Literally just after hitting publish on the new Zipp Valve Extenders by Silca, we got wind of even more news out of the legendary pump manufacturer. After teasing a new product for the past week, Silca is confirming suspicions with the launch of their new frame pump. First introduced in the 1920’s, Silca made a name for themselves with the original Impero frame pump. Using 2000 series aluminum at a time when other pumps were still made from steel, the Impero would go on to reach cult status among frame pumps.
Fast forward to the present and Silca has been without their Impero for 25 years. After finding a rebirth with Josh Poertner at the helm, Silca has been rebuilding with modern heirloom quality pumps like Super Pista Ultimate. With the Impero Ultimate, Silca has brought that same precision and incredible attention to detail to the somewhat forgotten world of frame pumps…
Right off the bat, Silca is calling the Impero Ultimate the most efficient, durable, and functional frame pump available. A big claim for sure, but given Silca’s dedication to what many would consider over-the-top engineering for a pump, it isn’t hard to believe. Starting with a solid aluminum head with a brass check valve and head gasket with 2-stage seal, the pump retains the press-on functionality Silca is known for.
The rest of the pump body is made from aluminum as well including the barrel, handle, and piston rod. Made in the USA with Alcoa aluminum extrusions and bar stock, the 19mm aluminum barrel uses a custom leather piston that continues the tradition of using the same Milan-based supplier since 1947. To keep the pump solidly in place on your frame the Impero Ultimate uses what Silca calls FlexWing Silicone bumpers on the head and handle. Able to adapt to tubing from 1″ to 2.5″ in diameter, the flexible wing shape adjusts to the contour. A third bit of silicone on the pump barrel keeps the handle locked and cushions the pump against the frame.
Available in four sizes, the pumps are sized to fit anywhere from 44-56cm spans inside of frames. Note that this is not the frame size, but the actual measurement inside the triangle illustrated by the “L” above. Weights are listed as – SM: 256g M: 267g L: 278g XL: 289g.
Requiring 112 strokes to reach 100 psi with a small pump, Silca claims the Impero Ultimate is the most efficient portable pump available. Priced at $165 and available now, the pump is certainly another investment in quality, but if it’s like the other product to come out of Silca lately – it will be the last frame pump you ever have to buy.