For almost 96 years now, the name Silca has been synonymous with the best pumps money could buy. Now owned and run by Josh Poertner out of Indiana, Silca has been quickly rolling out a new product line that honors the heritage of the storied brand. Just as many of the pumps from the 60’s and 70’s are still in use today, Silca’s new products are designed to stand the test of time.
Largely due to the increase of higher volume tires, a lot has been made recently about high volume or low pressure pumps. The very mechanics of a floor pumps internals usually dictates that it will be easier on the higher side or the lower side of pressures but generally not both. While the original Silca Superpista Ultimate is a pump for high pressures built with NASA like precision, it was time to introduce something new – something designed for much lower pressures….
Sitting next to the Superpista Ultimate is the all new Superpista Ultimate LP. That LP of course stands for low pressure, with the built in gauge reading from 0-60 psi. More than just a lower read out on the gauge with better resolution, the laboratory grade gauge is supposedly a lot more accurate as well with a 1% accuracy that Silca claims is capable of 1/2 psi repeatability. If those claims turn out to be true (we have no reason to suspect otherwise) you are looking at the pump for fat bikes and other bikes that could benefit for accurate pressures South of 60 psi.
It’s no secret that the new Silca pumps are unapologetically expensive. Carrying the same retail as the high pressure variant, the Superpista LP comes in at $450 which sounds outrageous until you consider how long previous Silca pumps have continued working. Thirty years from now when your Superpista LP is still filling tires, it works out to about $15 a year. Obviously, a pump that costs more than some bikes isn’t for everyone, but for those who want the best…
Just what does $450 get you when it comes to a pump? For starters you’re getting one of the most stable floor pumps around with a substantial base that contributes to the 7 pound (3.2 kg) weight. That base contributes to the stability of the pump and is also designed to work with any type of shoe – including cycling shoes with cleats installed.
To keep the iconic presta chuck made from 17-4 stainless steel in check, the pump includes a magnetic dock. Strong enough to carry the pump by the handle, the chuck can be removed with a tug. No more bending over to replace the hose at the base. As usual, the chuck is completely rebuildable for decades of use.
That chuck is found at the end of Silca’s exclusive 12,000 psi hose which is built with a smooth PTFE liner with a braided steel covering that is over-extruded with red urethane. Rotational fittings at each end allow both the hose and the chuck to rotate a full 360 degrees even when fully pressurized. When not in use, the hose keeps the hand turned rosewood handle in place. Sounding more like a custom bike frame than a floor pump, the wooden handle is mated to investment cast stainless steel lugs for both durability and beauty.
All that precision and engineering doesn’t stop on the outside, as the inner workings are just as advanced. utilizing a piston rod impregnated with PTFE and hard anodized, the pump action will remain tight thanks to an inner IGUS bushing in the top cap similar to high end pedals. To go along with the aluminum barrel with a 2.5mm wall thickness, the Superpista LP uses the Silca 741 leather washer meant for the post-2008 30mm inner diameter barrels. Cut from excess material from high end goods straight from Milan, the steam pressure-formed leather cup washer used to push air in each Silca pump still comes from the same leather converting house since the 1960’s. Formed from full grain leather, the new washers feature an updated 2.5mm thickness for even better durability. Should you ever wear out the washer, new ones can be had for just $11.
Hand assembled in Indiana out of parts from the USA, Italy, and Taiwan, the Silca Superpista LP looks like the new heavyweight champion for low pressures.