Silca's history dates all the way back to 1917, when the company was founded in Italy by Felice Sacchi. After 96 years of operation by the same family, a period that saw the name SILCA become synonymous with high quality pumps, the company was sold to an American, Joshua Poertner, in 2013, and the manufacturing was moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. The SuperPista Ultimate is the company's flagship floor pump, designed to put the company back in the spotlight with its elegant design and no-expenses-spared construction.
The body is constructed from stainless steel, and the PTFE impregnated piston (similar to what's used for suspension forks) runs through an IGUS bushing to ensure years of smooth performance. A cast zinc base with three elastomer feet gives the pump its stability, as well as to prevent it from scratching wood floors.
The SuperPista Ultimate Plus comes with two gauges, one with a 0-160 psi range, and the other with a range of 0-60 psi. Silca says their gauge accuracy is within 1%, and the 0-60 psi gauge is claimed to deliver precise readings to within .5 psi. To top it all off, the SuperPista comes with a 25-year warranty on all hard parts, including the hose. MSRP: $475 USD. www.silca.cc
What makes a good floor pump? Well, other than the obvious fact that it needs to move air into a tire or tube quickly and efficiently, ergonomics are an important factor to consider, and on that front the SuperPista absolutely delivers. Its wood-handled plunger has an extremely satisfying feel to it, one that you simply don't get with a plastic or aluminum handle. It's like the difference between a wood and an aluminum baseball bat – they both perform the same task, but a wooden bat just feels better, especially once it's seen some use.
The SuperPista doesn't have a smart-head style air chuck, but it only takes a second or two to unscrew the Presta valve head to expose the Shrader compatible fitting. Both heads work well, with a very secure fit, and more than once I found myself reaching for the SuperPista over another pump when faced with a short valve stem – the chuck's design means that there doesn't need to be as much valve exposed in order for it to have enough purchase for inflation.
The Superpista's action is smooth, although the amount of air it moves during each stroke isn't quite as much as a mountain bike specific pump would. For the sake of comparison, I pitted it against Bontrager's Turbocharger MTB floor pump to see how many strokes it took to inflate a 29x2.35” tire from 0 to 30 psi. With the SuperPista it took 54 strokes, and with the Turbocharger it took 38. The SuperPista's inflation speed is reasonable, but not extraordinary, and it can take a little extra effort to move air quickly enough to seat a tubeless tire. There's also the fact that the gauge is located at the base of the pump rather than the top – I like to think I have decent eyesight, and I still found myself bending over to look at the numbers.
I've been using the Superpista regularly for the last six months, and although that's a far cry from approaching its 25-year warranty, there haven't been any durability issues, or reasons to anticipate any in the future. The base is rock solid, and the pumping action is as consistent as the day it arrived, a testament to the level of attention to detail that went into its construction.Pinkbike's Take
|When it comes down to it, the SuperPista is beautifully crafted, an heirloom quality tool that could be passed down from generation to generation, and wouldn't look out of place sitting next to your gleaming Alfa Romeo. What's that? You don't have a luxury sports car, or $475 to drop on a floor pump? Me neither, but luckily there are plenty of other options out there that move air just as well. They might not be as pretty, or last quite as long, but they'll do the trick just fine for those of us without trust funds. - Mike Kazimer|
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