pump that's well ahead of other brands' top-end models.
The slim design and dark colouring – flashed with red – are immediately attractive, the solid aluminium construction accurately capturing the understated yet gorgeous Italian styling of its forebear. The SuperPista's handle is made from kiln-dried beech, which has been CNC-machined in five axes to replicate the handle of the Ultimate, which was in turn based on the grips of the finest chefs' knives.
The jet black hose utilises Ballistic Nylon Overbraid, which has five times the life expectancy of a traditional rubber hose while also looking and feeling beautiful. The top cap, an IGUS Linear Bearing, and piston shaft share their design with high-end MTB suspension forks, so you can be sure of a lifetime of smooth, grease-free operation.
The 75mm gauge is accurate within two per cent and repeatable within one per cent making it more than two-and-a-half times more accurate than regular floor pump gauges. It's easier to read too thanks to an ultra-high contrast printing process and an optical-grade anti-glare PMMA lens.
The thread-on Schrader chuck is made from 7075-T6 aluminium that's twice as strong as traditional threaded pump heads. It also rotates freely to reduce stress on the host and valve components. The push-on, push-off Presta chuck has also been fitted with a fully metal pressure bleed button that eases removal of the chuck and increases the life of Silca's famous synthetic 242 elastomer gasket to seven to 12 years.
For the base, Silca has stuck with the shape from the Ultimate, which offers twice the surface area of non-Silca floor pumps. This, paired with a 6mm thickness and three German furniture feet on the underside, means maximum stability. The rugged design also allows safe operation while wearing cleats. There's also a neat hose clip to hold the chuck in place.
Some pumps look flashy on the outside, but it's what's inside that really counts – and this is the heart of every Silca pump. Rather than using a plastic piston head with rubber O-ring seal – a typical place to cut costs – the SuperPista has a 7075-T6 aluminium piston head with IGUS split bushing that comes directly from an MTB rear shock. It's exactly the same as that used on the Ultimate meaning unbelievable stability, smooth operation and long life.
Key to the pump's accurate performance is the full-grain 3.5mm thick Italian leather plunger, which provides more than 20-times the seal surface area and 100-times the life expectancy of a rubber O-ring, actually polishing the pump's internals so that efficiency increases with age. All this means getting your 23mm tyre from zero to 100psi in just 17 strokes.
The SuperPista may have a more approachable price than the Ultimate thanks to its aluminium rather than stainless steel construction, but Silca is still offering the industry's best lifetime warranty on the pump.
This isn't a lifetime of the product warranty, which can be a couple of years in some cases, but rather, the purchaser of each SuperPista is covered against manufacturing and material defects for 25 years. There's also a seven-year guarantee on all metal parts – even when used in pro teams and bike shops – while replaceable wearing parts are guaranteed for two years.
The Silca SuperPista is due to land with Saddleback at the beginning of June.